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The Terrier Tattler








   The Terrier Tattler
July  2007

Hello fans and friends -

I can't tell you how great it is to be back in my role as editor-in-chief of The Terrier Tattler.  For those of you that haven't heard, I took a bad leap off the deck after a squirrel on Memorial Day and ended the holiday weekend with a ruptured cruciate ligament.   What a huge lifestyle change!  I had surgery just a few days after the injury - TPLO.  Read all about it in this month's feature article.  The recovery is going to be long and has already been very dull.  I miss my friends and all the agility fun I'm so accustomed to.  But I have gotten some very nice cards and my buddy Max even sent me DQ gift certificates (I'm not allowed to run but I am allowed to eat ice cream!). 

I want to thank my brother Wes for writing last month's Tattler for me.  It was very nice of him to volunteer and jump in 'nose first' (which you know after reading Wes' Tattler is how he approaches everything).  Thanks Wes, but move aside.  The girl is back! 




Stay Cool!

Summer time is great fun, but all that heat can lead to problems.  There is a variety of information available online to help you stay safe in the summer time.  Check out the Humane Society of the US for good information:


Of course, you can also do like my  Turissini lab friend from New York and spend plenty of time in the water!

















TPLO - Your Medical Lesson for the Month!

As you know, I jumped off the deck at my house to chase a squirrel on Memorial Day.  I’ve done this many times, but this jump was different.  I still chased after the squirrel, even though I couldn’t use my left rear leg!  It hurt and wouldn’t work right.  Tracy was outside and saw me sitting by the fence.  She thought I looked ‘different’ and approached me.  As I stood she noticed I wouldn’t put any weight on my hurt leg.  We waited a bit, tried an ice pack, some massage, but to no avail.  So it was off to our favorite ortho guys in Buffalo Grove. 


I was diagnosed with a CCL rupture.  The CCL (Cranial Cruciate Ligament) is like the ACL in a human knee.  Well, I tore mine clear through and also had some meniscus damage.  I never knew how fragile a knee joint is!  Dr. Gendreau showed me a model that had the two key leg bones: the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (lower leg).  Did you know that these two bones come together at the knee and what’s really important are these  things called ligaments.  They are really special ‘cords’ work with tendons and muscles  that hold the two bones in place and allow them to flex and form the knee. 


The CCL is located inside the joint, attaching the femur to the tibia. The CCL holds the tibia in place and prevents internal rotation and hyperextension.  CCL is most prevalent in large and giant breeds, or dogs that are overweight or poorly conditioned.  Those of you that know me know that I’m not a large breed, not overweight and I’m in tip-top athletic condition.  But I did find out after surgery that I have a high angle at the top of my tibia (more on this later).  




The picture to the side shows my rough rendering of what the two bones and CCL look like to me BEFORE my surgery.





Well, when the CCL breaks, the angle of the top of the tibia makes it hard for the femur to not slide off the tibia.  The recommendation by my surgeon (Dr. Gendreau) was the TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy).  They cut the top of the tibia, rotate it to reduce the angle, then screw it in place with a special plate. 


Before the procedure my tibia top had a 36 degree slope!!  After surgery 3-5 degrees (picture at the left)!  The concern is that my other tibia is likely very ‘slanty’ too and may mean another injury in the future to my ‘good’ leg.  We’ll see.  All I can do to try to prevent that is to stay in good shape and watch my weight. 

You can also check out for more professional details and this site also has some very cool x-rays - that demonstrate this through a real-life example.

Dr G was happy with the surgery – now it’s my job to follow his recovery instructions.  It’s NOT easy!  For the first 3 weeks, no activity – someone carried me outside to potty (how embarrassing is that!?!).  At least now I get to go for walks, but still no running, no jumping, no stairs, nothing off a leash for a few more weeks.  The only good thing is that Tracy is giving me all kinds of cool stuff in my crate.  She came up with a new treat – she freezes treats and chicken broth in a Kong and then I get to lick it until it’s gone.  She’s even given me a rawhide or two (sorry #1 Dr. G!). 

I see Dr. Gendreau again on July 12 and if all is ok, I can start going to rehab with Dr. Julie.  I’ve heard very good things about TPLO and know of a border collie that got injured at a trial last summer and is back competing.  Tracy said we aren’t deciding anything about agility for another couple of months.  I get to enjoy working with my friends at Dr. Julie’s getting back into shape first. 

Big thank you to all of you for your concerns, warm wishes and prayers.  I miss seeing all my agility buddies on the weekends, but maybe I can come with Tracy to WAG in July when she lets Wesley compete! 


Doggie da Vincis?

Hey there pup friends... looking for a way to buy more treats and toys?  Well, here's a way some pups have become famous artists and get paid for their creations!  Check out this article from the Chicago Tribune on these Doggie da Vincis!,1,3310426.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

Thanks to Abby, Rocky & Willie's mom Susan for sharing this!


Pup Pics




My New Cousin!!!


Yes, I have a new relative in Iowa!  His name is Collin and although I haven't been able to meet him yet, he sure is darling in his picture!!  He's a Papichon - which is a mix between a Bichon and a Papillion.  My cousin Logan was surprised with Collin as a gift for his 10th birthday - what a great present!


 Wes got to go to Iowa with Tracy (I had to stay home in Chicago because of my darn knee surgery!).  Wes said that Collin is very cute, full of energy and his behind smells good.  Tracy loved holding Collin - he's a wonderful lap dog.  He loves being cuddled and is so soft.  I can't wait to see him when we go to Iowa in August!










A Little Sister for Cindy



You may recall the photos I shared several months ago from my Brazilian friend Cindy.  Well, there is some big excitement in Brazil for one little pup!  Cindy has a new little 'sister': Lola.  Mom Margarita couldn't pass up this sweet little face in the pet shop window (who could?!). 





Lola is also just an uninhibited as her big sister Cindy.  You may recall Cindy's full-frontal photo, well here's little sis Lola giving it all up for the camera too.  I've heard that Brazilian girls aren't as modest about their bodies as us Americans.  I guess that's true! 









Ab Fabs

Absolutely Fabulous Canine Accomplishments!

Please send your accomplishments to



Life is GRAND for DB


On June 10, my lab friend DB achieved the UKC GRACH (Grand Agility Champion).  DB was among friends at one of my favorite places, Smack-Dab Obedience Training for the agility competition.   In addition to her great big black-and-gold new title ribbon, Miss DB also walked away with multiple placement ribbons - including a blue one for first place in AG-3!  


Big congrats to DB (and of course, to Miss Michelle!)