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 .

Annie Lines and Rhymes: “I’m a Little Annie Dog”

Welcome to a new section of The Annie Dog Blog!

Every once in a while, I’ll be posting silly poems (either original or based on common poems) and maybe making posts with Annie “inserted” into famous speeches.

It’s to add a little fun into everyone’s day.

Without further ado, here is the first one.

(To the tune “I’m a Little Teapot”)

I’m a Little Annie Dog

I’m a little Annie dog

short and stout.

Here is my tail.

Here is my snout.

When I get all worked up,

hear me shout

a bark, a howl that

everyone will hear, no doubt.

But…I’m the baby…and you’re the baby too?

Annie feeling the need to be involved with playing the board game too.

It’s become a fairly normal thing to refer to your pet as a “fur baby”. While I don’t really use that term with my Annie dog, she certainly fits the title some days!

For instance, sometimes after she comes in from outside in the morning, she just wants to cuddle on my bed with me. (I kind of like the validation that she loves me, actually). She loves being petted and snuggled with. If I lie down on the floor, she’s quick to jog over and lie down next to me, her face next to mine. In fact, if I lie down on the floor and don’t show her affection (like if I’m exercising or stretching or playing a board game), she gets confused. Apparently, what else would I lie down on the floor for if not for her?

However, in addition to being the baby, Annie likes mothering babies.

One time I tried to save a stray kitten. We couldn’t find her mom for more than a day, and her little siblings had frozen in the cold. Unfortunately, the kitten, which I’d named Bella, died in the end, but while she was alive, Annie just wanted to whine and smother her with love. Her “affection” was strong enough that I had to keep the kitten out of her reach most of the time since the kitten was so small and fragile.

It doesn’t end with animal babies, either. Annie likes human babies. Every time a baby comes over to the house, she whines and wags her tail in excitement, following the baby carrier around. She just has to say “hello” to the baby.

Beagles are known for being friendly dogs and great for families. According to the American Kennel Club, it’s “no wonder that for years the Beagle has been the most popular hound dog among American pet owners” (https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/beagle/). I can attest that Annie fits the stereotype there. She’s a sweetheart, really. She may get spooked easily, but Annie is loving, trusting, and will let you do just about anything to her as long as you pet her.

Annie just loves love, whether she’s receiving it or giving it. Just like an innocent, furry baby.

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?

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.

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.

Origin Story: “How Much is That Dog in the Window–er, I Mean Cage-like Kennel?” The Tired Girl Asked.

Thanks for joining me! And, Annie, of course. I figured before getting on with the other happenings of little Annie’s life, I’d share our “origin story”.

Be prepared for some sappiness. Seriously. This post will probably have enough sap to leave you sticky after reading it.

Also, a warning! This post touches on some dark parts of both Annie’s life and mine. So, this post won’t be as silly as others will; however, I think readers knowing our backgrounds and how we met will help you all understand why Annie and I are so attached to each other.

This post will be longer than most of the posts that’ll come after.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Annieadoptionday_sept222017
Adoption Day, September 22, 2017

I’d been thinking about getting a dog for a couple of months….The dog I grew up with, a sassy maltese named Buttercup, had passed away at the age of 15 in December of 2016.

Part of me felt awkward about getting another dog just the summer after my childhood dog had passed away, but another part of me couldn’t stop thinking about it.

So, the summer of 2017 I started looking at the Facebook pages of local animal shelters. (After volunteering at an animal shelter, I’d already decided my next dog was going to be adopted.) And new pictures of dogs needing homes were uploaded almost daily.

I think one of the things I missed about having a dog was the innocent, loving cuddles. You see, I was struggling bad in my personal life. I’d kept it from most people, but in the past year I’d ended up in the ER twice because of self-harm. I still have scars.

The hospital gave me paperwork stating they thought I had depression (What a shocker!), things to do, and the second time I was there, a doctor came into the room and talked about what was going on and what needed to be done.

He brought up the idea of me staying for a few days at the hospital’s crisis center. I was against that from the start. Even if I could freely wander around the place, I didn’t like the idea of others constantly “looking out” for me. That would just be another stressor.

I already felt so stuck. My life was nowhere near where I wanted it to be after graduating college, and to help things along, I’d just been diagnosed with fibromyalgia–a life-long sentence of chronic illness that made my ability to ever get where I wanted in life seem even more impossible.

My “previous” healthy body was gone, and now here was this…this thing in its place that was constantly getting in the way. I was used to being able to make a plan to do something and then just go for it if I thought it was the right thing to do, so I had big plans. However, chronic pain and fatigue made it a struggle just to get through a normal day, forget about the future.

As you can guess, I got depressed, dangerously depressed to the point where it was questioned if I was okay to be alone.

This was the state I was in when looking for a dog to adopt.

One day while looking on Facebook, I saw the picture of a little beagle. The description said she’d been through a lot, and they were calling her Baby Girl or something similar. She was missing most of her hair and had sores all over her body. I connected to the sad look in her brown eyes.

I messaged the shelter to let them know I was interested, and I visited the next Friday after work.

The shelter was small, almost cramped, and the lighting was dim. When the lady led me to the kennels, the dogs started barking immediately. But not the beagle.

She was curled up on a little dog bed trying to sleep. I wondered if she was cold, seeing how the floor was concrete and she hadn’t much fur.

I crouched down next to her kennel, and she whined at me. What a sad whine! I was able to reach my fingers through the metal meshing of the kennel and pet her around the ears. She liked being petted and whined a bit more when I stopped.

When I went back out to the office, I told the lady I was interested in adopting the beagle.

She told me I wouldn’t be able to adopt her just then since she was still getting treatment for mange and couldn’t be released until she was better.

I said okay and asked if there was a way I could put my name down for her, and they could call me when she was better.

The lady told me their shelter didn’t work that way. It was a first come, first served set up, and so the person who adopted the little beagle would be the first one who asked for her after she was well enough to leave.

Not the answer I was hoping for, but what could I do about it?

The lady suggested I come back in two weeks.

So I did. But the beagle still wasn’t healthy enough for them to adopt her out.

So I came back the week after that.

And the week after that.

I was set on getting this dog. Why? Well, despite her lack of fur, I still thought she was cute, but more than that, I’d felt a connection to her as soon as I’d seen her photo. And the more I went to visit, the more solid that connection became.

I learned that along with being sick, the people who’d had the beagle before “hadn’t treated her well” to use the wording of the ladies at the shelter.

Here was this little dog, stuck in a kennel all alone, life had been rough for her recently, and she was sick and in pain.

We had so much in common.

Except….

Except her illness was curable; her pain would go away. I could help with that.

And I could get her out of the kennel.

One Friday after visiting, the shelter ladies seemed to give in. They had me write down my contact info and said they’d call when the beagle was well enough to have me adopt her.

I guess I’d bugged them enough to show I was serious.

It took me a while to pick a name for her, but I had one by the time the shelter called and asked if I still wanted to adopt the beagle.

Pshh! Did I still want to adopt her? It wasn’t like I hadn’t already bought a leash and collar or anything….Oh, wait.

When I picked her up on September 22, 2017, she whined and wagged her tail at me. She was still mostly bald except for her head, chest, and a line of fur down her back, a red-haired orphan waiting for a home.

The ladies took the customary “adoption” photo of the two of us, and then, paperwork in hand, Annie and I went home.

That was the start for my Annie dog and me.