Siri - the school dog with a new life in Sweden
One of our four-legged customers is Siri, a little dog who was adopted from Romania by her current pawrent Helena. After Siri started eating petgood, Helena contacted us and told us that Siri was doing very well on the food, and could now focus fully on her training to become a school dog. Then we naturally became curious to hear more about Siri and her new life in Sweden!
Hi Helena! Who is Siri?
Siri is a Romanian rescue dog who came to Sweden together with her sister Ylva. I have been told that she and her sister were found in a yard when they were around 8 weeks old. They were probably thrown out from a passing car. An elderly couple took care of the puppies in Romania until they were big enough to travel to Sweden.
Siri loves people, preferably the older kind. On the other hand, she has a hard time with anything that makes a lot of noise. As a team, Siri and I have worked a lot on things that can seem scary and loud, so now it's even okay to ride the subway, even if she doesn't think it's great fun if she has her say about it.
Siri is very energetic both inside and outside if she has too little to do - so when we are off from work I have a lot to do. Siri loves long forest walks, playing with other dogs and chewing on bones. When I'm not at home, Siri usually carries one of my slippers with her as comfort.
Can you tell us more about Siri's job as a school dog?
For a year now, Siri has been working at a school for students with extra needs. The school has around 45 students, all of whom are in junior high school. Siri works with those who are training to get back to school. She is herself under training - I expect Siri to be tested and hopefully approved as a school dog in September 2023.
It is most common for school dogs to work in primary and middle schools, but as said, Siri belongs to those who support students in grades 7 to 9. Siri's tasks are to reduce stress by just hanging out with the students, offer support when students try new things such as taking in things that have different textures, different smells or that in some other way do not fit the student's image of what he or she can do. She can also be a playmate, a good reason to take a break from schoolwork, motivate students to go out for walks or just be a company when studying. Siri has had several students come to class because they were interested in meeting her.
How did you and Siri get in touch with petgood?
Siri has had problems with oxalates and struvites her first year in Sweden. These are urinary stones which are due to the formation of various minerals in the urine. Oxalates are caused by calcium reacting with oxalic acid in the urine and forming crystals that clump together to sometimes become so large that it hurts to urinate. That's how it was for Siri - a couple of times she screamed outright when she peed and was inconsolable for a long time afterwards. This problem is easy to overcome - you stop giving puppy food that contains a lot of calcium. We tried an adult food - then she got struvite instead, which is another kind of painful urinary stones. Siri tried diets that would reduce struvite formation in the urine, of two different kinds, but only got hungry and looked like a little shedding owl, so some other solution had to be found so that she wouldn't starve.
While searching for new options, I saw an ad on Facebook with many reactions. It made me curious so of course I wanted to test it out and see if it could fit Siri. Ever since we switched to petgood, Siri has not had a recurrence of either struvite or urinary oxalates. Peeing is pain-free for Siri these days!
What exciting plans do you have going forward?
Siri loves all kinds of adventures as long as they don't involve too much loud noise – so in June she's taking me on a 128km hike. The hike will go along the Höga Kustenleden, will be very challenging and just the two of us. Siri is now practicing both walking in shoes and carrying bags, as I thought she would carry her own food. At the start of the walk there will be around 1,5 kg of petgood adult food and 15 dental sticks (she will do anything if the reward is a dental stick). Of course I don't forget to pack some treats too. I'm curious how Siri will react when she has to sleep outside again, something she did as a puppy. Although this time she sleeps in a sleeping bag with me!
We want to say a big thank you to Siri and pawrent Helena for generously sharing your story, and wish you the best of luck on this summer's big adventure!
This is a story told by Siri's owner Helena in her own words and perspective.
If you have a dog or cat with medical problems, we always recommend that you consult your veterinarian for advice on food and treatment.