His research and willingness to innovate pays off, as this dedicated owner helps his dog outlive her diagnosis.
One of the most irritating – and common – phone calls I receive in my capacity as a professional dog trainer is when dog owners urgently ask me to help solve their dog’s behavior problem immediately – even though, as it often turns out, the problem has actually existed for years. Sometimes, it’s even phrased as, “If we can’t get this fixed now, we’re getting rid of the dog; we just can’t take it anymore.”
A lick granuloma is a red, raw, and ugly looking wound, caused by a dog’s incessant licking. The last thing one would think is that it can be a blessing in disguise, but it seems to have been just that for Biggie, a 10-year-old Weimaraner owned by Maryland breeders Bob and Virginia (Gini) Selner. Biggie (AKA “Wyngate’s Music Man”) is one of five dogs who live with the Selners, who breed, raise, and show their Weimaraners. Although he is a handsome and well-behaved dog, the Selners chose not to pursue a competitive career for Biggie, since he simply seemed to lack enthusiasm for the show ring.
Generally, dogs are bred to do different jobs. Want to herd sheep? You get a Border Collie, not a Cocker Spaniel! Want to go sledding? You look for a Malamute, not a Borzoi! You get the idea. However, not every representative of a specific breed of dog can fill the “job description” for that breed. So, even though you might wisely choose a German Shepherd when you go looking for a guard dog, it’s impossible to know for sure that the individual shepherd you choose is going to be a good guard dog.
On April Fool’s Day 1996, my soon-to-be-husband took me to get a puppy. We already had one dog, Ladybird, but she was getting older and we felt a young friend would encourage her to be more playful. We also hoped Ladybird would pass on some of her fine qualities to the puppy. We drove out of town to a place where people play paintball. There were more than a dozen young dogs running around, and the owner told us to take our pick. One young female seemed to want my attention more than any of the others, and I fell in love with her pretty face. We took her home and named her Cheyenne.
As a holistic behavior consultant, I believe that most problems people experience with their dogs are not really dog problems but rather communication problems. Dogs don’t have problems being dogs; they have problems being dogs who live with humans. Most humans don’t even know how to communicate with each other! Every interaction you have with a dog teaches the dog something about living with a human.
Bruno was probably not more than four weeks old when found abandoned on a Hercules, California street corner. But the people who found him knew just who to call: Marilynn Hanson, a professional pet-sitter and shelter volunteer. While Hanson is often tempted to bring home the hard-luck cases she sees in the shelter, for practical reasons she usually resists. But she couldn’t help but respond to this tiny foundling, taking the green-eyed pit bull-cross home right then and there, and named him Bruno.
A holistic pet behavior counselor often has to be like a detective. You have to find all of the missing pieces of the puzzle and put them together to form a complete picture. Sometimes this is not easy because people are not accustomed to thinking about the whole picture in order to determine the cause of their problems. Most of the time, people focus on one detail and cannot see the forest through the trees.
Tova was raised just like a little princess. A copper and cream colored Siberian Husky, she belonged to a very old man who spoiled and overfed her with any kind of food that seemed to make her happy: Spam, canned people food and canned dog food, Burger King and McDonald’s hamburgers, etc. Her owner had a part-time job picking up and delivering blood samples, and he brought Tova with him on his driving route, where she enjoyed getting cookie treats from her many admirers along the old man’s route. But beyond walking to and from the car at each stop, Tova and her owner got very little exercise.
For Star, an eight-year-old Springer Spaniel cross, life hasn’t always been easy. But thanks to treatments by Pedro Rivera, DVM, of The Healing Oasis Veterinary Hospital in Stutevant, Wisconsin, Star’s life glimmers again. In addition to traditional veterinary medicine, Dr. Rivera often treats his animal clients with chiropractic, homeopathic and Chinese remedies, and glandular therapy.
The name Ray Carlisle is synonymous with Doberman Pinschers. A breeder and exhibitor for 40 years, a show judge for the last 20 years, and a former president of the Doberman Pinscher Club of America, the United Doberman Club, and the American Working Dog Federation, the New York resident travels the world on behalf of his favorite breed. “I vaccinated my dogs for many years,” Carlisle says, “but they all had chronic health problems, and…
Three days after Jonah first showed symptoms, so did his brother, Micah. Three days later, eight-year-old Tyrone and two-year-old Vivian, both Malamutes, became ill. Levy caught their symptoms early because she kept all of her dogs confined and followed them individually to check for diarrhea. “Parvo’s diarrhea has such a specific, pungent, metallic smell,” she says, “that it viscerally imprints itself on the nasal passages. I believe I could diagnose any dog that has parvo by the odor of its feces alone.” Micah and Vivian were as ill as Jonah had been, but immediate treatment saved their lives. Tyrone had milder symptoms and did not require hospitalization.
Competing with our Sheltie Asta at her first agility trial was an answer to our prayers. After her diagnosis, we lived with months of uncertainty about what type of life she might have. Following her lovely debut, a friend aware of Asta’s condition commented on how “normal” it all looked. But our path to that first agility competition was anything but “normal” because Asta has a mental illness.
Chiropractic treatment can solve seemingly unrelated health issues.
When Deanna Cuchiaro of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, set out to adopt an Irish Setter, she had no idea the rescue would change her entire perspective on animal health care. Cuchiaro already had one Irish Setter, Brandy, who had recently turned 10, and she wanted to get another so that Brandy could help pass his positive influence around the house to the newcomer. She considered getting a puppy, but decided to adopt a rescue dog from the Irish Setter Club of Central Connecticut rescue program. She met representatives of the rescue group at a local Irish Setter show who told her there was a large two-year-old male Setter available for adoption.