Archive for September, 2012

End of an Era

September 26, 2012

This year’s competitor’s badge

Our hearts are breaking with the rest of Doggy Bloggy Land.  The King of said empire, Mango of Mango Minster, has crossed the bridge.   Our deepest sympathies go out to his pack, his wide, wide world of friends and fans. 

I’d be remiss if I didn’t once again thank Mango, his mom and that grand bit of fun Mango Minster for the friendship and support, especially when Sissy lost her eye.   I’d feel guilty about rocking the sympathy vote that year (2011), but …  it was sorely needed and really lifted my spirits.  Sissy enjoyed all the special attention too.

Comments are off, as we are just share the news and our sorrow.  Please direct any condolences to Mango’s grieving family.


Wet Dry Food?

September 20, 2012
October 2010 008

(There is a treat in there…)

In the old days – read: before Sissy – I gave little thought to feeding my dogs.  Oh sure, we bought what we thought was quality kibble, we’d add yums here and there, only using moist/canned/whatever you want to call it dog food when needed (Fred, our first basset, had a diganosis of “garbage gut” so tummy troubles aren’t totally new to us), or for a special treat.  I was raised to think that dry food was better than wet because it helped clean the dog’s teeth.  Never mind that we always have treated rather liberally, usually with crunchy treats.

Now, there are so many conflicting reports, including this latest pause for thought from Nature’s Logic.   Of course, Wondervet has the last word on what Sis eats and how, but I’m curious…  do you moisten your dog’s kibble?  If so, why? 

We have moistened kibble for senior dogs, for sick dogs, or for a picky dog who needed a little extra incentive to eat.  (Yeah, that is caninely possible, even with a hound.)

Happy Thorsday!

Tails on the Trails

September 13, 2012

Happy Thorsday!  Oh, we’re excited!!!  Most of you know we live to walk, and Mama got to do a big walk with lots and lots of people earlier this month, but we were specifically uninvited.   Mama was polite about it and kept patiently murmuring about liability and some nonsense about not all people liking dogs.  What?!  Crazy talk, woman.  I mean, they gave her a PANK shirt and everything…

Anyway.  Thanks to the wonder of the web and our pawsome friends at FiveSibes, we get to be a part of a big walk!  It’s called Tails on the Trails, and evidently, that’s not exactly unique, so maybe Mama will be inspired and can create our own good cause with paw-friends…  We are registered as remote walkers – isn’t that a brilliant idea?! – and we will be hiking our own paths as usual, but it will be extra-special because we’ll be walking for a cause.  (Mama here… because walking for our health and such isn’t a worthwhile cause?!)

Mama has at least one local husky dog friend, so maybe she’ll invite that superlative Stirling she keeps talking about to join us.   That would put her well on her way to starting our own walk for a cause, right?

And yes, this makes us less sore that yet again, we’ve missed BROOD’s Ramble.  It was last weekend, and despite the fact that BROOD has a strong presence here in our very own podunk, the Ramble was far, far away.  Since Sissy DIVA had an eye appointment and neither of us are great riders, we’re letting Mama off the hook this year, but NEXT YEAR we’re reminding her that she’d promised Fred she’d go ramble in his honor since they never got to go either.  (Note a theme here?!  That Mama is a slacker.)

Are there dogs included charitable walks in your area?  If so, tell Mama about them.   No point in having parents that are all about non-profit stuff if they can’t fix the gaps in podunk’s walking world.

Confidence Restored

September 8, 2012

DIVA does the vet 12-11

A rare weekend report to share the great results from Sissy’s regular 6 week eye exam and our first appointment with our new to us local vet.

We got off to a great start with a new to us male vet tech whom Sissy took a shine to right away.  (Yes, I am Southern.  Yes, I live in podunk.  Yes, it shows up in my words sometimes.)  I almost would be content if we had a vet tech of record.  Then, perhaps I’d be more flexible about which vet was seeing my girls.  Anyway, he was great, and even tricked Sissy into a quick temperature check without any corners or sitting involved.  That might be a first!

Then, we met the woman we’ll now just call Local Vet.  The rather non-superlative name belies the way she quickly dispenses confidence, collaboration and compassion.   Score!!   She never flinched as I candidly put my cards on the table, and in fact, kept smiling and chatting as though it’s perfectly normal for every client to note that the former vet now a half a country away is still in charge of Sissy’s diet.  And while she admitted she hadn’t had a chance to read Sissy’s extensive chart yet, I believed her when she assured me she would read every word.

Tonovet in action

However, the way she – and the awesome vet tech – handled the sudden awareness that the Tonovet had a note about maybe not being functional on it assured that we’re staying put at least as long as she’s working there.   She didn’t just tell me she was sorry, the very tool we needed for that visit wasn’t working and send us on our way.  Said vet tech began looking for the manual for the thing, and she patiently fiddled with the thing until we did indeed get three accurate readings  –  8, 10, 9  –  all precisely where the pressure needs to be.

Sissy was very responsive to her.  Sis seems to take to males in the animal health care business quickly, but since Wondervet moved away, she’s been pretty reserved with women.  Not stand-offish or uncooperative, but sometimes… almost so, clinging to me like a scared child.  So, we’re good.  I’m positive Gg will do well with Local Vet’s calm, quiet demeanor, and if we’re lucky, it’ll be February’s annual exam before I can confirm that.

Many thanks for assuring me I wasn’t off in left field somewhere for freaking out, fretting and demanding a vet who would even happily fit into Sissy’s complex fan club of a care team.   Thankfully, I worried for nothing, and we’re once again in good, kind hands.

Happy weekend!

Interviewing a New Vet

September 6, 2012

Happy Thorsday!

For those of you not following my – Mama’s – blog, on Tuesday, I had quite a shock.  Roughly 15 months ago, our fabulous Wondervet and her family moved back to Texas.  Luckily, she’d already planned for Sissy and Gretchen’s continued care.  Sadly, Dr. M also left that practice… but without notice.  So when I called to schedule Sissy’s routine eye pressure check, I was left stammering. 

June 2012 005

We’re a lot of trouble, but we’re worth it!

No, no one else there could see us.   After an awkward end to the call, I texted Wondervet, and when she didn’t reply instantly, I called the eye clinic, well over two hours away.

That’s when I learned that HIPAA laws apply to pets too.   While a little time has given me the chance to appreciate that, I find it a little ridiculous that I can’t know what other vets at the practice we use have patients at the same eye clinic.  Luckily, the eye clinic has the most fabulous staff, and they found a way to honor the law AND figure out which of the remaining doctors at our vet’s office are in their database.

Not long after that, Wondervet and I began an afternoon of exchanging texts and crafting a NEW care plan for “her girl”.   We’ll see the vet who took her place on Saturday.

Here’s the problem…  Our options are severely limited, because Sissy requires an eye pressure check every 6 weeks.   The eye clinic sees her every other visit, and our local vet does the in-between checks.  So, we need a veterinary practice that has Tonometry capabilities, and that means a vet who does the pressure checks regularly enough to have a good technique.  It also means that they must use the Schiotz tonometer, NOT the accupen, because the eye clinic doesn’t feel the pen’s accuracy is … accurate enough.

That’s a problem, because the tonometer of choice isn’t cheap.  However, regular readers know glaucoma is only the latest of Sissy’s special needs.  Girlfriend also has food allergies and sensistivities out the wazoo… literally.  (If you’re new here and don’t get my gentle reference, Sissy’s food allergies play out via anal gland problems.)

That’s a HUGE problem, because while just about any vet will bow to the eye clinic’s demands, I’m not so sure most vets will tolerate my insistance that a woman in Texas who hasn’t touched her favorite patient in 15 months and counting is completely in charge of Sissy’s allergies… and that too is a point of no compromise.

Then, we add in the wee one.  Little cutie pie is fit as a fiddle, but she has her own anxiety issues, and that might be where we miss Dr. M the most.  (And no, Dr. M isn’t practicing locally at this time.)   Dr. M was Wondervet’s mentor, so she totally bought into the admittedly almost unreasonable demands both Wondervet and I have regarding Sissy’s allergies, but she was also PERFECT for Gretchen Greer.

We’re open to advice, crossed paws, good vibes and any other good stuff you care to send our way… as long as you don’t suggest that I’m being ridiculous.   See…  Wondervet and the amazing folks at the eye clinic think our crazy arrangement is what’s best for Sissy, so I have all the validation I need.  Now, I just need to find some nice, smart vet in podunk who is willing to play the role of local vet in our comedy-drama.