Dog Blog #27 – Another Week Goes By…

And yet another week has gone by and we are into the month of May. I know I have said it before, but where does the time go? Even the Bank Holiday weekend rushed by with three days off together at home. Before we knew it, Tuesday had arrived. At least it’s another day closer to the next long weekend and the King’s Coronation. May is a great month for Bank Holiday weekends. I wonder if Margot notices the time passing as much as I do. She’ll be nine months old in no time at all.

We all enjoyed the sunshine on the weekend and the warmer temperatures although we didn’t escape the showers completely. However, we can finally say goodbye to the colder winter months and keep the central heating off.

Spring Sunshine and More Bluebells

Margot enjoys lying outside in the garden in the sun. Now that it’s warm enough, I leave the dining room door open so that she can come in and out as she pleases. Catching her taking a nap or sunbathing in the sunny sections is lovely. Especially as her dark fur becomes so warm to the touch.

We explored another bluebell wood this weekend, where the view of the flowers was amazing. It was a bit busier than the previous week so we crossed paths with quite a few other walkers. The photos never do the bluebells justice – I always think it is better to revisit the images using the camera of your imagination. (Or come back a few times before the best is past, that is, until next year…)

April Showers

In the UK, April is well-known for its showery downpours, which can take you by surprise at any moment, unless you keep your eyes peeled on a trusty weather app. In my opinion, it’s best to be prepared and to have a waterproof with you at all times just in case. On one of our walks on the weekend we all got soaked – it was a different operation entirely trying to dry off a wet puppy in the boot of the car before driving home. I still think Margot looks very sweet after being out in a rain shower though.

Poorly Puppy

We all enjoy being out and about together with our pup on the weekends and during school holidays. It has become a challenge for us to find local walks also suitable for the dog where it is likely to be quiet and we can let Margot off the lead. Some of our old favourite routes taken pre-puppy are still a bit long for her at the moment, but it is fun exploring our local area again with a dog in tow.

One of the downsides of letting our pup off the lead is being less in control of what she puts in her mouth and chews on. Saying that, she picks up all sorts when walking around the streets on the lead. But I can easily see the bits of plastic and encourage her to leave them. Last week there was a dead mouse under the hedge she must have spied or smelt; seeing the tail hanging out from one side of her jaws was an image I would like to erase as soon as possible. Also, Margot is still chewing on grass and she will readily pick up any rabbit droppings that she comes across. After a bout of diarrhoea overnight, I wondered if any of those things she has eaten could have caused her stomach upset?

Having consulted the oracle, I discovered that those beautiful bluebell plants we love so much contain a toxin that can affect the heart, but it’s rare for dogs to eat enough to cause these effects. Within a few hours of eating any part of the plant, dogs may be sick, have stomach pains or can have an upset stomach, which may contain streaks of blood. (I didn’t see Margot eat any of the bluebell plants or the pretty purple flowers so I don’t think it was that which caused her stomach upset.) Eating dead rodents isn’t a good idea either because they can contain dangerous bacteria, but she had the mouse in her mouth for less than thirty seconds and didn’t ingest any part of it as far as I could tell.

It seems to be a common belief that dogs eat grass to make themselves sick and therefore feel better. Yet I can’t find any evidence to prove that online. In fact one source says that it can be classed as ‘normal dog behaviour’ and that it is ‘actually quite common’. Apparently, the fibre in the grass is a good source of roughage and could help their digestion. On the other hand, if the grassy patch is covered in pesticides, that might be more likely to cause a digestive issue.

And depending on which website you rely on, eating rabbit droppings may or may not cause a problem… I probably shouldn’t be too worried as according to one website it ‘comes loaded with nutrients’. That I find rather surprising. Apparently, it is mostly undigested hay, so it could be described as a good source of fibre. Hmmm. Another post states: ‘While it is a dirty habit, eating rabbit droppings will not cause serious harm. They may get an upset stomach, depending on the amount they eat.’ This website goes on to discuss that the danger is in the eating of the actual rabbit. Well I can say with absolute certainty that there were no rabbits anywhere near us on the walk, but I’m not sure how many rabbit ‘treats’ our pup ate. 

We probably won’t find out what caused the stomach upset this week. (I have since discovered that the flea and tick treatment Nexgard can cause diarrhoea – we gave her the tablet the day before – so there’s another option…)

I have it on good authority that scavenging all sorts from outside the house is very much a Labrador trait. With Margot being 75% Lab, I expect it will happen a few times. Perhaps we should invest in some probiotics for her? I’ll keep you posted.

Margot says…

Why do my feet look so small in this picture? I think I look tiny here and I’m still growing. At the vet, the weighing scales said I was 16.75 kilograms this month.

I don’t mean to pick up everything I see in my mouth and chew on it. But I do find chewing calming. I love to bite down on something when I am having my tummy tickled.

The sun on my fur is wonderful. The garden is great for that. I can spend ages lying in a sunny patch, staring down at the tiny creatures in the grass or pruning the trees and bushes with my teeth. Sorry, folks!

Cosy / Humorous Times

These photos are great; the editing feature on the live pictures on the iPhone is genius. I love that I can choose from a number of frames to catch the perfect moment, such as a crazy-looking face or a sudden tongue. Margot can be both cosy and humorous at times. It’s great when you catch it on screen. I sometimes wonder if she groans inwardly when I point my phone in her direction yet again?

Next week… more spring adventures (and the King’s Coronation with another Bank Holiday).

Please feel free to comment, share and spread the word…

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