Fixed? Fix What?

Annie recovering after surgery and wearing one of my old shirts so she won’t lick the incision site.

Yep, you guessed it. Annie got spayed.

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:

  1. Spaying an animal means removing the entire uterus and ovaries. Although, there is an option out there for just removing the ovaries.
  2. 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.
  3. It can help prevent mammary tumors (My childhood dog, who never got spayed, had a benign one of these.) and serious uterine infections.
  4. There’s potential that spaying your dog can help them live longer. Not sure why, but supposedly it can increase their natural lifespan.
  5. 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?

Lots of tail wags and smiles from Annie and me!

Information can be found at https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/spay-and-neutering-dogs-101-everything-you-need-know#:~:text=When%20a%20female%20dog%20is,and%20eliminates%20her%20heat%20cycle.&text=When%20neutering%20a%20dog%2C%20both,is%20also%20known%20as%20castration. and https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/spaying-in-dogs .

I Speak Whine

Annie curled up with her favorite toy.

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.

  1. 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.

A-Snoring We Will Go

This is one way Annie likes to sleep.

It happens on a regular basis I’ll be working on something or in the middle of watching a show or even trying to fall asleep and….

SNNNNOOOOORRE!

The loud, throaty vibrating sound erupts from Annie.

I’ll look over to see her sleeping contently, oblivious to the noise she’s making.

Sometimes it’s funny, and sometimes it’s annoying. But I guess that’s the way things are in both pet-human and human-human relationships. The other being can’t be the perfect white horse, prince, princess, knight, or perfect whatever all the time. They’d have to be fake all the time to achieve that.

I prefer authenticity, and Annie sure as heck doesn’t care for pretending to be anything. She’s true to herself, snores and all.

But I did get to wondering if her loud snoring could be a health problem, like it can be in humans, and here’s what I found from some light research.

  1. Know the nose- The flatter the dog’s face/shorter the nose, the more the dog’s breathing is naturally constricted, making them likely to snore. (Being a beagle, that’s not what’s causing Annie’s snoring.)
  2. Weight- If the dog is overweight, they are more at risk for snoring. I don’t think Annie’s that fat, but others have described her as chubby so….
  3. How the dog sleeps affects how they snore- Apparently, if the dog sleeps on its back or with its head lower than the rest of its body, it increases its probability of snoring. That’s why those dog beds with raised sides are good. Being able to sleep with their head lifted up opens up their airways, making snoring less likely. Annie, well, as you can see in the picture above, she has some interesting ways she likes to sleep.
  4. Air Dryness-How humid the place you and your dog live is also influences their snoring. The drier the air, the more at risk you are for hearing your dog “enjoying” their sleep. This is because dry air dries out the nose and throat. Since Annie and I live in a very dry climate, using a diffuser or humidifier could help diminish her snoring.

As you can see, I have a couple of things to try to decrease those loud snores of Annie’s.

There is a chance that a dog’s snoring can be caused by sleep apnea or an infection in the nose, mouth, or throat. However, since Annie recently had a vet appointment and came out with a clean bill of health (and clean teeth), I don’t think anything serious is causing her to snore.

I’ll try experimenting to see if any of the above methods work, especially since they seem to be good for Annie and not just for my benefit. But, if she continues to snore like a rhino, I’ll still love her, noise and all.

Also, don’t forget that we have a YouTube channel you can visit for funny and cute videos of Annie!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr3oDeQ_7SU00HMC2OX6lkA

Research for this post came from these sites below.

https://wagwalking.com/wellness/how-to-prevent-your-dog-from-snoring

https://m.petmd.com/dog/conditions/respiratory/does-your-dog-have-snoring-problem

Furry Heartbreak

Jasper

Annie and I have sad news to report.

Little Jasper was run over in February. It happened when he was following Annie and me on a walk. It was somewhat traumatizing to witness as he didn’t die instantly, and I’d rather not go into graphic detail.

I sobbed on and off the first couple of days. Annie seems to be grieving in her own way. She’s been whinier than usual, and sometimes when she first goes outside, she waits on the step for Jasper to come and tug on her ear in the “C’mon, let’s go!” fashion that he used to.

She’s also been even more of a cuddle bug lately.

Little Jasper will be missed. He was an energetic fur ball who was always eager to play. If you sat down next to him, he saw it as an open invitation to sit on your lap.

He was only a couple years old. In one sense, I hope he rests in peace, but in another sense, I hope he’s up in heaven romping around with all the other dogs.

It sucks when a pet dies. What are ways you cope with the grief of losing a pet?

A Dog’s Selfishness Is Different

Happy New Year!

Annie wearing her bandana

I’ve spent more time away from home the second half of 2019 than I have before in the two years I’ve owned Annie. This also means that I’ve spent more time away from Annie than ever.

She’s been a pretty good sport about it, which is saying a lot considering how bad her separation anxiety was when I first adopted her. My little Annie dog has gotten stronger. Pardon me for feeling a ping of pride when I think about that.

Some things have happened in my personal life that have left me thinking about what people expect from each other and how no relationship realistically (as far as I can tell) exists without each party being a little selfish. After all, you should feel comfortable asking for things in an authentic relationship, right? They should be reasonable things, and each side has to be willing to give, of course.

Personally, I struggle with asking for things from others. I may think about it, but it’s difficult to say.

That’s one reason why I love dogs: their selfishness is different than humans.

Annie is open about what she wants and doesn’t hide how she feels. It’s all there in her body language. Yet, when she’s being selfish, demanding my attention for more cuddles more letting me know it’s time to feed her, there’s an innocence in it that I don’t see in adults. I never feel used or like I’m getting the bad end of the deal. It’s simple, open, loving communication. I give her love, and she gives love back. There’s no need to make it complicated.

Annie’s selfishness is innocent.

How grateful I am that I have Annie dog, and that she looks past all the faults I have (if she even notices them in the first place) and simply loves me. She gives me hope, and that’s a powerful thing to give.

Push The Bowl

Annie by her water bowl


We’re back! It’s been a while since the last post. Annie and I are doing good: Annie’s paw is all healed up now, and my fibromyalgia symptoms haven’t been as bad lately.

Though I’m not by any means over-scheduled, I have been busier lately, and Annie’s demeanor shows she’s feeling a bit left out. She jumps up on my bed every night now and wants to cuddle every time I sit on the floor, even if that means messing up whatever I was doing on the floor in the first place.

Despite this behavior, she’s still come a far way from the terrible separation anxiety she had when I first adopted her. And she’s gotten used enough to my parents’ house that she doesn’t constantly whine when I’m not home (I’m sure my parents appreciate that).

I guess I’m reflecting on how pets are like four year-olds, sensitive to the amount of direct attention you give them.

Annie developed this “push the bowl” habit not too long after I adopted her. She knows her water goes in her blue bowl, and you should know that she drinks a LOT of water. So, it’s not unusual for me to glance over and see that her water bowl is empty. However, if I’m preoccupied and fail to notice that she needs a drink, Annie will start pushing her blue bowl around. It makes a scraping noise on the plastic mat or kitchen floor, and the sound is Annie’s way of getting my attention to let me know she’s thirsty.

While I’m glad she has developed methods of letting me know when she needs something, I wonder how often Annie feels the need to “push the bowl” in other areas in order for me to give her the proper attention. I try to make sure she feels loved and is cared for, but what is the proper balance between loving and caring for your dog and overdoing it? I don’t want to be neglectful in any way, but I also don’t want to be that crazy chick who overindulges her dog, treating it like a royal baby.

Maybe I’m overthinking it (That seems to be a habit of mine.), but if I’m going to care for an animal, then I want to do it right. And Annie’s been through enough in her past. She should feel secure with me.

What do you think is a good balance between owner and pet?

Human, That Is NOT Food!

Annie hugging her toy

Annie has had a rough couple of weeks. She’s been in heat (No, she’s not fixed.) and had to wear diapers. If that wasn’t enough, she hurt her left front paw somehow.

She started limping one day, and when I checked, I saw that in-between her paw pads was a swollen red. I cleaned her paws with epsom salt water and tried to keep her paw clean. She wasn’t bleeding or anything, and I’d hoped she’d recover on her own after a day or two.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, and we ended up going to the vet. Annie was fine in the waiting area, but as soon as we entered the examination room, she started pacing and whining. There must be a scent in those rooms–probably given off by other animals–that makes her feel uncomfortable since this was the first time we’d been to this vet.

The assistant ended up holding Annie while the vet took a small pair of forceps and investigated the most sensitive spot on her paw.

Well, as you can guess, Annie didn’t like that at all. She struggled, whined, and even tried to snap at the vet. Poor thing. I felt bad, but we needed to find out what was going on.

The vet ended up pulling out a tiny piece of what looked like a brown thistle. He said, it seemed strange that her paw would hurt so badly because of such a small piece, but there was infection too.

Before sending us on our way, the vet gave us some antibiotics and pain reliever. And, in case you’re wondering, Annie doesn’t like pills either. The vet assistant found that out when she gave her her first dose. She put each pill in a treat pouch, and Annie was okay with that when it came to the pain pill. However, the antibiotic pill was in capsule form, and Annie wasn’t having that. So, what did she do? She maneuvered the treat pouch around in her mouth so that she could eat the treat, but then she spat out the untouched capsule at the vet assistant’s feet.

Yep. She wasn’t afraid to tell us what she thought of that pill.

Back home, I had to either trick her with cheese or basically shove the capsule into the back of her mouth to get her to take it, and even then she managed to spit it out half the time somehow. For such a sweet dog, Annie can be really stubborn when she wants to be.

Annie just finished her pills, and I can happily say her paw looks a lot better and she’s no longer limping.

And we’re both glad we don’t have to fight the battle of the pill anymore.

I wonder how many other dogs (or pets in general) also manage to be so tricky when given pills or medicine? If you have any such stories about your pets, I’d love to hear them in the comments!

Everyone Asks About The Fur

Annie just chillin'. You can see where not all of the fur has come back on her sides.
Annie just chillin’. You can see where not all of the fur has come back on her sides.

It’s a question that almost everyone who meets Annie asks: What happened to her fur?

When I first adopted Annie from the shelter, she was still overcoming mange (a skin condition where parasitic mites wreak havoc on the animal’s skin). Aside from her head and a streak of fur down her back, she was basically bald with irritated skin.

I was under the impression Annie’s mites had been taken care of and her fur would grow back quickly.

Well, that didn’t happen.

First, it took months and more medication until the skin scrapes taken by the vet proved the mites were dead and gone.

Second, I’ve had my Annie dog for a year and a half now, and she still hasn’t grown all her fur back. Given, she’s grown some of it back and her skin is a lot healthier now, but I really want her to have a beautiful coat of fur. Her cute and loving personality deserves a cute appearance.

So…what now?

Well, my own observations and research coupled with a few vet visits has me thinking two things:

Her skin received a lot more damage from the mange than anyone realized, and she might have problems with her thyroid since the bald spots are mostly symmetrical on each side.

She doesn’t act sick or lethargic in any way, so I am trying some things before seeing the vet again. I’m trying to incorporate dog food and treats that are high in omega 3s to help her skin and coat. I put sunblock on her if she’s going to be outside for a significant amount of time to prevent more skin damage. I scrub her well when she gets a bath to clear away any potentially dead skin and improve circulation.

I feel this is helping, but I can’t say for certain yet.

I hope you are all loving on your furry friends, and if you know of anything that might help my Annie dog, feel free to leave a comment. I’d appreciate it.

Head Hide and Seek

Hello from Annie and me!

I read something on the Internet recently about things people do that their dogs don’t like, and it stated that dogs don’t like to be cuddled tightly or have their heads hidden because it makes them feel trapped.

That’s so not the case for Annie. She loves to cuddle. If I lie down on the floor, she comes right up to me and wants to snuggle by my shoulder and neck. If I sit up to get out of bed, she’s there with her paws on my knees wanting a hug, tail wagging.

And she hides her head all the time. She sticks it under pillows and under blankets. Sometimes, when she’s on my bed with me, she’ll try to burrow down and hide her head against my back or stomach.

So, is Annie just weird that way or did that writer not really know what they were talking about? How much misinformation is out there about dogs anyway? It’s kind of a scary thought.

And in case you want proof of Annie’s behavior (and because I love showing off my dog), here’s a video of Annie hiding her head.

Sniffing: A Life Goal

Today I’m going to talk about Annie’s favorite hobby: sniffing. Now, I know that all dogs like to sniff to some extent, but I was surprised by Annie’s behavior. Sniffing isn’t just something to do for her. When I watch Annie sniffing outside, it’s like watching her pursue her passion.

Searching for a scent is the first thing Annie does when she goes outside. If her feet are on dirt or grass, then you can bet her nose is down to the ground. Most of the time it’s fun to follow and watch her meander around, chasing after some scent (usually an animal’s or person’s).

But sometimes her desire to sniff gets in the way. For example, when she’s intent on a scent, she doesn’t pay attention to her surroundings. A road with cars? Pssh! Like she cares, there’s a smell to follow! I’ve had a number of times when I’ve had to pull on her leash (good thing she was on a leash) to stop her from walking into traffic.

Other times it’s as if she’s got Sniffing ADHD. I’ll see her in the backyard of my parents’ (not on a leash) and call for her to come inside. Well, first I have to get her attention away from sniffing long enough to notice me, then when she’s trotting toward the back door it’s not unusual for her to veer off-track suddenly when she catches a whiff of an interesting scent. Then she slowly zig zags her way to me, still sniffing.

I had one time when I was walking with her outside my apartment that she was walking normally, suddenly stopped, and literally walked backwards (like a car in reverse) because of a scent.

My silly little Annie.

I like that she enjoys sniffing, despite the struggles I sometimes have getting her attention because of it. As a type of hound dog, it’s no surprise she has a knack for it, and I often think I should train her to seek.

If she was trained to seek, I think we could have a lot of fun playing hide and seek with people and objects outside.

Yep, I’m definitely thinking about it.