Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Choya Choya Choya

The past two weeks, Mabel and Barticus have been incorrigible on the trails... taking off on a chase at any hint of a coyote! And now that the coyote pups are a few months old and being left alone more and more by their parents... the little buggers will bark at their shadow... much less a hiking pack across the valley floor!

I'm really happy that Mabel and Bart have each other.  But I still fear that Mabel is losing some of her sharpness in her old age. The best example of this is  that she has come home with jumping choya in her several times this week! This one was removed from Mabel hind quarters by our hiking buddy!

She must have had thirty or more stickers in her that night! That is the most she's had since she was a pup. Usually, she may step on a stray one on the trail or accidentally find a piece of choya that is in another bush (they are fragile and break off. Hikers kick them off the trail.) But never does she come home with scads of them embedded in her! Until now...

This particular night, I tied her to a door knob and turned on every light on the patio, got a spot light from the studio and was plucking away with needle nose tweezers when Mabel's auntie arrived with gloves and pliers. Different tools for different artists!  She walked right up to Mabel, scratched her booty with one hand and yanked this sucker out with the other.  Then she comforted the girl while I worked on the smaller ones with the tweezers.

The next night, Mabel got one in her tongue as well... OY, that was fun. NOT!  When she did it yet again a few days later, I didn't even bother my friend... I just got the big tools out!

But my real fear is that something has changed in my girl... can she no longer smell / sense where these things are??? And as for Barticus... the dog we kept on leash for months because he couldn't seem to avoid the choya??? Not a single barb in him!


Berts Blog said...

Boy I had the same problem with Andy, my first Search and REscue dog. Until he was about 8, he could wander through a forest of cactus and never get stuck once.

I was truly amazed. Then one day, I had to pull him from working searches that were anywhere near desert terrain cause he just seemed to pick up every cactus around.

So sorry, it sounds like that day has come for your dear Mabel.

Be careful

Bert and My Vickie

Girl Power Golf said...

I think that Mabel is experiencing her "second youth" running out their chasing coyotes (more important than avoiding cactus)
As for Bart - he's avoided that barb 'cause he's got "Barb" on him all the time !

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Bert and Vickie... It would KILL Mabel if I didn't take her to the creek... I'm so torn over this!

Barb, I was hoping you would get that!!! I write for an audience of one... ;-)

Mango said...

As dogs age, their senses dull a little as do their reflexes so it would be reasonable that Mabel not only doesn't see those things but that she also can't avoid them if she starts to rub or step on one.

Mango's exercise options are very limited. I used to walk Mango first but now that he really can't go on walkies, I just take Dexter. After months of this, Mango recognizes Dexter's leash most of the time and backs off to sulk in a corner. He does watch for our return and howls when he spots us.

To make up for it, I let Mango get all the attention and training that he asks for within his physical limitations. I know it's going to be hard to leave Miss Mabel behind. Don't make a fuss. Don't tell her "you poor dog." Tell her "you wait here and I'll be right back" and walk out the door. She will adapt.

Mango Momma

Maggie Mae said...

Poor Mabel, gettin' dose things stuck on her can't be fun. Removing dem from her can't be fun either.:(

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie Mae

Anonymous said...

poor Mabel. I'd talk to the vet, as long as she isn't getting infections from the barbs, or is uncomfortable after the barbs are removed, I'd let her run-is there an area free of them that you can hike in?