Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

The Year of the Vet

Dog ownership is not without its downside. It turns out that 2012 was the year of the vet for this first-time doggy household. The great raisin adventure and Clayton’s tummy issue were merely signs of things to come. Further vet visits included:

  • Removing a foxtail from Cupid’s paw.
  • Another stomach issue for poor Clayton (I think he had a total of three!).
  • Removing a foxtail from Clayton’s paw. It wedged itself in pretty far; he had to have a mini surgery to remove it, poor guy.

Thankfully everyone survived and 2013 has been blessedly free of vet visits so far (knock on wood). Here’s a photo of the Cue-man that makes me smile. :)

Dire Wolf 2

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Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

How’d the Bee Get There?

I have talked about Cupid’s love of the bee. I don’t think anyone who hasn’t experienced it can understand just how many times we throw it (or another similar toy) for him each day. Dozens of times. Many dozens. I don’t want to think about how many because it’s a lot.

Yesterday morning, I was throwing the bee for Cupid when I heard him scratching against the landing. This usually means the bee has landed out of his reach. So I left the living room, started down the stairs, and saw this . . .

. . . and burst into laughter. I couldn’t have managed this shot if I’d been aiming for it, but my random throw resulted in the bee being caught on the leash holder.

Cupid is good, but he’s not able to climb up there on his own and get it, so I retrieved it for him. He’s trained me pretty well. :)


Monday, January 16th, 2012

Another Vet Visit

Clayton went to the vet last week after not eating for a couple of meals. He was fine Monday morning, but didn’t eat Monday night or Tuesday morning. Tuesday I took him in to see the vet. They checked him out, did X-rays, gave him an anti-nausea shot, and sent us home.

He still didn’t eat the rest of the day Tuesday or on Wednesday. So we returned Wednesday morning, and they kept him there for most of the day, hooked him up to an IV, ran bloodwork, did more X-rays. The bloodwork results were very good and the X-rays looked fine as well.

I brought him home Wednesday afternoon. He devoured his meal with his typical gusto and has been eating fine ever since. The vet believes he ate something that disagreed with him and made him not want to eat. That’s probably true, and I think getting the fluid and nutrients from the IV made him feel better. So he was hungry once again.

My Clayton is back to himself, except the hair that had to be shaved so they could do the IV. Now he’s a poodle pirate.

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Friday, January 6th, 2012

Ring in the New Year

I kicked off the new year by taking the boys to the emergency vet. The reason: I found Cupid with an empty snack-sized box of raisins. Which are toxic to dogs. (You can find a more complete list of problem foods for dogs here.) After consulting with my sister, I learned that the box had been dropped from her bag on her way out and was probably half empty. Faced with the possibility of kidney failure, I took the boys to the vet.

I was pretty sure that Cupid had hogged all of the raisins for himself, but I couldn’t be completely sure. So both boys had vomiting induced. Turned out only Cupid had gotten the raisins, and I had brought them in quickly. He got a dose of charcoal and both boys came home with me.

I am pleased to report that Cupid appears to be back to himself.

Have your dog ever had to make a trip to the emergency vet because he ate something he shouldn’t have? If so, what happened?

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Monday, December 26th, 2011

Happy Holidays

It’s late on Christmas day, and it’s been a good one. Clayton got a mini flirt pole and Cupid got another set of bees. They are both very happy boys. I am happy being at home and enjoying a quiet night with them. My boys have brought so much to my life.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday and that the new year brings you everything you desire!


Monday, December 19th, 2011

The Fine Art of Grazing

I don’t know if every dog does it, but my dogs show what I think is an unusual interest in eating grass. There is one particular patch of grass on our street that they love. It’s about a square foot patch of grass that is longer than the rest. Cupid and Clayton stop there and start chewing as if it were heaven’s treat left there just for them. And maybe it is.

They don’t do this all the time. Sometimes we take our walks without taking time to eat the grass. Other times, they stop and chew for a while.

Do your dogs eat grass? Share your experiences in the comments.


Friday, November 25th, 2011

Book Club: Travels with Charley

As someone with two degrees in English, I’ve read more than my share of the classics. John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley wasn’t one of them. I was excited to read it when I heard it would be the first book in Edie‘s dog travel book club.

I even had the book read by the due date. I’m just too burned out from years of writing book reviews to sit down and do another one. I did enjoy the book, though, and I want to write a few things about it. So think of this not as a formal book review but an informal sharing of things I noticed.

First of all, I loved the fact that Charley was a poodle. I don’t see all that many of them around, let alone ones owned by men, so I was tickled by the notion that this famous writer took his poodle along for the cross-country trip.

I also appreciated all the little details about Charley. The way he says, “Ftt” when he needs to get out of the truck and take care of business. How generally even-tempered he is. I laughed out loud during one extended “conversation” between Steinbeck and Charley.

Two parts stood out for me: the description of the two (very different) vets who examined Charley for his bladder issues and the unique change in Charley’s temperament when they drive through Yellowstone. I have my own dog with bladder issues (Cupid is prone to bladder stones), so I appreciated the second vet who actually did something about the problem. And I could easily imagine Charley’s rising anxiety about seeing the bears in Yellowstone.

I have to admit I’m pretty envious of the descriptions of Charley being off leash so much. I do not have enough faith in my dogs’ recall to do that. I guess it’s something to strive for.

Here’s my favorite quote: “If manners maketh man, then manner and grooming maketh poodle.” Anyone who has owned a poodle can relate to this. There’s something about a newly groomed poodle that’s full of spunk and attitude.

Following Atticus is the book scheduled for discussion next month.

I’ll try to finish the book and write about it in a more timely fashion this time around. :)


Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Let Us Give Thanks

I’m busy prepping for Thanksgiving, which is at my house this year. In addition to all the food prep for people, I whipped up a batch of kong stuffing last night. It consists of layers of 100-percent pure pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie mix) and dog treats. Then, I put them in the freezer. They will be all ready

While I’m giving thanks, let me say that I am grateful for kongs. This is a fabulous dog toy with holes at both ends (one small and one large) that dogs have to work at to get the food out.

They are a great distraction for the boys when I need to get them focused on something else. Plus it’s a fun treat for them.

Mostly, though, I am thankful for my family, which includes two wonderful and crazy doggy boys who have enriched my life in ways I can’t express.

Happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for? And if you have any kong recipes, please share them in the comments.

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Friday, November 18th, 2011


If you own dogs, you’re probably familiar with this look.

Clayton doing the tilt.

Yes, it’s the head tilt. Any dog who does the head tilt becomes instantly cuter. I don’t think I’m the only one with that opinion, judging by the number of photos out there with other sweet dogs doing the head tilt. I know you’ve got photos of your tilted dogs. Post one here and you’ll be entered in a contest for a few doggy treats. I’ll draw a winner at random on December 1. Just click on the Mister Linky image below to link to your photo.

Happy photo Friday!

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Monday, November 14th, 2011

Dogs Make Me Sick

There’s something I haven’t mentioned about being a dog owner. I called my sister Kimberly a day or two after bringing Cupid home. She later told me that the first thing she thought was, “What in the world has she done?” The reason: I’m allergic to dogs. She figured it could only end in heartbreak.

I have interacted with a few dogs since my early negative experiences with them. Even the positive experiences left me sneezing, gave me itchy eyes, caused my skin to break out in hives, or all of the above.

But Cupid was different. He was so soft, and I experienced none of the usual symptoms. So I decided to give it a try and become a first-time dog owner. Within days, I was having some nasal issues, but I loved the guy, so I knew I had to make it work.

Things I do:

  • Launder the living room slipcovers frequently. If I start sneezing when I sit down, it means they are past ready for the wash.
  • Bathe them once a month (or more).
  • See an allergist regularly. I do get symptoms, but they are reduced because of what types of dogs I have and the medicine I take to manage them.

Getting “fluffy” dogs isn’t just a personal preference when it comes to appearance. It’s a necessity if I want to keep breathing without wheezing. I have to stay with the so-called hypoallergenic breeds: maltese, Lhasa Apso, Shih tzu, and poodle (for example). Cupid is a Lhasa/poodle mix and Clayton is a toy poodle. Now that I’ve had poodles, I’m never going back. :) They are just too charming and delightful.

If you are allergic to dogs but want to have one in your life, talk to an allergist and see if they can help you. Also, spend a few hours with the dogs you want so you can see how you might react. Better to know in advance than to fall in love, bring a dog home, and then find out your skin breaks out every time you touch him.

Are any other dog owners out there allergic to dogs? How do you manage your allergy?

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