Friday, 25 November 2016

The Sea Dog

Introducing a new member of the family: Wegan (from the term "Vegan". Though being a dog, Wegan is not a vegan.)

Wegan was an abandoned puppy. It was unlikely that she was born a stray, because my mother found her in a cardboard box, which was discarded on the edge of a small nearby forest. It was lucky she didn't venture out from the box, otherwise she would have tumbled down a slope and who knows how deep into the bushes.

Wegan in a cage

There was a maggot-infested wound on Wegan's back. Images of maggots were disturbing enough, but seeing the actual thing ... endless wiggling ... the oozing of this horrible, smelly liquid ... 

The maggot wound (yikes!)

The wound was clearly a source of great agitation. Wegan restlessly paced around our home that evening. We took her to the vet the very next day. Overnight, the nasty maggots seemed to have already burrow deeper into the flesh, and we discovered that there were actually two wounds. The other one was smaller, and was still hidden by her fur.

Wegan waits at the vet

The wound after the maggots were removed 

We didn't really plan on keeping a dog, but things flooded in one after another ... Two days right after her first vet visit to remove the maggots, Wegan suddenly lost her appetite and was extremely lethargic. She couldn't walk several steps without her legs going weak. Another vet visit and the vet diagnosed her with tick fever and severe anaemia. Antibiotics and vitamins were prescribed. A blood transfusion was recommended. 

Now, our personal experiences with vets weren't exactly positive, and we all knew that after the energy-draining blood transfusion process, Wegan would simply be placed in a cage next to other ill dogs and be given a bowl of dry, processed dog food. Wegan was frightened of blood tests to the point that she would have muscle spasms. It was our decision to not go with the blood transfusion. Through nutritious, home-cooked meals my mother made, Wegan regained her health. The wound took about a fortnight to heal over.

The above events took place four months ago. Wegan came to our home on the 21st of July. We were people who were more fluent in the language of lagomorphs, so having a dog in the house is something entirely new to our family. Dogs are common companion animals, so to the dog owners out there, this bunny owner has some questions!

A much bigger girl now

1. Wegan is a puppy. She's very sweet - but sometimes it seemed as though she couldn't control herself and would bite and nip us painfully. The situation has improved as she grew up, but are there ways to stop this behaviour? I have Googled, but personal advice from the dog community would be of great help!

2. Wegan eats 3 meals a day (2 meals split into 3 small portions), but she is still somewhat skinny. Her ribs are visible. She has gained considerable weight (currently 6.5 kg), and is a very active puppy ever since she recovered - but shouldn't she be more plump-looking? 

Now finally, the reason behind this blog post's title.

Have you watched the camping episode in the Spongebob series? The Sea Bear is attracted by all sorts of uncommon things like one playing the clarinet horribly, cubed cheese, how running and limping agitates it greatly, etc. There are several things Wegan absolutely cannot stand:

- A dangling piece of cloth or towel
- The swishing sound of a broom
- Knee-length pants
- Plastic bottles
- Our neighbours talking

... Hence the nickname, "Sea Dog". 

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