Mange Treatment Woes

Tad has been 'out' of it for nearly 3 days now after his Mitaban bath to treat the recurring demodex mange. He's finally coming back around, and despite the e-collar, he still has manged to get rashes and irritation on his 'sensitive' areas, namely his man-bits. His back feet are red, his man-bits are raw, and he has a wound on his tail. The e-collar doesn't keep him from scooting, and his legs are ridiculously long he can still reach his back feet.

We're considering changing his treatment from Mitaban dips to using Ivermectin, which I really wanted to avoid.

October will be 6 months from his first heartworm test. Any 'teenager' heartworms that he had at that time wouldn't be picked up by the snap test, so you wait 6 months and test them again. It gives the teens time to mature into adults and to show up on the heartworm snap test (assuming they're female - heartworm tests only pick up the hormones produced by female worms).

The other reason why I wanted to avoid it is that we don't know what breeds Tad's mixed with. The herding breeds (Collie, most importantly) are very sensitive to Ivermectin. It could be fatal to use Ivermectin in collies. To counter this because there are so many mixes out there, you start off with a low dose and work up to a normal dose. This way, if a reaction is to occur, you've most likely NOT given a fatal dose. It could cause Tad to seizure if he has any collie/herding breed in him, but it should not have any 'permanent' damage if he has a reaction. Obviously, Tad's most prominent breed is not 'collie', but we're not sure what else he has in him. Just my luck...it's collie.

On one hand, you have a drug that reacts with his skin and causes intense itching and extreme lethargy, and on the other, you have a drug that could potentially kill him. :/ But, the one that could potentially kill him is a whole heck of a lot easier, more convenient, and (if he's collie free) pretty harmless, assuming he is, in fact, heartworm negative.


Training Controversy

The discussion of 'training' for Tad has become quite the controversial topic. Many of you believe Tad is an amazing dog...one who never does wrong...could never do wrong. I don't blame you for this image; it is the one I've instilled in you. It's not wrong, but it is not completely him.

Have I been misleading...? Maybe, but I have never lied...there are just some things that are better kept out of the public eye. You have to realize that in public...behind computer screens...people become very, very brave. They say or do things they never would do otherwise. If I told you...some of the things Tad has done...I can guarantee you that some of you would recommend he be euthanized for 'aggression'.

Perhaps these behaviors are why he was dumped in the first place? He lacked proper training and socialization from birth, it's apparent. Now, I have to clean up the mess that someone else has made.

When one rescues a dog...be it from a shelter, from a rescue, from the side of the road...you take on the responsibility of that dog. You know he could come with a terminal illness, an annoying habit, a bad behavior. It's just the way it is...wouldn't it be great if every dog rescued had the BEST personality, temperament, and abilities? ...more dogs would probably be rescued. Sad truth is...these dogs are in bad shape. They're sitting in rescues, shelters, ditches for a reason...in most cases. Sometimes, people can be a-holes, we know this. But, isn't the statistic somewhere between 80-90% of homeless dogs are that way because of behavior? The truth hurts sometimes...

The trainer that I have chosen for Tad, is one that I trust completely. I agree with his method and his approach. Some of you may not, and that's okay. But, you must understand...that you only know Tad through a computer screen. You know what I tell you. I know him, for him, obviously...and Michael knows him, for him. So, Michael's blog may not make sense to you sometimes...or you might not like what he has to say, but I assure you...he knows Tad. He knows my faults, he knows Tad's faults, and he is helping both of us learn.

Dealing with Tad on a daily basis, I now have more respect for mothers of special needs children. I understand their plight and why so many are quick to say, 'It's the parent's fault...if they would have --' I know this, because I used to say that all the time.

You don't really understand until you have one. ...and yes, I'm comparing children to my dog. You don't really understand the seriousness of it all until you're in their shoes.

I battled with the idea of finding a trainer for Tad. I fought myself a long, long time. I knew I would pay for the majority of it out of pocket, and right now...that is looking like it's going to be a very difficult challenge. But, I think for a while I was in denial. I thought it would go away, I thought I could fix this. He just needs to listen to me. I fought his strong will daily...I struggled right along side with him. It wasn't until Tad bit my dad that I realized just how big of a liability Tad is to have at the clinic. It was a big deal for me; a turning point. Some of you realized that; you realized the impact it had on me. Sure, yes...dogs bite all the time...I am bitten everyday. But, for him to go after a 'client' (dad or not) was a punch to the stomach.

I HAD to do something...if Tad bit a client, and that client sued the clinic, Tad would be euthanized...regardless. He would be deemed aggressive and vicious. I could not save him from that fate. You can believe it or not, but I see that in Tad's future...and that is why this training/counseling is a such a big deal.

I have to fix him...and I've chosen Michael to help. You can like his methods or not; but before you tell me that I'm going overboard or you don't like Michael...please, understand that you don't know the whole story.

I have only shared one bite...I have only shared a few bruises...I have only shared select instances. There have been many more bites, many, many bruises, and more disasters than I can remember.

I want you to understand that this is not 'obedience'. This is not 'sit-stay-roll over Fido'. This is 'we help you learn or the city takes you away one day'. It is that serious for me, for the clinic, for Tad.

I've removed the ability to comment for a reason. I appreciate your understanding.

If you wish to donate to help with more sessions with Michael (and the training tools he has highly recommended), please see the below information.

I can accept donations through PayPal (which are then moved to a Savings Account where Tad's non-medical money sits) - please use my email : tiffanydieringer@yahoo.com

You may also mail a check (made out to me - Tiffany Dieringer) to the clinic:
TAD -The Abandoned Dog
17099 Walden Road Ste. 180
Montgomery, Texas 77356


Rough Play

The boy REALLY loves toys...REALLY loves toys, especially now that he knows what to do with them. We were playing with one of the toys a few minutes ago, and I chunked it across the house. Tad took off at break neck speeds after it.

As he passed the recliner, his front leg caught in the handle on the side, and I've a pretty good feeling he dislocated his shoulder.

He cried out and stood there, with a rather funky looking front leg (his shoulder on the one side was definitely out of socket) for a few seconds...took a few steps, and laid down on the floor. I went to get my phone to call Dr. Holliday. I was going to have her meet me at the clinic so we could sedate him and pop it back into place.

He got up to follow me, of course, and within a few steps, he'd popped it back in on his own. I gave him some pain medication left over from his previous hospitalization, and now he's sleeping peacefully.

Poor guy...he was having such a fun time, too. Looks like rest for the next 24 hours in hopes that the shoulder doesn't come out again...Lordy, Lordy...so much drama with this boy.


Day One - Lesson Implementing

Today is the first day we're implementing Tad's first school lesson from yesterday. The door chimes, signaling someone has come in or left the clinic, and I get Tad's attention and give him a treat. Lucky for Tad, the door has been going just about non-stop since I got here 30 minutes ago.

I also gave a small handful of treats for Dr. Holliday and Chrissy, so if they're near Tad when the door chimes, they can help out, too. I talked with Chrissy about people who want to come back to the treatment area for whatever reason, and to ask them if they'd be willing to help train Tad, as Michael suggested.

I'm quite sure the majority of the people would be more than willing to help out, it's just coaching them on the appropriate way to help and how they should act/react.

I think I'm hearing the door before Tad, and sometimes he doesn't even hear it...or react to it, so I almost feel like he's thinking, 'What the heck am I getting all these free treats for!?' Haha!

If you wish to donate to help with more sessions with Michael (and the training tools he has highly recommended), please see the below information.

I can accept donations through PayPal (which are then moved to a Savings Account where Tad's non-medical money sits) - please use my email : tiffanydieringer@yahoo.com

You may also mail a check (made out to me - Tiffany Dieringer) to the clinic:
17099 Walden Road Ste. 180
Montgomery, Texas 77356


Meeting the Trainer

Tad met Michael, his trainer/behaviorst, for the first time today at The Fundamental Dog facility. It was very slow and relaxed, and I think that was good...Tad eventually fell asleep in class. :/

I'm excited to start working with Tad on our first assignment; associating the door chime/bell with good things. As it stands right now, Tad associates those chimes with strangers, and to Tad, strangers are bad. Everyone at the clinic will have to keep treats in their pockets, and whoever (non-employee) comes to the treatment area...will have to bring yummy treats/cheese-whiz.

...and, of course, we'll have to avoid Tad having a situation as best we can. Though, after leaving training...we went directly to a gas station, and a man walked by the Tahoe and Tad had a conniption...but, he was redirected towards the growing pile of cheese-whiz on the seat...and stopped barking...and would just watch the man instead.

Michael is making the trip (I assume it's nearly 2 hours from his house) to the clinic next Friday to get a feel for Tad's environment and how he reacts in that environment. With any luck, Tad will remember Uncle Michael and all the yummy treats he has!

A few of you have donated to Tad's training, and that is immensely helpful. I can't thank you enough. I have enough (not including what is sitting on his account at work for medical issues) for almost two more sessions with Michael. He and Marie (The Fundamental Dog trainer) also advised me to purchase a Manners Minder; it's basically a remote controlled treat dispenser. This will definitely come in handy for when no one is in the treatment area with Tad and the door chimes. Whoever is holding the remote can push the button, and at treat is dispensed. This will also help Tad realize that he does not just get treats when there's a person standing there. I think it's a great idea.

You guys know how I am about money, but I know how you all are as well. You won't let me NOT let you help. Therefore, if you wish to donate to help purchase the Manners Minder and more sessions with Michael, please see the below information.

I can accept donations through PayPal (which are then moved to a Savings Account where Tad's non-medical money sits) - please use my email : tiffanydieringer@yahoo.com

You may also mail a check (made out to me - Tiffany Dieringer) to the clinic:
17099 Walden Road Ste. 180
Montgomery, Texas 77356

You guys have been such an amazing help, and have done wonders for what I'm able to do for Tad. I can't thank you enough...seriously, and you guys probably roll your eyes because you think I've done way more...but, trust me...Tad would not have come so far so quickly without all of you. I seriously, seriously appreciate every single one of you.