Archive for the ‘Opinions wanted’ Category

Bouncing Back

May 1, 2014

Well… Sunday, we had another encounter with the biters.  One charged out at us, and while I guarded Gg, Sissy stood her ground, sweetly indignant that such a rude creature would rush her/us.  Before I could react, the dog that bit Gretchen over a year ago joined the fray, and Sis was pinned down in the middle of the road.

The other dogs’ owners rushed out and I thought we’d escaped with only emotional trauma and some bite-bruises.  We headed home  post-haste, with Gretchen in the throes of a full-blown panic attack, and an hour or so later, I realized Sissy did have a small puncture wound on her belly/right rear leg area.   She did have some significant soreness Sunday night, but fresh apple cider donuts made the world a better place.  (I’m sure the wound cleaning and Neosporin didn’t hurt either, but what do I know?)


Was this one of our last trips to the trails?

Devastated isn’t the word for it.  Both girls are ready to walk again, but I am not.  Tuesday, we did take the trash up to the road front and then walk the road to our property line, but Gg turned around right at the line and made it clear I’d promised we’d only walk that far.  Sissy was rarin’ to go further, but it was raining and I didn’t want to cause a setback with her stellar recovery.  (I couldn’t even find the wound last night; I thought it was just a glob of dirt at first glance.)

I honestly don’t know what’s next.  I don’t want to discuss the legal ramifications… just whether or not I dare walk my dogs ANYWHERE again.  There are simply too many loose dogs on our road.  I could drive them to the trails we have access to, but Gg hates the car almost as much as she hates to be left behind.  Clearly, I cannot keep my dogs safe and that is something I’m struggling with too.

Sissy proclaimed her recovery complete yesterday, but Gg is still extra-anxious and I am just … distraught.  We love our walks and runs, and most of our neighbors are truly wonderful, but there are at least three who feel it is their right to let their dogs roam, and they don’t seem to care that I have no confidence in their notions that their dogs are friendly enough, and clearly, the leash law doesn’t apply to them.  I can’t put an animal control officer on speed-dial either, so … again, I’m at a loss.

How am I to exercise two very active dogs if we don’t walk?  I can go run on the elliptical, but they can’t, and their efforts to do yoga with me aren’t appreciated either.   Is there a website where I can find truly dog-friendly walking paths?




How do our dogs see us?

April 24, 2014

The DIVA doesn’t cover her grey!

Last week, I rather unintentionally went from blonde to “warm brown” (read: auburn?) hair in the course of a few hours.  I came home from work, took the dogs for a quick run, and headed to the salon.  I knew I had gotten too blonde (because yes to the co-worker who is also my hubby’s best friend, I *DO* know what my natural color is [medium, blah brown]), and I knew I wanted to fix that…

… and I trust my stylist.  I mean, she’s a dog person.  When she changed salons a few months ago, the first thing she said was, “… and if you want to bring one of the girls with you, that’s totally fine!”  Anyway, I was shocked that the dogs didn’t seem to notice.

I don’t believe dogs are color or even necessarily shade blind.  My JRTs have ALWAYS had a color preference on toys, and Gretchen can distinguish PANK (her signature hot pink) from orange.  So, I’m pretty sure they knew Mama had done something to her head, but they didn’t react.

They *DO* react to what I wear.  They know running tights from street wear leggings.  They know I *NEVER* wear footies unless a walk or a run is in order, and – over share ahead – they know a sports bra from normal lingerie.  So, I find it really hard to believe they didn’t notice my hair color change.

Do your dogs notice differences in your appearance?


Allergies 14.1

April 5, 2014

Things are blooming here in the woods, so that means allergies are showing themselves too.  Sissy – thankfully! – seems not to have seasonal, environmental allergies, but she and the Knight went back to have her anal glands expressed again and to drop off a special package (read: specimen) we gathered on a walk for just that purpose.  Sis’s bum is looking better, and there’s less scooting and such.  The vet also told me that it’s not unusual to need to express the glands twice in short order when they are as full as Sissy’s were the first time, so they’ll check her again when we go back in about 10 weeks for her next local eye pressure check.

UntitledI apologize for my inability to post consistently on Thorsdays recently.  I fear that trend will continue through at least next month.  But, we’re still logging 20 miles per week, and the girls hopped in the creek on the warmest day this week, so we’re all getting our exercise and Vitamin D, regardless of the otherwise chaos in my/our lives.

Unfortunately, Gg does seem to be true to her terrier roots, and she’s been doing a lot of sneezing and that reverse sneeze thing that almost every Jack Russell I know does.  If she shows any additional signs, we’ll consult the good doctor and make sure she isn’t too miserable.

In other news, I’ve resigned myself to a serious discussion on better living through chemicals for little Gg at her next vet visit.  Being a JRT, she insists upon pressing on, even when she’s having a panic attack.  She doesn’t want to miss a walk, even if passing the biters’ house is almost too much for her.  (And we have to pass it TWICE to get to the woods and home again, poor gal.)

Do any of you have any experience with … psych drugs for your dogs?  I hate the very thought of it and anticipate Gg fighting me every step of the way, because she doesn’t even like pain pills because she fears a loss of control (why yes, I do think I can read her mind), but I also can’t bear the thought that most days, she has some sort of panic attack for one reason or another.


Lead me on…

January 30, 2014
Image from Arcata Pet Supplies

Image from Arcata Pet Supplies

Happy Thorsday!  Our good friend Sue is having success with a Gentle Leader with her pups.  She caught my attention when she shared that it helps both pulling and screeching.  Given that Gretchen Greer does both when she encounters another dog – other than Sissy, of course – I am going to give it a try.  Sissy will require Vision Vet’s blessing first, as we have to be certain any “headwear” won’t increase eye pressure.

Maybe that sounds silly, but throat pressure does just that – it increases inner eye pressure.

Have you used a Gentle Leader on a wee dog?  This image shows a Jack Russell wearing one, but I prefer REAL references.

Eye’ll be …

December 19, 2013

Happy Thorsday!  Sissy’s going for her routine, local eye pressure check later today.   I’m a little on edge because she’s being clingy and longtime friends and readers might recall she had her original eye problems (read: undiagnosed glaucoma) this time, three years ago, culminating with going blind in her left eye on Christmas Eve.  Never mind that there are no signs or symptoms of any increased eye pressure or other complications.

November 2010 065

So, let me distract you – and myself – with some photoshopped fun from about that time!

Of course, Gg wants you to know that I made her walk with the lighted leash – she hates it – two nights in a row, and Sissy DIVA wants to share that she’s being neglected for human festivities.  Sissy isn’t giving me any points for putting her walks over holiday preparations such as writing out Christmas cards, finishing the shopping, or putting up the tree.

And yes, I’m thinking that for the first time in the fur-girls’ lives, I might put up the full-sized tree.  What say you?  Of course, anything in the range of her basset tail won’t have breakables…

PS – Don’t miss Mama’s neato early gift!

New Diagnosis

November 7, 2013

Look at that waist. Do I look like a food addict to you!? (Never mind. Who cares!? It gets me more pumpkin in my food more often. SCORE!)

Hi.  My name is Sissy and I’m a food addict.

No, seriously.  It’s in my chart now and everything.  Gretchen Greer isn’t being snarky; I’m doing this post on my own, while everyone else makes jokes about my latest trial and tribulation.  Only my pawsome vet, Dr. D., isn’t razzing me about my exploits.  She says she has the same problem, and prescribed high-fiber add-ins at both of my meals.  (Extra smooches for her next time I see her.  I really do have the best vets in the world.)


Mama here.  No, we are QUITE serious, or at least…  Dr. D. and Sissy are.  The Knight is blaming Sissy’s probiotic, but Dr. D. did some research and couldn’t find a SINGLE report of dogs developing extreme hunger or behavioral issues from said product.  Just the same, she agreed it wouldn’t hurt to step Sissy down to a maintenance dose.  This week, we’re doing a half of a packet daily.  Next week, we’ll do half of a packet every other day, and then we’ll drop to half a packet once a week as long as Sis’s digestive system is running … well.

I’m blaming our new schedule that is rather short on routine.  The dogs and I are still logging 20+ miles a week, but I’m gone longer most days than I was with my other job, and the Knight comes and goes very sporadically.  I also moved their morning meal up 30 minutes and their evening meal is still at the same time.

I know several of you have smart, athletic dogs that counter cruise, steal food, etc.  Have any of them been slick enough to get an official diagnosis AND treatment that encourages more human ad-ins!?

Probiotic Thorsday

September 19, 2013

UntitledHappy Thorsday!  So… we’ve had two probiotic feedings for Sissy.  She wolfs the powder on down, but as the dogs and I are together virtually 24/7 right now, I can report that unless it’s happened in the pen when I turned my head… there’s been no pooping since she began the probiotic. 

Is this normal?  Do I need to put the doggy door block in so she can’t go out when *I* am in the bathroom and might miss the moment?  She’s showing no signs of distress at all, but regular readers know I’ve spent almost all of Sissy’s life obsessing about her … output. 

Sorry for the not-rosy topic today, but I need your input…

Happy 4th & Thorsday!

July 4, 2013

May 2010 007This is one of my favorite photos of the girls from 2010.  Gg is a bouncy little thing, and Sis is usually smiling!

We wish you a Happy Independence Day.  We’ll be at home watching some loud, action movie around dark, so that the booms from the assorted fireworks shows in the area don’t upset Gretchen quite so much.  I’m also eyeing Rescue Remedy.  We have similar products, but haven’t specifically tried that one.

How do your dogs weather the celebrations on the 4th?

Shout, shout…

June 20, 2013

A quiet moment at home

Happy Thorsday!   We – specifically, I … Mama – need your help.  It’s been escalating for a long while, but something has to be done about my girls’ big mouths.

Gg yaps because she’s a scared little dog, and being a JRT, one cannot admit she’s afraid in public.  Sissy yells because… Gg yaps and because she’s just a DIVA, and a very vocal one.   Enough time has passed since Gg’s injury and enough humbling moments have happened on our quiet country road, and it’s time to teach them to be silent.

How?  While both are plenty food-driven at other times, neither is distracted by even their favorite treats when they are screaming at a dog we meet on our walks.  I can quiet Gg a bit by picking her up, but I also know that’s not a permanent solution.  Sissy will sometimes hush temporarily on command, but not with regularity.

Any and all advice is appreciated!

Cooler heads…

June 6, 2013

Untitled… or necks, as the case might be.

Happy Thorsday!  Has everyone seen cute, not so little Brutus?  If not, don’t worry about our babble about cool neckwear; go see Brutus the cute-us!

I picked these up at the beach, at one of those chain stores that carries cheap souvenir and beach going stuff.  They were…  less than $5 each, but you can find similar on QVC, Amazon and probably at a store near you.  They’re just little strips of fabric that you soak in cool water for 15+ minutes before your adventure, and then they stay cool for… at least an hour. 

UntitledIt’s almost too big for Gg, and she didn’t care for it, until she got hot.  Then she appreciated the bulk of cool around her neck.  Sis has an ice pack strip collar thing she wears, but honestly…  I think this might have stayed cool longer.

Sis could probably use two.  She has a 22″ neck, but the cool pellets or whatever only run about 12″ of the fabric.   Also, by the time I allowed for her neck skin (waddle?), I barely had enough fabric to tie off securely, as opposed to the picture-perfect bow I was able to do on the wee one. 

I was hoping they’d be more portable, something I could rotate and refresh Sis’s cooling garb as we hike, but … not so much.  Sis seems much more sensitive to the heat this year, so for now, we’ll do shorter walks (2-3 miles) when it’s over 75 degrees, and won’t walk at all if I can’t get them out of the house before it hits 85 degrees. 

What’s your climate threshold?