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Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

It has been ten months since I wrote something here.  Not sure where all that time went.  It really does fly when you get older.  Can’t imagine what it is like in dog or cat years.  Yikes!

To catch up: Casey did not manage to lose much weight after I put her on the last diet.  We tried walking but it was so buggy that staying in the woods long was less then enjoyable.   Casey was also having problems with energy and stamina.  There was one morning I thought I would have to pick her up and carry her back to the Jeep.  She made it, but it was a long slow process.

No matter what I did she seemed to be gaining weight and becoming more and more lethargic.  When I went back to work in the fall I called a holistic vet.  I really did love our old vet and they were very very good to Casey, but it was hard to schedule appointments and it really was not cost-effective for her to have to come all the way here. 

The first vet visit was very traumatic for both of us.  Casey’s blood pressure sky rocketed and they couldn’t do a full exam because they thought she was going to have a heart attack.  Instead we had to schedule an appointment with Tufts .  A very good clinic, but a very expensive one also.

One thousand dollars later we learned Casey has a stage one heart murmur and hypothyroidism.  That explains almost everything about the poor baby girl.   She was put on a strict diet and has to take a pill 2x a day for the rest of her life.  It made her a brand new beagle.  She is almost at her correct weight, has a ton of energy, and her attitude has gotten 99% better.   Simply amazing.

As for the cat trio.  They are all still going strong.  Ashes still has bouts of bloody urine, but has become very cuddly.  Sometimes sleeping in the bed with me.  Moose’s internal clock is off by an hour and he has been waking my every morning at 3:00 a.m.  Hopefully turning the clocks in the spring will cure that.  Jordan is still clawing apart the woodwork all over the house.  We have tried everything and we can still hear her in the middle of the night and see the damage in the morning.

Indy bird is still naked most of the time.  She has a smaller cage in my room (office) but doesn’t come out even if I open the door.  Crazy bird.

Not much else to update.   At least on this blog.  I have been writing more on my personal blog, Ramblinann if you want to pop over there.  I will make a conscious effort to keep writing here too.  After all my pets are my kids now.

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It is another rainy day and Casey is being lazy.  Ssshhhh I have nothing to do with it. I know she would probably go out for a walk if I forced her to, but what fun is that.  None for me anyway. I was looking forward to walking trails this week. Now they are nothing but mud bogs again. Guess the hiking will have to wait.

This is all part of Casey’s weight loss program.  I measure out her whole days worth of food and put it in one container. From there she gets breakfast, lunch, supper, and good girl treats.  It seems very unfair and it feels like I am starving her, but I know in my head that I am doing no such thing.  She will be a much healthier happier girl without the extra pounds.

Following the directions I should see change in a week or so.  The key is to lose the fat gradually. The food is formulated so that she will use stored fat without losing muscle. If I can just get her out walking again she might even gain some muscle.  Beagles are such compact dogs that the extra fat really shows up fast. It has to go.

She has already been transitioned over to the food, Life’s Abundance Weight Loss Formula, so she has no digestive upset, but man is she poopin.  Her system is doing a whole clean out.  Getting rid of all the bad build up from snacking and treats.

She won’t step on a scale and the only one I have available is mine, so I will take pictures to document her healthy weight loss journey.  Hopefully she won’t be too embarrassed with the before and will pose pretty for the after.

Yes I have belly fat, and yes I am actually sitting ON the table

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I think the saying is “It’s A Dog’s Life”, but in my house that isn’t true.   It’s my quaker Indy that gets special treatment at this time of the year.

We are making the transition between having the pellet stove on to heat the whole house and not.  With the cost of heating, even pellets have gone up dramatically, we need to conserve as much as possible.

Because quakers are technically tropical birds Indy doesn’t do well when it is cold.  What feathers she has get all puffy and she tries to roll into a small ball to conserve body heat.  It is not good.  Indy’s big cage is out in the dining room where right now it is chilly.  Her little cage is in here with me where I can close the door and put the electric baseboard on.  She gets to be cage free, but usually lounges in her tent.  That is unless the birds outside are busy taunting her.  Then she has to be on the top of her cage yelling at them.

Meanwhile my underprivileged Casey has to sleep under the covers with us. While Moose, Ashes, and Jordan, have the crate (which was bought for Casey), Casey’s memory foam bed, or me to sleep on.  Did I mention they all have beautiful fur coats and are underprivileged?

          

         

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In 2005 I started a pet sitting business called Furry Friends Pet Sitting.  I thought “What a fun way to make a living. Play with dogs and cats all day. ” and it was fun; most days.  Other days it was a lot of hard work, dangerous driving, or extreme weather conditions.   Not so much fun.

Most sitters travel to their clients homes to provide pet care. This allows pets to remain in familiar surroundings while the family is away.  A great advantage for the dog or cat that would be overly stressed in a kennel environment.

When looking for a sitter be sure to do your homework.  Remember you are giving this person complete access to your home and pets while you are away.   Here are a few tips:

  1. Always meet your sitter in advance.
  2. Watch how your pet interacts with the sitter. Animals are usually good judges of character, usually.
  3. Ask about liability insurance.
  4. Ask for references and check them out.
  5. Ask what their backup plan is in case of emergency.
  6. Be honest with your sitter.  If your dog protects their property when you are away the sitter needs to know this.  If your pet is an escape artist the sitter needs to know this also.  If they are nervous or afraid the sitter needs to know.   Experienced sitters will be prepared if they know these things in advance.
  7. Leave updated contact information including veterinarian’s name and phone number, though sitters will ask anyway.
  8. Make sure you have enough supplies; dog food, cat food, litter etc…
  9. Ask your sitters rates, know their policies.
  10. Relax and know your pets will be playing, having fun, and getting spoiled.  Sort of like when auntie or grandma comes over.

Last year, I officially closed my pet sitting business.   The economy came to such a grinding halt the year before that I just couldn’t afford to keep it open.  Living in a rural area it was sometimes 10 or more miles one way between clients. Factor in having to make the trips two or three times a day and the gas alone was too much.

I have many happy memories and three of my pets because of Furry Friends.  It was “a fun way to make a living”.

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Being a member of the pet professional community is usually very fun.  Sharing stories about pet antics and goofy behavior is sure to bring smiles and giggles.

However; there is another side of the profession that is heartbreaking.  A front row seat to the horrific things some humans do to animals.   It comes to us through email, blog posts, networking groups, and from the people who have leading roles in the care of these poor abused animals.  Animal control, veterinarians, shelter and rescue workers, and the many volunteers who make it their life’s mission to save those that are suffering.

Animal cruelty comes in many shapes and sizes.  It is not just the dogs that have been put in the ring to fight, or pets that were beaten, maimed, and starved.  It happens around us every day.

Dogs and cats left out in the yard day and night through all kinds of weather. Some with no shelter to escape the bitter winds, freezing temps, or baking sun.  Deep snow, freezing temperatures, sweltering heat, or predators are what they have to look forward to each day.

These actions while maybe not illegal, are cruel and abusive.  These animals have no companionship.  The only human interaction they have is if and when a human tosses them food.   They don’t know how it feels to have their bellies rubbed or behind their ears scratched.  It can make both dogs and cats mean and untrusting.  Often leading to them being put down when they turn to biting as a defense mechanism.

So please, before you get that cute little puppy or kitten who will need a lifetime of love and care.    Ask yourself, “Am I ready for that commitment?”

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