Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It Is Posts Like This That Make A. Question My Priorities

I just hung up the phone with a pet boarding kennel in North Dakota. They have a very large pen reserved for my sweet, sweet Buster and Belle the day of A.’s cousin’s wedding. These pups have never been boarded before and I have a very Nervous Tummy regarding the whole event.

My dogs? They don’t do their business on command while on a leash. Oh, I feel for the staff that has to wait for Buster to just settle the fuck down and take a leak already. And then, when he does? It is sure to take three minutes. I’ve timed him. At 2:37 a.m. while groggy and grumpy. (For a while I was concerned that he was developing diabetes or a kidney condition, but long pees are his norm. If he suddenly takes lots of little trips outside, I will worry.)

Belle didn’t have good experiences with people early in her life, especially women. She has made wonderful improvements in the Trust Department in the past few years, but I am still nervous. When I first came into A.’s life, Belle took her time getting to know me. She never snapped at me or anything, but if I approached her to pet her when she wasn’t asking for attention she’d give me a little growl (like an motor running, not an actual growl). So, I let the friendship progress at her pace. I let her come to me. I think that was a smart move. Now she snuggles and plays with me all the time. She follows me around the house, and is especially fond of hanging out with me while I am cooking. She’s really become my little buddy. Oh, goodness, I just love her.

Now, she greets guests – including women – and asks for attention almost immediately. She never used to allow a new woman to pet her upon just meeting. About a year ago, when she met my best friend JelBel who was in town visiting, she snuggled right up to her, no questions asked! I was so happy to see that. At one point she gave JelBel a little growl (these growls are more like purring, actually) and JelBel growled right back. Belle’s heart was won, on the spot. Too funny. I am so happy to see some trust built up in this dog.

She’s always been fiercely loyal to A. It is sweet and endearing to see how much she adores him.

The dogs have a vet appointment later today to get up to date on their shots and get a wellness check up since they are “senior” dogs. I am fairly certain this check-up will go well. They are happy, energetic dogs. I don’t think they are senior at all! Belle doesn’t like people messing with her feet or her teeth, so this afternoon should be chock full of excitement and rumblings of a Nervous Tummy, too.

I’ve decided to take them to a new vet. Their original vet, Dr. W., sketched me out a bit when he looked at Buster’s leg. I don’t know what it was, but something about him and his office just didn’t sit well with me. A good friend positively gushes about this new vet, Dr. K., so I am hoping today’s appointment goes well. I’d love to have the homeopathic vet, Dr. MotherEarth, as the dogs’ primary healthcare provider, but she is BOOKED solid, all the time. But I am so pleased with how well she got along with Buster when she looked at his leg and back. And the pup hasn’t had trouble since… I think when issues arise I’ll call Dr. MotherEarth, but for normal, run of the mill check-ups and shots and such I’ll use this Dr. K.

Speaking of Dr. MotherEarth: She recommended that I start the dogs on glucosamine and chondroitin, Vitamin C, and fish oil. I’ve found some chewable tablets that have the amounts of glucosamine and Vitamin C that she recommended, but not the fish oil. Do any of you give your dogs (or cats) fish oil? In what form? A gelcap stuffed inside a T-R-E-A-T? Squirt some on their food? Do you have any recommendations as to brand and administration?

Are you sick to death of this post yet? Then, I should warn you: Tonight the pups are scheduled for a bath and so there is sure to be a ridiculous post about me wrestling with two wet, soapy dogs tomorrow!


  1. Our dogs love being boarded. We call it Doggie Camp.

    I'm thinking the pill inside treat is the least messy and smelly way to administer fish oil, for all parties involved.

  2. Tessie - I hadn't even considered THE SMELL. You are so damn smart. Always thinking.

  3. I hope there will be pictures of the bath! Also, I think you are totally right to switch vets based on your instinct. If you get a funny feeling about a doctor, any doctor, then there is absolutely no reason to stay with them. Fingers crossed that Dr. K. is better!

  4. Hi, I'm new here, and I'll apologize in advance for the lengthy comment! I have a 6.5 yr old shepard mix, and we give him fish oil to help with his skin allergies. The particular brand I use is called "3V caps" and it can be found at HealthyPets.com. I think it comes in liquid and capsule form; I use the liquid because it is so much easier just to squirt it on his food. He LOVES it, and I don't think the smell is horrible. I mean, it's not any worse than just regular dog food smell. The smell doesn't permeate the whole room or anything, and it doesn't give him bad breath. And his coat and skin were SO MUCH healthier in about 10 days. I'd be interested to know the amount of glucosamine and chondroitin that the vet recommended to you. I know those are very important for joint health in large dogs - I wonder if mine is getting enough. Also, I'm going to look up homeopathic vets in my area. I've never heard of such and I like our vet, but I'm always looking for alternative treatment ideas. ~LA

  5. LA - Welcome! Thanks for commenting, and thanks for the recommendations. I often leave novella-length comments on other blogs, so feel free to type away.

    Buster weighs between 60 and 65 lbs and she recommended 500 mg of glucosamine and chondroitin and about 400 mg of Vitamin C. She also recommended 500 mg of fish oil. She said the G&C would help the joints, and that the Vitamin C would help with anti-inflammation in the joints as well as fight off free-radicals.

    She recommended slightly lower dosages for Belle, who is only about 45 lbs. They are both seven years old, now. I hope that helps!

  6. I think Trader Joe's Glucosamine and chondro has the fish oil already in and it is for Dogs.

    I found a Gluco and Chondro additive for our senior kitty's food and he is *almost* bouncy. Almost. Good luck with the kennel, I know how nerved up you must feel about it.

  7. I'm sorry, I feel I require some pictures of your dogs.

    Thank you.

  8. "Bathing a dog" ranks right up there with "having a colonoscopy" on my list of favorite activites, so, good luck!


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