Lili

We have had Lili for a year now. This first year will go down as one of the toughest puppy dog years of my life.

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It’s not that Lili is a bad dog. Quite the contrary, Lili really has a good heart, and there is not a single mean bone in her body.

That being said, Lili has been tough to love. She came to us ill, and being a puppy, she just didn’t understand what was happening.

She became anxious and stressed, and then began to systematically destroy my house. Have you seen the movie “Marley and Me”? About a man and his wife who get a dog who destroys everything. That’s us. I have one entire room (The dog room.) that needs to be completely redone. That did not endear her to me.

I tried to take her to classes and she flunked. At that time I thought she had some sort of hyper activity disorder. Yet, here we are, Lili is over a year old now, and in the last week I have started to see a new dog.

She wants to please. She follows me everywhere. She is starting to play ball with Hubby, out in the back yard, and then when she is called for dinner she comes right in.

It’s unfortunate that we never really had that sweet, loving, puppy-hood, that I have had with my other dogs. Yet now, now I feel like the worst is over and she may very well become part of our family after all. So much time spent anxiously, on her part, but I think she may be through the worst.

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She is a beauty, that is for sure. Perfectly white with the exception of the very tip of her tail, which looks like it has been dipped in light apricot paint. Her nose is jet black, not reddish in what the breeders call snow nose. And her eyes. Those two beautiful brown mud puddles. When she looks at me, I melt.

Yes, we’re making progress with Lili. Quite happily so!

Lili Age 10 Months

After months of trying to crate train Lili, she has finally decided that her crate is a nice place to be, and frequently just goes in and takes a nap! It sort of shocked me when she started to do this, but it is nice too.

Actually a lot of things have changed about Lili the last few weeks. She is walking much better on her leash and no longer pulls me over. (Thank goodness for that! My back was giving out!)

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Lili age 10 months old.

She is being kinder to the dackels, and best of all, she is being kinder to me! You know, don’t bite the hands that feed you? Or don’t tick off the mother who takes care of you!

Lili is now on normal dog food. Whatever it was that made her so sick when she came to us, is over. Her breeder used a true raw diet and I am wondering if Lili got some sort of food poisoning from it, that held on and on.

Anyway, she is now a normal dog, eating normal food and pooping like a normal pup! Yay!! And best of all, after months of having a hyper dog, she is starting to relax.

I admit there were times I was near my wits end. I feel that both Lili and I got ripped off, as far as enjoying her puppyhood. She was never your sleepy, sweet, sluggish, puppy, filled with love and kisses. At times it was really hard to love her. (That being said, you must understand I love animals and this was very hard on me!)

Now we are getting our bearings, and establishing a relationship and I am really starting to like/love this dog. She is sweet (in a weird sort of way), and loving (also in a strange way), but we’re getting there.

All that said, she is also beautiful! Pure white with just a tiny dollop of apricot on the tip of her tail!

Lili The Lovely

When we brought Lili home, in very short order, it all went to hell! She was sick, she chewed everything and she was not what one would call, a sweet dog. In fact there were times I was not sure Lili was really meant to be with us.

I did get her spayed in October. And I had her tested for an illness that my Vet assured me she had. In fact, I had been treating her for this illness for several months with special food and medication.

All the tests came back normal. There was nothing seriously wrong with Lili. Had my Vet explored things with more interest, I expect we would have found a puppy who was having trouble adjusting to her food. Or the water, or almost anything else.

I do feel badly that I didn’t question the Vet more. I should have. Darn it! Yet somehow, we have made it through the bad parts, and we are starting to see the real Lili.

It started two days after Christmas. She just seemed to ‘settle’. She no longer pulls on the leash, and in the house, she comes when I call her. In fact, most of the time she is my shadow, following me all over the house. I still must leash her when I take her out, as she has discovered the CAT next door.

I am going to return to obedience class and hopefully she will respond and do well. She wants to please me, and I think if I can just teach her, she’ll get it and make us both happy.

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Lili age nine and a half months old.

Her tummy is completely normal. I have weaned her off the medication the Vet said she needed. And she is doing splendidly!

And she is becoming the loving, beautiful girl I had hoped for! Yes, she is still a puppy, and she gets into mischief, but finally things are getting better!

Lili Marlene

Today was a dog day, all day long. I was walking dogs, cleaning their coats, and playing with them, and before I knew it, it was time to fix dinner for them and for us!

I have to say that at 7 months old, Lili is finally starting to get along with the three dackels. In turn, they are starting to accept her into the pack.

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Here is Anneliese sleeping on our sofa with Lili. Lili thinks that the sofa is her bed! Aren’t they cute?

It makes me so happy to see Lili settling in. I think this is the beginning of a long and loving friendship!

Lili Update

The weekend seemed to fly by. Luckily, and happily, I was so busy cooking, cleaning and Lili training. So here is the latest Lili news.

She is doing amazingly well. Not just with her illness, but with her actual dog training. After much thought and consideration I decided that Lili was such a sensitive doggy, that she needs special, gentle training. She also needs a lot of time where she can run. She is such a high energy dog and loves to run.

We are fortunate to have a large field in our back yard, so Lili can run and run and run! Best of all, while she is outside doing this, Hubby can pick apples and polish them for market and she just hangs out with him. (Much like her grand Uncle Fritz did!)

She is a pretty girl and is not as thin as she was. Our neighbor stopped by and was amazed at how much she had grown. She still has a long way to grow, as she is just about 7 months old now.

She’ll be having blood work done this week and I am thinking about getting her spayed too. I don’t want to take a chance that she will go into heat while we are gone. Lili should never have pups. Her health is far more important to me.

Well, Happy Monday Everyone!

Lili’s Progress

You know, when Lili arrived at 8 weeks old, I was full of love and anticipation of a wonderful life together. Almost immediately, the poor baby started with her digestive problems and it made things very hard to deal with.

But we’ve made it through the last four months, fought for Lili’s health, worked on getting her food that didn’t make her sick, and house trained her.

We have spent every day working to train her to be polite and sociable, and she is doing remarkably well. She is growing, gaining weight, and best of all, we are becoming close friends.

Oh, she has her moments of wild puppy, craziness, but she is learning to listen, responds to our commands, and is starting to be much more gentle with the dackels.

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I am praying that the rest of Lili’s story will be a healthful and happy one for her. She has a heart of gold and truly wants to be loved by us and by the dackels.

Another Lili Update

After weeks of not getting anywhere with Lili’s diet and┬ámalabsorption problem, she is finally starting to do well. She is no longer ravenously hungry (although she never turns down a meal) and her desire to chew all of the time.

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She is actually becoming more pleasant to be around. She loves me. She follows me everywhere. All she needs is good nutrition, our love and lots of running time.

Oh yeah, now that she is feeling better, she wants to run and run. Fortunately, we have a large field behind the house, and Lili loves it.

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It has been tough. I never had those sweet silly puppy days with her. I was so busy trying to keep her healthy, and that was so darn hard.

I am just so thankful that the diarrhea has gotten better and that she is utilizing her food. I know we have a long way to go until her food is balanced, but at least we are on the right road.

Oh yes, and as she feels better, her behavior has improved. I will be bringing her back to the dog trainer, for private lessons very soon.

Prayin’ For Lili

Now that we know that Lili has EPI I have started working wth her. You see, when she was really suffering before the start of her medication, the poor thing was in pain, had terrible diarrhea, and was wasting away. A terrible thing for a dog to be going through.

The trainer kept telling me she was willful and to be harsh with her. Well, I stopped going to her. You simply cannot be harsh with a dog who is frantically hungry all the time.

There was that look in her eyes. That terrible look that told me that she was scared. So, after praying to God for assistance, I started to behave calmly with my constant shadow.

After lunch today, I allowed her to come up on my loveseat with me. Then I softly, gently, stroked her back, her ears, and down her legs. Her eyes closed and she sighed.

I thought then that here is a dog that has been abused by illness. She was counting on us to recognize that and help her. I have to admit that Hubby was the biggest help. He’s been involved in a genetics project for years and this was one of the illnesses that was discussed.

So I ask, if you are the praying sort of person, please include Lili in your prayers. She will need all of them if we are to get this disease under control.

Lili Update

Today I wanted to write a little about about how Lili is doing. It’s been a tough go. As a very little puppy, I did not understand her at all. I’ve raised many a puppy, but never one so totally uninterested in people. She was often almost feral.

Then she got sick. Terribly sick, and I didn’t understand that either. I read everything I could and finally when Hubby and I were pretty sure we knew what was wrong, we got our Vet involved.

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Stool samples were taken, exams were made and in the end, we found out why Lili was so ravenous all the time and not a very friendly dog.

She has Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency which was literally causing her to starve to death. We started her on enzyme powder and a pill to help her digest her food and rest her gut.

At first she was the same and dealing with her was so hard. I wanted Lili more than anything, but I have to tell you that cleaning up after an EPI dog is not easy.

Also she went mental while her food was resting (enzyme activation). Then about three days ago, something happened. Lili calmed down. Her belly no longer hurts (I suspect) and she has shown us her loving heart.

Her basic training at doggy school has helped, but since she gets over excited by any food, I started to train her all on my own. And actually, she is doing pretty well.

Please keep Lili in your prayers. This is a tough, lifelong illness and we are doing our best to save her with the best medications they have.

Aug 17 002

Well, Lili is doing better. The enzyme powder is helping her to properly digest her food (or close to it) and her empty belly is starting to fill out. We’re looking into a better food for her to eat (along with the enzyme powder) with hopes that this will calm her down, help her gain weight, and make her a less aggressive dog.

Oh, part of me would love to just bring her back. Nothing is easy with Lili. For instance, her food needs to sit 20 minutes at room temperature after the enzyme powder is mixed in. She can smell the chicken and rice and no matter where I try to hide it she simply goes insane. We have chosen an option. Hubby takes her out and I mix the food and then hide it (I’m creative!).

The thought that this will be how it is for Lili’s entire life, frustrates me. As a former breeder, I tested my dogs for various known illnesses in dackels.

But then, Lili adores me. She follows me every where. To the bathroom, to the basement, to the screen porch and she wants to be in my chair next to me all the time.

People talk about the sweet wonders of puppy-hood, and I have had that wonderful warm glow with every dog I have ever had, until Lili. Her illness makes her rather aggressive (especially around food) and not the cuddly sweet pup I had longed for and dreamed of.

We will be doing a blood test next week to pin point her illness. After that I think we will need to decide if we try to save her and make her healthy or contact her breeder.