Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pittie Pride. And a lesson learned.

Today Chad, Suvi and I walked in the 40th Annual Minneapolis Pride Parade. Minnesota Pit Bull Rescue and A Rotta Love Plus team together for this event every year - it's a great way to promote another group that often feels the effects of discrimination - pit bulls!!

Suvi wore her Pride shirt, and gave out tons of kisses along the parade route. Here's a pic of her pre-walk:


You can check out more pics from the parade on A Rotta Love Plus Facebook page

Unfortunately, it was pretty hot today. Suvi was a trooper, and made it through the entire nearly three-hour process without complaint. We learned a hard, scary lesson today though...

We've always known she's picky about how she drinks her water. She REFUSES to drink from another dog's water dish, especially if they're slobbery. Of course, two very responsible rescue groups brought a wagon filled with gallons of water and many dog dishes. Suvi would NOT drink water from them - she'd sniff, decide she smelled another dog's slobber - and turn her nose away. We kept her drenched in water throughout the walk, but by the end we could tell she just wasn't feeling right. I carried her the last few blocks, stopped in the grass and shade for a rest, and bought some water. We let her drink directly from the bottles, just pouring them into her mouth, and she lapped it up like crazy - so we could tell she was thirsty.

It was too little, too late, though - and on the way back to the car, she over-exerted herself and fell over on the sidewalk. Chad and I both freaked out - she started limping, and then just fell over. There were some city workers nearby, and they were incredibly helpful. They misted her with water from their hoses while Chad held her, and I ran (sprinted) to get the car and crank up the AC and pick them up from the sidewalk. We gave her some more fresh water, and she bounced right back. But for about 10 minutes, my heart stopped - we pushed her too far today.

Lesson learned - know your dog's limits, and ensure that you are prepared for their quirks. We were SURE that she would drink water if she were thirsty enough. We even had someone from another rescue say "don't try to force her - they self-regulate. If she's thirsty, she'll drink...." I wanted to believe that, but the truth is, I KNOW my dog...and I knew she was thirsty and choosing not to drink.  She's such an amazing dog, and so loyal and trusting, that she'll do whatever we ask of her, without complaint. It's our responsibility to know the signs, to ensure we're giving her what she needs, and to be prepared. I feel like I let her down today. But of course, she's forgiven me, because she's the best dog ever.

13 comments:

  1. IElka, for some reason, will not drink water when we're out on a walk. I have a bowl for her, I have a water bottle. Every time I fill it up, she reaches across the bowl to the far edge, picks it up, and shakes it.

    I'm glad Suvi is okay! I can imagine how scary that must have been. :(

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    1. Thanks, Jen! It was scary, but she bounced back quickly! I half expected her to be sore the next day, but she's back to her normal, crazy self!

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  2. The dog I grew up with, Chance, didn't like eating plain dog food. If you put a little bit of "people food" on it - even if it was just a few small pieces of cheese or your leftover cereal milk - he would eat the whole bowl without problem. But if you didn't, he would let it sit. And sit. And sit. People told us the same thing about Chance that your peer said about Suvi: "If he's hungry enough, he'll eat." We thought maybe we were spoiling him. The thing was though, we never taught him to do that - he had been like that since the day we adopted him. We waited for him to eat it once, but he let his food sit for three days without touching it. We finally decided that it was simply better for his health to allow him the small indulgence of a little bit of "people food" to jump-start his appetite.

    In the future, you will probably hear people say that you are "spoiling" Suvi for providing her with her own private bottles of clean water. Although not everyone will understand, just know that you are not alone. Sometimes our pets honestly need a little extra care in one area or another. It doesn't mean that you are "spoiling" her, it just means you are being a responsible caretaker. I'm glad that Suvi is okay! Don't beat yourself up over it too much - we all make mistakes. You learned from it, just like we learned with Chance, and that's what is important.

    -Becky

    P.S. - Give Suvi a hug for me! I can't afford to care for a dog right now and I really miss having one around! :)

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    1. Becky - Thanks so much for sharing your story! It's nice to know other dogs have quirks, and other owners have been through similar struggles. We sure did learn, and you're right - I'm sure some will say we're spoiling her. Oh well! Hug's been passed on :)

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  3. I have a 4 lb chihuahua who also refuses to drink water when we're out. She won't drink directly from bottled water either. Through trial and error I've learned I can only get her to drink by pouring water into the bottle cap - and do it multiple times until she has had her share. I suppose this would only work on little dogs. :) All dogs have their little quirks, and you are absolutely right in that it's up to the owners to know the signs. I am SO glad Suvi is alright.

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  4. Dear Suvi,
    I do not drink water from other dog's bowls either, unless it is a dog I know. You might get cooties you know...
    Licks,
    Cobi
    http://dogdoesntfetch.blogspot.ca/

    PS You look very nice in your your bright shirt.

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    1. Well, hello, Cobi! Thanks for the nice note!! I bet Suvi WAS scared of the cooties - she's 3 now, and that's about the age where kids are scared of cooties, I think. Maybe she'll outgrow it ;)

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  5. Poor Suvi. I'm glad she is ok.

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  6. I love love love everything about your blog! I especially love this post & that Suvi walked in the Pride Parade!! <3

    We took our chihuahua to a festival in GA in the middle of the summer!! I knew it was probably too hot for him but he loved it. The event was packed and he was still a puppy & pretty small. With so many people, it was hard to find place to put him down to drink water. He learned very quickly how to drink from a water bottle almost completely without getting it all over me :) I got the strangest looks from people, especailly non-dog people. They told me how spoiled he would be and that I would have to do that forever. I just smiled. (Truth be told, I would probably keep doing it if he would only drink that way) :)

    So glad Suvi is ok!!

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  7. So happy to hear that everything turned out well in the end! My Chi Patron will only drink out of her own water bottle. Bless her little heart. Since we live in Florida keeping hydrated is a daily concern. I found the answer to this at BaxterBoo, an online shopping heaven for me. They have BPA free refillable water bottles that have an attached dish. It also comes with a clip for your belt or a string for your neck. I believe I paid $6 for it but I can honestly say that it is worth so much more. Thanks for such great blogs, I look forward to them!

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  8. In a pinch, I use one of the many bags I have in every piece of clothing with pockets, stop at a waterfountain and fill it up. Of course you'll have to hold it for the dog (that thing will wobble on the ground like a blob of mercury), but with a bit of encouragement, most dogs willingly drink from this makeshift bowl. Then pour out the water and it's a bag again! lol Repeat as necessary :)

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  9. Sometimes our Dobie girl wouldn't drink when she should either. We thought we should have named her Shady since she was always looking for a sliver of shade. Her black fur just couldn't take the sun or heat. We had a white t-shirt for her and we would soak it in water and then put it on her. She didn't mind that one bit. But, yes, there is no substitute for a cool drink of water on a hot day. Luckily, she loved laying in streams, ponds, puddles, etc. to cool her belly. Poor Suvi.

    I'm glad Suvi is doing better.

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  10. Cooling off the pads of their feet helps as well...we have a finnicky beagle-dobie mix who has the same issue about "cooties" and whenever she won't drink, we soak her feet with the cold water instead.

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