20 , 2001 Before I tell you about this week's portrait, here's
a quick update on Jabber. We've had a setback. To make a long story
short, Jabber started passing blood clots in his urine on Friday. Since
the clots appeared at the end of the urine stream (as opposed to the
beginning) it's likely the blood is coming from Jabber's bladder or
kidneys, as opposed to his urethra or prostate. We are awaiting the
results of yet another lab analysis to tell us whether we are dealing
with infection or something else. Right now we're betting there's another
reason for the bleeding. It could be something as simple as a leaky
blood vessel inside the bladder or it could be more serious.
We've all but ruled out bladder stones based on the recent ultrasound.
We've seen no more blood clots in Jabber's urine since Friday but his
urine is cloudy and darker than it should be. Jabber was clearly uncomfortable
on Friday, but once he passed the clots he was fine. It's a good thing
dogs don't sit around worrying about their health. They leave that to
the people who love them most.
let's talk about this week's portrait.
This is George, a one-year-old fawnequin who lives in Ft. Worth, Texas.
George came to my attention when his owner, Sherri Chasteen, sent me
his photo. Seldom do I see a fawnequin and there was something
extra special about this one.
Sherri wrote, "I got George when my girl Gracie, a merle Dane from
questionable breeding, was four months old and having problems. She
was extremely anxious when left alone, even if I was in the next room.
It was becoming apparent that she couldn't see very well she
can't see very far and doesn't have much peripheral vision. I decided
to get a companion for her. I was looking for a harlequin and I found
a litter in South Texas. The breeder told me about a male fawnequin
in the litter that was the sweetest puppy of the bunch. She said his
unusual color was due to one of those genetic glitches from a fawn and
a brindle back a few generations in his pedigree. I sent my deposit
check, and shortly thereafter drove five hours to San Antonio to pick
up the puppy. I fell in love with him immediately. So did Gracie. George
was six and a half weeks old and weighed just five pounds. He was such
a charmer that I named him Prince George de Tejas.
and Gracie became inseparable. If she was upset, he would come over
to be with her and she would calm down immediately. George loves to
play and wrestle. He doesn't mind if Gracie gets carried away and plays
too rough. The two dogs slept in a pile from their very first night
together. It wasn't long before I noticed something else. As George
matured he seemed to understand that Gracie doesn't see well. If she
was hunting for a toy that disappeared from her field of vision, George
would get up, grab it, and place it within her visual range. When going
in and out the back door, George would go first. He would block Gracie
from the edge of the back porch which she doesn't see well
so that she wouldn't fall off. When we all go for a walk, George
gently leads the way so Gracie won't be surprised by approaching people
or changes in terrain that she can't see.
is 13 months old now, 39 inches tall and weighs about 130 pounds. The
vet is estimating that he'll weigh close to 180 pounds when full-grown.
He is extremely gentle and an expert couch potato. He adores people
and loves to be the center of attention. He's also a hero of sorts.
George donates blood on a regular basis at our veterinary clinic. The
first time he donated, George's blood was given to a Cocker Spaniel
swarmed by ticks, a Sheltie-mix undergoing surgery, an anemic Chihuahua,
and a mixed-breed puppy with Parvo. Unfortunately the puppy didn't make
it, but the other three dogs survived to go home to their families.
George is on call for blood donation in six-week intervals. It makes
me really happy to know that George is helping to save other dogs. He
thinks it's a grand adventure. After they draw his blood George gets
a nutrient-rich food to help his body recover. Then he holds court while
the clinic workers come in to pet him, ply him with treats, and tell
him what a good boy he is. He has a great time.
is very outgoing and self-confident. If there's a crowd he'll put himself
in the middle of it. When he visited the middle school where I taught
last year, he wanted to be out in the halls during passing period with
all the kids. When I take him to Petsmart, he wants to go down aisles
that have the most people in them. He's a very social dog. When I take
George and Gracie on walks, we visit certain neighbors who always have
biscuits waiting for them. George has learned to ring their doorbell.
He then sits and waits until they come to the door. He pops off the
lid to the biscuit bucket and helps himself. One day George got loose
and made his way down the street, ringing doorbells and waiting patiently
for people to answer the door with dog biscuits in their hands.
"George is very quick to learn new tricks. It took just 30 minutes
to bell-train him to alert me when he needs to go out. He then taught
Gracie. He rarely misbehaves, and usually when told "no" one
time, he won't try it again. It's really too bad George is not the proper
color for conformation. He's put together fairly well and has the perfect
temperament for the show ring. I am hoping to start training George
for obedience competition so he can put his skills as a quick study
and crowd pleaser to work. I also plan to have him certified as a therapy
dog. His extreme gentleness, intelligence and outgoing nature should
make George a natural for visiting people who could benefit from contact
with a therapy dog."
I hope you enjoyed meeting George as much as I did. You can write to
Sherri and George at email@example.com.
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