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Puppy Woes


About a week ago, our happy, energetic Coach was underfoot.

Like, the poor guy got stepped on.

It was bound to happen at some point. Coach is always in motion. Please refer to exhibits A, B and C:

This is why Coach is usually sleeping in my pictures 🙂

A consequence of constantly being in motion is he’s constantly jumping up around people as they walk. He loves people. Can’t wait to greet them and get some attention. But he doesn’t seem to realize the danger of being an 8 lb. dog running around the feet of grown humans!


A loud yelp and a limp first alerted us to his injury. I freaked. Did he break a bone? Tear, rip or pull something? Was his hip out of place (Australian shepherds often have hip-related health issues)?

So many things to worry about. But he was running around on 3 legs in no time and didn’t show much distress when we, ahem, examined, his injured leg (We watched a Youtube video about leg injuries in dogs. Instant expertise achieved). So, we unhappily decided to leave him home for a few hours so we wouldn’t miss too much work before taking him to the vet. I think we were hoping he’d show some improvement by the time we were home. Our Youtube education taught us that puppies often acquire soft tissue injuries after playing too rough, but they typically bounce back quickly.

I got stuck in a meeting 🙁 but Justin headed home to check on him a few hours later. He was still limping, so off to the vet they went. An x-ray and consultation later, I heard he’d possibly broken his growth plate and could need a splint for a month. Oh em gee. I started worrying about needing to cancel our upcoming Napa vacation, how we’d pay a $500 vet bill in December (a week before Christmas), whether he’d heal well enough – a broken growth plate can result in uneven leg length…oh dear.

Luckily, I got a call from the hubs about a half hour after I’d started my stressing telling me the vet thought some swelling had obscured the x-ray image. She didn’t think there was a break. She was sending the image off for a second opinion and putting Coach on on some anti-inflammatories, but she didn’t think a splint would be necessary. The bill went down to $315. As much as I make in a week, but less than half a grand.

That, my friends, is positive reinforcement for my worry habit ;).

So glad the pup is fully recovered. He didn’t even need a full week of anti-inflamitories-ness. Prescription. Whatever it is. He’s back to his usual nonsense. Check out his latest and greatest:

Coach Blue

Coach Blue

If you read my first post, you know we got a puppy in September!

We’d been looking for a sheepdog to join our (very little) family, but we wanted a smaller one since we don’t have much of a (usable) yard. We seriously considered a Sheltie – Justin grew up with a red sable Sheltie and is a big fan of them. But we remembered we’d seen a small Australian Shepherd once in old Folsom. We aren’t usually the type of people to stop a dog owner in the street to ask (nag) about his dog, but we were curious, so we did. The owner told us he was a toy Australian Shepherd and he was only about 12 in tall at full size.

We reminisced about the cute little guy and did some research. Toy and miniature Australian Shepherds share the same great qualities as full-sized shepherds, but their smaller size makes it easier for suburbanites to own and care for them. Toys and miniatures are the result of breeding smaller Australian Shepherds. They are individually recognized breeds, but are still Australian Shepherds. It’s not like a  shepherd was bred with a smaller dog and the result was a toy/mini (Lots of people ask if he’s part chihuahua).

Anyway, we settled on a toy and we knew we wanted a male blue Merle – we also wanted to avoid a spay/neuter agreement, a practice that’s really popular with Californian breeders. It took a lot of searching to find what we were looking for, but we finally decided on a breeder. The puppy had to be flown out to us, which made me nervous – imagining my little guy in a kennel by himself, bumping around in the cargo area of a plane – but when we picked him up he was energetic and happy. Probably won’t have a puppy shipped to use ever again, though. It took almost an hour after his flight had landed for us to figure out where he was being held (The airport staff insisted he’d be at baggage claim).

We named him Coach Blue of the Merles because we’re super clever 😉 His call name is Coach. He’s got black markings under his eyes that reminded me of a football player… see where I’m going with this? The name worked out well, the breeder called him Colt, so Coach sounded similar enough that he picked up on it quickly. Coach is 5 months old now, his coat is starting to fill in and he’s lanky. I guess this stage is called the puppy uglies, but I think he’s a total cutie. He’s so smart – he needs consistent attention to keep him occupied. And he’s adorable. It’s hard to leave him at home all day. He’s great with kids (Which is good for us…someday in the future ;)) and isn’t shy of strangers. He has been barking at walls and windows lately, which freaks me out (I should stop watching the Paranormal Activity movies). And whenever we take him somewhere, we get stopped by every single person we see. “What kind of dog is that?” “He’s soooo cute?” “Aren’t you precious!” (Yes, most people speak directly to the dog). He’s totally stolen my heart though. And my socks (His favorite ‘toys’). Did I mention he’s adorable?