Monday, June 17, 2024

Practically perfect…even at Hallowe’en

Let’s ponder OldDogBlogs “Practically perfect” from March 13, 2024 and “Brazen” from December 8, 2023. Essentially, let’s just add them together and see what comes out....  

Hallowe’en is a Fall favourite at my house - spooky decorations, multiple costumes for each different gathering that day, and mini chocolate bars to hand out to trick-or-treaters.  Whether young human or old canine, everyone in my family loves Hallowe’en and candy treats.  Charly’s patience for human error expands that day.  Simultaneously, her brazen behaviour is enhanced.  She’s ready…to steal, search out, or snatch any item with chocolate content. 


 A few years ago, this stealth paid off when my daughter’s chubby clumsy child hands held too many mini chocolate bars.  They all spilled to the floor, and Charly – ever vigilant – seized the moment.  She gobbled down one KitKat bar, and had a second in her mouth by the time I could respond.  I pried the wrapper and some wafer hanging around her clenched teeth, but part of the second one went down the hatch too.  We were experienced by that point in knowing how much chocolate was too much for our stout dog, and did not concern ourselves!  It then became a science lesson for my little Grade Oner:  what’s our hypothesis about plastic wrap and dog stomach acid?  We made observations.  In about a day and a half, the experiment ended.  Contrary to predictions, the poo was practically perfect…and so was the wrapper!  

 

Happy summer, readers!  Rejoin OldDogBlog in Fall 2024.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Sunny days


  With an old dog, there are highs and lows.  For Charly, usually these are determined by her health rather than events, outings, or runs in fun places.  Bouts of good health are highs, and infection or illness are lows.  For the past few months, Charly has been in a high.  Our vet prescribed a new medication to assist with her arthritis, and she hasn’t had an infection for quite a while.  Thus, sometimes she goes farther on walks – albeit just a few metres, and she has a bit more spunk.  

But, the next low lurks around a corner.  In the past, it comes suddenly, or with gravity.  I thought a low was looming a week ago.  I was working from home, and Charly had been sunning herself on the deck.  I went to close the door after a while, and didn’t see her. I checked each of her four beds on the main floor of the house.  No dog.  I searched other less popular areas on the main floor.  Still no dog.  She couldn’t have gone upstairs, could she have?  No dog upstairs.  She didn’t go downstairs, did she?  No dog downstairs.  There was only one other place.  I ran outside into the backyard.  I found her staring at the backyard gate with soil circling her mouth.  After sunning herself on the deck, Charly had decided to venture down the outdoor stairs by herself…likely to lay in a grassy patch (specially planted for her) and eat some dirt (not meant for her).  She hasn’t tried the stairs in over a year, but I suspect she had been feeling a little spry in her high lately, and so she took them.  Then, tiring of the yard, she took the path to the backyard gate.  She stood there…either hoping it would open or sending me telepathic messages to open it, so she could get back into the house without having to go back up those outdoor stairs!  That evening, I noticed Charly was extremely slow and stumbled a bit.  I think she mustn’t have made it down those outdoor stairs without some tripping or slipping, but there was no lasting injury.  We had narrowly missed a loathsome low…and for now, happily, the high continues. 

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Infections (and injections)

  With age, Charly battles more infections and for longer.  This is particularly so with urinary tract infections and bladder crystals.  Like other dogs, Charly complains little about pain.  Her behaviour may hint at infection, but it is never obvious.  Sometimes her incontinence may be due to infection, but there will be few or no other indicators.  We have learned to regularly take samples of her urine to be tested just to ensure it’s “clear”.  

Regular testing began a year ago after we discovered that she had a urinary tract infection – a bad one that we had not noticed developing.  And, x-rays revealed crystals in her bladder.  She had demonstrated lower energy, and smelly urine.  Otherwise, there were no other signs.  The testing revealed a very terrible bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics.  The one prescribed was extremely expensive – it drained her account.  The vet assistant gave me a tutorial on subcutaneous injections that were to be administered twice per day, 12 hours apart, for 14 days.  I set alarms.  With the promise of a few urinary-friendly-kibble at the end, Charly participated willingly for about 11 days.  Then, she didn’t.  I had to slightly restrain her body with my legs, and inject small doses in multiple sites to complete the task.  No amount of kibble convinced her this was a good idea.  Finally it was over – as were culinary delights.  

 

Ever since that bout of antibiotics, Charly’s human food intake is extremely curtailed – no more leftover mac ‘n cheese in the pot after my daughter’s lunch thermos is filled every Wednesday.  For posterity and because her big brown eyes turn a ragged-edge wrench into my heart, she still is allowed to lick the empty pot – that seems to satisfy her!  The day Charly doesn’t crowd me in the kitchen…waiting…hoping that I err in pouring some edible treat (read: anything), is the day only the ghost of my old dog remains.

Practically perfect…even at Hallowe’en

Let’s ponder OldDogBlogs “Practically perfect” from March 13, 2024 and “Brazen” from December 8, 2023.   Essentially, let’s just add them to...