Make a Gift of Your Dog-Friendly Recommendations


I’ve mentioned before that my husband and I are hosting (indefinitely) a Chihuahua who belongs to his post-graduate niece; she’s looking for a job that will pay for a dog-friendly apartment in San Francisco. I was in her shoes 24 years ago; I ended up sending my dog back to my parents’ home. The landlords who do accept dogs in San Francisco are so few that they can charge outrageous rents for sub-par homes – and they have long waiting lists of potential renters.  Anyway, so Peanut – or “Tito” as my husband calls the dog – will probably be with us for a while.

Peanut/Tito (I often end up calling him “Potato”) is only four years old, but he has some obvious (to me) structural/mechanical problems. The action – or should I say, the inaction – of his knees suggest he’s got the knee issues that are so common in Chihuahuas.  He sometimes winces or screams if you pick him up – or if he even thinks you are going to pick him up. He’s very tense and guarded about being petted -– especially on his right shoulder, but pretty much everywhere except for the itchy patch on his back in front of his tail and his tummy.  I haven’t yet had time, but I really want to get him seen and treated by a qualified veterinary chiropractor. The thing is, the closest one I know is a three-hour drive away.

So I’m putting out the word to all the dog people I know: Does anyone know a good veterinary chiropractor up here in the north Sacramento Valley?

I was scanning a list of my email contacts for people to send my query to, when I came up with an idea. What if all of my dog-loving friends and relatives sent each other a “gift” of a list of beloved and trusted dog professionals with whom they’ve had personal experience? If someone sent me such a list, you can bet I’d post it on the wall near my computer, just in case I needed a referral for a good emergency clinic, rehabilitation practitioner, acupuncturist, nutrition expert, cardiologist – whatever! My friends contain a wealth of information; why not mine them for that information before I even need it (like now)?

I’m going to give it a try. To all the people I know who have or love dogs and cats in my area, I’m going to send them a list of all the dog-related professionals or services that I recommend in this area, and I’m going to ask that they do the same for me. My list will contain the best (in my personal experience) local business or provider of each of the following:

-Pet supply stores for good foods and training tools

-Emergency veterinary practice

-Progressive/educated veterinarian


-Boarding facility

-Daycare facility


Health food store with wide variety of superior-quality herbs and supplements

And while I’m at it, I’ll ask for specific recommendations for a few providers that I still need, such as a good local dog-walker, pet sitter, veterinary acupuncturist, and, of course, a veterinary chiropractor.

And if I’m looking for actual gift ideas, what about gift certificates to one of these local businesses that I know my friends could use?

What do you think? Would you send your friends a list of every professional who has competently helped you care for your dog?