Archive for February, 2012

Gretchen meets Dr. M

February 28, 2012
August 2011 018

Summer 2011

I can’t come up with just the right superlative for the “new” vet (it’s been a year now… she’s not new anymore after this post!), so she’s just going to be Dr. M.  This was Gretchen’s first time meeting Dr. M, and the girl was as stressed out as she gets.  I intentionally didn’t give her the pre-ride calming chew because I wanted Dr. M to see her at her worst, and gee…  Gg cooperated fully. 

It’s hard to believe that my normal-looking cutie can have such intense anxiety issues… but she does.  As I predicted just from chatting with Dr. M the first time Sissy & I met her, she is QUITE in tune with little miss Gg.  She has the DIVA’s number too; while she was examining Gretch, she laughed and remarked upon Sissy’s sweet jealousy, and then told DIVA she couldn’t ALWAYS be the center of attention.  Hem.

Before I detail the Gg plan, Sissy’s great.  Eye pressure was normal, bloodwork was clear, etc.  She was uncooperative for the temperature-taking and is holding her tail firmly against herself still this morning, but she’s eating and drinking normally, so this too shall pass.

So, onto Gg’s fear factor plan.  It’s simple in theory.  There are three known causes of trembling or worse.

  1. Her harness.  We assume she associates her harness with the things that cause anxiety, so once daily, she’ll be asked to sit next to her harness for no good reason and will receive a treat for it.  Once that happens happily, she will have to put the harness on for no good reason and get a treat.  When that is a constant success, we’ve won!
  2. Her original source of terror – the car.  Once #1 is checked off, we’ll start sitting at the car for a treat.  Then in the car.  Then a ride, just to turn the car around.  Then, a ride to the end of our driveway and back… you get the point.
  3. The bully dog that sometimes sneaks across his invisible fence to charge the girls…  Well, when #2 is a success, we’ll talk about a plan for that.  Hem.

    Courtesy of Kong's website

More vet info…  Both girls’ teeth are tartar icky.  Sissy’s need to be cleaned within the next six months, unless the dental Kong and the yet to be secured “vegan” doggy toothpaste work magic. 

Sis is only 4, so I’m not very happy about this.  I try to avoid anesthesia personally, and definitely for my dogs.  Dr. M was polite, respectful… but firm.  We’ll also begin brushing the girls’ teeth just as soon as I find meat-free toothpaste.

Gretchen’s teeth aren’t great either, and she chews a lot.  (Sis isn’t much of a chewer.)  Does anyone have a theory on why dogs teeth/gums are suddenly in need of regular dental cleanings?  I only feed dry kibble, twice daily, dry treats, and prior to Sissy and her host of food allergies and sensitivities, there were bones and chews galore.  Again, Gretchen still frequently is chewing on a deer antler or a manufactured something, and I use the vegan “bones” regularly…  ??


Quarter-dog perspective

Now, this last item is a very delicate one…  Gg has been told to lose a whole pound, maybe even 2.  Hem.  I’m positive she doesn’t want me sharing that, but being the owner/editor has its privileges.  This is really just a public service announcment for the Knight and his fellow “but it’s not fair” folk…  Gg weighs roughly 25% of what DIVA does.  Not only do they not need similar amounts of kibble, they don’t need the same amount of treats either.  Gg very literally needs about 1/3 of the calories Sis does.

No, I’m actually great at math, but thanks for asking.  Little dogs bodies have to work harder to do everything.  They have less blood to keep them warm, and while Sis’s stride is actually similar in length to my own, Gg has to trot just to walk with us.  Get the picture?

So, I think the diet will be easier to execute than it might seem.  When the Knight feeds, he knowingly and willfully over-feeds both dogs.  I will do all the feeding for a while now, and even I need to be more mindful of tiny treats for the wee one.

Portion control stinks, no matter what species or activity level.

International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day

February 23, 2012

Happy Thorsday!

Gretchen Greer here…

Photo from Haute or Not Pets

How special is it that International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day falls on a Thorsday?!   We want to tell you about our favorite biscuits.  We actually don’t get many true “biscuits”… what with Sissy’s insanely long list of allergens and my wee mouth, but we’re currently mad for Planet Dog’s PB&J Eats!  Yes, they’re from the PANK ink box… 

The orange box pictured is a chicken & pumpkin pot pie flavor, that of course we won’t be trying because neither of us eats chicken.  Boo… because we LOVE pumpkin!  If you try ’em, I’m sure you’ll love ’em.  We’ve had several different flavors of Eats, and they’re always tasty.  Generally, they have at least one corn-free, vegan option so we can have at least one flavor…

What would you bring to a dog biscuit “cookie” swap… you know, if we could have one?

All Heart

February 16, 2012

Happy Thorsday!  I know Valentine’s Day was Tuesday, but we’re behind the eight ball here in the woods.  I wanted to take a moment to give a shout-out to Blind Dog Rescue Alliance and their Have a Heart fundraiser. 

We have nothing but love and praise for the folks at Eye Care for Animals, especially the Leesburg location.  They have taken such great care of Sissy for almost 14 months now, and they reaffirm their compassion and commitment to her care every single time we interact with them.  I was already their biggest fan when a friend who lives in that area sent me a message on Facebook last week… 

She was doing something with one of her sons when she somehow made the connection that one of the other moms was one of the techs from said facility.  Not only did the tech remember Sissy (DIVA does make a strong impression), but she remembered the Valentine I sent last year.  Ooopsie.  I instantly felt VERY guilty for not getting Valentines out this year, because I can’t thank those good people enough. 



13 months later, I’m finally ready to show you what our darling girl looked like just 3 days after her surgery.  It’s painful for ME to remember how confused she was and how much pain she was in for those first 36 hours or so at home with us, but it’s been smooth sailing ever since, with Sissy teaching US that this is no big deal, and showing us that everything really is more than okay.

We all have a hard time remembering Sissy *IS* visually impaired, all the while being aware that we’re on borrowed time with the remaining eye.   But those of you who know Sissy know that she already lived each day to its fullest, so we just follow her lead and indulge her a little more than we would have otherwise. 

August 2010 019


I do miss her left eyeball, especially that brown band that looks like eyeliner applied with a heavy hand  paw, but I kiss that spot almost daily.  It’s still plenty expressive; the incision and reconstruction within were done so that the skin around the former eye still moves as it did before. 

photo.JPGShe’s a hot mess, a DIVA, and so full of personality.   Why yes, that IS my pillow she’s resting upon.  I don’t know what’s in store for us with her right eye, but regardless, it’ll be just fine because Sissy is all heart, and has a way of winning more hearts everywhere she goes.

Don’t forget to cross paws, pray, sling drool, send good vibes, or whatever you do to support those in need, for our pals Tsar and Fred.   They and their worried moms need some power of the paw!

Spread the love

February 14, 2012
January 2012 005

Christmas Eve kisses for Mama

Unless you’re new here, you know we’re all about love.  There have never been two sweeter, more loving girls… in any species!  So we’re a little miffed that the humans aren’t taking this love-day thing more seriously.  Work, meetings, and poor Mama even has a dental appointment – whatever that means.  Doesn’t sound fun though.

Anyway, there’s so much to tell you about today.  It’s our pal Fudge’s birthday, so rush over and wish him well!  (And you have until … noon? today to vote for his daughter Bailey in the Adventure Dog category.)

Then, there’s the Pillars of Strength bloghop. 

We don’t even know K’s pack, but our doggy bloggy friends asked us to be a pillar of strength, and of course we are all in.   Regular visitors and friends will know that Mama and Dadaw lost their Hooey (aka: Fred) to cancer, and there have been too many other losses to that dread disease to try to mention them all. 

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

(Mama botched the linky thing all up, thanks to WordPress and its anti-Java and her antique computer at work.  Hrmp.) 

February 2011 006

Roughly a year ago...

This is also the perfect time to thank everyone once again for all the support last year when Sissy’s glaucoma battle was raging and ruling our lives.  Now it’s part of our routine…  Mama and Dadaw just juggle life around that eye drop every 12 hours, and except for walks down our dead-end road, Sissy never leaves home without her emergency eye pressure care kit.

Anyway, we wish we could give each of you licks and love, face to face.   We hope you and your pack have better Valentine plans than we do in the Woods.


Vote for me – er, us

February 10, 2012

October 2010 028An old, two-eyed shot just because it’s the one that spoke to me…  Love those head tilts.  Aren’t they cute?!

Which brings me to the point of this post…

Mango Minster voting begins on Sunday.  One vote per household, per category.   Sissy sure would love to have a good showing as she’s defending her title and all.  However, we have friends in the same category and they sure are cute too…

Here’s the schedule so you can follow along!

Good luck to all the competitors! There’s not a bad choice in the bunch.


February 9, 2012

Happy Thorsday to you!  We’re happy to report that the humans have their priorities straight again and we’ve been well-attended-to this week. 


Mama got this shedding boa at the gala Saturday night and for some reason, she thought Sissy would like it.  Um… not so much.  I certainly don’t care for it; I found a neato purple feather in the driveway, sniffed it, and found it stuck to my wee nose!  Mama helped me out, but damage was done; there weren’t any good smells on the faux feather so it has no redeeming qualities in my opinion.

In other news, we didn’t get any snow yesterday.  Did you?

The Other End of the Leash

February 2, 2012

Happy Thorsday!  I had to taking matters into my own hands and post, because I’m pretty sure y’all are tired of hearing about how the fur-girls suffer because the humans actually have lives and go places dogs aren’t allowed.  Hem.

Yes, Gretchen could be a carry-on dog and fly with me, but given how poorly she travels by car, this is out of the question.  Also, when I travel, it is exclusively for a conference, and my hours are insane, so…  it’s not an option on about 20 levels.

So…  I did what I consider the next best thing…  I read up on how to be a better dog-ma while I was on the plane.  (Well… when I wasn’t sleeping.  I’d like to protest and fuss and ask, “Whose idea was that 5:15am flight?!” but it was my idea, so…) 

Gretchen had a little neurotic flare-up precisely two weeks ago that seems to be easing up a bit thanks to lots of treats and human behavior modifications.  (Also known as who is training whom?)  Suddenly, after never failing to trot into the crate or our bedroom when we leave, she staged a sit-in… in the living room.  Now, she’s been left free in the house since she was a wee pup, but she HATES being separated from Sissy, who lacks Gretchen’s good manners and does doggy things when she gets bored.

Anyhow, Gretchen spent two weeks resisting being confined in the bedroom, so since she is giving us the silent treatment, I’m reading and guessing, and we’re adapting.  This morning I’m happy to report she just stayed on our bed while I got ready for work, while I kissed them good-bye, while I put the baby gate up, and then trotted over for her bye-bye treats with Sis.

I can’t say the book has changed our lives, but it wasn’t dry or hard to read, and there were a few body language tips I’ve already seen at work.  Just yesterday morning, I was able to catch Gretchen as she tried to worm in on Sissy’s breakfast (which Sis allows, because she’s a ridiculously benevolent leader) merely by seeing Sis’s tail move out of the corner of my eye.

Do you read dog-help books?  Dog fiction?