I wanted to take a moment this Thanksgiving to write about how grateful I am for my Annie dog. If you read our origin story post, then you’ll know that Annie came into my life when I was really struggling. She’s one of the main reasons I was able to stop self-harming when I was at the lowest point I’ve ever been.
She’s sweet, friendly, and loves attention. If I lie down on the floor, she’ll come right up to me and snuggle in next to my neck.
She snores, she’s whiny, gets powerful gas, and I don’t know if all her fur will ever grow back. But, I love her.
I recently read a book called 12 Rules for Life. The author made an interesting comment that we love people because of their limitations. A person’s limitations are just as much of what makes individuals unique as their strengths. I thought that was a powerful thought, and I think it applies to our love for our pets too. Complete love means recognizing the other completely, including the things you like and the things you don’t like about them. Annie is such a great example of this. She loves me completely, and I feel that from her. I hope to learn how to incorporate this true love into the way I treat others.
Thanks, Annie dog, for coming into my life when you did.
Thank you to everyone who’s been reading about our experiences. Happy Thanksgiving!
Getting Annie dog fixed was something I’d been planning on doing sometime every since I adopted her; however, since she was still recovering from mange, then an ear infection, and then a paw infection when I got her, I wanted to wait until she was healthy before I had it done.
Then, after those conditions cleared up, her hair was still taking a long time to grow back. It still hasn’t come back completely although she has a lot more now than when I first met her.
Earlier this year when she got her teeth cleaned, I had the vet’s office also do a full blood panel to see if there was anything else going on. Everything came back in normal range, and she doesn’t act sick, so she’s healthy.
The other thing preventing me from getting her spayed earlier on was that I was strapped for cash. Due to my own medical bills and financial obligations, I just couldn’t afford to get her fixed (which was fine with Annie, I’m sure).
But this year, Annie and I have both been blessed with better health and an improving financial state, so I finally scheduled that appointment.
Everything went well, but Annie gave me the “How could you let them do this to me?” look for a couple of days afterward. I was a little worried when she didn’t eat anything (except like 2 dog treats) for a few days following the surgery, but she started feeling better and is doing fine now.
I researched a little about spaying dogs before taking Annie to the vet, and here’s the gist of what I learned:
Spaying an animal means removing the entire uterus and ovaries. Although, there is an option out there for just removing the ovaries.
A female dog’s behavior can be influenced by having these parts removed because it affects hormone production. It seemed like it might calm them down some, but I got the vibe it doesn’t affect a female’s mood as much as a male’s mood is affected by getting neutered. However, it will not change their personality completely.
It can help prevent mammary tumors (My childhood dog, who never got spayed, had a benign one of these.) and serious uterine infections.
There’s potential that spaying your dog can help them live longer. Not sure why, but supposedly it can increase their natural lifespan.
A dog’s metabolism slows down after being spayed.
It’s been almost 2 weeks now, and Annie dog has mostly recovered! She has some scarring down her lower belly. This may or may not be permanent.
I plan to do something fun with her soon to make up for what she’s had to endure.
Do you have any “tales” about getting your pets fixed?
I love my Annie dog, and she can be the sweetest little thing. However, there is something I need to work on with her….
She whines like crazy!
I have worked with Annie some about this, and her whining isn’t a bad as it used to be. Sometimes, though, I feel like giving up because it seems like she’ll never overcome it.
I know there are different reasons for her whining. There are two main ones that I believe would solve most of the problem if we can work through them.
She Whines For Attention
When it’s for attention, there can be a real need behind her whining. For instance, she might need to go outside or need her water bowl refilled. I don’t mind so much when Annie whines to get my attention for these sorts of things. How else would she let me know?
It’s the whining purely for attention that can get annoying. I try to pet, cuddle, and play with Annie regularly. I want to be a good dog mom, but how do I balance giving her attention without giving in to her whining?
According to sites like the ASPCA (American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), when a dog whines just for the sake of attention itself, you should ignore them. I try to do that when I’m doing something and know that Annie is just whining and doesn’t need something. But what about when I am playing with and petting her, and she starts whining for more attention during the middle of that? Almost like a happy “pet me more!” whine. Do I just suddenly start ignoring her then?
2. She Whines Due to Separation Anxiety
Annie has had separation anxiety issues ever since I adopted her. I think it’s due to a mix of her previous owners not treating her well and spending a couple of months in a shelter.
Even though I’ve owned her for almost three years, she still freaks out and whines like crazy when I leave or when I first get home.
At this point, I’m considering if she needs anti-anxiety medication.
I’ve tried a number of different things since she’s become my dog to try and ease her anxiety and whining. I’m a bit flummoxed about what more I can do.
Has medication helped your pets with anxiety? Do you have any you reccommend?
I don’t want to just “drug” my dog in order to not have to deal with whining, but I think it might genuinely help her. And she’s helped me so much through the worst of my self-harm and depression that I want to help her back as much as I can.