Emi's May Update

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Nothing but progress for our little Emi last month. Physically, she's finally adding some meat to her bones and I'm guessing she's 17 lbs right now! She has very solid hindquarters and a big ol' tush now. Her once brittle fur now has a beautiful sheen to it after some much needed Omega-3s and the skin flaking has subsided. She and Shio have been shedding up a large fur storm and our apartment has become dust bunny central!

One of Emi's greatest skills is that she knows when to get excited and when to lay down and be a cuddle bug. She loves to hop onto the bed in the mornings and snuggle up next to me and I wind up losing an hour every day laying next to her with my face buried in her fur. I call that lost hour my "Emi Spending Time." She still gets very hyper around midnight and has Shiba zoomies by herself. We like this because she tires herself out!

When playing with Shio, you can tell that she's a lot more confident and will use her front paws to smack him around while biting his face. The four of us went away to New Jersey for the Memorial Day weekend and Emi did very well on the road trip. Our long neighborhood walks in the morning and evening are helping her adjust to her loud surroundings though we still have a ways to go. It has been tradition for her to shy away from new people so whenever we have guests in our home, we expect her to hide under our bed until she feels comfortable enough to come out. Our friends and family usually make a big deal about her emergence from the bedroom towards the living room so she retreats immediately back under the bed. This repeats over and over again throughout the night. In our last 48 hours while my in-laws visited, Emi felt very comfortable hanging out in the same room with them after her initial run to the bedroom and hide reaction. The difference was that they carried an even toned and light hearted conversation the whole visit and ignored her the whole time.

We were finally able to test her reaction around cats for the first time last month. We visited our friend Georgie at their apartment and Emi ignored him the whole time. Then she stole his window seat and his bed!

Now that Emi's a lot more comfortable, we've started working on training both the dogs. It's very difficult to have Emi acknowledge us when she's frightened outside but we're working on training her at night first when she's less afraid. Soon, we'll work on daytime training to reenforce the work we do at night and take it from there!

Overall we're very excited to see what next month will bring.

Emi's April Update

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It's been over 6 months since Emi first arrived into our home as a foster! I can't believe how quickly time flies. First and foremost, the most important achievement so far in my eyes, is that Emi has finally gotten used to Josh's presence and now adores him. It took a very long time for her to trust him but in April she finally allowed him to be a part of her life. It took a lot of treats and playing fetch in our living room but she will now go up to Josh and cuddle up next to him. In return, Josh has allowed her to fully enter his heart and watching him sing personalized songs to her is priceless!

Shio and Emi's relationship is just as strong as ever. In the 6 months that Emi's been here they've really only had 4 significant arguments. The last one was from March and it was a result of Shio's insistance that both marrow bones were his and Emi wasn't allowed to have one. We've remediated that situation simply by separating the two of them when we give them chew treats.

The biggest problem we have right now is Emi's hesitation when outdoors. She still hasn't gotten accustomed to all the passersby in our neighborhood and is still very skittish when she hears loud noises which is unfortunate because there's constant construction around here. We've started to take her on walks away from the dog run because she's gotten incredibly comfortable there and we want to expand her horizons to build her confidence. We still hire a dog walker twice a week to take the pups around the neighborhood and work on their fears. Our dog walker told us that while with him, she's gotten comfortable enough to let a little girl pet her! Otherwise, when I take her out, it's like the movie '50 First Dates' where Emi needs to readjust and realize that she's been down this path before.

We've tried to fatten her up but Emi remains steady at 15.5 lbs. She is very muscular from running and jumping around all day at home but she's just a very slender gal. Her face has lightened up a little more and there's a little more light in her eyes. She doesn't play with other dogs besides Shio and would rather chase squeaky balls around a park.

Emi's February and March Update

Why hello neglected blog! Long time no update! I've gotten to the point where I've been avoiding updates because so much time has passed since our last one that there is just too much to write. So I'll just start off with Emi's update. It's been a crazy 2 months for our dear little adopted one.

She's found herself in a number of medical issues but luckily only one issue was bad enough to warrant a vet visit. At some point during these last two months, we decided to get health insurance for her. Let's see what they cover!

1. Swollen eye: As a dog that looooooves tennis balls, she often runs side to side in front of me when I'm about to throw a ball. I usually throw it low to the ground so she can scurry after it but one night she decided to run into the ball face first. It was dim outdoors and the only reason why I knew she was hurt was because she let out a loud yelp and then started pawing at her face. Then she was squinting with one eye. It took 2 days for the swelling to disappear and she is now fine.

2. Sore elbow: Shio always knocks her over while playing but one day he knocked her into our TV stand and she started lifting her leg. Seconds later, she was able to walk around without any visible issues so we didn't think much of it. After we came home from dinner the same night, she limped down the stairs to greet us and we knew that something wasn't right. Josh lifted her up and I massaged her leg to see where the problem was and she winced whenever I put pressure around her elbow. We decided to wait a day to see how she felt instead of bringing her to the vet since she was able to place weight on the leg. That night, I crated her or held her on my chest to make sure she didn't run around too much at night. The next morning, she ran around like the crazy little puppy that she was and felt no more pain in the elbow.

3. Diarrhea: We went away to an upstate cabin for a short vacation and when we returned, Emi kept pooping in the apartment. It was unusual for her to do so but the stool was still semi-firm and I thought that she was having accidents. I had class the next morning so I crated her and didn't think we would have problems while she was in her crate. But she had diarrhea in the crate and fell asleep in it. I took her out immediately and bathed her and she pooped 5 more times in the span of 2 hours and it was all runny. That's when I rushed her and her stool to the vet for testing. She was placed on medication to mitigate the elevated levels of bacteria and after her test results came back positive for parasites, she was placed on some more meds. Luckily, she started feeling much better after the vet visit.

4. Plum pits: The following weekend, we went out for dinner and when we came back, we saw that the dogs had gotten into the trash. It was most likely Emi because Shio hasn't gone through trash cans since he was 5 months old. We found a broken plum pit shell on the ground and realized that the dogs might've eaten some of the pits. Knowing that some seeds might be dangerous, we immediately called our emergency vet and they recommended that we bring her in. During the time I was on the phone with the vet, Emi zoomed around like crazy, wanting to play with us, and so the vet told us to call ASPCA Poison Control. They told us that the pits that she had shouldn't give her any issues and just to watch out for any sign of obstruction. She wound up vomiting a plum pit back up 2 weeks later.

5. Random vomiting: For a period of time, Emi would randomly wake up at 4am and vomit bile. Just once. And then everything was fine and we cleaned up and all went back to sleep. We still don't know what the cause was but we're happy it stopped.

Emi also found herself in some trouble when she ran out my parent's front door when we visited them on Long Island. She was afraid of being at the house because she didn't know anyone while Josh and I were out shopping. It took several neighbors, passersby, and a group of joggers to chase her down. She ran for an hour around the neighborhood and finally settled under a car where they finally caught her.

Now that we've gotten all the not-so-great news out of the way, the good news is that she's finally warmed up to Josh! She will come downstairs and run around in circles when Josh gets home and snuggle up next to him when he's on the couch. He's very much in love with her and it's nice to see that she's finally reciprocating! We find that she's also very clumsy. When she gets overly excited, she'll sprint around indoors like a madwoman and often misjudges the heights of objects. We've watched her try to jump over the back of a couch that's 3 ft. tall and will clear it! Other times doesn't get enough lift and bounces off the back of the couch.

We've hired a dogwalker for the two of them twice a week. The thought is that Emi needs to be outside and out of her comfort zone. There are times where she is still frightened when she leaves our home and we want to her build confidence and also a relationship with someone in our neighborhood other than Josh and I. It's been one week and so far so good...

We're happy that she's happy with us but this girl is definitely a petite bundle of trouble.