It’s been a while since my last update, where does the time go? I thought I’d let you know how Rio is getting on since my last letter as its been a few months now.
In September Rio stayed at the kennels (or pet hotel as they like to call it) when Tina and I went to Turkey for a week. We were a bit apprehensive about taking him as he was still quite young and wasn’t sure how he would get on but once I led him towards his pen he was fine although he was a bit concerned when I walked off leaving him with a pile of toys and an old top to cuddle. Still he would make lots of new friends and we would be only going for a week.
On our return I duly went to collect him and when I enquired on how he had got on I was told that he had managed to get a small cut on the end of his nose. The kennels lady said he had managed to scrape his nose on some wire whilst digging in the grass area. And he had dug quite a few holes! And although she didn’t actually say it I think she wasn’t too impressed. As you can imagine Rio was extremely excited to see me and it didn’t take much to get him back into the car and home.
One thing we can say though is that staying at the kennels did upset him, with him being quite aggressive and difficult to settle back into our routine for the first week or so. We will need to put him back there again in the summer when Abby gets married so hopefully he will be better that time (maybe?).
Rio’s had a couple of trips to the vets over the months for ear infections; the vet doesn’t believe its triggered by a food allergy but is not ruling it out if he gets another. I think it probably due to the times he has been paddling in the river after the floods. A dose of antibiotic ear drops seems to do the trick and so far its been clear since.
Rio’s not really calmed down when it comes to other people; we’ve had a lot of trouble with him jumping up and biting family members;. All play of course, but he is now quite a big dog and can be a handful at times. I do seem to be able to control him myself but others don’t seem to have the same control. Matt (who is six foot five inches) still cannot seem to stop Rio from attacking his feet. The family have learned to control Rio’s mad moments by getting him out of the room, although unfortunately sometime he has to be dragged! We all believe he’s one highly strung, bi-polar dog.
Rio has shown us the sort of dog he can be though, especially later in the evenings, when he’ll sneak onto the sofa for a cuddle, but these are still on his terms and it doesn’t take much to fall back into play-mode. We have noted a pattern in behaviour. Early evening after his dinner he’s very keen to go for his walk and gets quite restless if he doesn’t go out by 7pm. On his walk he’s fine but when he gets home he thinks it’s still play time and won’t settle down then until 9pm at the earliest. And he insists that you have to play with him. Toys are put at your feet, or in your lap or he’ll bark until you have to give in and play with him. The problem is that once you start playing with him he gets quite rough and he ends up being dragged out of the room.
We had a bit of an incident in October when Tina took him to the vets for his annual jabs. On the way back Rio decided that he didn’t want to walk nicely and ended up biting Tina’s arm and drawing blood, resulting in her being put on course of antibiotics. Tina is a bit wary now of taking him out now, especially as he’s now a big, strong, powerful dog.
One weakness we have discovered in Rio and that is with loud bangs, and in particular the fireworks that were prevalent in November and New Years Day. He was absolutely petrified of them, to the point where any bang that startles him now sends him into wild panic especially on walks where he speeds up to running pace, in the opposite direction. Hopefully, he will get used to them over time and they won’t make him freak out.
Christmas was a quiet affair, with many of the family ill so our plans to have a houseful of guests was cancelled. In some ways I wasn’t too disappointed as it would have been a challenging day, Rio wise. We are starting to see some improvements in his behaviour, but as we keep saying he is still a puppy. How long does the puppy stage go on for again? 🙂
Rio’s digging has re-started so I had to wire up the electric fence again; the space in the garden he has to roam around now is quite restricted but he gets plenty of walks to compensate. Rio loved the recent cold snap and found the snow a great source of fun. He particularly liked chasing snow balls and couldn’t work out where they’d gone when they landed. When the snow finally melted he was mystified as to where all the white stuff had gone.
Thats about it for now, I’ll update you again in the summer.
Regards Graham & Tina