On this occasion it was the loss of our Pedi that had hearts ‘speaking’.
When it comes to dogs millions of people open their hearts to the love that exists between a dog and a dog’s close human. And I am not sure that I have cracked it yet; I know what is felt but putting it into words is more difficult.
So I shall turn to Jess and the guest post she sent to me. But just before sending me the story of Scruffy Jess sent me this email: “Sorry for the loss. Dogs have always been an important part of my life. I’ve cried like a baby every time I lost one. Truly man’s best friend. “
Scruffy is getting up there in years and it breaks my heart to even think of losing him. He’s been my best friend for the past twelve years. He does everything that I do.
I never paint in my studio that he isn’t there beside me.
He will be 13 in February. I only hope that I can get a couple more years out of him. He is one of those special dogs. If someone said, “If there was one thing you would change about Scruffy, what would it be?” The only thing in this world I would change about him is to give him a longer life.
He minds me better than my kids ever minded and I’ve never laid an angry hand on him. I talk to him like I would a human, and he seems to understand everything that I say. I just bought another Schnauzer puppy, only four months old, hoping that some of Scruffy will rub off on him as he grows up. So far Scruffy is not too happy about sharing me with another dog, but hopefully time will change that.
So this is Scruffy at age 12. He still is full of life.
And this is Tux below, because of the Tuxedo that he always wears. He’s also a Miniature Schnauzer, but in an exotic color, and he has one blue eye that I love!
Yes, you should get another puppy to fill the hole in your heart. It seems, you are never sorry about it! You guys have a wonderful day! JESS
Poor Pedi finally succumbed to his failing liver at 5:30 pm yesterday.
It was also the reason why I didn’t have the stomach to post this for midnight yesterday.
On the 8th July, this year, Pedi was diagnosed with having diabetes and a failing liver. This was a photo taken at the time.
Dr Codd, of Lincoln Road Vet, suggested that Pedi might be put down immediately but Jean wouldn’t hear of it. Thus every day, at 06:30 and 18:30 (PDT), Jeannie applied an injection of Insulin; the amount depending on what Pedi had eaten.
Jeannie went beyond anything that I have ever seen before. This morning, the 27th, I was talking to her and Jean said that she had been rescuing dogs since 1980. That’s over 40 years! No wonder that Jean was taking this so very hard.
Now my opinion is that we should get a replacement for Pedi and keep the minimum number of dogs to four. But it is too soon to make that decision and part of the issue is that we are getting reasonably close, probably in the next ten years, to selling up and going into a care home of some sorts. We have seen a couple and we need to do a proper examination of the total market to find the right one.
In the meantime we both grieve for Pedi but Jean much, much more so than me. I shall have my guts kicked out of me when Oliver goes, but that’s for another time.
I apologise but this is the next guest post from Indiana Lee not the one I published yesterday.
Maximizing the Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Dog Ownership
Dogs do so much for us and our health. They help us overcome depression, prompt us to move more often, and give us joy through their play and cuddles — sometimes it feels as though they’re the ones looking after us!
But, not everyone who owns a dog maximizes the health benefits that our canine companions can bring. Oftentimes, owners get lazy and fall out of a regular walking schedule, or use their dog as an excuse to stay home and avoid travel or social events.
Finding ways to take advantage of the health benefits that dogs can bring is crucial for owners. So, here are a few tips to help you get the most from your relationship with your pup.
Dogs and Mental Health
The positive impact that dogs have on our mental health is gaining recognition amongst researchers and healthcare providers. There are a few different theories as to why dogs are so good for our mental health, but the leading idea involves the chemical oxytocin.
Ann Robinson, writing for the Guardian, calls Oxytocin “the so-called ‘hug’, ‘love’ or ‘cuddle’ hormone”, and is the chemical that is present when we form deep, meaningful relationships. This chemical is present when we form relationships with our parents or children, but is also at play in the pet-owner relationship.
While the research on oxytocin and mental health is still in its infancy, we do know that dogs help us combat stressors and mental health conditions. It should come as no surprise that service dogs can help folks who suffer from PTSD or anxiety manage their conditions. But, dogs can also help anyone who is struggling with stress from day-to-day sources.
Dogs and Physical Health
Dog owners spend about 200 more minutes a week walking than folks who don’t own a dog. This has a range of welcome health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular function, more effective immune systems, and a stronger muscle-skeletal system.
But, thousands of dog owners do not take their dogs out for a walk or to a local dog-play park. This may be for perfectly valid reasons like a disability, but if you can walk your dog, yet choose not to, then both you and your dog are missing out on the incredible health benefits of being outdoors.
You don’t need to start hiking mountains to enjoy the physical health benefits of dog walking. Start slow, with a walk that lasts about 15 minutes. This will ensure that neither you nor your dog will be “over walked”, which can lead to conditions like arthritis and joint pain. Preferably, aim to walk on grass or soft surfaces as these will be easier for your pup to walk on because they won’t burn their paws.
Modifying Your Home
You might not realize it, but the design and structure of your home significantly impact the health and wellbeing of your dog. By making design choices that improve your dog’s quality of life, you can expect to have a healthier, happier dog who will reward you with plenty of affection and attention.
First and foremost, you need to make sure your home is pup-proof. This means you need to remove any hazards like hanging objects or harmful substances like human food and cleaning chemicals. Following this, you should maintain a clean home, where your dog won’t choke or fall ill by eating something you’ve left lying around.
Once you’ve taken care of the basics, you can get a little more creative about what you choose to include in your house. You can, for example, include pest repellant plants that are also safe for your pup that will keep mosquitoes and other pests away from both you and your dog. Small changes like buying a dog bed for your office can also make a big difference to your dog’s quality of life.
By taking the time to keep your home clean and dog-safe, you can live with peace of mind knowing that your dog is happy, healthy, and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Travel With Dogs
Many folks mistakenly believe that they can’t take their dogs with them when they travel, or that their pet will put a wrench in their travel plans. This couldn’t be further from the truth — bringing your dog with you on your travels is a great way to stimulate them, and will only improve the connection you have with your canine pal.
The key to ensuring you have a good time on the road is all about choosing the right mode of transportation. If you’re planning to travel with your dog in the car, then you might want to consider investing in dog cages for cars and make use of factory-installed barriers which keep everyone safe in the event of an accident.
You can also take your dog with you via other methods like trains or via planes. Nowadays, many airlines allow you to keep your dog with you while you fly, rather than having to place them in the hold. Trains are much the same, as many dog owners choose to travel with their pets via a good old locomotive.
Traveling with dogs is also great in the winter, as many dogs are well suited to colder climates, and love nothing more than playing in the snow and cold weather camping. This can help you beat the winter blues, and improve your overall health and wellness. Just be sure to follow winter-safety travel considerations that are designed to keep you and your four-legged friend safe.
Maximizing the mental and physical health benefits of owning a dog is tricky. If it’s been a while since your last walk, then it can be daunting to get out on the road again. Likewise, the idea of traveling with a canine pal is overwhelming for many folks. But, by planning ahead, and creating an environment your dog will enjoy, you can be sure to get the most from the special relationship you have with your four-legged friend.
Dogs are the most amazing and wonderful animals ever. As has been said on this blog many times before dogs offer us unconditional love and that love presents itself in many ways.
I have written before about our Oliver.
Oliver’s eyes are to die for! His ability to read the smallest indications of an emotion on our human face is incredible.
Then there is Brandy. What a love!
Then we have Cleo who came as a puppy to be with Pharaoh.
Again the eyes! We still miss him.
We are now down to five dogs: Pedi, Sheena, Oliver, Cleo and Brandy.
However all the dogs that we have had the greatest pleasure to love are still in our hearts.
When Shelly Blount saw a post online last week about a dog who was about to be put down in North Carolina, she called the shelter immediately. To her relief, they told her the dog had just been adopted, but it got her thinking about the other dogs who might be in danger. She asked if there were other dogs scheduled to be put down and they told her a dog named Caleb was next on the list — so Blount got in her car.
Accompanied by a friend, Blount drove four hours from Virginia to the shelter, determined to rescue Caleb. When she arrived, she realized two other dogs were about to be put down as well. Despite having three other rescue dogs already at home, Blount suddenly knew what she had to do.
“I asked the limit on how many you could adopt,” Blount told The Dodo. “They said there wasn’t one. So I decided to get all three.”
Blount had arrived at the shelter that day expecting to leave with just Caleb — and instead she left with Caleb, Charisma and Bella.
As they began the long drive home, all three dogs were so excited and couldn’t contain their happiness, and Blount knew she had absolutely done the right thing.
“Caleb was sooo excited — kept giving kisses from the back seat, and his tail was wagging so fast,” Blount said. “Bella was so content being held so she sat in my friend’s lap and literally didn’t move. Charisma, my sweet little angel, was literally hugging me and slept the entire ride.”
When Blount decided to adopt all three dogs, she hadn’t really had a plan. She knew she couldn’t leave them at the shelter to be put down, but she also didn’t have room for three more dogs at home — but luckily, within days, she’d already found the best new homes for both Caleb and Bella.
“Caleb is super happy in his new home with a friend of mine,” Blount said. “She has another Lab who he loves. Bella went to my boyfriend and let’s just say they are inseparable.”
Blount is likely going to keep Charisma, as the pair have bonded quite a bit in the days since the rescue. Either way, Charisma would need to stay with Blount for a while — because after a vet visit, she realized the sweet little dog was pregnant.
No one at the shelter had told Blount that Charisma was pregnant with five to six puppies, and later said they hadn’t known. Not only did Blount save Charisma that day, but she also saved the lives of her puppies, and for that Charisma is continuously grateful.
“My Charisma girl is very attached to me and we take lots of cat naps because she’s so sleepy,” Blount said.
Charisma is due to give birth within the next week, and her new family is so excited for her. In the meantime, she’s enjoying spending lots of time cuddling with her new mom and best friend, thanking her every day for saving her life.
Shelley is a real star and, indeed, so are all the other people that rescue dogs.
At the risk of blowing our own trumpet, and I don’t intend to, here’s a photograph from home to finish today’s post.
In recent weeks Pedi, one of our two smaller dogs, ergo Sweeny and Pedi, was peeing without control and drinking lots of water to go with it.
We rang Jim last week, who used to be our neighbour but they then moved to Roseburg, who is a veterinary doctor and he thought it likely when he heard the symptoms that it was diabetes. We had an appointment with Lincoln Road Veterinary Clinic on Tuesday.
At Lincoln Road Veterinary Clinic, we believe pets are a part of the family. Our teamwork philosophy strives to provide the best choices for your pet by keeping you informed of treatment options and recommendations. Our team of skilled professionals apply advanced diagnostic and treatment techniques to provide the best medical and surgical care available for your pet.
Our office is conveniently located on the west edge of Grants Pass in a warm and inviting country setting. We have a dog park so your furry friends can exercise and play!
We were seen by Dr. Karen who also thought that was the case. She took a blood sample and then rang us at home about 2 hours later to confirm.
That gave us enough time to go back into town and to the Walmart pharmacy to purchase the insulin and the needles.
We were under clear instructions from Dr. Karen to inject Pedi with insulin 30 minutes after food and to give him food every 12 hours. We chose to feed Pedi at 04:30 and 16:30 local time every day and then give him his injection at 05:00 and 17:00.
We have an appointment next Wednesday morning, the 9th, to confirm that Pedi is on the ‘right track’. Having insulin injections will be Pedi’s routine for the rest of his life.
Diet. Your veterinarian will recommend the best type of diet for your diabetic dog. Usually this will include some good-quality protein, as well as fiber and complex carbohydrates that will help to slow absorption of glucose. Your vet may also recommend a diet with relatively low fat content.
Exercise. To help avoid sudden spikes or drops in glucose levels, it is especially important that diabetic dogs maintain a moderate but consistent exercise routine.
Injections. Most diabetic dogs will require daily shots of insulin under the skin, something that the owner will have to learn to do. Although it’s understandable to be apprehensive about doing this, it’s not as hard as it might sound. It can become a quick and easy daily routine that isn’t traumatic at all for either dog or owner.
This is a photograph that I took of Pedi yesterday.
He really is not aware of the disease.
It’s up to Jean and me to administer the insulin and keep him happy!
Have you ever noticed that no matter what room you go into, your dog will eventually follow along and sprawl out — seemingly watching your every move?
While it might make your heart happily flutter when you find your dog constantly right behind you, you might also wonder why that is.
That’s why The Dodo reached out to Dr. Andrea Tu, medical director at Behavior Vets NYC, to find out a little bit more.
“Your dog may follow you everywhere simply because they like you and want to spend time with you!” Dr. Tu said.
That’s the simple answer in most cases: Dogs are pack animals and tend to feel more comfortable when their pack — aka YOU, gahh how cute — is around them.
But there can be times when the behavior might be more serious than your dog’s natural pack mentality.
“If your dog truly is like your shadow and acts like he or she is attached to you by a bungee cord, this may be indicative of an anxiety condition,” Dr. Tu said.
According to Dr. Tu, there are other anxiety signs that tend to be missed. “Other signs of anxiety that are often missed include excessive air licking, especially when there is no food around, and yawning, especially when the dog is not tired or not at times when your dog would be sleeping,” she explained.
So while there’s a good chance your pup following you around is just out of love, Dr. Tu recommends that if you are concerned, you should speak to your veterinarian — or a veterinary behaviorist — to rule out a behavior condition that may need treating.
Our little Sweeny suffers from an anxiety issue and if he was the only dog we had then we would have a problem.
But because he mixes so well with all the other dogs it is more or less under control.
Overnight, as in last night, we were in for some heavy rain and the next few days see the arrival of Winter. Ah well, it was good while it lasted and it lasted for some considerable time.
Having six dogs here at home we are used to many of them making extra-special relationships.
It’s often the dogs that are extremely different, and I thinking of size here, that form the closest bonds.
More of that later.
But the reason I refer to our dogs here is to endorse in spades what is covered in this article from The Dodo.
Shelter Dog Separated From His Best Friend Won’t Stop Calling For Him
“Rocky makes him happy.”
By Lily Feinn
Published on 9/18/2020
At Miami Dade animal services, a dog named Schwabo cried for days in his kennel. He missed his family, and most importantly, his best friend Rocky.
The lonely howls pulled at the heartstrings of shelter volunteer Jani Bradford, who watched him stare out the glass divider searching for his friend.
9-year-old Schwabo and 11-year-old Rocky had spent their lives together until their owner surrendered them due to landlord issues. Without Rocky, Schwabo seemed lost and refused to eat.
“He grew up looking up to Rocky and now, even though he’s older, Rocky is like his big brother,” Bradford said. “He’s very, very attached to Rocky.”
When Schwabo and Rocky first arrived at the shelter, Rocky was placed on the adoption floor while Shwabo, who was limping due to arthritis, was sent to the back for observation. Rocky quickly received an application, but the potential adopter never showed up, so the two dogs were reunited — and Schwabo couldn’t have been happier.
“Schwabo was a different dog from the moment he saw Rocky,” Bradford said.
Though the two are bonded, they couldn’t be more different. “Rocky’s older but he acts like a puppy. He loves playing with the ball, he can play all day long,” Bradford said. “Schwabo acts a little older … He’s very calm, very low maintenance.”
While Rocky likes to live a more active lifestyle, Schwabo just wants to hang out and watch his best friend play.
“Schwabo doesn’t do much — he lays in his bed and loves watching Rocky doing all his goofy stuff,” Bradford said. “Schwabo needs Rocky. He just loves being around him, watching him play all day. Rocky makes him happy.”
Thankfully, the two dogs will never need to worry about being separated again.
All I can say is well done Jani!
This is a very beautiful story.
And to come back to our own experiences here at home, here is a picture of Oliver (LHS) and Pedi.
Pedi is wonderful at forming very close bonds with all our larger dogs. That is Brandy and Cleo as well as Oliver above.