Kiba is now five months old, and almost Kimaya's weight and height.
The last two months have been eventful and not always in a nice way, at least at first. That's because of a habit he developed of eating inedible things - bits of paper, plastic, stuffing material from his toys, mud and little stones from the potted plants.
Of course we would stop him and take them away on most occasions, but he still managed to steal bits of such things when no one was looking. Eating rubbish led to an allergic rash on his head, which has still not gone away, though it's much better.
But the real crisis was on 15 January. It was a sunday and the day of the Mumbai Marathon. I was out on a day-long birding trip, and Kiran had a stream of visitors. Kibby managed to steal and chew a plastic bottle cap, and though Kiran took it away from him he feels a tiny part of it had been eaten.
That evening Kibby got stomach bloat, a lot of pain and breathing difficulty. The junk he'd eaten had obviously caused a blockage in his intestines somewhere. We pulled him out of it with an enema, but the next evening he got the same symptoms and suffered terribly for many hours. Finally he got some relief with a charcoal tablet and something to make him sleep.
A vet visit followed, and an alarming stomach x-ray. His intestines were absolutely filled with bits of junk, but luckily there didn't seem to be anything sharp. The vet said to give him Duphalac (a laxative) and mashed bananas for two days, and to bring him back for another x-ray after that. If the junk hadn't cleared out they might have to operate!
To cut a long story short we threw out all our waste-paper baskets, locked away all the soft toys, cleared our bedside tables and dressing table of anything he might want to steal, gave away the potted plants, got him a crate and started crate-training him to keep him out of trouble. I also bought him a real bone to chew. The pet store down our street has started keeping cleaned and dried bones. That really solved the problem. Gnawing the bone kept him occupied for hours. Wish I'd thought of this simple solution earlier!
A week later and two x-rays later his insides were declared clean by the vets. The rash on his head was quite bad for some time, but it's mostly subsided now and he doesn't get itchy attacks any more.
Above, below: Portraits of Kimpy and Kibby taken by our talented nephew Sanket S. Mhapsekar. They were clicked on 15 January. A few hours before the frightening intestinal blockage incident.
Above: 31 January, a chilly morning in Nagaon. This is the awful coat I mentioned in the earlier post. There was nothing nicer in his size unfortunately!
Above: One of the more pleasant events of last month was my family's visit. Kimaya adores my mother so that was three weeks of fun for her. And both dogs loved the biscuit handouts during morning and afternoon tea. Here they are on the lawn in Nagaon.
Above: 25 February, yesterday. Kibby is a volunteer pup in a dog trainer course being run by Canines Can Care. Here he is with one of the students.
The reason I volunteered him was really to socialize him to other dogs and make him comfortable around them. Kimaya is very scared of pet dogs (any breed, including INDogs and mix-breeds) and if he gets influenced by her, life will be very difficult for everybody, specially him.
In fact I believe if Kibby becomes confident around other dogs, Kimpy will eventually get over her fears too.
Photos: Sanket S. Mhapsekar, Kiran Khalap, Rajashree Khalap