I was so pleased to see Jochen relocated into this block of pens. As you can see, this pen is bright and light. In addition, he can see out and watch the world go by so there is some stimulation to alleviate the boredom of being confined to a pen day and night after having been on the go for three months.
I cannot thank the quarantine management enough for accommodating the needs of this service dog, for that is exactly what he is - a service dog.
FEELINGS & EMOTIONS RE QUARANTINE
It is interesting to note the attitude of the owners who come to visit their dogs in quarantine. It is so obvious that no-one is happy with the quarantine situation (I'm not either of course). There is a sense of frustration and irritation - and also helplessness because we do not have any choice in the matter, and I found that I had to be very careful not to get into any conversation beyond the mundane. Some people were looking for things to complain about as a way of expressing their frustration and helplessness. Other than the fact that the dogs have to be in quarantine, there is nothing to complain of. Staff and management do an excellent job and I have found them to be friendly, accommodating and sensitive to the needs of the dogs. It is just that quarantine is an institution and not home where we want our dogs to be.
My frustration is that New Zealand has reduced its quarantine time down to 10 days already whilst Australia is still thinking about it. So in my mind the extra days that he has to be there seems so illogical.
As per usual on every visit, I brushed him and went through the usual check of ears, eyes, pads etc. The lines of rubbed-off coat on his hocks are still there of course. It will take a while for the fur to grow back.
I did notice that his movement was not quite right as he was trotting around the grass run and felt the muscles along his spine. He did not show any reaction to that but when I felt the muscles in his left loin, he was not a happy dog. So I will make a Bowen Therapy appointment for him for as soon as possible after he is out of quarantine. I will never of course know for sure but in trying to climb up the cyclone fencing in his pen, he must have twisted in an odd way when he fell off, or tried to cling to the fencing, or whatever he did and that is probably when he pulled some muscles.
Looking at the construction of the pen and the size of the dog, it must have been quite a feat to be able to manage what he most likely did. However, it does fit to him given the things he has done on rubble piles. He is an odd, unusual dog with an odd kick in his gallop.
I had noticed last Friday that he had some plaque on his canines. He had not had anything hard to chew whilst we were away and so I guess there had to be a build-up of plaque.
So today I was armed with a plaque remover and a soft toothbrush and toothpaste and set to work.
Fortunately he is such a good patient and is used to having his teeth looked at and on occasion cleaned, that this was no big deal for him. I managed to remove much of the plaque on his canines right down to the gum line although I will have another go the next time I visit him. There was some odd stuff on his molars which I need to have looked at but which is probably also plaque. But I am not a dentist and did not want to scrape on his teeth when I am not sure what I am doing. The canine plaque was obvious.
He was a good boy and put up with this poking around on his teeth. He even coped with the toothbrush and toothpaste! I am actually considering using the electric toothbrush next time. At the next visit to the vet I will get his teeth looked at to ensure that all is well.
On this photo it is quite clear by the expression on his face that he is a happier dog. We had of course already done a lot of work plus being brushed, teeth cleaned etc. So his need for action and stimulation to relieve the boredom had to some degree at least been addressed.
However, he must still be barking all night because he could hardly bark when I arrived. He just made pathetic squeaking noises. My poor dog must wonder what on earth is going on. Our dogs are always house dogs and sleeping outside, away from his pack is not something he has ever experienced. He clearly sees no reason not to tell the rest of the world that he is 'not happy Jane!'
Tongue-in cheek, the manager said that I should have hardened him up before leaving for Switzerland. I said the neighbours would have killed me!
Now only four days (28/11/2012)