I have developed a routine where I am usually one of the first through the gate when it is opened, charge into the office, sign in, charge out, claim a run with shade, dump my bag as a sign that the run is occupied and then get Jochen. At times like this I have no difficulty in being totally selfish on my dog's behalf. I work this routine with a single-minded determination.
STRANGE MARKS ON JOCHEN'S HOCKS
Something odd has happened to Jochen since my visit on Friday afternoon. As soon as I released him into the grass run, I noticed an odd line, light in colour, on his left hock. On checking it out it looked as if someone had taken a razor blade and cut the fur in an upward line from the inside to the outside of his hock or, there was something like a wire that had been rubbing on the coat. Stranger still was an almost identical line on the right hock. The skin was not broken and he showed no pain when I pressed the area. Neither is he limping.
It is not conceivable that anyone would have cut the fur or had wound anything around his hocks and neither is there anything in his pen that could have created these strange lines on his hocks. I told the manager who had a good look, and Jochen's carer was questioned who assured me that nothing has been done or any incident happened that could have caused this wearing away of his coat in such an odd way. We are all totally mystified. We agreed that the coat could not wear down to such a degree in only three days. If he had jumped up and caught his hock in the fencing (which seems impossible), he would have had an injury, and he clearly hasn't, and then there is the question of how come on both hocks?
Peter asked me if I had taken a photo but naturally I did not think of that. I was too busy trying to figure out what might have happened.
Jochen seems not to have been harmed in any way at all but I am not happy. Something happened to cause this change in his fur. My frustration is that I cannot do anything about the fact that he is out of my care. I brush him at every visit, check his eyes, ears, teeth, nails and pads and would almost know if a hair was out of place and I know that these lines were not on his hocks on Friday.
It was very warm today and whilst he was of course glad to be out of his confinement and we did the usual, he lacked energy. He was not quite himself. As resilient and laid back as he is, I sense that he has had enough and the isolation is getting to him. He needs the peace and security of his own home. 10 more days to go. I can hardly wait.