Some sad and scary shelter headlines for pets and their people. Aren't shelters supposed to be finding homes for adoptable pets instead of destroying them? I thought that was what shelter meant. What kinds of people are running our local shelters? Inquiring pet lovers want to know. If a dog has any chance of being adopted, then why is it being "humanely euthanized"? Isn't that term an oxymoron? What, pray tell, is remotely humane about euthanizing a perfectly healthy, adoptable dog, even if it is a senior of 7 or 8 years? There are lots of great older dogs. I know; I have two.
With these kind of death camp attitudes, I wouldn't have my Peaches or Beau, since they both came from the Stockton shelter, which is not really a shelter at all from what I observed but rather an outdated, dismal dog pound. I know times are tough and money is tight and running a shelter, especially in this dreadful economic climate, is challenging. But do we really need personnel with a take-no-prisoners attitude running our shelters?
"FIGHTIN' WORDS" ANTHOLOGY
Speaking of anthologies, I'm pleased to announce that one of my Pets and Their People columns, "Homed for the Holidays" has been accepted for publication in the upcoming PEN Oakland Anthology, FIGHTIN' WORDS.
Pen Oakland is a chapter of PEN Center USA.
Release date to be announced.
NEW! ANTHOLOGY OF PET TALES
My good friend and fellow writer/artist, Jennifer Pickering, is thrilled to have had her lovely story about her cat published in an anthology of pet stories, titled The Dog With The Old Soul, available for purchase on Amazon and Nook. I haven't read any of the other stories yet, but I loved hers and will be ordering the book, which has my favorite breed of dog on the cover. Hope you will, too!
BOYCOT MICHAEL VICK'S CLOTHING LINE
Please sign the petition to boycott dog abuser, Michael Vick's new clothing line. We should never forget that this football "hero" tortured innocent animals. He is no role model or designer. He's a heartless criminal who was never punished for the abominations he inflicted on his dogs.
Vick should be serving prison time, not profiting from playing football or designing clothes. He still has blood on his hands, and no one should buy his bloody clothes.
ALLIE AND BAMA'S HAPPY ENDING
I'm thrilled to report that Peaches is her old self again. For the past two days she's been back to normal, leaping up in the bed with me in the mornings, dashing out the front door to bark at the world. Prior to that, it was certainly not the case. It's amazing! I still have no clue what it was that ailed her and neither did the vet. Upon retesting her blood, the elevated calcium level dropped back down to a normal range. I had scheduled her for an ultrasound this morning, but she seems fine, so I canceled it. I'm rather relieved she has improved because the Sac Referral Center would have drained my bank account, I'm sure. That's always been my experience in the past, and I've said good-bye to far too many dogs there. I can only assume that Peaches must have ingested something that upset her, but she never had any vomiting or diarrhea, as you would expect with something like that.
A neighbor told me about a mysterious dog illness that they apparently get from sniffing other dogs' feces. Since Peaches and Beau are the worst poo gobblers I've ever had, that would put them at risk. We are going to avoid the dog park, no matter how much Beau likes going there. In my opinion, they are breeding grounds for disease and other disasters caused mostly by stupid owners. I have never liked my dogs drinking out of communal water bowls, since I have no idea if the other dogs who come there are properly inoculated against diseases. Anyway, I'm not taking any more chances after this. I hate to do it, but I may also put muzzles on these two when we go for walks to keep them from sneaking "treats" along the way. You never know what's in another animal's feces that could kill your dog.
I'm just so grateful that Peaches is okay. I really thought I was going to lose my sweet girl this past week.
MORE BLOOD WORK
Peaches went for more blood work this morning to check the calcium level in her blood. I'm told this test will determine whether she has something other than what I'm pretty sure it is: Multiple Myeloma. What an ugly sounding disease, and I have no doubt it is going to be for my Peaches. That's what was mentioned on our first visit, though I was hoping it might be anything other than that.
I've been reading up on it. If it's not too late in the progression of the disease for chemotherapy to be effective, she could get two more years of life; hopefully, a good quality of life and not just gradual deterioration. I am hoping we get to go to Lake Tahoe one more time together. Whatever would Beau and I do without her?
First thing this morning I found her lying out on the lawn again, to soothe her stomach on the cool grass, I imagine. I didn't want to give her anything that might compromise the blood test and cause us to have to repeat it. She hates going to the vet so much. I gave her the Tramadol and Rimadyl as soon as we got home.
For some time now I have had this sense of impending doom, a feeling that something awful was about to befall me. Guess I was right. I just wish it hadn't had to happen to my beautiful little Peaches. My pretty Peach Fuzz, Peach Pie, Peach Cobbler. Damn these dog days of summer! It's not the first time this season been disastrous for my dogs.
Problems for Peaches
Peaches went to the vet today. She's not been up to par lately, and I'm very worried about her. If my calculations are correct, she must be approaching 10 years of age, which can mean problems for basset hounds. In the middle of last night she shot into my bedroom, lay on my bed and seemed to be breathing too rapidly. She was also restless. This morning when I got up at 6:30, she wasn't in her bed in the family room for the second time this week. I found her lying on the grass in the back yard in the cold. Highly unusual for her. Lying in places they don't ordinarily lie has always been a very bad sign with my pets in the past. Peaches felt so cold when she got into my bed. Her temp was normal, though.
She has no vomiting or diarrhea, but she has seemed lethargic and rather unresponsive all day. Her abdomen is tense and painful, but the vet couldn't determine the cause without some tests. It could be a number of things, none of which seem to fit because she's not vomiting. That might make diagnosis easier. Liver failure was mentioned. I hope that's not it, and I hope it's not cancer. Her muzzle is very gray, and she really looked sick today. The blood panel may show something, but if not and she seems no better tomorrow, x-rays may show more. I probably should have just done the x-rays today, but the vet seemed to think there was no rush since Peaches doesn't tend to swallow things she shouldn't. I'm not so sure, though. She's a terrible poop eater, which turned out to be fatal for her former pack mate, Bubba.
The vet remarked upon examination that she detected a heart murmur, which Peaches has never had before. I wonder if that could account for her symptoms? She did eat all her dinner tonight (appetite has been poor in the mornings, though), so that is encouraging. I gave her some of the prescribed pain med, and she's been resting comfortably this evening. All night, too, I hope. Praying to doG she is better by tomorrow, but I have a bad feeling she might not get better. I dread that this may be the beginning of a long, slow decline to the inevitable. What would Beau and I do without our sweet Peaches? He is crazy about her, and I couldn't bear to lose her. I was so hoping we could take another trip up to Lake Tahoe in September. Just once more as a pack, please!
The thought of losing her is much too painful a prospect for me to dwell on, since I am in considerable pain myself lately. I think I might have a fractured fibula from two bicycle crashes in the past week. My right leg looks a bit swollen and doesn't bear my weight without discomfort. Just when I am finally free of pain the past three months from an injured left knee, thanks to a cortisone shot, now this!
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!
I'M A YANKEE DOODLE DOGGY
This is Winston, who I met in my childhood neighborhood a few years ago on the 4th of July. He was quite a handsome fellow. How I wish I'd had a basset hound when I was a child. Such a great kid's dog.
Whenever I think of the happiest celebrations in my life, I remember the July Fourths of my growing up years in the Arden Park area of Sacramento. It's still a lovely old neighborhood, though quite a few ostentatious McMansions have spoiled the classic appearance of the community it once was. McMansions and ranch-style homes don't mix, and it's a shame the area was allowed to be overbuilt in this way.
The two bedroom, one bath "house that built me" recently sold for the second time, going for quite a bit less than it sold for several years ago at the pre-bursting of the housing bubble but still far more than the $11,000 my parents paid for it in 1955, the year we moved there. It has now undergone a tasteful rejuvenation with the new owners. I wonder what, if any, changes they made to the interior? I'm glad I got to go home again and tour the house before it sold the second time. I wish I had bought it and moved back to the house where I grew up. It would have been great to take it back to its original look. Oh, well. I can go back there anytime I want in my memory, at least, and it will always be just as I left it.
Interrupting Beau's afternoon nap
Okay, I'm awake. Now where's the doggone treat?
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!
Wishing you all a safe, happy holiday. Remember, it's not always a safe or happy event for your dog. There have already been some pyrotechnics around our neighborhood leading up to the 4th, and Beau does NOT like it! If you know your dog reacts to the loud noises of fireworks, take necessary precautions to avert disaster. Keep him in a dark, quiet part of your house so he feels safe (that would be my bed for my fireworks fraidy, Beau. Keep a radio or TV on to drown out the noise outdoors. Get out the Rescue Remedy (available in health food stores and some grocers) or ask your vet for something to keep him chilled out (Valium, Xanax) or he might go off like a firecracker while you're away. The shelters fill up with dogs that have escaped in panic by whatever means available, sometimes through plate glass windows. Some don't make it that far and are killed in traffic.