Thursday, July 28, 2011

Help! My IW Doesn't Like Dog Food

Got a little problem. Riagan doesn't like dog food. She won't eat it. She'd rather starve than eat it. She will eat canned dogs foods like Alpo with sliced sirloin, but she'd really prefer people food.

Let's see...salmon, hamburgers, bagels, bacon, toast, eggs, pretty much anything we like. As a general rule, if we like it, she does. If we don't like it, she won't. (Except the Alpo example, but that does look pretty good, too.)

What should I do? Does this mean I need to add another plate at the dinner table?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hanging Out with a Celebrity

No matter where you go with an Irish Wolfhound, you're popular. Not that you are popular, since all everyone wants to see is the Wolfhound, but when you're holding the leash--hey, you get the benefits of their celebrity. It's really nice to be a part of all that friendliness. On our adventure yesterday, there was a man who smiled from ear to ear and told us he'd grown up with a Wolfhound. I know what that feels like. After having grown up with one, too, it took me over 20 years to see another.

Once you've experience the intense, I'd say FIERCE, loyalty and love of a Wolfhound, you never forget it.

Riagan is so intensely connected, she won't even eat her food at meal times until she's convinced there is no more opportunity for us to pet her. If that is an hour, she won't think about food for an hour. In the mornings, if either my husband or I are still in bed and the other gets up to take her out to the bathroom or go to work, she won't go. Instead, She'll turn around at the stairway, go back to the bedroom door and she'll lay there until whoever is still in bed gets up and comes out.

About a month ago, my husband and I finally got to order a canopy for our dogs. It's not something we would have ever wanted for ourselves, but as Riagan grew, it was more and more difficult to travel with her in the cab. I couldn't do it by myself because she'd want to jump in the front with me, making it difficult to drive. We were super happy when we got the call that it was in and had it installed. The next day we decided on a ROAD TRIP with our girls.

And this was our reward.

It was a gorgeous day with our dogs.

These pictures from Mt. Spokane, looking over the GREAT Northwest, remind me of some craggy spot in Ireland. Riagan looks right at home.

Last month Riagan came into heat. Irish Wolfhounds experience their first heats later than other breeds, and from what I've read, only have one a year. It presented a lot of problems for us both because of the bleeding and the possibility of breeding. The bleeding, it turned out, was pretty manageable, and we spent a lot of time out of doors. The breeding surprised us, too. Not one male dog showed up on our property--that we know of. Doesn't that seem strange? Usually they come from miles around when a female is in heat. But nada. So, I'm hoping there are no surprises and that we were successful in keeping her chaste.

I can't remember if I wrote about her porcupine encounter on this blog, but she had one. Hers was particularly bad because she also killed the porcupine, which means it was in her mouth, which means the quills were all over her mouth and throat. It was horrible.

After a successful surgery and recovery at home, we started to feel something hard lodged in her nose. She stopped eating her food. We took her back in and discovered it was a broken-off quill. They removed it about a month ago and we haven't seen anything else since. It is scary though because porcupine quills burrow in, rather than out, and can make it up to places in the head you do not want them to go. We can only hope that there are no more quills. She seems very healthy and happy, so they're likely gone.

We've had Riagan for a year now and she has changed our life in so many ways. As she's grown, we've expanded with her--bigger cars, bigger beds, bigger hearts. We've become an Irish Wolfhound family.