Poochie the Shih Tzu

Does anyone remember Al Poochino, (“Poochie”) our little blind shih tzu?  Well, he’s back.  Unfortunately it seems that Poochie had a rough time in his adoptive home and his skin allergies have flared up again.  He saw the vet who said he had yeast infections all over and prescribed lots of pills for Poochie to take and special medicated baths twice a week until his skin improves.  Poochie is a great sport about taking his pills although if the smell is any prediction, some of them taste awful!  He also stands calmly for his baths (the shampoo has to stay on for 10 minutes) like the good boy he is.

Here he is today.  Hopefully he will be getting a trip to the professional groomer soon to make his face a little less shaggy.  You can see his fur is red-stained from licking, most likely caused by the itching.  He has lost a good amount of hair on his chest, armpits, and under his chin but the good thing about hair is that it will grow back!  His skin has already changed back to normal color and he is starting to smell normal again–boy, did he stink when he came back to us!

Poochie has been blind since birth, as far as we know.  He gets around quite well for a blind dog.  It took him a few days to learn the layout of his foster home but now he can even climb up and down the stairs!  He knows where the couch is and where the bed is and tries to jump up on them with the other dogs–oh, did we mention that Poochie has gained around 5 pounds and is now a very heavy boy?!

We are starting to see hints of the dog we knew before–upon being returned, Poochie was lethargic and uninterested in anything, no enthusiasm about life at all.  He still sleeps a lot, but he gets excited about car trips and visitors.  He still has impeccable house manners and will tolerate a crate but doesn’t need one–we just make sure the steps are blocked off so he does not accidentally fall down them.

Poochie had a ‘photo shoot’ outside today and here are some of the results.  Keep in mind he is still recovering from skin and ear infections and is not looking his best.

Poochie can be hard to get pictures of since when you make a noise to get his attention, rather than turning to face you like seeing dogs do, he often turns his head to the side so he can hear you better.

This is a special dog who needs a special home.  Although being blind doesn’t stop him from doing much, he needs an owner who is considerate of his handicap.  He walks pretty well on a leash and follows your footsteps with no problem, but he is in need of regular exercise to get his weight back down to a healthy level.  Right now he walks about an hour a day and it totally exhausts him.  Maybe his new owner will want to get back into shape with him!

Poochie may have periodic allergy flare-ups that might require a vet visit.  Keeping him on a high-quality dog food free of wheat, corn, or soy products will likely help as those are the most common allergens to dogs.  But he may also have environmental allergies that can’t be avoided.

He is a very gentle dog and likes people; however he may not cope well with small children that run around a lot or make lots of noise.  The kittens in his foster home mystify him but he is fine with cats–he ignores them.  They arch up and hiss at him and he doesn’t notice a bit.  He is also good with other dogs and would enjoy another small dog to keep him company.

You can read about what Poochie was like last time he was with us here: http://www.blog.petsconnect.org/?p=9990

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