I was typing away at the computer when Ace finally decided to get up this morning.
That’s the general routine. He sleeps in while I, an early riser, work. Around 9, or 10, or sometimes not until 11, he finally stretches and gets off the futon.
This morning, though, he found that hard to do. Once on the floor, one of his front paws didn’t seem to work. He seemed to have no control over it. When he got off the carpet and onto the wooden floor, it was even worse.
I let him outside and he walked spastically. Maybe his leg is just asleep, I told myself, even as a sick feeling started rising in my stomach.
I noticed that in addition to his right front leg not seeming to cooperate with him, the right rear leg wasn’t either. He managed to go a few steps and pee, then kept veering to one side, falling down and struggling to get up on his way back.
I called his local vet, and though they were booked solid they said to bring him in. On the way to the car he got worse. He leaned his left side on me as he walked, and his right paw dragged, his claws scraping rhythmically on the concrete.
Even with his ramp, it was hard to get him in, but he managed, thankfully, because I’m not sure I can lift 130 pounds now, or for that matter, if I ever could.
At the vet he stumbled and fell some more as we worked our way to the door. He didn’t seem to be in any pain – unlike when he had what was diagnosed as a herniated disc a few months ago. He seemed to have completely recovered from that.
He managed to get up the three stairs into the vet’s office. When I checked in, he didn’t jump up and put his front paws on the counter like he always does. He did perk up when, as we were walking into the exam room, a puppy was walking out. He stopped to sniff and say hello, his tail wagging wildly.
Inside the exam room, as we waited, he was drooling more than he has ever drooled, and sliding all over the floor as he tried to sit and then lay down.
They checked his legs, his ears, his heart, his eyes. I was wondering if he had a stroke, but he seemed responsive, just totally lacking coordination on one side. They asked if he’d eaten anything unusual; I assured them he hadn’t. They asked if he’d had any ticks recently. No, I answered. They took some blood for testing, and recommended a neurologist, but upon calling to make us an appointment they learned the only one in town was out of town – until Aug. 10.
They suggested one in Charlotte, 100 miles away.
We agreed to wait until the blood work up was done, in case Ace made another miracle recovery, as he did from his herniated disc.
“This doesn’t look to be the sort of thing where he’ll just wake up from a nice nap and he’ll be over it, does it?” I asked.
“It could be,” the vet said. “You never know.”
I managed to get Ace back in the car, but just barely as he kept sliding off the side of the ramp, his legs seeming to be working even less well by then.
In the car, I gave him some water, and wondered if we should just head straight to Charlotte, before getting him in and out of the car got to the point where it would require a forklift.
As I pondered, he puked.
Up until then, he hadn’t seemed to be in any discomfort, just stressed out by his limbs not functioning and the veterinarian’s probing.
I ran back inside and found the vet. “Now he’s started throwing up,” I said.
It was yellow, with hunks of what appeared to be chicken – even though I thought the canned food I’d added to his dry food the night before was beef.
The vet came out to the car to look at him again, told me to turn the air conditioning on, and had a technician bring out an IV bag to replenish his fluids with an subcutaneous drip.
During the drip, he got up from his laying down position, and sat, seeming to be put more weight on the malfunctioning front paw than he had been.
By the time we were home, he had little trouble getting up, and little trouble walking down the ramp. His right front paw, though, still seemed to flutter about wildly as he stepped.
In the house, I noticed a large swelling on his back, near where the needle had been — something like a camel hump, but smaller. When the vet called to tell me Ace’s bloodwork was all normal, I asked about the hump. He told me that was routine after a subcutaneous drip.
That’s where things stand now, and I have felt sick all morning, and frightened.
I’m frightened by what may be wrong with him, and frightened that I won’t have enough money, or credit, to pay for what the specialists advise. That is an awful feeling.
The camel is taking a nap now. I am going to join him.
The plan for now is that, when we wake up, it will all be better.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, control, dogs, health, herniated disc, legs, limbs, nerves, neurological, paws, pets, travels with ace, veterinarian, veterinary
Cursed cruise control
A mind-numbing way to drive
Much less live your life
(To see the entire collection of ”Highway Haiku,” click here)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 4th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, control, cruise, cruise control, dog's country, dogscountry, driving, haiku, highway, highway haiku, interstate, poetry, road, road trip, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace
According to the old saying — at least as old as Shakespeare — every dog has his day.
In California they just got an extra one.
Interpreting a regulation that sets the “holding period” for a stray dog impounded in a public or private animal shelter at “six business days” (or, if certain exceptions apply, “four business days”), a state appeals court in San Francisco has ruled that Saturdays don’t count as business days.
The ruling was the first to interpret a 1998 California law that increased the holding periods for public and private shelters, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The ruling will affect Contra Costa County Animal Services and all other counties and cities with similar policies.
The case goes back to 2006, when a miniature pinscher named Duke, was impounded at a county shelter in Pinole on a Thursday. The shelter held the dog until the following Wednesday, when another person took him. Duke’s owner, Veena Purifoy, went to the shelter the next day the following to find him gone.
She sued both the county and the new owner, who relinquished Duke in a settlement, Evans said. The suit against the county challenged its claim that the shelter had held the dog for the required four business days.
Overturning a judge’s ruling in the county’s favor, the appeals court said the state law did not define business days but was intended to increase holding periods from the pre-1998 law, which required a 72-hour hold.
Excluding Saturday as a business day serves “the legislative goal of access, because longer holding periods will often provide more opportunities for redemption and adoption,” Justice Martin Jenkins said in the 3-0 ruling.
(Photo from Cafepress.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 31st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, california, contra costa, control, days, duke, euthanasia, every dog has its day, holding period, impound, impounded, judge, law, lawsuit, limits, rescue, ruling, services, shakespeare, shelters, state appeals court, strays, time, tom hayden, veena purifoy
Amid an increasing number of reports of deaths and seizures, the Environmental Protection Agency is requiring beefed up labeling for flea and tick products used on dogs and cats.
The EPA wants companies to make instructions on the products’ labels more clear so people don’t give their pets too much of the pesticides, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The announcement affects most flea and tick products that are applied directly to a pets’ skin.
The products include those made by Merck & Co., Bayer AG and Pfizer Inc. under the names Frontline Top Spot for Dogs, Promeris Canine Flea Control and Enforcer Flea Drops for Cats.
The EPA said the number of reports of pets suffering from these products continues to rise. In 2008, the EPA received 44,000 reports of adverse events from these products, a 53% increase from the year before.
Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, said the labels are to blame, not consumers. “I don’t know how you would blame the victim in this case when the label isn’t clear,” he said.
Owens said in some instances, people don’t realize they need to regulate the dose based on their pet’s weight. He said the EPA will require more precise dosing on the product labels.
Companies that don’t voluntarily update the labels will be forced to, Owens said.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 19th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alert, animals, bayer AG, cats, consumer, control, deaths, dogs, enforcer, environmental protection agency, epa, flea, fleast, frontline, labels, merck & co., merial, news, overdoses, pesticides, pets, pfizer Inc., products, promeris, seizures, tick, ticks, topical, treatment, warning
It’s not just Los Angeles, and not just California whose shelters are awash in Chihuahuas.
That’s 230 more than during the same period last year.
As of yesterday, there were 84 Chihuahuas awaiting adoption.
The shelter is offering a special deal this weekend with a Chihuahua adoption fee of only $36.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 18th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abundance, animal, arizona, bevery hills chihuahua, breed, breeders, california, care, chihuahuas, control, dogs, glut, los angeles, maricopa county, media, movie, pets, phoenix, pop culture, population, surplus
Oscar, the dog who purchased 5,000 Microsoft points while chewing on his owner’s Xbox 360 controller, has been given an official Microsoft membership, and his owner will receive a refund.
Microsoft, proving even a software giant has a soft side when it comes to dogs — or at least knows a good public relations opportunity when it sees one – will be refunding the points, setting Oscar up with his own gamertag and Xbox live subscription, and sending his owner Greg Strope a new controller and some extra points.
The move makes Oscar the service’s first canine member.
A Lab mix, Oscar went after the remote control while his owner slept, somehow managing to turn on the console and purchase 5,000 Microsoft Points for the account of Strope, who had stored his credit card number in the remote.
Strope became aware of the $62.50 transaction whn he received an email confirmation of the purchase from Microsoft.
Yesterday, in an email to ohmidog!, a spokesman for Microsoft said the company is refunding Strope his LIVE points “and providing extra for good measure.
“Plus he will get an extra controller and a LIVE subscription for his dog, Oscar. We also created a gamertag for Oscar so that he doesn’t feel left out anymore.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 3rd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, accidental, chewing, control, controller, dog, gamertag, gnawing, greg stroke, greg strope, live, membership, orders, oscar, points, public relations, refund, remote, software, subscription, xbox, xbox 360
This little fella seems to love the feel of water splashing on his head — at least when he’s in control of it.
When you’re not in control of it, it’s an entirely different matter — torture even.
Take my house. (Please.) Recently a new leak developed. After a downpour, water pours in through a tiny slit in the ceiling, directly above the toilet. That’s very convenient — for I can just open the toilet lid and, except for some splashage, all the water goes right in.
It’s convenient up until the time one needs to use said toilet, in a sitting down manner. Then the options are: get very wet, hold a pot over your head (which is harder than it sounds), or postpone the bodily function until the weather clears up.
The landlord is on the case (it’s a complex roofing issue), but until a solution is reached, I’m faced with choosing between letting water that has collected who-knows-what on its trip across and through the roof pour on my head, holding a pot atop my head while on the pot, or gastrointestinal distress.
To be clear, this is not a drip, but a steady flow, and both letting it land on your head, and trying to catch it in a pot, while in the highly vulnerable squatting position, are more demeaning than you might imagine.
So I went to Home Depot and bought a 10-foot length of plastic gutter, which, if I angle one end against the wall under the hole, allows me to direct the incoming flow into the bathtub.
My bathroom now has a water feature. And I’m back in control. How do I spell relief? V-I-A-D-U-C-T.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 20th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bath, bathroom, bathtub, behavior, cat, ceiling, control, drip, faucet, funny, gutter, home depot, home repairs, kitchen, leak, leaky, pets, roof, shower, sink, toilet, torture, viaduct, video, water, weird, wet
B-More Dog is sponsoring a free hour-long workshop this weekend on dog-handling techniques and learning to read your dog’s body language.
It’s for humans only, and starts at noon on Sunday at BARCS (Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter) 301 Stockholm St. in Baltimore.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 21st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: b-more dog, baltimore, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, behavior, body language, control, dog, dog training, free, maryland, techniques, training, workshop
Officially, six dogs were killed in a mobile home fire near Mesa, Arizona at the end of March. But the owner of the property, neighbors and witnesses say two dozen or more dog carcasses could remain in the rubble.
Possibly as many as 50 dogs were living on the property; 26 dogs survived the fire.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office says its Animal Cruelty Enforcement unit will not be investigating and considers the case closed.
Deputy Lindsey Smith, sheriff’s spokeswoman, said animal crimes investigators went to the property and found nothing that fit the definition of animal cruelty. Smith said the investigators didn’t comb through the rubble, but found only six dogs that died in the fire.
According to neighbors who dug out the carcasses last week and delivered them to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, some of the dead animals were in plain sight, but the majority of them were buried in a 10-foot by 12-foot area, under rubble from the burnt mobile home.
The owner of the burnt property, Jamie Endicott, provided the Mesa Tribune with a receipt from Maricopa County Animal Care and Control for 31 dogs that were eventually found.
Twenty-six dogs that lived at the residence were rescued, according to Kathy Swaney, who runs Valley of the Sun Dog Rescue.
The woman who lived on the property, Beth Schmeltz, said she didn’t know how many dogs she had, but she had provided shelter for them all since she began living there in 1996. Endicott was set to file the paperwork to evict Schmeltz the day the property went up in flames.
On Wednesday, residents in the neighborhood held a memorial for the dead animals. About 50 people attended.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, arizona, burned, carcasses, care, control, dogs, dozens, endicott, fire, hoarder, hoarding, killed, maricopa, mesa, mobile home, rescue, rescued, rubble, schmeltz, valley of the sun
Citing a budget shortfall, Los Angeles animal control officials say they will end a voucher program that enabled residents to get low cost spaying and neutering for their dogs.
The program started last year, when the city voted to require all Los Angeles dogs and cats be neutered or spayed, with the exception of show animals, law enforcement and service dogs, and those deemed too old or sick for the surgery.
L.A. Animal Services General Manager Ed Boks says the agency was compelled by the city to make up a budget shortfall of $414,000. Ending the spay and neuter vouchers will save about $150,000, he said.
Animal welfare advocates, and some city council members, are displeased with the decision to end the program, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Councilman Dennis Zine’s office said he ”strongly opposes the recent decision made by the department to halt the voucher program” and will move later this week for the council to reinstate the program.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 17th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animal control, budget, cats, city, city council, control, dogs, ed boks, los angeles, low cost, low-income, mandatory, neuter, neutering, pets, population, program, shortfall, spay, spaying, sterilization, voucher