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.

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.

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.

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.

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.