Denny and Charlie (and the rest)
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Wednesday, 22 August 2012 00:17 by robbi

It’s been a typically hot summer here in Houston. Probably not as bad as we’ve seen – last year we had a stretch of weeks with temperatures soaring into the 100’s. This year has been a bit more typical with average temps in the high 90s with the normal high humidity. Not nice, but normal for this area. And of course with the high temperatures we’ve seen the disturbing reports of idiots leaving kids and pets in their cars. Far too many deaths due to stupidity.

Closer to home, our local rescue was notified that one of our dogs adopted out here in Houston had suffered a heat stroke by being left outside all day. She was a young, healthy pug.

It scares us. It doesn’t take long for anyone to get overheated in these conditions. Add to that a fur coat and a tiny little smushy face, and you’ve got a recipe for a tragedy. Throw in the fact that Denny isn’t as mobile as he used to be and cannot climb through the doggie door anymore and also the fact that Maggie is too stubborn/ignorant to realize she’s getting overheated and you can see why we worry about our guys. We usually leave the back door open so that the furkids can get in & out through the doggie door as they need to. But this year we’ve repeatedly closed the door to prevent them from going out unsupervised. If we’re home but upstairs we’ll close the door. It’s just that little extra precaution that makes me feel a bit better.

I love these guys, but they are dogs after all – not humans. They are not able to think as logically as a human and therefore don’t always make the best judgment calls. Anyone who says “instinct” will guide them to keep safe has obviously never heard about the sheep that plunge over a cliff just because they were following the sheep in front of them. These guys need us to use our good sense to make sure they are safe. It’s no different than a baby needing an adult to decide what’s best for them.

Charlie on his raft

Plus of course there’s the fact that if given half a chance Charlie will go unsupervised into the pool and then drip pool water all over our new wood floors….

August Updates

Monday, 20 August 2012 19:11 by robbi

My sincerest apologies, I had written this post a couple of weeks ago but was not able to upload it due to some Word/LiveWriter incompatibility issues.

Miss Maggie wasn’t feeling too well so we took her to the Vet for a check-up. Seems she was suffering from a nasty UTI, so she was started on antibiotics. She has since finished them and seems to be back to her usual feisty self.

Munch has also been battling an ear infection, so there’s been the joy of attempting to get ear drops in a very clever senior kitty’s ear. My best chance is to distract her with a saucer of milk – but I have to be quick because she’s figured this out and if she sees the bottle of ear drops she’s out the door before I can grab her. I will be very glad when her ears are clear!

Denny. Ah, Denny. Well he’s pretty much the same. He has good days and bad days. Weather permitting, we still take him out for walks but they are short ones. He tires easily and when he’s tired he stumbles. The back brace wasn’t quite the miracle we were hoping for. To be fair, we haven’t used it as directed. Firstly, the inventor came up with it as a corrective device for animals with traumatic injuries. The idea behind it was that it be worn nearly continuously after an injury until the dog healed. As Denny’s condition is chronic, things are a bit different.

The brace itself is extremely restrictive. It’s difficult for Denny to lie comfortably in it and he cannot use the bathroom in it. It’s fine if he’s standing, but Denny doesn’t stand around much. So we put it on him and he lays like a blob in his bed until we take him outside. Then the brace has to come off for Denny to do his business. Then he comes back in and he’s too hot to have it put on right away. So we wait until he cools down and then put it on him for a while. As it goes tightly around his belly, it has to come off when he eats. And so it goes.

When he does wear it for any amount of time, he seems to be in pain. While the nurse in me knows that is not necessarily a bad thing, the mom in me hates to see him like that. So far, the mom in me has been winning this battle and we haven’t been keeping it on him very much.

But just yesterday, Richard had him in it for a few hours during the day. He took it off of him shortly before I came home to take him outside for a bit. He said it looked like he was hurting, so we left if off the rest of the night. Denny was stiff and looked unhappy most of the night. Then this morning, he walked over to the edge of the bed for me to pick him up with his tail wagging – something he hasn’t done in the past few weeks. Then I took him downstairs and sat him down by the back door while I turned the kitchen light on and opened the screen door. I looked down only to see him scamper outside unassisted.

And so I guess we’re back to putting him in it for at least a few hours every day. I promise that we’re going to be more methodical about using the brace and tracking his condition. I know there are a lot of people out there waiting to see if this thing works – the least we can do is give it a proper try.