And just when everything was going so smoothly.
We took Buffy for her blood test at the beginning of May, which involves a small sample of blood being taken and sent for analysis to determine that the inoculation has been effective, all of which passed off without incident. Two weeks later the vet rang with the results. Unfortunately the antibody level in her blood wasn’t high enough to be accepted and so the passport can’t be issued. The vet said that this wasn’t at all uncommon – about 10% of dogs fail the test first time round, and the failure rate is higher in dogs under one year old. Nothing to be done but for the rabies inoculation to be given again, and to be re-tested; the vet told us that re-inoculation invariably does the trick. So Buffy had her second inoculation, and she’ll have another blood sample taken at the beginning of June.
So I suppose that the moral of the story is to allow plenty of time for the passporting process, which can’t be hurried – it takes as long as it takes. Still assuming that the next blood test turns out ok, we’ll be able to take Buffy with us when we go over to Surtainville at Christmas – we’re looking forward to letting her have a run on that long deserted sandy beach!
Buffy herself is now about four and a half months old (end of May), and seems to be developing well. She now weighs about 13.5kilos – a full-grown bull terrier usually weighs in at between 24-30 kilos so she’s some growing still to do. She’s teething at the moment -dogs lose their baby teeth just as humans do – and although it must be causing her some discomfort she’s refraining from chewing the furniture (up to now at least).
As preparation for her ferry trip to France we took Buffy over to the Isle of Wight with us last weekend and I have to say that she was a little angel throughout. She behaved very well on the ferry and in the car, and curled up decorously under the table when we had a pub lunch. She was also much admired by everyone whom she encountered, though I’m afraid that we expect nothing less these days!
Buffy is also attending weekly dog training classes (see photo) – every Thursday a Portsmouth Community Centre echoes to the excited yelps of fifteen or so dogs of all shapes and sizes! She responds very well to positive commands (by and large when she’s told to do something she does it, especially if there’s a treat involved, and there usually is). The problem is that, being a bull terrier (a breed famed for it’s tenacity and stubbornness), she responds a lot less well to negative commands such as “Don’t do that”. Still a work in progress, I’m afraid.
More when we have the results of the next blood test.
Peter and Sue