Loki & The Groomer

Loki’s First Trip To The Groomers

I’ve always had a hard time clipping dogs nails. After clipping too short with Odin a few times, I decided to only file nails from then on. Filing was definitely what Odin preferred and I was able to keep his nail growth pretty well under control.

Then came Loki…

Loki absolutely hates being restrained. He even shies away from his harness and leash while being excited to go for a walk. If I had to pick his top trigger, I would have to say that being restrained is tied with a threatening male stranger. Needless to say, I have taken very small baby steps with him when dealing with his nails. I have introduced him to his nail clipper and file while rewarding him with abundant, smelly & chewy, treats. I have held and rubbed his paws & nails all while rewarding him. Yet, he still isn’t comfortable enough to allow me to properly groom his nails.

They were getting out of control. So, it was time to take my stranger reactive kid to a stranger who would restrain his paws to trim them.

So, I knew I couldn’t take him just anywhere. Petsmart was definitely out of the question! They don’t want you to be with your dogs while they’re being groomed and that wasn’t going to work for us. Luckily, I found a local groomer who did a great job with my moms dog, Coco, so I have them a call.

Aubrey, the groomer who took care of Coco, spoke with me and listened while I explained Loki to her. She was receptive to a “stranger danger” dog, to a muzzle being worn, etc. I spoke with her again the day I planned on bringing him in and she remembered our previous conversation.

I told her to pretend that Loki didn’t exist when we came in. A strange request I’m sure, but she honored it.

She asked whether he would do better on the floor or on the table and was more than happy to comply. Something our old Vet didn’t even do. She even asked for direction on when to acknowledge him. I told her to stand near me, ignore him, and just let him check her out. It went very well. I gave her a treat to let him take from her hand which, also went beautifully.

Then, we proceeded with the trimming.

He didn’t eat he head collar on so, she said she could use his leash instead. She not only let me stay with him, but encouraged me to be as close as I wanted to.

Did he struggle? Yes.

Did he growl a little? Yes.

BUT, he also took treats out of my hand while she worked. His muzzle is one size larger than needed so, he can still pant a bit and take small treats from me. I did that on purpose. He could nip if he wanted, but he could full on bite and he won’t overheat as easily as he would if it was the size he is meant to wear.

At any rate, his nails could have been clipped shorter and I skipped the filing opting to smooth them out myself at home. But…

Aubrey did great with him and she even said that he was the easiest “big dog” nail trim that she’s had!!!

A huge win for Loki :-). I am so very proud of him. And, I am very happy with Aubrey and Crystal’s Dog SPaw.

And, there is icing on the cake…

Loki got to sniff the dogs waiting to be picked up through the kennels. He did great with them. He is also welcome to come back to sniff the dogs and just say, “Hello,” any time I want.

We now have a new ally in our mission to socialize.

It was a great day in Loki Land :-).

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Surgery Update

I’m in my 3rd week of recovery from surgery.

Three weeks ago I had sinus surgery and a tonsillectomy. It’s been a rocky road at times, but I’ve been doing well overall.

The day of surgery was horrible.

My surgery was scheduled for early morning. It went well and I was able to go home that afternoon. After driving an hour from the Veterans hospital to my home, I took a nap. I woke up to a nose that wouldn’t stop bleeding. I also woke up to nausea and pain. I felt awful. I had my husband call the on call doctor who gave us a solution to the nose bleed. After vomiting a ton of blood, I did as the doctor instructed and was able to slow the bleed.

I thought I was out of the woods, but I was very wrong.

Since I was so very nauseous, I took a pill for nausea that they prescribed me at the hospital. Big mistake! It turns out that I have a very strong reaction to Phenegran. I was still nauseous so, I couldn’t keep my pain medication down. Miserable became unbearable fast. I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin. I want able to stay still. I couldn’t lie down but, moving around made me more nauseated and increased my pain. I couldn’t take it!

I had my husband drive me back up to the Veterans hospital emergency room.

A better nausea medication, pain medication, IV fluids, and Benadryl for the reaction later, I was finally feeling tolerable. We got home early that next morning after only spending a few hours at home the day of surgery. Thankfully, I was able to sleep when we got back home.

While not without problems, the rest of my recovery has been much easier.

I’ve had a few more ups and downs and I’m still in recovery, but I’m finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But, what about Loki?

He’s bored.

Loki was an angel the first few days of recovery. I think he could tell that I was in enormous pain. Within a week, he was bouncing off the walls. Alex has stepped up a bit, but he still needs more interaction.

But boredom has kinda been a good thing.

I read in another blog that taking a time out can be a great thing for a reactive dog. I also read that a Malinois needs to be socialized more slowly and carefully than other breeds. So, this has been Loki’s time out. And guess what?

He’s sleeping like a dog should now!

He’s actually napping more and sleeping more. He has even stayed napping instead of following my every move a few times. He also has a calmer demeanor. I really look forward to working with him when I’m up to it again. I get lightheaded just taking a shower from a lack of calories and proper sleep so, I’m definitely not ready for a good walk.

It may be another few weeks before I’m completely healed, but I’m feeling good and I’m seeing a dog who is more relaxed in his environment so, I’m a happy gal :-).

We Had A Breakthrough!

Loki met our neighbor.

It’s been sunny and warm in the morning lately. I have been taking my coffee outside to enjoy the warmth and watch Loki play. As it turns out, our neighbor, who travels a lot, was outside. He decided to look over the fence and have a chat. The thing is, Loki has never met him, let alone really seen him, until now.

Naturally, Loki made a fuss about this new stranger looking over our fence.

For some reason that I am still trying to make out, he didn’t go completely over threshold. I was able to distract him with his new Jolly Ball!

We spoke for quite some time and almost every time Loki threatened to hit his threshold, I was able to get him to play with his ball. Two times, our neighbor lifted his small dog, a Mini Dachshund who is also reactive, to see Loki.

Loki did not freak out until his small dog hit threshold. 

He also lifted his Border Collie to see him. However, Loki has had a lot of practice barking at her and went straight to barking this time. It was the only time that I could not immediately distract him.

In all, we probably chatted for at least half an hour. It was a huge success, relatively. I’ll take it!

Loki Versus The Sprinkler

Loki discovered the sprinklers this week.

In an attempt to teach him to like water, I put one on low to let him investigate. He decided he loved drinking from it so, I put it up high enough to make it turn round and round.

The best thing happened. He decided to chase it!

So, for your entertainment, meet my new water dog…

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Check out our new Face Book page to view a short clip of Loki playing in the water! Healing The Beast on FB