Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Four Letter Words

It's that time of year again. The dreaded seven months of the year in the Pacific Northwest that we complain about most. The season that starts with a four letter word and is often followed by other four-letter descriptors we don't say around our grandmas. That's right - RAIN.
Sappho in her special rain suit.
No one enjoys it. The trio of intrepid terriers who prowl the campus each lunch hour with a fierceness instead gear up in rain coats and venture outside with dropped heads and tails.
No ma'am, I don't like this rain!
We go through this every season. The dogs become so used to the sunshine that they forget how to walk in the rain, and so the first few walks this time of year are filled with guilt-inducing dawdles, miserable looks, hunched body language, and squinted eyes as if they can't see through the stinging, burning, horror of the gently falling raindrops.
She has never been so miserable as she is in this moment, in this rain.
Given enough time doing the same walk we do every day rain or shine, they start to come around.
I guess I can sniff and pee on things still...

I just heard something!

I guess I can still hunt too.
Their body language starts changing. They don't love the rain, but they seem to remember that it isn't as bad as it seemed when they first started out.
I'm not real happy, but I'm getting into the walk!
They start moving out from behind me or right beside me to out in front or exploring.

But make no mistake. On these first few walks in the rain there is one message they never stop saying....

Rain sucks!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Bailey Chair - Part 1

Is it finallyfood time?
For as long as I've had Cody, we've struggled with his reflux. His reflux is when food falls out of his mouth - almost like he is vomiting, but it is coming from his esophagus and not his stomach. We're trying out some meds to see if they help calm what may be an acid reflux issue, but meanwhile I've worked a long time to find other solutions to his reflux. Much of these solutions are around how and what he eats.

He has may things he can eat, and I've found a few different ways to feed him that works. This is one way - bottle feeding and using the Bailey Chair. He also can eat fine out of a bowl using the Bailey Chair, but these are pictures from before I learned that. This is a tutorial on how to prepare his food for bottle feeding and using the Bailey Chair. These images are a bit old - a few weeks at least. Since then we've moved to feeding in the Chair out of a bowl, then having him sit in an ex-pen in the room with me for 30 minutes while he digests. I'll do that in another post!
Start with clean bottles. These are pastry bottles that I got from a local store for $4.99 for two of them. I cut off the tips most of the way down to allow the larger chunks of food to pass through.
A funnel makes it easy to pour his food in.
Cody takes meds with his meals, so those are added in.

Add in some water to make a soupy-slurry.
Grab some cheese to reinforce him remaining in the chair after he eats.

Add a bowl in to capture any drips as he eats.

The Bailey Chair works by elevating the dog and utilizing gravity to
pull the food down the esophagus towards the stomach.

Do a couple tricks just for fun!

With one hand against his upper knee I guide
him into backing into the chair. Cody does this
mostly on his own now!
He sits back into the chair...

Raises his paws up....

And I shut and latch the door.

We add in the tray (optional, sometime I do, sometimes I leave
it off!)

I hold the bowl underneath to catch drips and gently
squeeze the bottle to push the food out.

A little help cleaning the bowl afterwards!

Cody can comfortably sit in the chair for 10 minutes after

Especially if he gets reinforced with cheese periodically!


Cody's Bailey Chair was made by the extremely talented Brian and Lori Scott. When I appealed for help he stepped up and agreed to make it and even threw in the custom name! I am beyond grateful to them for the Bailey Chair has been vital in reducing Cody's reflux.

Stay tuned for another update on how Cody eats - still using the Chair, but only for a couple minutes as he eats this time!