Yay Tolly! And a day out

Toller had her first check up since surgery today, and it sounds like it went really well!

(I can’t go to appts due to the lights at the vet, but my bf called me right after)

Apparently when they were waiting, three nurses were walking through the waiting room and said “Oh hi Tolly!!” when they saw her, and came over to love on her. How sweet is that? πŸ™‚

They were seen by our favourite vet, and she said Toller is doing GREAT! There’s a slight rash by the stitches, most likely from rubbing on the top, which is normal and already clearing up. There’s some bruising from the op, which is also obviously completely normal.

The vet has cleared Toller to do 2 minute on lead walks 1-2x a day (aaaagh excited!!) and has said she can walk a little more in the house. Yay!

They’ve said we can stop her pain meds on Wed-Thurs, which seems CRAZY, but every pain score they’ve done (even immediately after surgery) she hasn’t reacted to at all.

And yesterday my parents came up.

We had a great day. Sasha was SUPER confident around them, for literally the firs time ever – it was awesome to see. She went up to them, sat for them, it was really cool – she looked like a normal dog haha.

We went on a huge hike. I think we were out 3-4 hours, but we did have several rest stops so my dad could fly his drone, and for the first 30+ minutes I was very seizurey and had to sit down a lot. The rest of the walk was lovely though, we all had a really nice time πŸ™‚

Sasha’s training for the most part was wonderful; she was very excited and distracted walking through the field of sheep (but I was way off my A game too because that’s when I was most poorly), and she was too excited to do much training, but she was happy and confident with everyone which was much more important. She met loads of doggy friends, including two Border Collies which she enjoyed bounding around!!

Pics πŸ™‚

But look how frickin’ huge she is πŸ˜„

My dad took some lovely photos. Love this one of me and Mojie πŸ™‚


My partner and Mojie!


Sasha smiling!


Sharing snacks hahaha


We had several rest stops on top of the mountain so my dad could fly his drone. Really good socialisation for the pups! And the photos are stunning – look at this view!!

Look at Sasha πŸ˜„


Coming down the other side of the mountain


Once back from the walk we dropped the pups off, my parents said hello to Spud, then we drove to get takeaway pizza and eat it on the beach. Talk about best meal ever πŸ˜‰

I found some hella impressive quicksand. This all looked like normal sand when I first walked across it, it scared the crap outta me!!

Birthday cake on the beach πŸ™‚ (it’s not his birthday until tomorrow, but we celebrated it about 4 days ago and then he celebrated it with my parents yesterday haha!)

Sunset πŸ™‚

So it was a really enjoyable day. We also got a nice leaving of Sasha, she was left for 2 hours and did wonderful ^_^

Oooh, quickly, I also finally got to give my mum her mother’s day ‘gifts’!! Mother’s Day was in March, but they hadn’t been up since, so I’ve been adding to the gift every week or two hahaha…I started needle felting a few months ago, and may have made my mum a Barbapapa family HAHAHA!

Tolly the tripawd!

Hey guys we’re absolutely exhausted here so I’m gonna keep it as quick as possible.

Long time no post!

So I don’t remember where we were with Tolly when I last posted, but here’s a recap.

She hurt her paw about 10 weeks ago, when an off lead Labrador sprinted all the way across a field and ran into her, bowling her over (she was a tiny 3.2kg at the time – 3.5kg now, little fatty πŸ˜‰ ).


We got her to the vet who said she suspected a broken toe at worst and wasn’t even going to x-ray, but we said we might as well to be on the safe side. After the x-ray it turned out Tolly had broken FOUR bones in her front left paw, all the bones connecting her toes to her foot.

We were immediately pushed towards an option of an invasive surgery to rewire her bones. When I researched this (reading articles, others’ experience, and posting on a forum for amputated pets as I immediately wanted to amputate) I found there were HUGE flaws with this option, including an extremely high likelihood of further procedures (I’m talking 98%+!), complications to do with recovery, and the fact it was a very invasive procedure.

A few days after her accident we saw a second vet, who was much more positive. Amputation, which we still wanted to consider, was poo-poo’ed as a full recovery was so certain, even though a full recovery from amputation is only 4 weeks. This vet advised us not to put Toller through the surgery, and said her foot would recover perfectly fine on it’s own, and we most likely wouldn’t even be able to tell she had been injured. So we signed ourselves up for 6-8 weeks crate rest.

Toller had two splints put on in the first week or so; one fell off after four hours, one fell off after a few days, and after that the vets advised we leave her as is.

For eight weeks Toller was confined to her crate or held in our arms, the only activity she got was from there or trips to the garden strictly to go to the toilet. With each vet visit the vet complimented her recovery, saying she was doing so much better than they expected.

Toller was ABSOLUTELY MISERABLE, and nothing held her attention (not even knuckle bones), and whilst we were very concerned about the after-effects of such extended crate rest on a very young puppy, we pushed ahead because it wasn’t long to the finish line.

Around the 6 week mark we began to notice that that front left foot was very bent out of place and odd looking, but pushed it aside as the vet was so certain she was making a miraculous recovery. At 7 weeks we were advised it was ligament damage and posed no concern.

At around 8 weeks we were told Toller was fully recovered, and we were horrified.

The story had now changed to she would have hugely restricted exercise for the rest of her life, she couldn’t run, go on walks, and her foot was scarily deformed. It stuck out at a literal right angle.



Over the next week we followed the vet’s instructions, letting her walk in the house for 30 seconds at a time, just a time or two a day. We were horrified to see that foot getting worse.

At this point we thought we were going to get a wheelchair; that way Toller could go on walks in the chair, with the injured leg strapped out the way, and walk chair-free in the house as per the vet’s instructions. We bought a cheap Β£70 front wheeled cart whilst we saved the Β£580 for a custom one.

It soon became clear that wasn’t an option; Toller’s foot was so badly injured (and not at all recovered!!) that even small amounts of exercise were making it much worse.

We began looking for a second opinion and madly scrabbling for money for an amputation, which we had wanted to do right at the bloody start.

Unfortunately a lot of vets were less than helpful, with one surgery refusing to see her and telling us to use the first surgery (that had been totally wrong about her prognosis!), and another saying they would have to “ask permission” from the previous vet.

We finally found a branch that would happily give us a second opinion; they sent off for her info and we took Tolly to an appt with them. They agreed in an instant that an amputation was the way to go.

Today was her operation day. Photos from this morning just before she headed out.


Eeesh, that poor foot!!


We dropped her off, and phoned at lunch time for an update – oh, before I carry on, the vets wrote down THE WRONG LEG TO AMPUTATE!! Can you believe it?!?! Luckily the nurse checked with my partner first, although she did say they’d have questioned it anyway given how deformed her left leg was hahaha!

Lunchtime update ~ we were told she’d been a star up until time for her op, and enjoyed lots of cuddles! She’d been in theatre for 60 minutes and was just coming around now and doing really well. They wanted to keep her overnight, and would call before they closed that evening to update us again.

We were SO relieved πŸ™‚

We didn’t hear from them when they closed, so we called them on the dot, and unfortunately the first person who spoke with us was useless – she said “Yes, Toller’s fine, she’s just staying overnight with us” and then hung up the phone!!!!

But we called straight back and managed to speak with somebody else and they were brilliant πŸ™‚ They said Toller has had cuddles off every nurse that works at the surgery, and when they go into her room she gets excited and wags at them!

She’s eaten a meal and even had some test walks to start getting her used to life on three legs – she’s doing great, the only thing she struggles with is doorways and they have to carry her through those haha!

They’ve carried out a pain score on her (where they tally up how much pain a dog is in based on behaviour, body language etc to judge if they need more pain meds) and they basically couldn’t tell she was in any pain at all as she was just trying to love on them so hard!! This so typically Toller hahaha, completely loving and adorable, and such a tough little cookie πŸ™‚ ❀

So she’s staying overnight, will be checked on every 3 hours, have further test walks and pain scores, and we go pick her up in the morning. We can phone as soon as they open and see what time they’d like for her to go home at.

To say I was relieved with how the day has gone is obviously a huge understatement, and the last nurse we spoke with described my little spitfire so perfectly I was crying listening to what my Spud had been up to!!

Obviously I’m really nervous about bringing her home (Will I be okay at the sight of her stump, because it won’t be bandaged at all? Will I feel suddenly sad about it? Will she be in pain? Will she try do too much now that broken leg has gone? Will she be especially vocal or miserable? What if it gets infected? etc etc etc) but mostly I just really can’t wait to see her and want to cuddle her forever.

It’s been absolute hell since she got injured…from being terrified she was badly injured, to struggling to keep a 5-8 month old puppy in anyway happy with strict crate rest, to freaking about amputation (risk, lack of knowledge, price, finding a willing vet etc), to getting it done and now the road to actual recovery…

I’m hugely excited for her, because she’s FINALLY gonna have her life back, but I’m understandably scared too. For the physical side and the mental side – she’s missed so much socialisation and was miserable for so long there’s no saying what kind of adult dog she will be, and this is a major concern and NOT something to be brushed off lightly.

I’m concerned about fears (from other dogs and animals to cars going past, loud noises etc) and anxious behaviours, and of course the physical side too – being a tripawd obvious puts more strain on the other limbs, although thankfully her small size should mean this isn’t as big an issue.

But the main thing is her life will be so much better. We just have to take the journey one literal step at a time!

And that’s my update. Now, bed awaits…

the sun is shining

It looks beautiful outside, I can’t wait to get Pixie and Sasha out in it ^__^

I woke up with the worst migraine ever this morning, I was in agony, so I swallowed three Codeine right off the bat. It seems to be easing off now, but I’m not going out in the sun until it’s 100% gone.

I’ve been doing a lot of leave it work with Sasha, she’s getting good! Today is also day 3 (I think) of putting antibiotics in her left ear twice a day, and using cleanser in both ears once a day. On the first day she bucked and got close to freaking out about it, so me and my partner had a chat and came up with a better way of doing it – the worst we get now is a slight pull away of her head, and that’s usually when we do two ears in a row (normally we try do one ear, leave it an hour, then do another etc).

We’ve worked restraint into play A LOT, along with ear lifts, pokes etc. The other day we were playing as my partner restrained her, and she ended up falling asleep like that πŸ˜„

Aw, sleepy girl…


I really want to get some footage of Sasha on walks or doing training, but it’s a pain because I have my hands full haha! I really do need to get some video footage and more photos though…

Oh look, we stuck a few patches on her puppy harness, for trips into town πŸ™‚


We won’t be taking Sasha into many places atm, but there are quite a few dog-friendly shops in our town, and sometimes the staff can be a bit “AAGH A DOG LET ME PET!!” so any way I can get them to ease off a little is appreciated πŸ˜„

I don’t know if I’ve shared the Kasper-&-Sasha walk pics yet?

If not, here they are. Kasper SUCKED initially – he didn’t know whether to fall into ‘yay new dog play with me’ mode or ‘I’m a grumpy old man now’ mode, so he switched between them (seriously, his body language is SO off with new dogs now, but onlyΒ if we’re walking them).

And his focus was all over the place initially, but my partner did some work with him and five minutes in he was rocking it. Sasha was fabulous too, awesome recall, focus and polite behaviour with another dog πŸ™‚

Love this photo: Sasha recallingΒ from another dog, and Kasper remaining still by my partner!



Sisters ❀

Pixie’s reaction when Sasha gets back from a toilet trip – “YAY SASHY, YOU’RE BACK NOW PLAY WITH ME!!” πŸ˜„

And doesn’t she look like an evil genius here?!

Okay my head’s feeling quite a bit better. I might take one of the girls out now whilst it’s sunny outside ^__^

Best night’s sleep

Most nights Sasha has been sleeping about 6 hours with no wake ups (which is incredible for a 12 week old pup!), then she goes out to the loo and we’re up for the day.

The night before last she slept eight hours, with a toilet six hours in, then came inside and fell right back asleep. That night she slept in bed with us.

Last night she slept TWELVE HOURS!!

Six in bed, out to the loo, another six in bed! Wow did I need that, nevermind her πŸ˜„

So yes, she has finally started sleeping in bed with us (and we have a 3/4 bed, not even a double bed!) which is honestly the nicest thing, and not just that but being in bed seems to be having a huge affect on getting her to sleep more overnight too.

At the moment we have added a footstool to our bed, so we have extra room at the bottom. Pixie sleeps under the covers either between us or between my legs, and Sasha sleeps at the very top above our heads! She quite often buries her face on top or beside of ours, and whilst we do get a few accidental kicks to the face, it is *totally* worth it πŸ˜€

I finally uploaded some videos ^__^

Here I am with Sashy-pants in the back garden working on socialisation with novel things…I mean, it doesn’t get much weirder than a chopped off bit of plastic barrel rolling along the floor does it?! πŸ˜„

She had NEVER seen this item before, and I hadn’t done anything with it other than lift it down before I started filming…so her reaction was perfect *happy dance*

I was able to progress fairly quickly in what I was doing with the barrel because Sasha was doing so well.

If she had shown any significant signs of fear, I would have kept the barrel far away from her and kept doing small things with it – knocking on it, rolling it a little bit etc. But because she did so well I was able to bring it close, roll it quite a long way etc. πŸ™‚

And a short fairly boring clip from her first trip to the beach yesterday!

We had wanted to let her off lead but there were some bloody sheep about – not only had they escaped from the field (well done farmer…), but they had crossed the stream that swells every time the tide comes in, and had crossed a road!! Bah.

Still a lovely time with the bumbling-clumsy-pup though πŸ™‚

Aand finally, Pixie says: “Uh, mum…just wondering…when is the fluffy beast going to be leaving us so we can get back to normal?!”



Nah, she’s actually doing really really well. In a few minutes we’re heading out on our first ever walk with Kasper and Sasha, because they’ve been doing so well interacting through the baby gate. I also want to have an intro in the house between Raiden and Sasha today, but that will involve shutting Pixie upstairs for a bit because she would just be a nightmare haha!

Also on a walk yesterday, a cat sprinted up and jumped over Raiden, and he was totally nonplussed πŸ˜„

Harness madness!

Last night I was ordering a chain lead off amazon, and the cheapest was an add-on, so in order to buy it I needed to spend over Β£20 on amazon prime purchases.

I thought I’d “just look” at harnesses for Sasha, because even though we have what feels like a million harnesses in the house, she’s at the very end of the only one that will fit her until she’s grown some.

That harness, by the way, is the EzyDog Quick Fit that Raiden fit in at 12 weeks old – Raiden is a Border Terrier, so he was tiny as a pup. Sasha on the other hand is a Standard Poodle. She is also 12 weeks old…how is she wearing the same sized harness as Rey was?! πŸ˜„

Anyway. I ended up finding four super cheap harnesses, which blows my mind. They look amazing too! Obviously I’m not expecting super quality, but they were too good an opportunity to miss, and one has an RRP of Β£48 (I looked for the same harness on ebay and it actually was up at Β£40-Β£50!).

So. Sasha has three harnesses, and Pixie has one – because duh, can’t leave her out πŸ˜‰

Two of the harnesses are the same, this is Sasha’s ‘for now’ puppy harness, and Pixie got the same style because it looks comfy…they’re actually the same size, Pixie and Sasha. I kid you not.

Sasha has the blue, Pixie has the lavender πŸ™‚

Next is an awesome harness which I’ll totally be using as a working harness for Sasha. It would be stupid not to – it’s red and even has pockets to put information in! Service dog harness and vests in the UK are ridiculously expensive (it’s actually cheaper to buy from America and pay Β£14 on average for shipping)…this harness cost Β£12, so I am chuffed to bits!

And this is the one that cost Β£7-something and should have cost around Β£40 πŸ™‚

Is it just me or does it look really nice?!

You can take the bags off too so it can be used as an everyday harness, and the bags will be useful for medical info/supplies (yay for the possibility of having a seizure and smashing your head open every time you leave the house!), spare change, and to stick patches on πŸ˜€

There was a pink one which I wanted for Sasha, but the price rocketed to Β£28+ for any colour but green – and green was my second choice anyway πŸ˜‰

So I’m excited for all those to arrive, and now she has a harness for each growth stage!

I’ll finish up with some videos and a quick photo.

This is how I started the day this morning. Pixie snuggled under the blanket with me between my legs, and Sasha to my side, wriggling occasionally and resting her head on me – bliss!!


And a short clip from an off lead walk yesterday. The bit by the flooded road, I throw a rock in the water, which Sasha barely even looks at πŸ™‚

And yesterday we got to do some great work on capturing calmness / calmness training around cats!

Pixie was very well behaved during the session, Pecan was just the right level of excitability, and Sasha was amazing. You’ll see a few times I left her to interact with Pecan to see what she would do, and both times she calmed herself down and I was able to reward her for making such a great choice ^__^

If she had carried on getting excited, I would have stepped in – simply saying her name would probably have been enough to re-focus her, or using a positive interrupter, but the fact she didn’t even need that was great to see!

The good and the very bad

I had an awful, awful night.

I was taking Sasha out to the loo at about midnight, and as I left the house I heard people talking coming towards us. I sat on the wall outside our front door (a few feet back from the pavement) and let Sasha stay in the porch where she sat and listened – she was about 6ft back from the pavement.

The people appeared, it was a woman with a very drunk man walking a black Lab.

As they walked past the Lab lunged towards me and started jumping onto my lap, nibbling at my hands and treat bag etc (I had chicken and was trying to throw it to Sasha as this happened to show her it was fine).

The couple then stopped, yelling “SIT!” etc, and then started letting their dog approach our porch to say hi to Sasha – all the time on a very short tight lead, so the dog was pulling and scrabbling and it is not a good meeting.

At this point they tell me their dog is aggressive (FOR FUCK SAKE PEOPLE PISS OFF I’M OUTSIDE MY OWN BLOODY HOUSE!!) and I’m freaking big style now, and somehow the very drunk man has ended up less than a foot in front of me and he’s towering over me so close we’re almost touching and I am starting to get very scared and panicky. This ties in to something bad that happened to me, which hasn’t had too much of an impact in so long thanks to my partner, but I was alone, this man was very close and I was freaking big time.

On top of that the drunk man is now trying to reach for Sasha (thankfully his dog is getting in his way) and I am sitting on the wall just outside my house feeling overwhelmed and panicked and scared. I did not like how close he was, I did not like that this was happening, and I did not like that all this was awful for my bloody 12 week old puppy and I wasn’t saying anything!!

My partner was just inside, but I was too panicked to shout for him (I suck with strangers, I keep saying this but it’s true, I can’t even talk to people at check outs)…eventually my boyfriendΒ came to see what was going on (this was after about 10 minutes with the drunk man and his dog), and Sasha ran giddily inside when the door was open and I bolted after her.

I had a huge panic attack immediately afterwards and spent the next hour tearful and incredibly anxious, then I had some seizures. It was truly awful.

I get that it can be counted as my fault because I didn’t tell the drunk guy I was uncomfortable, and of course it’s my fault I didn’t stand up for Sasha…but nobody should come onto my property and get right up in my personal space. Stupid, stupid piss head.

Bleh. Pixie was phenomenal during my freak outs though, and after many hours looking after me spent the rest of the night sleeping like this πŸ™‚ ❀


So that sucked.

But today has been good so far, mainly because I haven’t left the house haha. Pixie and Sasha have been playing, Pixie’s playing slightly more normally but there’s still lots of freezing where Sasha doesn’t know whether to back off or carry on because Pixie hints at that. Play sessions are very short between them, and as soon as Sasha can play with the boys I won’t be encouraging her to play with Pixie πŸ˜›

And I still haven’t managed to edit the other footage, but my phone can upload short videos directly to YouTube, so here’s a hilarious video I recorded yesterday of Sasha doing a funny sit πŸ˜„

Sasha is also getting more used to being on furniture, which has resulted in some lovely snuggles and spooning sessions πŸ˜€





Day 3 with Sasha-poo!

I’ve been feeling a lot better today AND we got some chicken in, so we’ve had some awesome training πŸ™‚

Sasha now

  1. Knows her name
  2. Knows a positive interrupter (aka kissy kissy noise!) means ‘give me your attention for treats’
  3. Has learned sit and will sit with moderate distractions (eg. on a walk in the dark, indoors when the cats are running about – seriously impressive!)
  4. Knows touch (nose to palm)
  5. Is fine having her harness put on and taken off, her feet handled, and being dried

I have videos I want to sort, one of Sasha training and another of her and Pixie playing, but I haven’t been able to use the computer and of course we’re a bit busy haha, so for now here’s a really crap 15 second video of Sasha doing a hilarious sit πŸ˜€

Sasha and Pixie are doing GREAT with each other πŸ™‚

The problem is that Pixie now wants to play with Sasha a lot of the time, but Pixie is a very broken little dog. She doesn’t act like a dog should in A LOT of situations, and that’s because of the lack of socialisation she experienced with her previous owners.

A prime example of this is when she plays with other dogs. Her play style is very erratic and not at all how dogs *should* play – this is why Raiden is such a fantastic match for her because he takes it all in his stride and isn’t ever phased by her weird behaviour.

An example of how she plays is: rush to the other dog, barge into their face and make sure they can’t do anything but interact with her. When they start trying to play (eg. chasing or play bows) she freezes and gives off every signal that she’s terrified and to please go away. When the other dog does go away, Pixie runs to their face again, demands attention, sprints at top speed to elicit chase, then again freezes when the other dog catches them and appears terrified.

This is just how she plays, and she actually isn’t miserable at all – even as she has a front paw raised, head turned away etc, if the other dog ignores her and politely moves away, Pixie will desperately waggle her raised paw to get their attention back onto her. This is just how she plays.

In the photo below you can see she appears very unhappy (ears, facial expression, body posture) – yet SHE was the one following Sasha and demanding play!


Now that’s fine with an adult dog who doesn’t mind at all, but for a puppy who’s learning dog body language, you don’t want her to be encouraged to ignore a dog giving off those kinds of signals. And that is exactly what Pixie is doing.

Sasha is immensely respectful. As soon as Pixie appears upset, she turns away and goes to do something else, so obviously it’s confusing when Pixie then rushes at her only to freeze again.

So although Pixie wants to play with Sasha, I’m really not letting her. They can snuggle together, train together, have hello’s…but no play. We’ll rely on Kasper and Raiden to teach good play etiquette, and hopefully meet dogs out on walks too.

However the good news from that is that Pixie WANTS to play, and is so comfortable with Sasha – we thought it would be a month before we got to this stage πŸ™‚



The other difficult thing is Pixie’s desperation to be THE ONE that I am talking to or interacting with (she has always been this way, with the cats, the boys etc), and also if I call Sasha or am training with her, Pixie will come bombing over and totally throw us both off πŸ˜›

Obviously these are very much temporary problems, and we have the easy solution of sticking Pixie in the pen during training (which btw Pixie has rocked, she has zero issues in there at all).


So really, overall, things are awesome πŸ˜€

For accidents in the house Sasha has still only had one. She’s slept overnight every night with not a single whine – not in crate or a pen, just on the floor. She loves her puzzle feeders and, when she hasn’t been riled up by Pixie or the cats, she’s really good at entertaining herself and playing with toys on her own.

We finally began boy intros after days of room swapping. Basically we had a baby gate over the kitchen door, and the boys were free from their crates one at a time. Everyone had puzzle feeders so they were entertained and busy, there was some sniffing through the bars, play bows from Rey, and it was just nice and easy πŸ™‚

Walks with Sasha are so fun! She’s a nightmare on lead as most young puppies are – not for pulling, she doesn’t pull at all and I’m rewarding that a lot – but for zigzagging all over the place and getting under your feet!!

We haven’t gone far yet because Pixie is on walks with us, and Sasha can only walk for about 15 minutes (5 minutes per month of age) so we’d need to carry the huge lump to get any further and doing so managing Pixie too would be a pain πŸ˜„

But we have managed to find places for her to go off lead, four different off lead adventure spots in two days!


She’s been great of course (most puppies under about 16 weeks have a built-in need to stay close to their owners so it’s an amazing time for recall training!), although watching such a huge, clumsy, lumbering puppy doing zoomies isΒ hilarious πŸ˜€


My partner with Pixie in his arms!

We worked on lots of positive socialisation today (to various noises – kids screaming, busses, roadworks, birds screaming etc). We’ve already started a lot of work on her choosing to offer focus (see photo below) and we’ve even conquered a few sits outdoors no sweat!



The cats are doing so good with Sasha to say how initially disgusted they were upon first seeing her. When they are lying down they don’t care about Sasha plodding around them or sniffing them – their relationship gets pushed back a little because she’s so bloody clumsy and huge Poodle feet don’t feel great stepping on you πŸ˜„ – and Pecan has been sat on numerous times without caring at all.

When they are walking we have some impulse control to work on, as Sasha will happily bound after them, and even a 5 second bound after a cat really riles her up and she’s more barky and struggles to settle afterwards. Overall fantastic though!


Extra random photos, because why not? πŸ™‚



Under a pillow and on top of a blanket, go figure πŸ˜„



Cat pillow!!