Monday, 25 September 2017


Solar went onto the operating table last week to have a lump removed from the back of his neck.

The reason for the trip to the vets was, Solar was due his booster injections, but before doing so we elected for a "Titre test" this test would show his immunity levels and determine what vaccinations would be required.

Solar has had matted/tangled fur build up in parts of his coat, we had managed to rid most of them but we discovered a small lump, about the size of a pea. On a previous visit to the vets they took a sample of the fluid from within.

As Solar is very excitable he was booked in to have the lump removed, have a blood test and the removal of a facial tick.

Tick near Solar's eye

It was a huge shock to collect Solar, shaved neck far greater than expected. The scar which we thought would be a routine incision and clean out was significantly longer.

We are no strangers to caring for our dogs, but this we were not expecting. It was a case of ensuring he was quiet comfortable and cared for. Pain relief was the order of the day, without any additional medication.

The vet informed us that the reason things had changed, were the suspected cyst was larger than expected and did not behave as one would expect from a simple follicle cyst.

Tonight we received a call regarding the results of the biopsy report, it was a benign tumor classified as "Trichoepithelioma" they can appear in many places at any age. This may be the only one Solar will have in his life or he may have one again at some point in his life.

Resting at home after his operation.

Whilst the news is good that the tumor is benign, it shows the importance of grooming and handling your dog or any other pet.

Resting on the healing sofa

Opening healing nicely and fur returning

So you would think he has a had a bit of a time of it, he has had "shaving rash" and a second tick removed, this one by Sue while I kept the eyes and teeth focused. Mind you he is a wriggler.

Solar should only go out on a lead and not play with other dogs. His stitches are to be removed after 14 days, which will be an interesting challenge.

Tonight Sue collected me from work with Solar in the car, so I took him into our works office, he was very excitable and loud, think they were pleased to see us leave so that peace could return.

He has been a good patient, at the moment very little attempts to scratch the stitched area, this morning we had to put a bandana over the wound to take him out in the rain. We are hoping that not covering the wound will help speed up the healing of the tissue.

More news to follow on his condition soon..............

Friday, 22 September 2017

Thursday, 31 August 2017


Solar has today been to the vets.

We have done this visit different to previous visits, today Sue took Solar to the vets on her own.

Solar barked on arrival, and as usual liked to announce his presence, the purpose of today was to have a Titre test to check to see what levels of immunity he has, or is lacking.

We have chosen this to avoid over inoculation and because we have elected not to just blindly have boosters injected without just cause. There are many horror stories out there and we will do our best o ensure Solar is not another.

As Solar is a bit bouncy and vocal, it was decided it would be safer for the veterinary staff if he was muzzled.  They took him and successfully managed to shave his leg and take the necessary blood sample, check a lump/cyst on the back of his neck and put cream in his left eye, which has been continually discharging every day.

When they returned him back he was without his muzzle, he was then weighed 36.5 kg a weight which has maintained for the last few months.

They took a sample of the cyst to check it out, and along with the results of the Titre test we will know more in two weeks, in the meantime we have some cream for his eye, a mild case of conjunctivitous .

Solar had his usual swim last night, followed by shower, blow dry and spray....

Tomorrow we head off to Cumbria, Solar's first holiday at the Lake District, the place we are staying at does not have wi-fi so there will be no further updates until we return.

While we are away we hope that Solar will get to meet Margaret and Cito, a german Shepherd who live close by.

Also a chance to meet up again with Molly the Golden Retriever, who will have travelled there also on her holiday. Molly and Solar have meet a few times now, they get on really well. They last met up at Queen Elizabeth Country Park.

Below is an early meeting where Molly was encouraging Solar to swim off the Isle of Wight.

We will look forward to sharing Solar's adventures upon our return, but for those that would like to follow sooner, check out his timeline on twitter as SolartheGSD

Monday, 28 August 2017

End of August 2017

So as we approach the end of August 2017 Solar will soon be going off on a new adventure.

At the end of the week we will be travelling to the Lake District in the North of England for Solar's second holiday this year. His first holiday in April was to Scotland where, a few weeks before travelling he became lame with suspected ACL, meaning it was in the balance whether we went away or not, we travelled the 650+ miles but walks and stair climbing were severely restricted.

Solar out and about in Scotland in April

Although there have been few posts, most of Solar's life has been shared on a daily basis on twitter, where he shares his adventures, mainly in image form as "SolartheGSD"

Solar is not a quiet traveller, so much so we have tried numerous tactics, the most expensive being the exchange of Sue's Renault Clio for a Citroen Berlingo, affectionately known as the "Solarmobile"

Solar still gets very excited and can be heard as we drive along, dog barking and loud CD !!

Solar remains raw fed, and a varying degree of treats, some a little more unusual raw turkey neck, beef pipe and fish to name but a few.

Swimming is an exercise he enjoys, where possible once a week....

although take him to the beach, he only wants to bark at the waves and chase stones, no interest at all with swimming.

Solar is very social creature, he often meets other dogs in the local park or while out and about, some small dogs have an issue with him, but generally he is well accepted for a play by other dogs.

He has spent time playing and chasing off lead in the local park, but because of his high chase instinct and being very focused on moving cars, it has to be well away from any exits.

Solar has a had a couple of "Play dates" with a Staffy named Daisy, they really do have a great time in the safe enclosure of K9 Pleasure Park just a few miles down the road from us.

Solar is a cheeky, fun loving, adventurous, playful and wilful dog who likes nothing better than enjoying action adventure meeting and greeting.

We will soon find out what he makes of these over the next few weeks.....

Herdwick Sheep; Resident of most of the Lake District

Thursday, 13 April 2017

10 months old

Incredible, but Solar is now 10 months old and boy does he have a lot of character.

When weighed at the vets last week, Solar is now 37 kg; next to the weighing scales it reads an adult Male German Shepherds ideal weight is 36.6 kg. (One of his Sisters weighs 38 kg)

Solar was at the vets after having an injury to his cruciate ligament of his left hind knee, which meant he was limping and crying pitifully with the pain last week. He is currently on pain relief and strict rest, try telling a 10 month old German Shepherd puppy that !!!

Fortunately Solar is crate trained and follows what we say 90% of the time. He needs to avoid running, jumping climbing stairs and exercise is limited to five minutes at a time this must be the norm for another five weeks, two of which we will be in the Highlands of Scotland. We did consider cancelling the holiday, but Solar has been good to now and we feel sure he will cope well.

Solar is growing to be a very good looking intelligent dog, certainly not a wall flower, he loves to be heard, not aggressive but "Hello look at me" we met up with Molly the Goldie, Mark and Steph at Queen Elizabeth Country Park, where Solar began barking at 11:00 am when we arrived and only stopped at 16:00 hours, when we were leaving.

Training is now on hold due to the knee injury, which we hope to resume after his rest period, fingers crossed that surgery will not be required.

Solar remains raw fed, he had a knuckle one day (see the top picture), not the easiest of things to eat and certainly not for indoor snacks. His brother who is a trainee Police Dog is not allowed to be raw fed.

It has been a while since his last update, further updates on his condition and progression will follow with a bit more regularity.

Not sure where it stems from but Solar has a thing about birds, they should not land, anywhere, if they do he has taken on the role of moving them on, our garden bird table has had no visitors since Solar began his patrol. 

Planes or birds that fly overhead, are watched until they have safely passed over, some people say dogs don't look up, well Solar certainly does.

For now here are a few images of Solar, but you can also check out his random gallery page.