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Every Dog Has His (Last) Day

Just as we were leaving the Vet this morning, I saw a man walking towards the entrance, carrying his dog, a beautiful Corgi. I opened the door for him and in a moment, I knew this dog wasn't coming in to get his nails trimmed or have his annual exam.

The life was gone from this dog's eyes. His owner, sniffed a few times. I didn't have the nerve to look him in the eye.

I looked at the dog, who had big white paws and a ginger coat. His brown eyes were faded. He didn't react to his surroundings at all and laid limply in his owner's arms.

Instead of waiting to pay for the visit, Debbie motioned to us to let him go first, so I stepped back and sat down. I whispered to her; "Is he going to put him down?" and she nodded; "Yes."

I tried to be respectful as the man brought his dog into the exam room we had just left, but I started to cry. I still feel awful for that nice man and his lovely dog. Not only does he have to put his companion down, but it has to be right before Christmas.

As I paid the bill and left the Clinic, tears streaming down my face, Debbie came outside and told me that the dog was suffering terribly and should have been put down days ago and that this was for the best. If she had said the owner didn't want to deal with the dog, I would have been in there in a heartbeat to pull him out of there.

As I write this, the dog no longer lives. His life is done. His story as at a close. His family is left to grieve and face the holiday without him.

To all those who love their companion animals, take a moment out to give them a big hug and kiss and to cherish the time you have with them.

All Around Misery

Gracie is getting worse. She looks terrible.

Her biopsy test results came in as Miliary Dermatitis, but no probable cause. Gee, big surprise! There was no fungal or bacterial infection. No cancer. She just has a horrific rash on her head, neck and back and in the last two days her ears are gross and bloody.

Poor Gracie.jpg

I've been racking my brains, trying to figure out what changed or what happened to have her react so badly. The food hasn't changed. Her surroundings haven't changed. I just don't know what it is.

I talked to Dr. Larry about how Gracie is the queen mouse-catcher and that may have something to do with it. Did she ever get fleas? Not that I've ever seen and with six other cats, I'm sure we would have noticed something by now! That said, she could still have a flea bite or two from those once-a-season mouse snacks she has.

All I know is she got another shot of steroids today and she's back on antibiotics and got a treatment of Advantage. Not sure that was a great idea to put chemicals on her sensitive skin, but I am so concerned about her, I want to make sure we do everything we can. She must be very uncomfortable.

Her right side.jpg

I had blood tests run to see if she's allergic to anything. It's a crap shoot because she "should" be completely free from steroids before we run the test and she was only off them for 5 weeks before she got her shot today. I guess they can see her allergic reaction much better if there is no involvement of drugs in her system. The results may not be there, but I had to try. I don't want her to go for 9 or 10 weeks without anything. She would really be in tough shape. She's also lost weight again, so I need to watch her even more carefully.

I think this Christmas season will go down in my record books as being the worst ever. Not only have there been plenty of cat health issues, but my fiance got laid off and it seems that every time we turn around, one of us has to shell out a lot of money to fix something that suddenly failed.

We are SO overdue for better days. I hope they will arrive soon.

It's that time of year again!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to everyone!

May the New Year be Hair-ball free and filled with purrs!

Ninja Cat Pilling Techniques, by "R"

According to Wikipedia, a Ninja is described as: "a warrior specially trained in a variety of unorthodox arts of war. These include assassination, espionage, and other martial arts."

"Pilling" or rather the forcing of a small object, made up of pressed medicines and binding agents down your cat's throat, utilizes the same techniques of a skilled Ninja.

I've used my skills in espionage to sneak up on my cat in hopes of pouncing on him, tossing him into the bathroom, where I can be sure of rendering him helpless on the bathroom counter. It is then, I use my martial arts skills to twist and turn my body so I can both hold my cat's head still, open his mouth, avoid getting bit and keep him from rearing up and clawing the shit out of my hands with his front paws while I stuff the pill into his mouth.

I use the "hot potato" technique to switch from holding his mouth shut with one hand until his front paws start to scratch me. I move that hand out of the way and use the other hand to clam onto his mouth. This will force him to swallow the pill, of course.

Or not.

Ninja cat-pillers must remember never to give up and also that they must embrace unorthodox techniques to get the job done. I'm not above trying to:

1. Crush the pill, and hide it in crappy canned cat food to disguise the smell of the medicine.

2. Instead of nunchuks, use my handy-dandy "Piller" to thwart the villianous refuser-to-be-pilled by loading the pill into the rubber tip and jamming it into the cat's throat.

3.Bribing with treats. Give a treat. Give a pill. Give a treat. Ha! Doesn't work.

4. Crying. Really only makes me feel better. Cats just run when they hear loud noises.

5. "The Mummy"-wrap the cat in a towel, or heck, blanket! Wrap him up tight like a mummy with only his head sticking out. It should be esay to pill the cat, only some how he wriggles enough to get one paw full of CLAWS out of confinement and, again, claw the shit out of my hand.

6. Surprise! Wait until the cat is asleep, use your Ninja stealth to sneak up on him and get the pill into his mouth before he realizes what you're up to. Only works ONCE in a cat's life.

In the past 8 days I've had to dispense about 75 pills. During this time, I watched the Pill Master-Debbie, in action. She gave Gracie a pill with such a blasè attitude and with such a relaxed countenance that I was aghast. She showed me the ONE thing I've been missing all these years. It's not the Mummy technique or the treats. It's all in the angle, baby.

I owe you a diagram, but for now, read this...

Get the cat onto a surface where you are comfortably positioned straight above the cat. Grab the cat's head with your index finger on one hinge of the jaw and the thumb on the other side of the jaw. Wrap your hand around the cats head, sort of like a hand-shaped hat. Now pull the cats head back, which will open it's mouth about to a 45 degree angle. If you keep the cat's head UP and throat straight, you can drop the pill down the throat so fast they don't know what you did. Also a good grip on the head makes it tough for them to wriggle away.

Lastly, wear a nice leather GLOVE on the hand that goes on the head. Just in case. You can't pill quickly with a glove on, so the pill holding hand should be bare.

Last night I was able to do this a few times. Sure, the cats struggled, but it went so quickly they didn't have time to react. Afterwards, I had a Scotch.

Hey, even Ninjas need a Scotch once in awhile.


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