Search This Blog

Friday, April 29, 2011

To Dog Park or Not To Dog Park

Mom just had a telephone call from somebody wanting to know what Mom thinks about the proposed dog park in our city. I'm here to tell ya that Mom mostly disapproves of dog parks.

That's because many hoomans  use dog parks the way some people drop their kids off at movies or the mall so that they don't have to deal with them. They take their dogs to the park, take the leashes off, and just let the dogs run.

Dogs who don’t get any exercise or mental stimulation at all because they are cooped up in a house or a crate all day while their hoomans work, shouldn't be let off leash on their own recognizance at dog parks. Too often, the result is Really Bad Behavior. Dogs who are too frisky or have too much pent up energy often go overboard and play with their teeth.

Or, dogs who don’t have a lot of self confidence don’t know how to react when a terrier starts to spar instead of sniffing to say hello. That’s when dog disagreements start and somebuddy usually ends up having to go to the vet’s office.

Mom says, and most dogs would agree if any two-leggeds would bother to ask us, that we much prefer playing with our own family and our own dog pack. We don’t like being confronted by any Max, Sam or Molly at the park who has never been to obedience school and doesn’t have good dog communication skills. Unless a dog works for a living, we are mostly content to just go on long walks with our hoomans and play fetch and tag and get lots of belly rubs. Regular dogs who don’t prefer playing and exercising with their families are usually emotionally deprived because their humans are not really dog people and they don't understand what dogs need to be well balanced.

If you are a dog person who will play with your dog and his pals at the dog park, Mom says "Good Job!"

BUT if you aren’t really a dog person and don’t enjoy running with your dog, romping and jumping and getting muddy, throwing balls a hundred times in a row for us to fetch, baking special dog cookies, going for midnight potty excursions, digging holes and barking for joy and howling for fun, Mom says you shouldn’t have a dog at all.

She says you need to get a lizard.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Whatever You Call It, It Still Hurts

“My leg hurts!” Limp, limp.
“OUCH! Don’t touch!” I settle down in the corner, shielding my bad leg.
Mom eyes me worriedly.
“This has been going on for two weeks.You are going to the vet.”
Finally! What does a dog have to do around here to get some help?

After a couple of Xrays and Mom’s credit card: “This dog has arthritis in his leg. Give him Tramadol as needed for the pain.”

Two weeks later: “Your limp doesn’t look right. I think there is something wrong with your hip. We are going to get a second opinion.”

New vet: “Well, in looking at these Xrays, I don’t understand how your veterinarian missed this. That’s not arthritis. See here? Your dog has a torn ACL, probably from jumping and playing too rough with the other dogs. He needs a $3500.00 surgery.”

Seriously? NOT ARTHRITIS?? The original vet cannot tell the difference between arthritis and a blown ACL? MY DOG HAS BEEN IN PAIN FOR A MONTH!!!!
Mom slams credit card down on top of new vet bill.

This scenario happened three years ago. Mom chalked it up to an old country vet not looking clearly at the Xray. But perhaps not!

Fast forward to 2011: Mom’s paw! Same problem, but in reverse: her specialist orthopedic doctor said she needed carpal tunnel surgery. Okay, said she, and scheduled the surgery for May. But a few days later, even with the help of the splint he gave her, she realized that the pain in her paw was not just carpal tunnel syndrome. It was a constant stabbing, shooting pain and she decided to let someone else look at it. So she went her good old fashioned general practitioner she’s been seeing for twenty years. He Xrayed Mom’s paw. He came back into the examining room and said, “You are a very smart woman. You have a broken wrist.”

Probably from playing too rough with the dogs. She’s always turning an ankle or bending some limb the wrong way when she works and plays with us.

Mom is m-a-d as a wet cat. Dad is distraught and wants to punch the orthopedic surgeon. The GP was embarrassed but Mom said she could tell he was enjoying thinking about calling the orthodoc to tell him about his mistake. Today Mom goes to have her paw re-broken (OUCHEEEEE!) so that a cast can be put on it.

One of Mom’s friends at that owl box place thingy said we should break the orthodoc’s wrist and see if he can tell that it is broken. I like that idea, with some added toothy modifications.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hunting Season

Dad likes to watch those hunting shows that come on tv late at night. You probably know the ones. They aren’t politically correct. They actually show coyotes and hogs being killed. Dad says those critters are pests and need to be done away with because they are taking over farmland around our area. The grand-boy watches the shows, too, when he comes out on weekends. I pretend to be asleep but I hear everything that goes on and, even though its hard to believe, some of those dogs the hunters employ do sound like they are enjoying their jobs.

So far, Dad and the grand-boy have restricted their own hunting trips to taking taking one of those safe traps out the woods behind our house and catching the occasional possum or raccoon. They take pictures of the varmints and then release them back into the bushes. It’s pure torture for me and Buddy and Maggie to watch. We just can’t figure out why Dad doesn’t bring the trap into our yard and let us chase those creatures like we were bred to do! It would add a lot of fun to the hunting trip for the grand-boy and though I hate to admit it, the raccoons usually get away from us anyway. Possums, now… we’ve caught and killed our fair share of possums. Sorry, Peta.

Anyway, Dad has known for a long time that there are wild pigs and coyotes close to our place. We’ve told him! We can smell them late at night, rooting around in the old Christmas tree farm that adjoins our property. They haven’t come into our woods yet, but they are getting closer.

So, this morning Dad goes to see his doctor for a check-up and while he’s there, he spies the two-legged who owns the land next to us. They start talking about the wild hogs over there. Neighbor says at least 30 of them!

Next thing Mom knows, Dad is sending her a text message that he has been given permission to hunt the wild hogs over there.

Now, I may look goofy in my picture but I am quite a brilliant ADT. (Maggie is the challenged one of our pack. Cute and affectionate but D-U-M-B.) I know that there are more hog hunters who employ catch and bay dogs than there are those who don’t. And I have heard, during those late night, politically incorrect tv shows, about dogs getting attacked and tusked and bored by p****d off pigs. I have to wonder, what exactly does Dad have in mind?

I think I might have hurt my right front leg jumping off the sofa this morning. It’s been sore all morning and, yes, as I think about it, I have to say that my leg is so painful it’s making me limp. A limping dog is no use in a hog hunt, right?



Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Some Of My Best Friends Are ---

Mom trained me to be useful as her service dog. See, she has problems with her back (lots of problems) and her right leg. She taught me to heel on her right side so that I can help steady her when we walk. And if she has trouble getting up from a chair, I go over and stand in front of her so that she can use me to help brace herself. I love working with Mom! It makes me feel good to be able to help her, and especially to go places with her that she might not be able to go by herself.

One of my Mom’s friends has a dog who helps her with emotional support. That mom was in a war and she sometimes has problems being in noisy places or around lots of people. Her dog reminds her to take a deep breath and helps her get out of situations that make her feel uncomfortable.

My Mom says lots of humans need the help of service animals. Sometimes people have problems that are invisible. Just because a person isn’t in a wheelchair, or their eyes are fine, doesn’t mean they don’t need us. My Mom can’t bend over to pick things up, so I help her with that around the house if she asks.

Problem is, a lot of business people think that because I’m not a seeing eye dog or a hearing dog, I’m not a service dog. Funny, usually the customers of the business know the laws better than the business owners and managers do. Mom has another friend who works at a national pet supply store in the city. That lady has some really complicated problems and her dog helps her get out of bed in the mornings and pulls her wheelchair for her – he has a really important job to do for her. But the place she works for didn’t want her to bring him to work! She had to do something that my Mom calls “get down and dirty” to get them to agree for him to have a trial period in the store. I couldn’t believe that! A pet supply store that wanted to ban their employee’s service dog?

They gave him a thirty day trial period. Unbeliveable. Wonder what their customers would have to say about it if P------- decides he can’t come to work with his mom to help her do the things their other employees who aren’t disabled do easily?