Open Thread

Took some pictures today of Rosie, and am emailing them to my friend who places dogs. I can’t take it any more. I’ve earned my star in heaven 72 virgins paid my debts to society and now I need this dog out of my life. I want my old life back with just Tunch and Lily and a happy and calm household.

Right now I am trying to write a description of Rosie that does not include four letter words.








Open Thread

Time to torture you all with pictures of my dog.

I stalked that spot for weeks before I got there at the right time, with the right light, with Max in the mood to sit for a treat.

Bleg time! Max has always grabbed the scruff of some other dogs to try to get them to play with him. He has never hurt a dog yet but it makes some owners uncomfortable (understandably) and it often pisses off the dog. He is especially bad with yellow labs, though, to be fair, I notice that for whatever reason yellow labs are often the chew toy at dog parks. Max doesn’t hump or do any other aggressive dominance display, in fact other than the scruff thing his favorite game is to roll on his back and shuffle under the other dog’s front legs to try to get it to jump on him. It seems like Max just loves to tussle and get jumped on.

I know how to correct most of his issues; in fact, other than being a pain in the ass teenager who fights the leash when he doesn’t want to go home he has grown into just about the perfect dog. However, the scruff thing is a stumper. I don’t want to overcorrect it and make him afraid to play with dogs in general. I also don’t want to wait until he provokes a fight and gets his marshmallow ass kicked. I have an electric collar that I have used all of three times (at setting “1”) to correct recall issues when we are off leash, but I don’t know whether that would be a good idea in this case.

Ideas?








Early Morning Open Thread: Dobby



From commentor JSL:

This is Dobby, aka Marmadork. We got him a year ago next week. My previous dog was mine alone, I had him before I met my hubby, and it took years to get over his passing before I thought I was ready for another dog, and this one would be ours together. We picked him out of the shelter because he was the one dog there who *wasn’t* barking and whining, and they told us he’d been there for several weeks already – his ribs were showing and we thought we could do him some good (and vice versa).
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We named him Dobby (his shelter name was “Snickers”) after the elf in Harry Potter – ’cause we freed him from the shelter – and for two or three days he didn’t even make a sound. After that he started to come out of his shell and be a little more of a frisky (and destructive – oh! the destruction!) puppy, we started puppy classes, and were well on our way to normal dog ownership.
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After a while, my husband started noticing breathing problems, and I’ll just skip to the part where we ended up in the ER. Hubby has a personal and family history of heart problems, so anything like this sends up red flags. It turned out he’s allergic to the dog. We knew he was horribly allergic to cats, but he’d never had a problem with my old dog, but sure enough, years of not having a dog in close contact meant it was a problem now to have one in the house.
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We went back and forth for weeks over what to do. Because of Hubby’s heart condition, the shots people often take to deal with animal allergies were not an option. I had managed to line up possibilities for adopting him out to people we knew, but my husband literally cried that he didn’t want to give the dog up, that he’d never had one of his own, and that we had to find a way to keep Dobby.
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So after a lot of research and patience, we seem to have found a balance that works for us. We have very strong air purifiers in the house, pulled up most of the carpet, the dog doesn’t come in the bedroom or get on any furniture, and for the most part my husband can’t ride in my car, which is the ‘dog car,’ for taking him to the park, vet visits, training class, etc.
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It’s worked out okay so far, though Dobby has gotten much bigger than the previous dog, and is, personality-wise, a total brat who will behave like an angel if you’re holding a treat, then go chew on a rug. But he’s funny and still puppyish, and despite all the stress he causes, I’m hoping that all those statistics about people with pets having longer lifespans is still true!



Open Thread

Sorry I have been so cranky lately. Not sure what has gotten into me, so here is a peace offering. It got prematurely dark and started thundering, and my wind chimes changed from a lazy clanging to something sounding like the blue man group on meth, so I walked around the house to shut all the windows when I found this in the bedroom:

Lily was apparently crushed by a falling comforter and rendered immobile. It’s like the pampered canine version of 127 Hours, but with fluffy bedding instead of rock. And no, it did not require a pen knife to extract her- just someone yelling “Who wants to go for a walk?”








Early Morning Open Thread: Dogs of A Certain Age

Good news from commentor William F: A few weeks ago I emailed from NYC with a request to help me find a good home for my dog Richie. I got a few responses from your readers and one of them happened to be the perfect guy for Richie. Thank you for helping him find a good home.

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From commentor Jim M:

When my wife and started dating, she owned a 147-pound German Shepherd Dog, “Duke.” Duke was an awesome, brilliant dog. He died in August 2006 at age 8 from gastric dilatation and volvulus. 4 months later, we were watching the local all-news cable network New England Cable Network (NECN) when the morning show featured the monthly Boston Animal Rescue League adoption candidate.
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There she was, thin, scared but alert and clearly with it – Perdie, a shepherd/greyhound/collie mix. She had been in the ARL shelter in Boston for 2 years. This was her last chance. We looked at each other and nodded. It was time to get another dog.
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We met with her at the ARL shelter. She was skinny, but healthy, and at age 9, just recently spayed. Her previous owners had hit some financial difficulty and had to give her up, we were told. That day, we hung out with her in the shelter’s auditorium (it’s a former elementary school). We put her through her paces: sit, lie down, speak, stay, paw, come – all perfect.
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We took her home and began to integrate her into our family. Luckily our daughter Kate – a vet tech – was home for Christmas to provide some welcome advice and counsel. Of our 2 cats, Stop-It was the most affected, hiding out in the cellar for 2 months, emerging at night to eat and go out. Eventually my wife, Roze, put her territorial foot down with Perdie and made it clear that in this house, the female HUMAN was the leader of the cats, not Perdie. And things were great from then on.
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We knew going in that at 9 years old and eventually 55-60 pounds that Perdie would be a part of our family for 4-5 years at best. But that was OK with us. We were moved, and Perdie has proven to be a wonderful pet and companion. Stubborn, quirky, but loving and loyal.
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On Thursday, Feb. 24, our son called to say he thought Perdie was having a stroke. Turns to have been the first of 5 seizures over the next 24 hours. The vet says most likely a brain tumor, meningioma. She’s on phenobarbital, and seizure-free since then. But clearly this is the beginning of the end for our poor old gal. She has moments of lucidity through the drug haze, and can still walk – albeit slowly and shakily – eat, and is still mostly house-continent.
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Prognosis is 2-4 months, according to Teh Google. The cats, Storm and Stop-It, act as her escorts as she paces around the house, and when we walk outside. Every once in a while she’ll walk up to us and look at us with recognition and the smile you see in the attached pic. She’s not in pain. We know we’ll have to say good-bye soon, but not quite yet. Our mission was to give her a good quality of life for whatever time she had left starting on that day in 2006. And here we are 4.5 years later, mission accomplished, but not one we’re eager to see end.