Saturday, January 13, 2007

All Snuggled In

We are all snuggled in and ready for our MAJOR WINTER STORM. Typically the cold air stalls right before it hits Dallas, but we have had a lot of rain. The ground is completely saturated. With one new spay and bad hip, and one gimpy knee (Dottie's knee bothers her when it's cold and damp) and one wussy dog (Prissy) I have bitten the bullet and pulled out the pidde pads. I can't make one go out if I let one go in.....and while I don't like it, fortunately circumstances don't dictate it very often.

Cody is a bit baffled and has had some trouble hitting the target, but for the most part all are being honorable about aiming for the pad.

Greta was quite glad to be home and we had our first group nap this morning and she actually rolled on her back and squealed with delight. I put sweaters on the two spotty dogs because to keep them warm means the rest of us mortals are dying of heatstroke.

Of course, all this domesticity is wreaking havoc with my industrious plans for the weekend, but sometimes it's good just to chill with the rest of the gang. Well domesticity is, I suppose, a relative term-I cooked breakfast AND lunch and will probably cook dinner. I rearranged a snake cage and cleaned some stuff off my zip drive. Whew-it might be time for a second group nap!

Friday, January 12, 2007

How's YOUR hybrid.....?


Boston/Pug breeding question....?
I have a 1 1/2 yr old Bugg (Boston/pug mix) that I want to breed, but I don't know if I should breed her with a Boston or a Pug. I know it would be best to find a male Bugg, but in my small town I have the only one that I know of, I am sure there are more just don't know where. Which should i breed her with? She is getting ready to go into heat in the next few weeks. Thanks.

OK, there is no such thing as a Bugg or a Schnoodle or a freakin Labradoodle!

Take one dog with bad genes (any breed) add another dog with bad genes (any OTHER breed) and you are still going to get a dog with genetic issues. Breeding two different breeds May reduce the change of overlapping issues-but I bet Bostons/Pugs, being small, short snouted dogs, have similiar issues anyone. Somewhere, someone's registered something mated with someone's registered something else, and they got a great marketing idea......and a "green sounding" buzzword-hybrid dog.

And papers are about as much of a guarantee of health as the breeders of the hybrids "word". They are a guarantee of the dogs lineage or pedigree, but necessarily the soundness of the dog. Just because a breeder can supply you a "full blooded" (oh god I hate that term) dog with "Papers" (used to mean AKC ,but could be UKC, APRI, etc.) doesn't mean they know what they are doing.

Horse people, cattle people etc. seem to have a little more sense, maybe it's horse sense. A sound animal, suitable for the purpose for which it was intended, is just that, papers, full blooded or not. Dogs seem to be more like furry barbie dolls, where you trade papers and pedigrees like pogs.....(does anyone else remember pogs?)

Now Toy breeds don't need much in the way of physical prowess to be suitable for the purpose that they are meant for-they are meant for laps and visiting nursing homes and lots of other wonderful things (like piling on top of me while I doze in the recliner). But we still have an obligation to breed dogs that can ambulate without pain, unlike Greta (or Dottie before her knee surgery).

People out there, instead of spending thousands of dollars so you can brag about your Chug (chihuahua pug) or you Morkie (maltese yorkie), go out and find a dog like Greta and take care of her and then if you want to brag about all the money you spent.

Let's make Rescue Dog the new chic thing. (And while you are at it, spay/neuter).

On a happier note-Greta has permission to join me at the Senior Center for "our" recovery. Cody will most likely come along too-he wouldn't like being the only poi at the kennel so we are all set with the little girls going to stay with Grandma in Oklahoma.

Hips vs. Heart

Greta is going to see a specialist to explore her options. From what I can piece together she did have surgery in October, but it was apparently botched or perhaps re injured (the lady had 9 other dogs). The other option is just to amputate. The cost of either surgery is about the same, the only difference being a consultation. It's worth a 100 bucks to know I explored every avenue.

Shit shit shit shit-that's what I say. My nice deed-go pick up a dog and have her spayed and find her a home is turning into a long involved process-expensive (ouch) and time consuming (trips to the vet and extensive therapy either way).

But here is the ironic and cosmic kick in the ass-I am going to have ankle surgery February 9 and be wheelchair bound, etc. So if I DIDN'T help that dog, I would have a good couple of months to sit and brood about why MY ankle was worth saving and her leg wasn't. That alone would probably do me in.

So, I am about to perform another masterful bout of planning and scheduling that will go down in the annals of money shuffling/times shifting history and Greta and I will perform the surgery recovery duet. We will be accompanied by my Uncle John, who is struggling with Parkinsons. In a multi tasking triumph, I am making arrangments to recover where he is located so we can spend time together and I won't be somewhere else worrying about him. And, part of that facility does allow pets. So now I have to call them and tell them I won't be alone....

Yet, I can't get all Mia Culpa about it. What better companion to have during recovery than someone who has similar issues? Maybe it is symbiosis, Greta has come to show me how to heal and move on. And the center likes small pets because it cheers up the residents-so Greta can become a therapy dog just like Dottie did this summer. It's a crazy plan-but it just might work.

This is my path...I head off in one direction and then all hell breaks loose-but I wouldn't change it for the world.

I get to pick Greta up this afternoon-the other kids were unsettled because she wasn't there last night. So it's official-she's part of the pack. Crap, I need to call cityvet and tell them to microchip her......

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Good and The Bad and the Really Really Ugly

The good news is that Greta is heart worm negative and she is now spayed. The bad news is that she has severe case of Legg-Calve Perthe (necrosis of the femoral ball) and it may be too bad to successfully operate on. If they can operate, they will attempt to do a FHO surgery-replacing the ball joint in her hip for a flat joint and alleviating the pain. However, she is already so scarred that might not be an option.

Neither is pain-so I suggested amputation-just take the leg off so it doesn't hurt any longer. Or we can look at a cart. this place has some cool options, including do it yourself ones.

Poor little thing-that explains in part why she is so timid and nervous-she hurts. Now, how many people picking up a "free dog" would take the time and the money to get her the treatment she needed? I have e-mailed the lady to see if she has any information from her vet, but my suspicion is she already knew what was wrong, told me she was limping from a past surgery and let us go on our way. So, rather than feel guilty about seeing a pain riddled dog every day, she gave it away and dumped that karma on someone else. Chances are, a person looking for a free dog is not going pay more than the cost of a healthy dog to have the free dog fixed.

You know what lady? It would have been more honorable just to put that dog down if you didn't have the funds to fix it. Putting it out like you did is no better than putting it on the street. She would have likely ended up tossed in some cold backyard or as a bait dog.

It sucks to have to do that. I was given a puppy mill dog that was completely and utterly insane. She would hop up on the coffee table to to pee-she was that messed up. But she was cute as could be-a little brown and white rat terrier, but completely unresponsive (catatonic really) with people. When I realized I couldn't make it work, I didn't just dump her off at the pound to either wait out her time and be put down, or worse, be adopted out and misused (she really wasn't pet material). I took responsibility and had her put down. I could deal with the euthanasia better than I could deal with knowing she was probably going to have a very rough life.

So, go pat yourself on the back for solving your problem and telling yourself you did the kind thing because you are too tenderhearted to ever put one of those little ones down. By the way, the disease is hereditary, and if you were telling the truth about having her full sister I HOPE you were telling the truth about having her spayed.

So here is another truth about dogs-they get sick and sometimes you have to make hard decisions. If you can't handle that, don't get a dog.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

No Excuses

In the morning Greta will go for her check up and her surgery. She's doing really well, she gets so excited now that she knows the household routine. In the morning she now runs to the door and then wags her tail, very pleased that he KNOWs what's going to happen (be let outside for morning rounds). I know that the short term trauma of being pulled away from "home" yet again will subside, and next time she goes to the vet it will be for daycare, nothing more.

The whole gang is going in with her (it's housekeeper day anyway) and they'll do daycare. If Greta wakes up and is nervous I'll ask them to put her best pal Prissy in with her for comfort. If she needs it, Prissy can even spend the night with Greta. Since it's daycare day anyway, it is costing me no extra time at all.

When Dottie was spayed, I took her to the Humane Society (I had two to spay that day and little money to spare). It took me an extra 30 minutes in the morning and an extra 30 minutes in the evening to drop her off and pick her up and I think it was a whopping 45 dollars.

Prissy's scar is so small we can't even find it (she was spayed in Oklahoma by my mother's vet). Cody was neutered at a year old and never appeared to notice that anything had happened-he was just glad to be home.

It's just that easy people-drop the dog off, 30 minutes if you use a low cost center, pick the dog up...and whatever you spend-which is a lot less than what you'll spend if you have a litter to take care of. For those of you with males-take responsibility for you dogs! If you can't afford a spay/neuter, you cannot afford a dog. If you don't have time to take the dog to be neutered, you do not have time for a dog. If you think the dog will have issues if you spay or neuter, you need to invest in therapy for your own unresolved issues rather than buy dog.

In my perfect world, only breeding animals would be allowed to remain fertile-and you would have to have a license in order to own a fertile animal....and the fine for breaking the Law of POIDOGZ would be more than the cost to spay/neuter. Failure to provide subsequent proof of the surgery would result in loss of the dog, who would then be spayed and neutered and placed in a proper home.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

It's not easy being cute

This is a little Jack Russel, 8 months (teenager) looking for a home because her family just doesn't have time for such an energetic dog. Here is Texas, Jacks were all the rage-because they were small, yet macho enough for men. Never mind that they have an energy level that defies description.
The problem is that people don't seem to comprehend that an 8 week old puppy can't "hold it" all day-that is grown up dog stuff. A 16 week old puppy is far to busy to want to be held all day. Then, oh horrors, the hormones start and it's usually all over and on to the next home.
I've actually thought of creating a dog zoo-or a community dog farm, where people who want to play with cute dogs could come and play-but not take them home. Unfortunately, once it was cute and all the rage, no one would bother going to the shelters any more, and those poor guys don't need the competition.
I'm not at all in favor of big government, but if a city can license dogs, why not give them the authority and resources to manage how those dogs are treated as well? Just a thought.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Just don't have the time or the money BUT I WANT

From a craiglist ad: I want to find this cat a good home, we've bred her before but I don't think she should be bred again.........


I'm not going to breed the cat any more and I'm not willing to pay the 30 bucks to take her to the SPCA to have her neutered before I give her away. I DO CARE....but not enough to be put out in any way.

Another Ad:
Want small dog, housebroken, not a puppy and not old...about 1-2 years. Can't be yippy. Will give it lots of love an attention, but can't pay for the dog because I want to spend the money on toys and vets. Females only.

I want a little female dog who won't be any trouble or any expense so I can breed her to death and make a little money on the side. When I'm done with her, I won't bother to neuter her, I'll just recycle her on craigslist.

Same ad, but ASKS for a neutered dog.

I want a dog, but I don't want to take the time to train the dog, it better be housebroken cause if it makes a mistake it's going to end up back on this list. Also, I certainly don't have time to run the dog down to the SPCA for a low cost neuter or to my vet for a high cost neuter and if this dog has any issues which will take away from my busy schedule, you guessed it, it will end back on this list.

Common theme: Pets take time and money and I am not willing to spend either of them, but I really want a cute dog who will wait paitently for me to come home and let it out to potty. Bonus points if it can drop a litter, deductions if it drops a bomb on my new carpet.

Suggestion: If you must rehome your dog or cat, please please spay or neuter before you do.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

What's in a Name

Sometimes I wonder if I my life would have been different if I been named something like Kelli or Ginny or some other cheerleader type name. Would I have been perky instead of somewhat morose? Would I have a penchant for carrot sticks, or even just been more successful at throwing up to keep weight off? Who can say?

The new dog's given name is Callie and it doesn't suit her at all-she's not delicate, and while a bit shy, she's not retiring. I thought that I wouldn't name her at all, but that is uncomfortable and I couldn't imagine taking her into the vet with no name. Just "temporary". So I joked around and called her Poi, and Lau Lau but then I decided she needed a good name with good vibes. A new name, a new start, wouldn't we all like that?

So I am calling her Greta, after an aunt. I only remember meeting aunt Greta once-she was breakfasting on a fried egg drenched in cayenne pepper and a glass of vodka. She advised me to make my own money and never marry. I wish I'd listened to her.

Like so many other interesting people, Greta had BIG plusses and BIG minuses in her life. This little yellow dog already has the big minuses so I am hoping to invoke some big plusses for her.

The sound of shredding paper beckons-I must be off.