I doubt that WDJ readers need to be reminded to leave their dogs home, rather than allowing them to accompany them on driving errands or shopping trips, at this time of year. When it’s hot, leaving a dog in a car –even with all the windows fully down – can heat a dog to the point of heatstroke or even death within a shockingly short amount of time. Dogs are much more susceptible to heat-related illness than adult humans; due to their smaller body mass, their internal temperatures rise much faster than ours do.
This past week, I’ve been working around the clock to get the July issue done. In the process Otto has been seriously neglected in the areas of exercise and focused attention. I skipped our Thursday night agility class. I took him for only one short walk, from our home to my office (about two blocks!) and back. (This only made matters worse, because I didn’t let him stay with me at the office for long; he’s so obsessed with wanting to kitten-watch that he whines and paces when I close the door between him and the foster kittens.
Late last week I read a news story about a dog who was lost for more than six months – and then found on the streets of Salinas, California, more than 1,200 miles from his home in Boulder, Colorado. He never would have been identified and returned to his owner if not for his identification microchip. It’s the kind of story that warms the heart of every shelter worker and volunteer, and highlights the value of the tiny implanted chips.
So, for years, I’ve been hearing about the “Furminator,” some sort of super-powered dog brush. I just couldn’t imagine there was all that much to it – and it was wildly expensive. FIFTY dollars for a dog brush? Or, as the company’s literature refers to it, a “de-Shedding Tool,” complete with that completely random capitalization. This year, though, I finally got desperate enough to shell out the money, in hopes of getting a handle on the copious amounts of hair that my darling dog Otto is shedding.
So, I’m fostering a cat and her five kittens. Poor Juno (I just named her, a teenaged mom) was abandoned by some former neighbors, who moved away about two months ago. I hadn’t known they didn’t take her with them when they moved out of the apartment building that’s two doors down from my home; I hadn’t seen her since they moved. But Otto found her -- and her five new kittens – in the ivy that grows on the fence between our house and the empty (foreclosed) house next door. Oh, the economy.
This is a follow-up to an issue we discussed, a subscriber had written us out of concern that his veterinarian no longer offered distemper-only vaccines. We looked into the matter and learned that in fact, Schering-Plough, the last veterinary vaccine company that still made a distemper-only vaccine, had recently ceased production of the vaccine. It’s just not available anymore.
Otto had just woken up and was yawning and stretching next to me on the porch, dragging his leash. I turned around to lock the front door behind us, and suddenly Otto roared and launched off the front steps at high speed, headed straight for the street. And in the same moment that my brain registered the fact that Otto was running toward the street, I also heard a car or truck approaching. I screamed, even as I was turning around, “OTTO OFF!”
Recently, I brought Otto to the vet for a routine visit. The postcard I received from the vet’s office suggested that Otto was due for some vaccinations and routine tests. Upon making the trip to her veterinarians, a plethora of my “pet peeves” were set intomotion. For example; “routine vaccines.” When I call to make the appointment, I let the receptionist know I won’t be vaccinating my dog unless a distemper/parvo titer test tells me he needs a “booster” shot. First, she claims that they don’t do these tests. Argh!
I was in my local shelter one day last week when a couple brought in two intact male pit bull-type dogs. Both dogs were white, which made it easy to see how filthy dirty they were – and to see the wounds that each of them had. The larger, overweight dog had what may have started as a sunburn and developed into a dermatological condition. But the younger, smaller dog had truly ghastly wounds on his hind legs; it looked as if he had been tied up (or even hung) by ropes around his hind legs.
When I learned that Planet Dog was releasing a “Special Edition 10th Anniversary Orbee,” my first thought was, “Wow, has it really been 10 years?” The ball still seems new and exciting around WDJ's editorial office.
I just received an email announcing the publication of a book written by one of WDJ’s favorite veterinarians, W. Jean Dodds, founder of Hemopet canine blood bank. Dr. Dodds has long been interested in canine thyroid disorders; years ago, I heard her present a riveting seminar on the topic at one of the annual meetings of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA).
So, two weeks ago I wrote about how I have two friends who are looking for dogs, and how I was worried because they are both impulsive and apt to bring home the wrong dog. One friend is actually being patient! Yay, friend!