7/30/18, Dog Days
I hope you’ve had a good week, and the summer has been fun for you so far. I feel like it’s speeding past, and the bulk of my summer is over, after this I’ll be visiting family and getting back to work, with one long weekend to spend with my children. But June and July sped by with lightning speed. And as I write this, I am sitting in a blistering heat wave, with temperatures over a hundred all week, and no relief in sight. Ugh. That’s a little too summery for me!!!
Since only my youngest child still lives at home (and is very busy and independent, so I hardly see her, and most of the time she is too busy to spend time with me) and the others are grown up and most of them live in other cities, in order not to be alone, my dogs are my constant companions, and provide endless joy, and some very sweet moments with them. Dogs can be wonderful company. I have three that I take everywhere with me, all 3 teacup Chihuahuas: Minnie is The Princess, a long haired white, she’s 6 years old and I wrote the Pretty Minnie children’s books about her. Blue is a blue gray short hair, shy and gentle and delicate, she turned 5 last week—-and was the bane of Minnie’s existence when she arrived, but now they are best friends, and inseparable. And Lili is the baby, totally wild, a little bigger than the other two, and she’s not quite two years old yet, and defines the ‘terrible twos’. She is always into mischief, if she can be, and collapses at the end of the day, exhausted by all the things she got into. If I leave my purse open for even a minute, she dives into it, looking for whatever she can find, preferably chocolate (which is lethal for dogs, so I’m very careful with it). Minnie and Blue weigh three pounds, I think Lili is creeping up on five, but I haven’t weighed her lately. And when she has the opportunity, she eats everyone’s food. Minnie has a very funny quirk about her food when we travel. She has her own travel bag, with a little bowl of kibble in it, and she gives me a furtive look of false innocence, and carefully pulls her blanket over her food bowl to hide it, and then puts a toy on it, to scare anyone off who might want to steal her food. She is really funny when she does it. Maybe she thinks I’ll get hungry on the trip and steal her kibble. Until now, her travel bag was the only place she did that, but recently, she did it with Lili’s bowl of food at breakfast, covered it up, and then went and ate her own bowl of food, and when Lili came to eat her breakfast and couldn’t find it at first, Minnie gave her that innocent look again as though to say “Gee, I don’t know….I guess she forgot your breakfast, and only gave me mine today. Lili figured it out pretty quickly.
Blue gave me a terrible scare this summer. She and Lili play rough occasionally, and chase each other around at full speed. When they do, Minnie stands back and lets them run like maniacs, but stays out of it. After Lili and Blue went crazy together playing in June, afterwards Blue looked as though she might have injured herself, she cried when I picked her up, didn’t want to walk much, and it got worse day by day. We had four trips to the vet, who said she had pulled a muscle in her neck, or something similar, that it was only muscular, and not to worry. They are so small and fragile that I was afraid she might have broken something. My vet was only available once, and the other times I got fobbed off on assistants in his office, who were nice but I didn’t know. And all of them insisted it wasn’t serious. Two weeks after it happened, she was slightly better but not much, and we left on vacation, with the dogs, and she started really crying, didn’t want to be touched and could hardly walk. I took her to a local vet, and he said to take her home immediately and get her to a neurologist and get her an MRI—which was impossible where we were vacationing, they had no MRI machine locally. He said if we didn’t get her help immediately, she might become paralyzed. I don’t know who cried more, me or the dog. So I found someone to take her home (so I didn’t have to leave my kids on our only week of vacation together all year), she went to a neurologist my vet recommended, and spent 3 days in the hospital, for an MRI, spinal tap, and treatment for the pain. I was worried sick, and she looked so pathetic when she left. It turned out that she had injured a vertebra in her neck, it got inflamed, and she got an infection of the bone marrow. Once they knew what it was, they gave her the right drugs, and when I picked her up 3 days later, she was her old self, miraculously. She’ll have to take medicine for a while, but she is back to her old bouncy self now. But for those weeks, she looked so pathetic, was in so much pain, and I felt so helpless, with no idea what was wrong. I’m sooo grateful that she’s better. I also learned another lesson. It’s really important to have a vet whom you trust and is available, like a good doctor for yourself or your kids. None of these had ever been sick before, and I like my vet a lot, but with Blue screaming in pain and getting sicker by the minute, I discovered that the vet I loved and trusted was almost completely unavailable. Like a rejected lover, or crazed ex-wife, I was leaving him desperate messages begging him to call me, sending texts and emails, begging his assistants to give him messages. He missed all our appointments, stood me up by phone repeatedly or didn’t call at all, and I had a VERY sick dog (the MRI is also very dangerous for a dog that small). In the past few years since I started using this very likable and probably competent vet, he has become completely unavailable, and you never know what will happen, as we just proved—-you need a vet who will call you back and be available in an emergency. Mine wasn’t, at all. Afterwards, I called around to 5 or 6 of my passionate dog lover friends, and amazingly, four of them go to the same vet, and said how available he is. So I made an appointment with him, went to meet him, and loved what I heard and saw. Just in the past week, he has called me twice, after going over all of Blue’s tests for a few weeks ago, and assess what happened. So I have a new vet I am really happy with, AND Blue is acting like a brand new dog she is so bouncy and happy again. I am SOOOO GRATEFUL!!!
So, as you can see, and knew anyway, I am a dog-nut. I love my dogs, have a wonderful time with them, and really appreciate them. And I’m very grateful to have found a new vet. It’s important to have a good one. The old one was very nice, but is just no longer available to his patients (other people I spoke to, who went to him as well, confirmed having the same experience with him in the last year or two. It made everything in an already bad situation even more stressful. Apparently he has other interests.)
So all is well that ends well. It was a bumpy road, and scary at times, figuring out what was wrong with Blue, and getting help for her. But she’s happy and so am I. Our little friends are so important to us, and those of us who have dogs we love, love them sooo much!!
A friend of mine has been waiting for the birth of a Golden Retriever puppy, she has waited months for. It was born today, and she already sent out pictures of the newborn puppy. As Charles Schulz of ‘Peanuts” fame said so well, “Happiness is a warm puppy”—-it sure is in my life anyway.
Have a great week!!! We’ve got one month of summer left. Enjoy it to the fullest!!!
lots of love, Danielle
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Wish all the bests.
I am so glad that Blue is okay and ke is back to normal.
Glad your baby is ok now! I habe 2 dogs myself and they are the love of my life.one is a lab mix named sopa and the other a chi mix named cujo which he lives up to! I told my son not to name him that. I volunteer at a no kill shelter. I love my job of caring for the dogs.