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Preaching to the Choir

I had this thought on Tuesday, July 5, and I’ve been thinking about it on and off since then: Is any progress being made at all in the world of dog ownership? This was prompted by my brief custody of two small stray dogs, the ones I found trotting down my street the morning after fireworks were going off all over town. Fortunately, Otto was with me in the yard as I watered our roses and azaleas, and the dogs came in my gate to greet him; I was able to close the gate behind them. They wouldn’t come to me at first; once they realized the gate was closed, they trotted up and down the fence line a few times, to confirm they were, in fact, trapped in my yard.
dog with small kitten

Intelligent Refusal

Here's a memory that just came up: A blog post from July 2011 – 12 years ago!

A Good Fence Would Save a Stitch in Time, or Some Other Mixed Metaphor

This evening, I let Otto into the backyard to go pee. I heard the usual volley of barking from the back fence as Otto strolled around my yard. I was actually turning to go back in my own house to get a glass of water when I heard an odd noise. I turned just in time to see an entire plank of the back (wooden) fence plunk to the ground in my yard, and the biggest of the three dogs, a black male pit-mix-type, charge into my yard toward Otto.

Canine Cousins, Sort Of

On Friday night, I picked up my brother’s dog, Hannah, from his house (about an hour away). Keith, his wife, and their darling almost-two-year-old daughter went out of town for the weekend, and Hannah came to stay at our house. It struck me at some point during the weekend how much taking care of a relative’s dog is similar to taking care of a niece or nephew. You love the dog, because she’s “family” – after all, you said you would take her if anything ever happened to her!

Too Hot for Hounds

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.

What Does Your Dog Do When He’s Neglected?

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.

Keep Registration Up-to-Date for Identification Microchips

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.

The FURminator Wins Yet Another Fan

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.

Otto’s Next Challenge: Kitten Camp

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.

Single-Antigen Vaccines, Not Single-Dose

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.

Proud and Scared Both

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!”

Veterinary Visits Pet Peeves

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!

Latest Blog

No Balls in the House!

Boone lunged toward the ball first – but he’s not a good catcher – so the ball bounced past me toward a steel and stone side-table, with Boone in pursuit. He pursued so hard, he smashed his face right into the edge of the steel table.