Saturday, November 8, 2008

Rhodesian Ridgeback Badness!

LOOK AT THESE FACES! I am in love with my friend Linda's Rhodesian Ridgebacks (RR), but the other day these guys were BAD! They have a huge fenced in backyard and are commonly invited into the house where Linda has three house cats. Never a problem between the dogs and cats in the house. Well, the other day while Linda was out in the horse pens, she watched as Possum the kitten made an escape through a screen window. For some reason, even though the dogs are used to seeing this kitten in the house, when he hit the ground in the backyard, the dogs attacked. As Linda ran towards the carnage with a shovel in hand, she watched as Possum was tossed and thrown about by the three dogs. She saw Possum fly high up in the air and try to reach a tree but to no avail. By the time she reached him he was pretty bad off and we were pretty sure he would not make it. I arrived to ride about three hours after the incident. His gums were very white (indicating shock and internal bleeding) and while his breathing was not labored, he was very still and incontinent. I was sad and sure we would come back and have to bury Possum. We went on our ride and checked on him after. Still with us but not looking good at all. I reminded Linda of the kitten pain medicine she had left over from having her other two kittens de-clawed a few months before. Being a prior vet tech before becoming a nurse, I also reminded her of the saline under the skin trick which acts like an IV in cats and dogs giving them needed fluid during times of shock. Linda also a nurse, had 10cc syringes of saline so he got two of those. By the next day he was still alive, lying in the bathroom, but had moved off of his manmade "nest" to lie in the shower stall. Maybe because the tile felt cool? He was still incontinent and did not move his back legs well which was very worrisome. Nothing to do but watch and wait. The next morning he used his litter box and was still a slow mover. By that night when Linda came home from errands she found him on the counter purring!!!! YAY! Good thing he has nine lives. He still has eight left! Hopefully they won't have to be put to use defending himself in the backyard! Possum, you are a house cat! He is not living up to his name, that's for sure! Can you guess who is the wanna be RR in the pics above and has absolutely NO RR blood in him?


  1. Oh my, what a story!! I was warned, when buying Sheba, that RRs and cats don't go together. They'll be friends indoors, but as soon as the cat and dogs go out in the open, the cat will be chased up a tree... Glad Possum made it!!
    As for the the wannabe RR, I'd go for the third dog - I see no ridge; but he sure makes a nice RR pack with the other ones! Sheba's breeders thought that both Aslan and Baloo had looked like RR crosses, but in their case, it was the Azawakh blood that did it. What is this guy?

  2. You are right! That is correct and he is a mutt that Linda found by the side of the road several years ago...she rescued a whole litter and kept him. No real idea what he has but I'd guess some shepard or...??? Bozar and Obadiah (Bo and Obie) are the two RR's from your right. Bo, on the far right was a rescue dog at about 9mos of age, (he's about 15 mos now)Linda paid $50 for him and then about $125 in vet bills--he was a mess! Obie was from a breeder but cannot be bred b/c he has no ridge! B/c Linda doesn't want to breed or show she was able to obtain a wonderful dog she probably would not have been able to afford at the bargain of $450 from a very reputable breeder. This is a good way to get the great breeding and wonderful characteristics at less than half the price! I plan on getting a RR of my own but shhhh! my own dog is 14 and a half and I've had her since she was 7 weeks old! So, since she is going to be alive until she's 25 -grin- I dare not think too hard on my next dog! Also, Possum is doing great and hopefully has learned his lesson about breaking through screens to explore the backyard!!!! BTW, I love your blog. I plan on doing Drs. Without Borders when my son is a bit older...basically as that is one of the only programs I have found that commonly takes nurses. If you have any ideas or suggestions let me know...I want to come to Africa but DWB does not let you pick, just sends you to the area with the greatest need (according to their need) anywhere in the world. Cheers Esther!

  3. Well, getting an RR dog with or without ridge makes no difference on its personality! You are right about the price though - they are so expensive. I was blessed with Sheba (in more ways than one), it's a long story, but now that I've had my first RR (who sort of owns me, she is such a delightful creature!) I don't think I'll ever go back to another type of dog... I love their courage, their willingness to be part of the flock and yet at the same time, their resistant to anything they considers "silly" (obedience-wise, of course!). Sheba is such a blessing! I would not mind getting the second dog while the first one is still around though, because the wisdom you 14 year old will pass on is invaluable. I would have my hands full with Sheba unless I had other dogs to "daycare" her :-) and she gets so much more stimulated having to learn to respect the older dogs. The only thing one shouldn't do - if one wants peace in ones house - is to get two dogs too close in age. The best thing is for there to be 3-4 years between the dogs, so that hierarchy is never a problem. Let me know how things go!

  4. As for Doctors Without Borders, there are good things and bad things to say about them, as with all organizations. Feel free to write me an email at elle at africamail dot com!

  5. OH! Linda told me she only paid $150 for Obie--she had purchased a RR w/ a ridge and he was stolen!!! The breeder offered her Obie and she snatched him up!


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~Slainte' Mhath!