Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Not Even For Skippy Peanutbutter!

We have a Gordon who is afraid of the camera. 
Actually, I believe she is afraid of the flash that goes off in her face. 
Gordon's are mostly have to use a flash 90% of the time if you are going to get a decent picture. And even then, it's tough.
 Our little 12 year old Gracie, hates it. 
 She's been like this most of her life. 
We don't usually force it, but you have to get a picture once in a while! 
We never really tried to analyze why, because some 
Gordon's just don't seem to like getting their picture taken.

 So we tried Skippy Peanut butter to coax her into the room.
She loves peanut butter!

Everything was fine.....until she saw me and the camera
Can you feel the vacuum in the room from her retreat?

 She won't even look at me,  and she runs and hides as soon as she see's the camera. 

Even with no escape, she will turn her head and bow it down.

 Then she will run into her kennel.
And if that's not a clear enough message for me..........
she'll turn her back on me.

 This has always seemed like a funny little quirk and nothing to be worried about. Until now.

Recently, Gracie started having seizures. She's had 2 now*. The vet says when she's had a few, they will put her on a medication to control them.  I have wondered if the reason she doesn't like the camera flash, is because it is like the light aura that people (and possibly dogs) see just before they have a seizure. Maybe that's what she sees? She refused her favorite food just before she had the last one. I think she may have known it was coming.
Dogs are very sensitive to those things, that's how they have become assistants to people who have seizures. The dog can actually predict the seizure and warn them. 

So it made me wonder, can a Gordon  predict a seizure,
whether it be in someone else, or themselves? 
Turns out, they can at least predict it, when they are about to have one themselves.

*NOTE: Ironically as I sat here and wrote this post, Gracie went into her third seizure. This time we were here and able to comfort her and keep her safe during the seizure. I don't know if it helped, it's hard to know how much she was aware of, but it didn't hurt.
Poor girl. There's really not much else we could do. 
We're documenting them so the vet will know when and how much meds to give her. Thank goodness there is something to help her. If you've ever seen a human have a seizure, it's very scary. 
It's no less scary if you witness this with your beloved pet.

For more information on seizures in dogs go here:


  1. Oh, I'm sorry she's having seizures! I know how terrifying it can be! My Marigold went thru a bout of them last summer and I thought she was nearing the end of her life - but they were actually part of an inner ear infection or something and it cleared up and went away after she had 3 episodes of not being able to walk, stand and would shake and nod. I hope your vet can treat your sweet girl and control them with meds! Poor baby!

  2. Poor Gracie! I know about how bad seizures can be, our babies just don't know what is happening!

    About the pictures.... Jill will get out of Dodge when she sees the camera, however, Jack (who used to be "shy" before) doesn't care now, with the new camera - even if I use the flash. It's the little beep, beep that was making him upset, he must have felt as if he was going to hit the "fence"! I could mute the sound on this new one.

    Give Gracie a hug from me!

  3. I've noticed that my Gordons strongly dislike the flash on the camera and they retreat when they see it coming. I can't tell you how many times I would see a cute picture and as soon as I got the camera the dog got up and ran outside.

    I'm also pretty sure that dogs can often tell when a seizure is coming on. Flash, my old buddy, was suffering from seizures and on the day she died got up and went outside to the end of the yard where she had a fatal seizure. I heard her get up and go out and didn't think anything of it until she didn't come back in. I'm pretty sure she know what was coming and she wanted to be alone.

    Seizures are pretty scary for us but I know the dog is unaware of what happened. I hope the medication keeps them under control.

  4. T., We have never heard of a dog having seizures because of an ear infection. It's weird that she had 3 then stopped. They usually don't stop, once they have started. Interesting. I'm sure glad they stopped. Poor Marigold.

    Sharon, I bet you are 100% right about Jack. Poor little guy, every time he got his pic taken, he was waiting to get shocked! I am so glad you figured that out and could mute it. It must have been awful, when he knew he wasn't doing anything wrong.


    Sorry about Flash, Art. I agree that she probably knew it was coming on. I don't believe dogs always know when they are dying, but I think she knew something was wrong. And dogs do tend to go off alone when they are sick or dying from an injury. Sad. We're just trying to keep Gracie in places that she'll be somewhat safe, if we are not here. Hopefully we'll get her on meds. soon.

  5. Poor Gracie! Are seizures a breed problem, or is this just unfortunate luck? I'm glad you were able to be with her last time.

    None of my dogs like having their pictures taken. When I point the camera at them, they drop their heads or make a point to look away. I wondered if they felt confronted or stared at. I never thought about the flash.

    I have to stop coming to your blog - the puppy pictures make me want a gordon desperately!

  6. Hi Jennifer, Seizures are not really a breed problem, although many breeds do develop seizures in their later years. Gracie is our first, out of about a dozen Gordons we have had. I do believe that is why she is afraid of the flash. I believe the working breeds may be more sensitive to seizures than the average dog. I'm sure your dogs are no exception. And for the record....a Gordon Setter would fit right in with those bird hunts you do!

  7. That sucks! I hope the meds work out well. I am sure they know what's about to happen - their intuition is so much more refined than ours. Give the poor thing a pat on the head for me!

    Take care -


  8. Karen,
    Ver interesting theory about the flash and the seizures. Since I teach special ed. I've had quite a few students who've had seizures-one girl was able to tell me when she was going to have a seizure and one little girl would have seizures if she rode an escalator at the mall. It's fascinating really, so I wouldn't underestimate Gracie knows...
    and I am telling everyone who buys my book I will give you my address to send the book, I will autograph it as will Hurricane it and send it back to you; my dime...
    I know you will love it, as will all dog is just endearing!

  9. Sorry to hear Gracie is having seizures, give her a hug from Cassi (Gracie's daughter) and me.

  10. Thanks Tim, If I can get her still long enough I'll give her a hug. You'd think she was still 5 or 6 yrs. old the way she acts!

    Oh Thank you Tracy!!!! I was so hoping for an autographed copy (by you and Hurricane). I must pay you for'll never make any money giving them away! (: Interesting about the little girl in your class. The funny thing about seizures, they seem to be individual. Different for everyone, so I assume it's probably the same for animals. I'm sure she knew it was coming too.

    Thanks Casey! She's getting no shortage of treats these days. One might even say she is spoiled. ha ha

  11. Gracie is such a lovely dog! Our beagle began having seizures about two years ago, and the vet told us that unless they became more frequent (she has one every 6 months or so) that he didn't want to medicate her. I know that it is horribly frightening for her, and for us, when she seizes. We've also found that she tends to have them more when she is under severe stress, so we try to avoid subjecting her to things that cause her anxiety.

  12. Hi Julia, Poor little beagle. But twice a year isn't too bad. Yes, stress and anxiety can be a factor in bringing them on. We're thinking here that it is her old age of 13. Crazy little Gordon acts like she is 6, but she isn't. She just had her 4th one today, in about 4 weeks. We're looking into the meds Monday. It's time.