Nov 30, 2009

Vintage Chihuahua Manual

Man, oh man, do I want a copy of this exact book. If the photos inside are even remotely as goofy as the cover picture, then this beats the hell out of any contemporary chihuahua care guides by a landslide. Who cares if the information within is right or wrong, it's got to be a page-turner! Look at the poor little retarded fellow on the right and tell me that you wouldn't snap him up immediately if you saw him up for sale anywhere. Life couldn't possibly get more fun than it would be with him in your life.

Photo courtesy of Painter Girl on flickr.

Nov 21, 2009

It Can't Be Helped!

A cute little dog sitting happily on your lap with his tail wagging to beat the band is just begging to have that tiny tail gently pulled, teased and played with. It's sort of like that big red button everyone just has to push despite the warning beneath it that reads, "Do Not Push Red Button." It can't be helped. Some tails just have to be pulled no matter what.

Nov 19, 2009

Natural Ear Remedy

Some poor doggies are the same as their human counterparts and suffer from repeated, painful ear infections despite repeated courses of antibiotics. And given that being overmedicated is a very bad thing, having a treatment that is a safe and effective alternative to all those pills is a very good thing. I have some friends who swear by this recipe for their dogs who have recurring ear issues. Please note that I have been lucky, or I should say my dogs have been lucky, to never need any ear treatments and so I personally have never used this.

Natural Ear Treatment for Dogs

16 oz bottle Isopropyl Alcohol (70% solution)
4 tablespoons boric acid powder
16 drops gentian violet (1% solution)*

Mix all ingredients in the alcohol bottle, shaking well. You will need to shake this before each use to reintegrate the boric acid powder within the solution. Transfer a small amount into a clean small, flexible plastic bottle with a pointed end such as a hair coloring bottle that can be purchased at a drug store. Fill the ear canal with a small amount of the solution, leave for one minute and then wipe out with a clean tissue. Repeat two times a day for one week, then once a day until the infection is gone. A maintenance dose to prevent future infections in dogs that are prone can be used once a month.

* Gentian Violet is a natural bacteriacide and antifungal agent. It can be found in natural food stores in their health departments as well as occasionally in standard drugstores. Please note that this will permanently stain surfaces it comes in contact with so be careful where you use it!

Nov 12, 2009

An Angel Under My Roof

I know that his dad and I raised Griffin to be a loving and compassionate soul, but it was really hammered home this past weekend that we had done a fairly decent job teaching him the proper values everyone should possess in life.

He was out with his girlfriend, her brother and sister when they happened upon a cat that had been hit by a car and left for dead with a broken leg and some seriously deep cuts. It had survived the initial accident but then had plainly been unable to get back home for some time as it was deathly thin with every last rib clearly showing. They brought the cat back to Griffin's girlfriend's house and fed it with her own cat's food and gave it water. Then they filled a cat carrier with a blanket and gently put the cat inside. As it had on a collar with current rabies tags, they called the vet who had vaccinated the cat only to get a rather surly answering service flunky who refused to contact anyone associated with the vet's office. They took the cat around the neighborhood where they had found it, knocking on door after door, hoping to find anyone who recognized the cat or could point them in the direction of a possible owner, again to no avail. A call to our local Animal Control resulted in being told the office was closed for the weekend and any emergencies should be directed to the local police department who would then page the Animal Control officer on call, but who in turn upon talking with the oh-so-helpful dispatch officer, told my son that they would not under any circumstances page Animal Control as this was not their responsibility. With no other options and after making one last phone call to them, Griffin, his girlfriend and her two siblings drove several towns away to the closest emergency veterinary hospital with the poor cat, who was immediately whisked away by a vet tech who was waiting for the cat's arrival. Griffin was told that they would try to stabilize the cat and would hand the cat over to their local Animal Control the following morning, but beyond that they couldn't make any promises as to the cat's survival or what would happen to it if it did survive. Griffin spent a long worried night wondering what this poor cat's fate would be.

The next afternoon Griffin called the animal hospital and had decided that if the cat was going to make it and an owner couldn't be located that he would give the kitty a permanent home. But alas, this story has a very happy ending thanks to my son and his companions: with the proper medical attention it had received that previous night the cat was going to survive its injuries, it had come back from the brink of starvation and from its tags his owner had been located and was happily coming to bring him back home.

My kid kicks ass. He really does.

Red, Red Kitty Head courtesy of Eric Hew on flickr.

Nov 5, 2009

Good People

It's heartening to know that there are still some very kind and selfless people in this world.

I know a lady who lives in a rural state and who has very little money, but who has a heart the size of the universe. She lives on a country road where sadly it's the norm for people who no longer want their pets to dump them on an empty stretch of that road near her home. A big red hound with a happy smile perpetually planted on his doggie face is one such pet. He found his way to her backyard one morning this past spring, alarmingly skinny and very curious, so she took to feeding him outside whenever she fed her pet dogs inside and soon he was gaining weight and his coat was glossy again. Throughout the summer months, he'd come for a free meal a couple of times a day but then be off again doing whatever it was he did the rest of the time. As the weather turned cooler this fall, she'd let him sleep in her heated garage as she feared if she let him into her house he would hurt her chihuahuas, not because he was a mean dog, but because he was young and rambunctious and unaware of the enormous size difference between him and them. She even paid for him to be neutered to help curb the unwanted pet population.

And then he suddenly stopped coming around. She worried about him for several days until her son found him behind an outbuilding, laying in the mud and clearly not well. Together they hauled him back to their house where he was given the once-over. His foot appeared to be infected, so this lovely woman who often hasn't enough money for her family, once again took the dog to her vet. He was bathed and given routine shots and it was discovered that his foot was indeed infected because he had been shot. Now I know this is a rural area and farmers feel the need to protect their crops and livestock, but to shoot a dog? Or perhaps it was some kid or kids who thought it a fun game to shoot at him. Either way, it's a horrifying thing to consider: that there are people who think nothing of picking up a gun and firing at a helpless animal that may or may not be someone's beloved pet.

This woman has continued to care for this lovely animal as he heals and recuperates. She fears for the day he will finally go his way again as he is no longer a dog that likes to be kept indoors, having now spent so much time wandering wild and free, but she is prepared to feed him and keep him for as long as he will stay.

And she was talking with another woman who lives in her area. Both were discussing how horrible it is to see so many dogs and cats dead in the miles of empty road between their homes, hit by cars as they try to survive on their own for the first time in their lives. Dogs and cats that at one time were someone's pets until those people thought nothing of ditching them on the side of the road, left to fend for themselves. This second lady has brought many of them into her home and cares for them until the local shelters can find them homes. She won't actually bring them to those shelters, for if no one adopts these poor animals they'll be euthanized, and she can't bear to think of that happening. So she too feeds them, vets them and hangs on to them until they are lucky enough to find a new family to love them. All at her own expense.

In a world full of rotten people who treat animals like objects who have no feelings, who don't fear or suffer or feel pain, there are still angels who respect animals enough to go without for themselves in order to save the unwanted and unloved. Both of these ladies are very good people. It's too bad there aren't more of them in this world.

Photo courtesy of Malarkey and Mayhem on flickr.
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