Here comes a long story & explanation.
I haven't owned a puppy since I was a child. I had an allergy and the chocolate lab puppy we had, had to go to a new family. Since I was allergic as a child, always assumed it carried on through the years. My grand parents had a dog through to my mid-late teens. When around that dog, I always showed the same symptoms as when I was a child. Well, I needed a companion, and my partner is allergic to cats, which I had my whole life not able to have a dog.
Bailey was part of a litter of 11 "mutts" for all intensive purposes. This was not a backyard breeder, it was an oops my dog got out and came home pregnant before she got fixed. They were all off to the pound, which is NOT a no kill shelter. It was clear that at least one of the babies should be saved. A few boys and another girl I know of were also saved. Yes, I know I used the word mutt because let's face it, unless you are with a reputable breeder, you never know. I know she is at least 1/2 GSD as that's what the mom dog was. She was a small girl having not even been fully grown herself. The father was a much larger black lab. I have seen him, but I do not know if he was purebred either, but he was definitely strong lab-like. Bailey is probably as much of a mix as you can get. She's awkward, but that's ok with me! She's unique (except all those brothers and sisters lol).
The mother started to reject them at 6 weeks old, she stopped making milk and the puppies were visibly tearing up her teats with their sharp little teeth. Being a young dog herself, she didn't really care that much for them. After that, the owners were lacking, to say the least. We picked her out and took her home on week 7. At that point she was undernourished, dehydrated, unable to walk well, had bowed legs from being kept in a large kennel with all siblings and mom. She was dirty and smelled like cat pee from an abundance of cats in the home ,_, -hey, I had cats, never smelled the ammonia like THAT! After a couple of hard days for her, she started to come around. Being ripped away from all those other puppies was hard on her. She didn't have the noises or the soft, warm, cuddly siblings. We put a loud ticking clock under a soft, fur-like fleece blanket and it helped her feel safer. We fed her and watered her as soon as we got food and a few basics~ was approx 2hrs because we didn't initially plan to get a dog with my allergies, we went there as a 'test' to see my reaction, there was never a reaction. She drank water and ate a good 2 cups+ of puppy kibble at 7 weeks old. Yes, hard food and she did fine with it, she was hungry, she probably didn't care much at that point. Her gums got pink and healthy (were grey) within 24 hours. She ate a few scoops of peanut butter for the high protein content. Lots of water drank. Never had a problem getting her to eat/drink anything, it was simply not adequately supplied. After a week or so, her legs unbowed naturally. She just didn't get a chance to walk/run/play being cooped up. Bones were still soft and forming. Haven't had any issues since. She was walking like a champ within a 3-4 days. Had a very prissy prance to her, with her nose stuck waaaay up in the air trying to get at all the smells.
No, she did not go to a vet right away. Yeah, I get that it'll sound stupid, but we didn't have the money for a huge vet bill. Yeah, I hear you "why did you get a puppy then blah blah blah" really- that's none of anyone's concern. Other than worms, she was healthy and taken care of. At some point, I don't remember the age off the top of my head, she got bit by some fire ants (curious puppy + sand hill = stupid result) this triggered her immune system to run over drive and she ended up with a benign tumor right under the bites! PLUS the bites got infected because it was right on her bottom lip! She did not have a very fun first vet visit. She got her first shots, fecal test, dewormed, skin scraping, fast acting antibiotics and probably a few other things all within 2 minutes. She was unhappy to say the least. The tumor, is a common thing among puppies apparently and is supposed to go away naturally. Once the infection and bites were gone on it, it disappeared within a week or two. It's not returned (but can, apparently).
Bailey is very smart. Anything she's been taught, she knows within 30 minutes flat. She's probably too smart for her own good. Walking was probably the hardest thing after the first 2 weeks. The first two weeks, honestly, they were kind of hell-ish. She wasn't potty trained, and had a small, very weak bladder and butt. It's probably common, but for someone not used to it, it's hard. During the day it was all cool, go outside every 1-2 hours, pee/poop and reward. She caught on really fast with poop. Literally only ever had 2 poop accidents in the house. Pee took a bit longer, but she caught on quickly that pee was also a big no no in the house. By 4.5 months she was fully potty trained, and only 1 pee accident in spite because she wasn't getting her way since that age. Nights were TERRIBLE! The whining and howling every 2 hours, almost systematically to get out of her room needing the bathroom and wanting to play. No child, no...I want sleep. I turned into a very big grump from lack of sleep. I imagine it would be similar with a newborn baby. Needless to say, I was way less than amused. THAT stuff stopped just after 3 months old when she started to gain better/longer control. Now she can hold it 12+ hours!
There haven't been any major issues since the beginning. She'd had other shots and vet visits and she will be fixed in January. On December 17th, Bailey will be 7 months old. She has lost all the baby teeth, I am not sure if all adult teeth have come through since they grow in some that weren't even baby teeth to begin with. She's pretty healthy. She weighed in December 6th @ 50.2lbs. So now after all this stuff I've written, here are some questions:
She appears to be ideal weight, and I have tried to do the "rib test" but I can't really tell. She seems to have A LOT of excess skin still, so I can't feel much more than the structure of the ribs. What kind of weight range should she be in? Is 50lbs about right?
She c-o-n-s-t-a-n-t-l-y has eye gunkies - aka discharge, why? is it normal? It's usually white and stringy looking. I'm talking you wipe it away and it's back in 10 minutes! It's ridiculous!
She has a premium food with no corn, soy or wheat - corn allergy confirmed >.< and it has almost all "real" ingredients that you can read..things humans eat. It contains 351kcal/cup Bailey receives 3 cups a day. Is that enough? She acts hungry ALL-ALL-ALL the time. She's not active at all. She sleeps all the fricken time! We walk 1 mile [most] days. I have pain issues that prevent it sometimes. We live in Florida and she doesn't manage the heat well - it's December and it's been in the 80's! I do *not* want a fat dog. I know how bad that is. I'm trying to prevent it but I feel like she's hungry all the time. She gets 1 cup of food every 7 hours (I'm awake 15+ hours, so this works out time-wise) for 3 meals/day. I tried breakfast/dinner with 1.5 cups each and she about drove me nuts trying to beg for food ALL.DAY.LONG. She's still acting like she's starved with 3 meals a day.
Back to heat. She's black with a few white areas. Her tongue expands, gets longer and cups at the end very easily. Now again, it's Florida, I know it's damn hot! 100+ daily through most of the summer. She always gets plenty of fresh, cold water outside, but playing with her for 10 minutes or less, with water right there, she's "dying" already and has to come inside and use her OWN fan and cool off for 20+ minutes. Walking 1 mile takes me about 30 minutes, and by then, she's beyond over heated, but I can't exactly teleport home, and if it's any shorter, she'd have no exercise at all! What can I do? It's just hot. While walking, no we don't have water, but to stay outside in the yard, she does. I know the cupping is bad, but it happens after 5-10 minutes!
I know because she's not pure, it won't be accurate but still hoping that I can get some input without snakry remarks about how she came about, her non-pedigree background, her age(s) or anything else I've mentioned to try to give a full picture. I've attached the same 3 pictures I posted in the introductions, and can get more or add more if needed, plus baby pics, tumor and so on..whatever you might need.