Good News & Bad News

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Rose had her first veterinary exam this past weekend and after a series of X-rays we found out that she has stage five hip dysplasia. Sad news. This diagnosis explains why she moves like a much older dog when she is getting up from a nap or climbing the stairs. After checking her over the vet thought that she is probably closer in age to seven years old than six. We are waiting to hear back on the blood work and urinalysis test results. We are hoping that in every other way she is strong and healthy. In the next weeks we’ll be exploring our options for ways to manage or treat Rose’s hip dysplasia. If anyone has experience living with an older dog with hip dysplasia, we’d love for you to post a comment and share.

For the 24 hours following the veterinary exam Rose was completely knocked out – obviously feeling very uncomfortable and ill. This was our first experience seeing her in pain. Today she is back to her usual good spirits and enjoying being outside on walks again.

The good news is that Rose and the bunnies have been very peacefully coexisting (the bunnies from their side of the baby gate and Rose on her side). All behaviors are very positive: mostly just benign neglect with some inquisitive sniffing and looking by both parties.

Everyone has been so good that Ed and I decided to try a little more direct exposure. I brought Rose's doggie bed into the second bedroom and placed it next to my desk. Then I shut the bunnies into their condo, put Rose on leash, and brought her into the second bedroom. I let her smell around the bunny house for just a minute, and then had her sit down on her doggie bed. The bunnies did not thump or react with fear. Mouse immediately commenced biting the bars of the cage door (always his reaction when he discovers the door closed, whether he wants to come out or not)! Rose whined at me and got some attention, then settled down on her bed. I think the bunnies made her nervous because she was whining quite a bit and seemed to want a lot of attention from me. I talked to her soothingly and told her she was a good, gentle dog. I kept the total time of the event to about five minutes.

Ed and I are really missing the presence and companionship of the bunnies at this point. It’s also obvious that the bunnies (especially Mouse) are eager to leave the restrictions of that one room. It is tempting to make introductions before Rose has had her training but we are determined to not rush. We have our first training session tomorrow evening, which will help us move toward our ultimate goal.

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