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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
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… ??
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.