Today my girl celebrates her sixth birthday! WIHOEEE!!!
This is a special birthday for several reasons; not only because she was diagnosed with severe Spondylosis when she was barely two years old and the doctor told us we'd be lucky if she would reach the age of six...but also because we often hear that the 'average life span' of a Great Dane is between 6 - 8 years. So you could say that my Noa now lives on double bonus time; once because of her back condition and second because she at least made it to the age of six!!
I can only say I hope that we are given many more years together, since I am nowhere near ready to accept that 'dogs life shorter lives than humans'...! My Noa, my 'Muis', my love, my life, my all...mommy loves you to the moon and back!! Happy Birthday precious <3
Hi all! just a short an quick blog to let you all know we've enjoyed an excellent holiday in La France at the Doghotel. We stayed in a cabin on a campsite that is 100% dog proof. We got to enjoy sun, shade, human friends, dog friends, awesome food, nice cold drinks and we got to relax all day long...outstanding! Below you'll find some pics :-)
Blog to you soon!!
My pride and joy will be featured in the next issue (June/July) of the Dutch dog lovers magazine (glossy) 'Me and My Dog'.
It's a page long article with the title 'Social Dog', written by Noa herself, on her life and her social media and will feature several pictures!
I'm SO proud!! Of course I'll share the article when it's in stores (June 6th)!!
Hi all, it's a little over a month ago since I wrote my last post and Noa wasn't doing to well.. I started her in Rimadyl and gave her a lot of rest (no running, no playing), but that didn't do the trick unfortunately.
Since acupuncture helped her out a lot in the past, I decided to contact her acupuncturist again to book an appointment. Luckily she had an opening in her schedule that same week. She practiced both Japanese and Chinese acupuncture on my girls back and could tell me that she had not one but three very sore places in her back/spine. That sounded like a huge setback, since before she only had one sore vertebra at a time... Anyway, giving up is not an option, so we left with a lot of information on supplements that could help my girl (muscle builder, glucosamine and 'Traumeel') and a fresh dosage of 'let's-kick-some-Spondylosis-ass'..!
The acupuncturist told me to bring Noa in for her second treatment two weeks later. She first checked to see how her three sore vertebrae's were doing and what do you know...she was back to 'just' one sore vertebra! And even that one only 'read' a little pain compared to the measurements two weeks before!!
I always knew I had a super girl...!! The therapist did advise us to get Noa back on the Trocoxil medication (her stomach is in perfect condition she told us, completely healed from the ulcer); this pain medication also 'fights' infections if any occur and since Noa turned 5 in January and is becoming an 'elderly girl', the therapist thought she would benefit from it. So we have her on Trocoxil again (started three weeks ago with the meds and supplements) and also changed her food to Acana Wild Prairie kibble, which she LOVES, and my girl is back to being her funny, happy self!! I couldn't be happier!!
In a few weeks time we will leave for a holiday in France at a special camp site for dogs, so hoping we will be able to enjoy the surroundings there for the full 100%.
Thank you so much everyone for all the love and support. We appreciate that very much!!!
Blog to you soon! Love, Talitha & Noa
Hi all, seems that knocking on wood, like I did in my last blog post right after sharing with you all how great she was doing, didn't do the trick...Noa is currently experiencing pain in her back again... :(
Luckily she isn't in constant pain, but it is very clear to tell when she is; she will cry out loud and immediately lift her front right foot of the ground. This lifting of her front leg tells me her Spondylosis is bothering her in the center of her back or more towards her neck, where in the past it was mainly the lower vertebrae that caused her pain. Unfortunately there is no way of knowing when she will experience the pain (it's nerve pain - a nerve gets stuck between her vertebrae). So for now we will keep a close eye on her, make her as comfortable as possible and we've picked up Rimadyl (plus a gastric acid suppressant, since we don't want to experience another gastric ulcer...!). I didn't want to go straight back to giving her Trocoxil, since I am really hoping the nerve pain will end soon as the boney spurs are attached to one another. For now we will give her the meds for about three weeks and then try to lower the dosage and see how that goes...
I a sooooo hoping this Spondylosis 'episode' will pass soon, like the last one did..! I am trying my hardest to keep a positive spirit. Will you all keep your fingers and paws crossed for my girl? Thanks so much!
Blog to you soon!! :-)
Hi all, it's been quite some time since I wrote a blog, so I figured I'd update you on all the latest news!
As some of you might know, I started drawing about a year ago; first with charcoal, but since a little over six months I've been using PanPastel (professional artists’ quality soft pastel colors packed in a unique pan format). After drawing several dogs (mainly Great Danes..) and a few cats (Sphynx that is, those naked ones), I thought it was about time I made a drawing of my bestest friend in the whole wide world..! For some reason I dreaded making this drawing...think that was mainly because of the fact that I know my girly so well, that even the slightest difference in outcome would make it 'just a Dane' instead of 'my Noa'. Took me double the hours it takes me to draw any other dog, but she's finished!! I must admit there are some things here and there I am still not satisfied about, but at least I definately see Noa in that drawing, along with her greyish muzzle (love those fifty shades of grey in her face!). How about you guys!?
Speaking of Noa; she has been doing A-MA-ZING-LY well the last couple of months. As you know we stopped using her medication Trocoxil because of her stomach ulcer and she didn't decline or show signs of pain or anything *knockonwood* Let's hope we keep it that way, so she can enjoy the upcoming nice weather with a lot of swimming and playing outdoors..!
Speaking of nice weather...we will be visiting the 'Dog Hotel' at the end of June; an awesome campsite in the middle of France with beautiful chalets especially for people with dogs!! Near the campsite is a lake, where we will most definately have loads of fun :-) The owners of the Dog Hotel are most friendly and have 7(!!) dogs themselves (four of them are Great Danes). Take a look at their website and see how beautiful their campsite is...!
Then for something completely different; would you all help us send good vibes to Noa's big love Thor He is having some severe pains in his XXL body and his mommy is having HUGE anxiety about the outcome of all the tests that the vet is running (he will get an MRI scan next week to see if his problem is caused by Wobblers disease...they already found he has a massive hernia in his back and possibly suffers from HD as well). I am sure if we all send positive thoughts that will help them a lot!! Thank you all so much in advance..!! I hope to to tell you all about the good outcome of Thor's examinations in my next blog!
Blog to you soon!! :-)
Good day all!!
I just had to share this picture with you! My girl has a 'ball fetish'... When I throw them, she will fetch...but won't bring 'em back!! Then I throw another..she will collect that one along with the one she already has...and won't bring that one back either....she's a collector!! And when I throw 5....you get a picture like this..
Boy, do I love her!!
Blog to you soon :-)
First of all I wish you all a very happy New Year! Let's hope the year will be filled with love, happiness and good health!
Today my girl turned 5!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY ALL!!!
This may be not a big deal to some of you, but since two year ago I was told to enjoy every day because her Spondylosis was so severe, this is a HUGE milestone to us!!
Noa has luckily overcome her horrible gastic ulcer and is back to being her happy self :-) She is even completely without any pain meds at the moment (they seemed to have caused the ulcer), so we couldn't be happier *knockonwood*
I hope 2015 will be filled with a whole lot of happy moments for my sweetheart!! Noa, I love you more than words can say...
Blog to you soon :-)
A little over two months ago, Noa gave me a big scare by turning into an extremely sick girl in a matter of hours. She started vomiting, had very bad diarrhea and could hardly stand on her feet. At first I thought it was just a horrible stomach bug that would pass, but when she stopped eating ánd drinking and I even had a hard time waking her up, we decided it was time to call in the vet. Turns out she had a gastric ulcer, most likely caused by her pain medication (Trocoxil)..
The treatment existed of an anti-emetic injection to prevent nausea and vomiting, 14 days of anti-emetic pills, 30 days of anti-heartburn pills, 14 days of boiled chicken and rice, a maximum amount of sleep (23,5 hours a day) and very few small walks for at least 14 days and an endless amount of love...
The vet already warned me that it could take over a month for her stomach to feel better, and he was right... It took Noa 5 weeks to feel a bit like her old self!
This gastric ulcer made that she can no longer take her monthly dosage of Trocoxil to prevent her from having backpain. So now we have to hope and pray she will keep her calm and her Spondyloses will continue to stabilize like it has over the last year.
In case her Spondyloses does act up, we will try Rimadyl as an alternative medicine...but for now all I can hope for is my girl will continue to feel better and stays her happy self..!!
Merry Christmas to you all!
Blog to you soon!
Hi blog readers!
A sign of life again from us! I can only say 'can life get any better than this?!'; my girl has been doing so extremely well the last couple of weeks, that I am almost afraid to say it out loud and jinx it... The last two dosages of her pain meds seem to work so well, that it seems like she is completely back to her old self. I cannot explain how happy this makes me...to see my girl run around and play without her body causing her pain and discomfort..WOW!
As I stated in my latest blog, we started a training called 'Sociale Huishond' in July. Unfortunately the training was postponed after 3 sessions, due to too little contestants. I must admit that we weren't too disappointed, since the training turned out to be a bit too intense for Noa (sit - lay down - stand up - sit again - stand up again - and so on). I do sometimes use some of the 'homework excercises' to keep her focused, but that's more of a fun-thing than something that can be called a 'training' :-)
I now came to turns with the fact that training Noa isn't what she needs. It's staying comfortable, play with friends, sleep for hours on end and get love and attention from mommy...and loads of it ;-) So that's what we'll do!!
Then for something not directly Noa-related, but so great that I want to share it with you: about two weeks ago I was contacted by the PanPastel BNL Blog, to ask if I was interested in joining their Design team, based on a few of my drawings they saw on Facebook...how cool is that!!
They currently only have designers that make (postal)cards using PanPastel and wanted to add someone that made large drawings/art....and they chose me!! I am very honored and my first contribution is due November 17th...!
Let's keep these positive vibes coming!!
Blog to you soon :-)
Hello everybody!! It's been a while since I last posted a blog, so I have a lot of 'news' to share with you!
First of we had X-Rays done of her front paws and her back at Vet Clinic Sleeuwijk. The lumb on her left paw could easily be explained; my girl had a broken toe!! She never even limped or utter a sound..! Since the arthroses is in her body, it also started developing somewhat in her paws..but luckily very little..
Then we also started a new training called 'Sociale Huishond' where the goal is to have your dog stay focused on you whenever something tempting comes along, like food. It's the kind of training where you only work with appraisal, so that means getting yummy treats if the excercise is done right! We even have some homework, so the treats keep on coming ;-)
Then for something completely different; I discovered I can draw..! You might think 'yeah, so..?', but I always thought I didn't have ONE creative bone in my body..! About eight weeks ago I walked past the Arts & Crafts store near my house and decided to step inside for a change. For some reason, while being surrounded by a rainbow in colors of paint en pencils, I was drawn towards the charcoal...! Strange I know, but that material for some reason always fascinated me. So I bought a sketch book, some charcoal, some blenders and an eraser. Once I was home, I took a picture of my girl and started drawing. The first drawing looked somewhat like a dog, but it might as well have been a horse...or a cat..or an alien...but I didn't give up and kept trying..and now my drawings of dogs actually look like dogs..awesome!! Hahaha my 'talent' even surprised myself and the compliments everybody's given me are beyond my wildest dreams.. I finally have found my favorite hobby!!
Below you'll find some of the drawings I have done so far.
Meanwhile Noa developed a little set back with her backpain.. I remembered what the therapist said ('when she is in pain, don't immediatly think the worst..she might just need a little maintenance every so often'), so I called her an booked a maintenance appointment. She did some of her acupuncture, acupressure and chiropractic magic on Noa and she's is feeling a lot better now :-)
And last but not least I made a 'small' change in Noa's diet; in the morning she gets kibble (Hill's Prescription Canine Diet J/D) and in the evening she gets 'raw meat' (with glucosamin added seperately). The main reason to make this change was her not losing the last 4lbs that she need to loose (because it will benefit her back), but besides that she also LOVES fresh meat. I decided not to switch 100%, since she was actually doing great on the kibble, plus if she would only get raw meat I would have to manually add several substances to make sure she gets all the vitamins/minerals that the kibble now contains. And that would make it rather pricey :(
But...not to worry, we now have the best of both worlds :)
Blog to you soon!!
Hi again! Coming Monday Noa and I will visit a 'Great Dane specialist' at a clinic in Sleeuwijk, since my girl is now suffering from sudden aches in her right front paw. It seems to hurt her when she pushes her foot on to something. Since she has also been developing a sort of lump on her left front paw, I thought the wisest thing to do now is to switch from my regular vet to a Great Dane specialised vet (or at least I was told he is specialised in large breed dogs). Especially since our current vet suspects she is developing arthroses in her feet now (*pleasedontbearthroses*)
I expect he will be taking X-rays of her feet, as well as new X-rays of her back. I must say this is quite nerve racking, since these X-rays will also reveil whether the Spondyloses has either stabilized or deteriorated. And if it deteriorated, how bad will it be now...?
All the more reason to try and stay in the positive vibe I regained a while ago and keep on smiling, so then maybe the power of 'The Secret' will take it's course ;-)
On the bright side; beside the 'bumping-your-feet-and-crash-down-to-earth-and-stay-there-for-at-least-15-minutes-before-you-get-back-up' thingy, Noa is doing rather well actually! She is still very cheerful and happy. And when she does her zoomies, they are fast en flexible like before she was diagnosed. Those are the small things that keeps me believing that my girl and I will have many years left together :-)
I will, of course, let you all know how our visit to 'Dierenkliniek Sleeuwijk' went and hope to get back to you with some positive news. Will you all keep your fingers crossed for the love of my life?!
Blog to you soon!! :-)
Hi all! Boy am I happy to report to you all that Noa is doing very well at the moment! It seems the acupuncture treatments (two in total) were very helpfull and she is now way more relaxed and seems to cope with her sore back a lot better. The improvement was so tremendous, that we haven't even scheduled a third session!
With this being said, it was time for both Noa and me to schedule something FUN! Since we still aren't able to join all the great Great Dane walks that take place almost every weekend (that would be too much for Noa, since she ís feeling great, but is still a 'back patient'), I wanted to find something we could do together without it being too heavy for her body.
Our friend Totti Jr. pointed out that a rather small Dog Training Center in a town called Loosdrecht offers some really nice trainings. So last Saturday me and my friends Carla & Freek took our girls Noa and Sammy to 'Hondenschool Renga' for an admission exam....and our girls passed the exam! PROUD!! Noa has been home schooled by me, so it felt like I was the one being tested hihi :-)
Mid June we will start the training 'Social Domestic Dog', together with our friends Sammy and Totti Jr. The trainer won't know what hit her, with 3 Great Dane girls in one class!
The training is a first step towards the so called 'Obedience' trainings, which is what I would like to do with Noa; a training where you and your dog built on the bond getting even stronger than you ever thought possible ;-) Since Jumping Jacks and agility-like sports are out of the question, we hopefully found a great replacement in brain- and bond training!
Let's hope this Dog Training Center is everything we hope for!
Blog to you soon! :-)
Noa doing some Jumping Jacks in her better days <3
Hi all! It's been a while since I've last posted a blog and a lot has happened since! To give you a quick sum up (in case you have no time or interest to read the whole thing); Noa accidentally broke my finger, Carla and I attended a workshop by dog coach Arvid van Putten, Noa sprained her toe, we've quit the Fun & Games training, we've stopped with the Hydrotherapy and Noa started having Japanese acupuncture.
Let's start from the beginning; during our second Fun & Games training it was quite windy on the training field. Noa got to do some relatively simple search exercises and since not all dogs in our group got the hang of it, Noa got bored rather quick.. Seeing how bored she was I decided to go to our groups trainer and ask her how I should proceed (since we weren't allowed to advance on the intensity of the search exercise before everyone got the hang of it..). Whilst talking to the trainer, I held Noa's leash in my fingertips, since she never pulls on the leash. Quite frankly, I didn't even realize that I was holding her leash like that.. Little did I know that my girl was so eager on the previous exercise ('stay close to your search target') that when the wind blew her object across the field, Noa followed it at 100mph...in a reflex I tried to hold on to her leash and it janked my middle finger in a direction it isn't supposed to bend....ouch! As I hate being a cry baby, I kept a brave face...but within 24 hours my finger was twice the size it's supposed to be and turned blackish blue.. On Monday I made the rather wise decision to visit the doctor who immediatly send me through to the hospital for an X-ray and to make a long story a little less long...I got a splint for 3 weeks and my finger is almost back to normal :-)
On to the next 'event': my friend Carla and I attended a very interesting workhop by famous Dutch dog coach Arvid van Putten. Name of the workshop was 'Through the eyes of a dog' and was in short a full day of information on a dog's body language and the interaction between dogs. There even were some 'troubled' dogs present to put the things Arvid told us into practice. All in all extremely interesting and we both learned a lot from it! Did you for instance know that an average dog sleeps between 18-20 hours a day? And that the best way to solve agression between two dogs on a leash is nót to avoid each other, but to stand rather close to each other (but not that close that they would be able to touch, even when pulling the leash) and stand there untill they both relax (and believe me...they will!)?! These are just two examples of the many interesting facts Arvid shared with us. Great day!
Days after the workshop it was that day again that Noa was allowed ten minutes with her beloved Yellow Egg... It all went great, she was having a ball (or should I say egg ;-)). As the minutes went by she got more and more tired, so after a good 9 minutes I told her to stop pushing her Egg around. She put one of her paws on the egg, trying to challenge me to one more round of egg fun...but then her paw slipped of and (as it turns out) landed extremely painful on her toe..
Noa immediatly dropped to the ground and started crying! I was beside myself and didn't know what to do. Obviously my first thought was that she'd hurt her back. After a few minutes of just laying there in the grass, I managed to convince her to walk a few steps towards the entrance of our apartment building, but just meters before the entrance door, Noa crashed into the ground again...on the cold and hard pavement this time. At that point I started to panic somewhat and called the vet. They asked me to feel her leg and try to bend it at several places: she didn't utter a sound. The mystery of what was actually wrong grew by the minute...she still wouldn't get up.. The vet adviced me to get Noa into a car and get to the clinic a.s.a.p. But how do you get a 70 kg weighing Great Dane that won't or can't walk into a car??! I called my friend Pauline who lives in the apartment building next to ours. She rushed down and helped me get Noa in the car and drove with us to the vet. What happened there took us both by surprise: Noa jumped out of the car and walked to the entrance of the clinic as if nothing happened!! Just to be sure I still had the vet take a closed look; could be that Noa's adrenaline level was extremely high since she is super scared at the vet's office. Turned out Noa sprained her toe pretty bad and we had to take it easy for a day or three... All's well that ends well!
Then it was time again for our next Fun & Games class together with Carla and Sammy. Ever since the first lesson Carla and I were 'split up' and weren't allowed to talk during class...it was like being in middle school all over again. After all we entered the course to have fun with our dogs ánd each other! When the exercises got more dull by the week, the trainers turned out to be less professional than we thought and our Dane girls got more and more bored...Carla and I decided to call it quits and rather spend our time walking on the beach than with this so called School for Dogs... That way we can talk ánd our girls can play and have fun...a win-win situation :-)
Than the story on Noa's therapy. When you are a returning blog visitor, you know Noa has been getting weekly Hydrotherapy to try and improve her muscles that have reduced since the spondyloses. Since I am not a big fan of traditional medicine and the steriods injected a few weeks earlier didn'd show much effect, I made an appointment with an acupuncturist that was pointed out to me by several people. I must say I was a bit sceptic, since at least half the population is on these kind of medicine, but you can't judge until you've tried right! I must say my visiting the acupuncturist with Noa was an exceptionally interesting experience, which totally won me over to the 'believing in acupuncture' side of the population :-) This lady could give me a total description of Noa's personality and habits, beside the fact that she could locate the cause of Noa's current distress....two dislocated discs in her back! She treated Noa with Japanese acupuncture, because her pain was to severe to use Chinese acupuncture. In Japanese acupuncture the needles go into the skin less deep but with the same effect as Chinese acupuncture. Below this blog you can see a short video of the treatment. The acupuncturist advised me to put the Hydrotherapy on hold; since her dislocated discs cause her pain, she managed to find a way of moving without too much pain. This new way of moving makes her not use her left hind leg the way she is supposed too and therefor she is losing muscle mass at high speed. Making her walk in the water tank forces her to use both her right ánd left hind leg and so this might cause her extra pain....not a good idea..! So we followed up on her advice and put the Hydrotherapy on hold for now. She found out that Noa's 'kidney meridian' had lower values then she would like them to be. This could cause Noa to be somewhat depressed and have her drink a lot (which she does). We got special herbs to put in her food to help her 'kidney meridian' values to increase, a stress release spray for her back muscles, drops to help her locomotor system and pills for her overall well being.
Noa had her second acupuncture session yesterday; three weeks after the first treatment. Noa's 'kindney meridian' values improved by over 30% already and I must say it seems like I have a complete different dog; she is far more happy and relaxed. Doesn't seem to be in pain or discomfort all the time (like she kind of did the last few weeks). Sleeps even more than before, but in a far more relaxed way ánd she drinks like have the amount she did before! All in all I must say a huge success already :-)
So, that's all for now folks! Sorry for the ultra long blog. I'll try and not be absent again for so long and keep you updated on my girls well being and our adventures!!
Blog to you soon! :-)
After the biting incident last week, both Noa and I needed some time to regain our faith in 'dogs we've never seen before'. I completely froze when I saw a neighbourhood dog I don't trust from day one and Noa couldn't decide whether to fight or flight. Luckily we also met some new dogs with a soft and gentle character, so our faith was restored rather quickly!
The wound on Noa's chest is healing perfectly; she's playing doctor Noa on herself and keeps the mark clean and germ free :-) Seems all we will be left with is a little less faith in the Amsterdam Forest (for the last three visits were sealed with a fight..) and a small scar on Noa's chest. Could have been worse!
Last Wednesday it was time again for Hydrotherapy. The therapist told me Noa's muscles were very tight, especially in the front end of her back. We suppose this comes from the movements Noa made when she was trying to escape from the fight on Monday. Thank God Noa starts to trust her therapist more and more, so she allowed her give her a good and intense back rub. When she was fully relaxed we made our way to the aqua trainer. After a rough start (Noa seemed to have a complete black-out on how to walk the aqua trainer), she did an excellent 15 minutes of rather heavy water work out. Every time I think she can't make me more proud of her she proves me wrong ;-)
The day after therapy it showed me how intense an aqua work out is for her. She was completely knocked out all day, so we had an ultra-relax-day since we had to be in the best of shape for Saturday; the first day of our Fun & Games Training!
The Fun & Games Training was super fun! As I told you before we signed up together with our friends Carla and Sammy. Our friend Freek was also there to shoot some great pictures (Freek is like our personal paparazzo hihi). We were sdivided into two groups (there was a total of 10 dogs participating, varying from a Dachshound to our big Dane girls!). Unfortunately Sammy and Noa weren't in the same group, but maybe it was for the best, since all they would be doing is distracting the whole class with their practical jokes!
Noa and I got to do several searching games and a 'pay attention!' exercise. Noa did an excellent job on all of them and, far more important, was having a lot of fun. And so was I! The training lasted about an hour and that was more than enough: Noa was completely worn out! As soon as I started the car I heard my girl snoring in the back... We didn't even go for the planned short walk on the beach with Freek, Carla and Sammy...and believe me, that is something that we love to do!
We spend the rest of the day cuddling on the couch...no better way to enjoy some relax-quality-time with your Dane :-) Plus this Saturday it was exactly 4 years ago that I picked Noa up from her dog-mommy. Exactly 4 years that we started to spend our lives together! Can't imagine my life without her anymore...!
This week we will do another Hydrotherapy session and we will participate in our second Fun & Games lesson, if the wheather gods are favorable (rain means no training)...
Oh, I also scheduled an acupuncture session for Noa on April 2nd. The acupuncturist explained that Noa could gain a lot from the combination of Hydrotherapy, massages and acupuncture. However, it does mean we won't do another round of steroids (that collides with one another). If it turns out the acupuncture doesn't do any good, we can always turn back to steroids. I hope it will work...the less medicine the better!
Another week, another blog, another adventure!
Last Sunday Noa and I attended a Great Dane Beach Walk! We met up with about 20 Great Danes at IJmuiderslag (the Netherlands); a very wide beach where you can enjoy super great walks! Besides meeting a bunch of new friends, we also got to meet baby Roan, Thor's human baby brother...such a cutey! And of course it was the walk where Noa would face both Thor ánd Mr. Pooh Bear at the same time...exciting moment! As it turns out, there was nothing to worry about. Thor had a little fling with a new girl in the group, Totti Junior, to get even with Noa having a fling with Mr. Pooh Bear. And in the end everyone shook paws and lives happily ever after. Noa's engagement with Thor is still going strong!
The day after the walk, I decided it was time to get an appointment with Noa's Vet to arrange her first steroid injection. Since Noa suffers from Spondylosis, she is using her body in such a way that she doesn't experience pain (like a wise girl would!) and that results in her left side losing muscle mass. The steroid could help her gain some muscle again, so she has more balance and doesn't overwork her right side muscles. I got an appointment at 4.30pm and since she hates the visits to the vet, I decided to have a short walk in the woods with her. As kind of a bonus, since I wouldn't normally do that after a beach date (too much for her body). But with the Dutch weather being extremely great these days, we might as well enjoy. All went wel; she met up with some old familiair faces and had a blast. Just as we decided to head for the car, a dog came running at Noa....full speed ahead! Noa was holding a stick (like she always does...she loves sticks) and noticed this speeding dog as well. Before we knew it, this f#cking dog attacked my Noa!! She aimed for Noa's neck but, because of her height I suppose, grabbed her on the top of her chest...hard and intense!! Noa was in complete shock and let go of her stick... The other dog grabbed her stick and ran back with the same super speed..! I looked to see if there was an owner with the dog. I saw a man who yelled 'shit happens' and took off! I immediately checked Noa to see what damage was done. She had one rather big wound on her chest and was completely upset...my sweetheart.. We headed straight for our car, drove home and I took pictures of the wound. I forwarded the pictures to the vet and luckily they said it didn't need stitches...a blessing in disguise I suppose..
At 4.30pm we arrived at the vet to get the steroid injection done. The appointment took about 10 minutes where he injected 'Nandrosol' in between her shoulders and said that if it worked at all, I would notice in two or three weeks. I guess we caught our vet at the wrong day; where he normally is very compassionate and understanding, he was very harsh and negative that day. Said things like 'I hope this is the last time you chose a Great Dane' and 'how long do you want to carry this on'. As you can probably imagine these sort of comments are always hard to cope with, but that day...I exploded! Not at the vets office of course...I kept my cool...but in the car on the way home I immediately decided this was our last visit to this vet. From now on we will start visiting a Great Dane specialist about whom I've heard some very positive stories. Change is good!
Luckily Noa doesn't suffer from any side effects from the bite wound or the injection so far, so we put all the bad things behind us and only look forward!
This Wednesday we have Noa's fifth Hydrotherapy session coming up and this Saturday my close friend Carla and I are starting a weekly class with our girls Noa and Sammy called 'Sport en Spel voor honden' (like an hour of brain games for dogs) and we are soooo looking forward to that!
Hopefully our next blog will be filled with positive adventures only :-)
This week will now be known as 'Water Week'!
It all started last Sunday, when we had a great Great Dane walk at the beach of Scheveningen! We met up with some of Noa's friends who also can be found on this website; Nova, Pixel, Mr. Pooh Bear, Gypsy, George, Noeky and new friend Elly. They had a ball and there was even a 'fling' between Noa and Mr. Pooh Bear.. Hope Noa's fiance Thor doesn't find out about that ;-)
Then we had a strange week 'wheather wise' here in the Netherlands, with some days that seemed like a preview of the Spring to come. And some days filled with rain. Fortunately Noa doesn't mind some rain, so that didn't stop us from having outdoor fun!
On Wednesday we had the fourth Hydrotherapy session and my girl seems to improve her water-walking-skills every week! Below you'll find another video of the session, with some very clear 'under water images'. The point of this therapy is to strengthen her muscles, since she is losing strenght caused by her Spondylosis... We also got some homework, or better yet 'brainwork' from her therapist; whether we want to start injecting steriods now or later. Tough decision I must say... My good friend Carla joined us at the session and as a surprise Noa got to have a quick visit after therapy with her good friends Izzy and Sammy! Thanks sweet Carla for the mental support!!
And last but not least we have another Great Dane date to look forward to! This Sunday we'll meet up with Sammy, Izzy, Thor, Gypsy and Mr. Pooh Bear. We'll also see Totti Junior who we've last seen since she was about 12 weeks old, so great to see how much she's grown cause that was about a year ago!
For those of you paying close attention, yes there might be some drama this Sunday in the 'Love Department'; Noa will meet both Thor and Mr. Pooh Bear on the same date! Stay tuned for an update on this episode of 'As The Paw Turns' ;-)
This afternoon Noa had her third session with physical therapy and hydrotherapy. This time it was with a substitute therapist, since our 'regular' therapist was enjoying her vacation.
Noa wasn't too friendly when meeting her and acted out by growling and barking, but fortunately she wasn't impressed by the act ;-)
We first chatted a bit, so Noa could settle down and start realizing she had nothing but good intentions. After about 10 minutes she started to give my girl a massage and boy did Noa enjoy it; she practically fell asleep!
After a good half an hour of massaging we went to the other room for her hydrotherapy. Our regular therapist already informed her substitute on Noa's fear of the big bad aquarium, so she said whe would give us all the time we needed to get started. And what do you know; Noa walked right in! After filling up the tank with water and turning on the aqua tredmill, she started her 10 minute work out like she does it every day. I couldn't be more proud!! We even caught some of the session on camera (see below!). Wihoooeeee!!!
Today Great Dane Noa and me picked up my mom and her Chinese Chrested girl Muffin to go for a walk in the dunes. A Great Dane walk that is, since we planned on meeting with a bunch of other Great Dane lovers and their Danes! What a blast it was, especially since Noa only gets to go on longer walks like this every other week. Otherwise her back will give her too much trouble...
There were a whole bunch of familiar faces (besides her cousin Muffin of course); Super Nova, Mega Pixel, Noeky and George. But she also got to meet with Mack, a big Harlequin boy she instantly had a huge crush on (sssssttt...don't let her fiance Thor know about this...she might be in trouble if he finds out!).
My girl got to run, dig, play and have fun like she deserves! It was a great Great Dane date!!
p.s. did you know you can meet all of Great Dane Noa's friends on her website?!
Today I decided that it is time to take Great Dane Noa to the next level!
Therefor I started her very own YouTube channel, to be found under 'GreatDane Noa' or by clicking this link: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNukhgJ6u1rQrRbfWtgU6Aw
I started 'Noa's Blog' so you can keep up to date with all Noa's adventures, therapies and more. To read the whole blog click here: Noa's Blog
Plus I upgraded our website to the JimdoPro version! So from now on even more pictures, video's and stories to be found on www.greatdanenoa.com
Yesterday Noa had her first complete treatment from her physical therapist!
As written in my last blog...I was a bit worried on how the whole thing would go, since she was so nervous and scared during the introduction last week.
I must say I am super proud to let you all know my super girl did an excellent job!! She immediately stepped into the Hydrotherapy tank (panted somewhat but a lot less than the week before) and waited quitly for the tank to fill with water. When the treadmill started, we actually expected her to freak out like she did the last week , but in stead she started walking like a pro!! She did the full 10 minute work out and I couldn't be more proud!
Oh, and I got a compliment from her therapist; she could already feel my massages are working :-) I feels sooooo good knowing I can actually DO something for my girl <3
Little over 3 weeks ago, I started noticing that Noa was creating new ways of moving when playing or getting up on the couch or bed; she did most of the ... with her right hind leg. To me this was a sign of deterioration and so I called the vet. We decided it was time to start helping my girl by starting therapy; physical therapy combined with hydrotherapy.
Last Wednesday we she got her first introduction treatment at a clinic in Amsterdam. Both her and I were so nervous... But the lady who treated her was so patient with her and gave her a nice massage to relax her (and her muscles of course ;-)) and thought me how to do the massage myself and adviced me to do so every day (which I obviously will!!).
She checked all of her bones and muscles and concluded that Noa has already lost a lot of muscles on her left backside. Noa also has stiffness in her lower back and limited movement in her left hind leg. In order to improve her muscles and movement, we had Noa do a very short introduction session with Hydrotherapy; a sort of large aquarium with a treadmill floor and two doors on the short ends to enter/exit.
Of course Noa had some concerns when seeing the large aquarium tank with the strange floor, but after about 10 minutes I could confince her to step in. As soon as the doors to the tank were closed, it started to fill up with nice lukewarm water. We could see Noa still wasn't to sure about the whole Hydrotherapy thing, but since she is a great fan of water and swimming, she didn't mind too much... Then the treadmill was actived..! Noa started panting like never before and tried to take a huge leap to safety 'I got to get out of this creepy machine! I am a dog not a fish!'. Thank goodness we held her by her collar and we could confince her to stay in for just a little longer, until she was a bit more calm.
When the tank was emptied out, we opened the door to freedom and she immediately stepped out (obviously) and started waggin' her tail. My brave girl!
This whole adventure does make me a bit worried on how our second visit will go... But we'll see! Maybe she will surprise us :-)