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Kooper was here today so it was a great day to have some Friday fun.  DeeAnn came by with Rainie & Keltie, idea being the dogs could play and tire each other while in the backyard.  That was our idea, the dogs had their own idea and all stood on the back porch steps asking to come inside.  Once inside, the play started.   DeeAnn managed to turn play mode into training mode, which they found to be just as much fun.  And we found to be much more peaceful.  The first round of lessons was ‘Hold It’ which Holly, Kooper & Keltie were mesmerized in doing this, perhaps because it was a tube of chapstick they were being asked to hold in their mouth. Kooper was especially proud of his accomplishment and well deserved praise!   The second round of lessons was ‘Hug’ – this with Holly & Keltie.  DeeAnn worked with Holly coaching her to give Keltie a hug while sitting next to each other.  Within ten minutes, Holly was wrapping her front leg around Keltie’s shoulder and pulling her in.  More work is needed to gain consistency but the groundwork is set.  Both Holly & Keltie seem to enjoy working on ‘hugs’, perhaps because there are treats involved but I bet too because they are indeed the best of best friends.

Gracie has been a source of concern for me lately.  Her pottying behavior has changed whereby the frequency of using her litterbox has dropped way down.  Now, I may be a cause of this because I have been slowly transitioning her to a new brand of litter, one that is less dusty and tracks less litter.   We are about 7 weeks into our phasing process (litter is about 75:25, new to old) and things have been going well.  The past week being the exception.  It was alarming enough to warrant a vet visit leading to lab work and a urinalysis.  It’s a bit of a mystery, the only value off mark is protein, Gracie is spilling protein into her urine.  All else is within normal limits and looking great.  Dr. Bittner’s hypothesis is the litterbox change has reached its tipping point with Gracie and she is holding her urine as long as possible, causing for high concentration and irritation. To test the theory, I have filled her litter box with the former litter, which she has used for all nine years of her life.  She will be at the vet in two weeks to be retested.   If protein markers continue to ride high, then deeper diagnosics will be run to rule out scarier diagnoses than ‘resistance to change’.   I find life lessons with many of Holly’s tendencies, now is time to add Gracie’s.