Wednesday, July 1, 2009

High stress-

Yesterday we got both our dogs "fixed". It's traumatic. For me, anyway.

Poor Delilah- looks up at me with those very sad hound-puppy eyes. She hurts- and yesterday she was abandoned to strangers all day. That had never happened in her world before. Today she's mostly just lying down. And looking at me.

Luckily, she had Theodore with her in the same cage all day. They are such buddies- they eat, always, from the same dish; often at the same time. In fact we got two dishes- and regularly kept them both filled. Every day, one dish would be sparkling clean; and one untouched. Then they'd start, together, on the second dish.

Delilah is just over a full year old, and mature for her age. Catahoula mom, Boxer dad. At the vet's, they told us she now weighs 47 lbs. Theodore is less than 4 months; Anatolian mom, probably Australian shepherd dad - he's 49 lbs, and a little taller than Delilah already. Both dogs are nowhere near as hard headed as you'd expect their moms to be; both are very smart and very willing.

But- we got them fixed for 2 reasons- a) the genetics of their offspring would be much less predictable than their own; and b) we want them to stay home, and not get involved in mating battles that can shorten their lives. (Oh, yeah, and c) we had to promise to fix them when we got them from the shelter. That counts. But she still looks at me.)

Genetically, they are like F1 hybrid corn- a cross between two unrelated highly inbred (homozygous) lines. Hybrid vigor is maximized in that situation. But in the next cross, unless you're a geneticist and willing to discard a lot of progeny- the hybrid vigor starts to fall apart, and the pups get unpredictable, in a lot of ways. Not what we need, either.

It's all morally confusing. Theodore is eating and wants to get into my lap. But sweet, grown up, well mannered Delilah- looks at me, all the time.



belinda said...

I have to say the staying home bit would certainly be the most compelling reason for me. The amount of dogs that get hit by a car or "disappear" in rural areas cause they are out on the run makes me sad.. and well biology says if their bodies are primed they will be out on the prowl.

Good Luck, I hope they forgive you the hurts in a couple of days time.

Kind Regards

Anonymous said...

Yeah to you for being a responsible pet owner and not adding to the overpopulation!

It's a lot easier on a younger dog than an older one. I have even had them spayed/neutered at 8 weeks of age. Within 24 hrs you would never have known they underwent surgery. Your vet maybe could of offered pain relief :(

Greenpa said...

Nnonnth - sorry- you ask excellent questions; but I'm just drowning in work here. Most of my comments on TAE or Sharon's are short; and indeed my hope is to make people think. There's some pretty good thinkers in both those places- you might try pitching those to Stoneleigh and/or Sharon; your best bets for calm intelligent analysis. :-)

Jason said...

No problem Greenpa, I will let you get on with it.

Karen said...

You forgot D) Any number of avoidable illnesses associated with not spaying and neutering your pet!
You did the responsible and admirable thing...even if she is looking at you!

Weaseldog said...

Catahoulas are great dogs. I got one by accident when the shelter told my wife that the Katrina rescue puppies were blue heelers. Every blue merle coated dog is a blue heeler, right?

She was a very sweet and smart dog.

When we lost her, I found another from a local breeder. He's been a great family dog. Calm tempered, protective and easy with the cats.

But the energy level! You can't have just one dog if you have a Catahoula. They'll wear you out!