Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Life with a dog

It's been both better and worse than I expected. Better, in that I'm loving my morning walks with Shadow, the little Havanese puppy who is Julia's birthday friend. Worse, in that I've spent a lot of time worrying about the little critter.

First, I discovered that there are a lot of garden plants that are poisonous to puppies when ingested (so we got a little kennel/corral where he stays unless closely supervised). Second, black dogs don't do well in hot sun (which, amazingly, after an endless winter we've suddenly got in spades), but now we know enough to move the kennel/corral to a place where there's sun and shade, and he can choose his snoozing spot. And third, there are too many dog owners out there who don't clean up after their pets, leaving possibly dangerous feces all over the place (especially dangerous to puppies who aren't fully innoculated). Unfortunately, nothing we can do about that, except be hypervigilant. But our little critter managed to find some one day that I didn't see...

So I'm rather anxious about Shadow these days... because he's had an eye infection for the past three weeks, and the word distemper came out of the vet's mouth at one point. Here I've been worrying about the parvo virus since Shadow arrived (it can cause a form of doggie leukemia) and Dr. Z. mentions something even worse because it's untreatable. Yikes.

Shadow has been treated with a course of antibiotics and steroidal eyedrops that, heaven help me, I couldn't get anywhere near his eyes. So we had to go back for prednisone pills. Our pooch is on steroids! And he's really bulked up, no longer the skinny little pup he was before all this started. His eyes are much better... but still runny. Which makes that d-word the doc mentioned play in my dreams. We've only had him for 6 weeks, but I've kinda gotten used to having him around.

We had a lovely walk this morning, and met so many people. Puppies have a charm all their own, and even the kids with earphone implants that usually pass me without a greeting stopped to say hello. I wasn't sure I really wanted a dog to complicate my life, but now I'm hoping that once these steroids are done, all shall be well. Julia and the rest of us are counting on it...


  1. There are days-and they pop up more in moments like the one you're having-when I really question my sanity in being a pet lover. It's much like parenting, not for wimps.
    Got everything crossed that he heals up properly.

    1. Thanks, Laeli... you're right, sorta like parenting, though he'll never be able to tell me what's wrong in words. On the bright side, I won't have to see him through college...


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