Weim lives matter!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Yesterday, bright and early, I dropped Gretchen off at the office of my veterinarian.  After a night of no food and water she was surely wondering what was up.  Poor girl, she had no idea that today was the day for her spay surgery.

I called in the afternoon to see how she was doing and when I could pick her up and the report was that all had gone well, no problems from her heart murmur.

Gretchen came home last evening and seemed to be feeling well, just very unhappy about the Elizabethan collar she had to wear to keep her from licking at her incision.  We moved her into Rocky's crate since it is much bigger than her crate and after some fussing and protesting she took a nap.  Later, while we were watching TV, I took the big cone off her and she slept beside me on the couch.

At bedtime she again protested when we put her cone back on and put her in Rocky's crate for the night.  She did settle in and sleep, although she woke me up two or three times in the night barking about having to wear the cone.

This morning she is bright and happy with all body functions seemingly working appropriately.  She's had the collar off for over 4 hours and has not tried to lick herself, so she is getting some freedom, at least for now.

The way she is trotting around the house, jumping on the couch and playing with her chew toys, Dan and I have decided that they didn't really spay her, it seems impossible that she is so unaffected.

Again, Gretchen proves to be a real trooper and a wonderful dog.  She made more new friends at the vet's office and stole the hearts of a couple of the vet techs!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


If you're reading this blog to find out more about Gretchen (Ziah) because you're interested in adopting her, you might have some questions about her and her future with your family.

Since the questions about her health have been answered, at least for now, the main concern for Gretchen going forward is making sure she becomes a  well-behaved Weimaraner, with manners that make her a welcome family member in her new home.

Because Gretchen has not been up to date on her shots while she has lived in our home she has gone nowhere other than to her vet visits and around our very quiet neighborhood.  Normally I would be socializing Gretchen and taking her to obedience classes and helping her learn to adapt to new situations and learn to greet strange people and dogs in an appropriate manner.  When I picked Gretchen up at her previous home I immediately noticed her lack of social skills and I regret that I have not been able to help her in this area, but will as soon as her spay surgery is complete, as she will get updated on shots at that time.

To give an accurate picture of what I am discussing here let me explain what happened when I first met Gretchen.  The door to her apartment was opened by her owner and I was asked in.  Gretchen immediately approached me with her hackles up and a bit of a growling bark.  She quickly warmed up to me, but I would like to see her lose the small bit of aggression she did show.  She also has the same reaction when she meets strange dogs, but again, she quickly warms up to them, at least she did with my dogs.

One way I would suggest her new adopters deal with this is to have a container with small treats near their front door, even outside the door if possible, and have any visitor to the home greet Gretchen with a treat and a friendly, hello, so that she comes to expect good things from strange people.

Of course, as with any young Weim, I very strongly suggest that training classes for obedience be attended by both new owner and the dog.  These classes give the dog a chance to learn to behave around other dogs as well as learning the basic behaviors that every dog should know.  Gretchen knows sit and down and will give a high five.  She's a quick learner and loves the attention she gets when learning new things.  

Other behaviors that Gretchen needs to work on are jumping up, both on people and on counters.  We're constantly working on these two areas, but it will be a continuing area of learning for her.  She is also very mouthy, likes to grab hands in her mouth to get attention.  This is a very normal puppy behavior, but she needs to lose this habit very soon.

We still have Gretchen sleeping in her crate at night and we put her in her crate during the day if there's a reason that we need to.   She will protest at first, but then settles in and takes a nap.  We have left her a couple times when we've both been away from home for up to 4 hours and she's done well in the crate.

Her housebreaking is coming along nicely and the only "accidents" she's had in the last week have come right at the door.  She has never pooped in our home since we picked her up, it is just a matter of getting her out the door when she needs to pee.  She tries very hard to do right, but sometimes she just gets too excited and anxious to get outside.  We do take her out very regularly about every 2 hours, so we are helping her out still, but she seems to be getting the idea that outside is the proper place for those activities.

Gretchen is a lovely girl, very sweet and loving.  She is curled up beside me on the couch as I am writing this.  She deserves a great home because she's one very special, little girl.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I've put a short video of Gretchen (Ziah) on YouTube so that you can view what she really looks like.  This is Gretchen playing with one of her favorite toys and trying to get Rocky to play with her...

Friday, October 21, 2011


Gretchen (Ziah) is such a happy pup, running, playing and taking naps.  She loves Rocky, my 7 and a half year old Weim.  He plays with her and puts her in her place.  They leap around the room and fight over his bed.  Gretchen loves to lay on Rocky's bed to chew her toys and he just barks at her and barks at her trying to get her to move.

Gretchen is crate trained and sleeps in her crate at night.  She goes in the crate on her own if she gets too tired or if something scares her.

A very good eater, Gretchen loves her dinner time.  Her stomach has been a bit upset the past week, but we've been feeding her chicken and rice and she's getting back to her regular dog food now.  She knows to sit to get her food and she's learning to stay until released to go to her food.

Gretchen loves toys with squeakers and she loves tug toys.  She loves to run and jump on the couch. She is one active, happy Weim pup.

Gretchen will be scheduled to get spayed very soon and will then be looking for her forever home.  Please check back in to see how she's doing while she's still living in our home.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Gretchen (Ziah) received great news today at her appointment with Dr. Eva Sikorska, a cardiologist at Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center (PVSEC).  Although Gretchen does have a hole in her heart, the defect is small and unlikely to cause any clinical symptoms.  What she has is called a ventricular septal defect, which is a hole between the left and right pumping chambers of the heart and is a congenital condition.

Gretchen was given a wonderful prognosis of having a normal Weimaraner life with no restrictions and no cardiac medications prescribed.  She is allowed to undergo spay surgery and I'm working on scheduling that appointment for the near future.  Dr. Sikorska did recommend a follow-up echocardiogram in about six months, once Gretchen is fully grown, to monitor for any progressive changes, but she said that she does not expect to see any change.

The whole day was quite an adventure for Gretchen, as she had not left our property for two weeks.  First she had the ride in the car to the vet and she was well behaved and quiet in her crate.  She enjoyed watching all the activity at PVSEC and loved the attention she got from people commenting on how pretty she is.  She stayed quite calm and was easy to manage.  Even Dr. Sikorska and her staff commented on what a great personality she has and how easy she was to work with.  Today was the first day Gretchen wore her new no-pull harness and she did pretty well tolerating that experience.

All in all today had many positives for Gretchen.  Besides getting a glowing prognosis for her heart health in the future, she showed that she is a tolerant dog who is able to adjust to new environments and able to stay calm in situations that might be scary to many dogs.  She showed a healthy curiosity of her surroundings but showed no fear or anxiety.  What a good little Weim pup she is!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Introducing Gretchen Ziah

Welcome to my blog! This is all very new for me, so bear with me as I learn the ropes of blogging.
I've decided to use this blog to talk about rescue dogs that come to my home, in an effort to call attention to their needs. I am a volunteer with Tri State Weimaraner Rescue and am the rescue coordinator for Western Pennsylvania Weimaraner Association. Any rescue dog shown on this blog does not belong to me, they belong to Tri State Weimaraner Rescue (TSWR) and TSWR makes all decisions regarding their care and placement.

I'd like to introduce our current foster puppy. When she came to us she was named Ziah, but because the name just didn't work for my husband and I we started calling her Gretchen. In an attempt not to cause confusion for the veterinarian records and TSWR's records we have kept Ziah as a part of her name, sort of a middle name, but she will be called Gretchen in this blog.

Gretchen is a 5-month-old female Weimaraner who came in to rescue because of several circumstances. She was bought from a breeder in California and shipped to Pennsylvania to be used as a brood bitch (to have puppies), but once it was found that she has a rather serious heart murmur the idea of breeding her was abandoned. The people who bought Gretchen also live in a small apartment and have a 4-year-old child and a small dog. As Gretchen grew it became obvious to her owners that the situation was not the best for the family or for Gretchen and, because they were not willing to expend the money that would be necessary to diagnose and treat her heart problem, they decided to turn her over to rescue.

As of tomorrow, Gretchen has been with us for two weeks. She is active, happy and a lot of fun to have around. She and my 7-year-old Weim Rocky have become great friends and play and romp around the house. She is good in her crate and she is very close to being fully housebroken. She loves to play with her toys and will play fetch and tug.

Tomorrow Gretchen has an appointment with a cardiologist to try to find out more about her heart problem, what is causing it and what, if anything, can be done for her. After her doctor's appointment I will post to let everyone know what we find out and what the future might hold for this sweet pup.

I hope you will follow Gretchen during her time as a foster pup at our home here in Western Pennsylvania and as she goes through the medical appointments, procedures and treatments to deal with her heart murmur. Stay tuned, she should keep this interesting!