Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"No, really! I did fit into this dog bed just 8 weeks ago!" Week 8

Frank has certainly grown since we adopted him.  It's hard to believe that he's gone from a 7lb fuzzbomb to an 18lb teenager in such a short time span, but it's true.  Frank is now officially 18 weeks old and 18lbs.  He has outgrown his puppy bed and we've had to readjust the divider in his crate!  The first picture was taken during Frank's first week with us.  You can clearly see that he filled less than half of the cat bed.  In the second picture you can tell that it's a tight squeeze for him now.

On the good side, we're pleased that he has passed from that stage where we had to hound his every movement to make sure that he didn't pee on the floor.  He signals his need to go out by ringing a strip of bells hung on the back door.  It took him less than 2 weeks to master the bells and once that was done, he seemed to take a huge leap in his understanding of what it means to be housebroken.  Maybe he feels more in-control of his elimination now that he can simply request a trip outdoors.

It's great not having to worry about wet carpet, but on nice days Frank does tend to take advantage of the bell's ability to grant him access to the great outdoors.  Quite often he'll ring the bell 3, 4 or even 5 times in a 20 minute span just to go outside and sniff the breeze.  I try to take it with a good sense of humor and not get angry.  It's a good reminder that ALL of us could stand a good long walk on nice days.  Now that Frank is polite on the leash it's possible to put the toddler in the stroller, the dog on a leash and the preschooler on her honor to take a good long walk around town.  A even complains if we're gone less than 45 minutes!

 On a less happy note, Frank continues to have digestive issues.  He's been cleared of the giardia and all other parasites, but we just can't keep him solid.  It seems as though every time we transition him back onto his hard kibble his gut acts up.  We're going to attempt to switch him to a limited ingredient diet, but have recently learned that he may need to be on the homemade bland diet for up to 4 weeks to allow his gut to heal before making the switch.  Thankfully, I have a new rice cooker and boiling chicken is not hard to do.  I'm also adding a probiotic suppliment and will soon start another holistic supplement to help seal his gut.  I have high hopes for getting this resolved before it turns into a lifetime of chronic issues.  I suspect that having been on three week-long rounds of antibiotics for the giardia did a number on him and if we can allow him to heal before irritating his system again we can clear it up.

All of this is, of course, on top of a very difficult month of health for the entire family.  We've all been suffering from a bad cold or flu that struck in mid-February, which was mixed with digestive issues for some of us and followed by a fever and true flu for at least one, maybe 3 of us.  We're all about at the end of our ropes as far as reserves are concerned.  Here's hoping for a healthier spring!

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