Back to the vet

Considering all the visits we had to Dr. Flynn while Ruby was a puppy (anaphylactic shock, mushrooms,  grill brush, spider bite, diarrhea, diarrhea, diarrhea) I just assumed we would never have to go back for anything other than annual wellness visits.  Why would I think that each dog has a certain amount of “issues” and once reached, he or she would be home free?  Well, I don’t think it now!

Two visits this week changed my mind about that.  Fast.  At least this issue wasn’t something she dug up.  Or ate.  In fact, Dr. Flynn isn’t even sure how she got it.  Conjunctivitis.  In her right eye.  Soon to be in her left eye I suppose just to get us a third visit!

I know how contagious it is so I should assume if she doesn’t get it in HER other eye I’ll probably get it in mine.



A girl's gotta eat

The vet said that spayed Golden Retrievers tend to be “chow hounds”.   Ruby is definitely that!  She would never let a little thing like her cone get in the way of her dinner.

She NEVER let anything get in the way of her dinner!  In fact, once we settled on the right dog food, Ruby started to get a bit plump.  The trainer said she needed to lose about 5 pounds so we started a little diet recently.   She hates it.  I sorta do too because now she wakes up earlier and she’s hungry.  The weight is coming off slowly though so that’s a good thing.

Poor Ruby!  Nobody likes to diet.

Grill brush

After the picnic, when Ruby ate the decorative pillows from the dining room chair, my neighbor returned the grill.  This was great because it was another beautiful evening and I was thawing some chicken for dinner.  Ruby likes to hang out by the grill in case something falls or drips on the driveway.  It’s the only “people food” she gets.

Ruby likes to eat stuff.  I know if she’s by the grill, unattended, nothing can be left outside.  I envision her in the grass chewing a dinner plate or a thermometer! What I didn’t know was that the grill had been cleaned before it was returned and the brush that was used was on the bottom shelf.  Ruby knew it.  And she ate it.

grill brush

The X-rays showed hundred of little needles in her intestines.  Luckily they were all contained and she would eliminate them herself in 24 hours.  To be sure, another X-ray would be a good idea.  So we go back the next night and the new X-ray shows one bristle still inside her.  ONE!

Like a hose

A little later in the fall I walk into the kitchen and there is a puddle next to where Ruby is laying.  What the…?  Did she have an accident?  It doesn’t smell like pee.  Did she knock over her water bowl?  It looks like too much liquid to be that.  I’m stumped.  Where did it come from?

I get some dog towels and clean it up.  As I’m finishing I see that more liquid is appearing.  Magically.  It seems that she is drooling.  Incessantly.  So I get more dog towels.  And I watch it flow out of her like a hose.  I’m not going to be able to keep up with this unless I start to use my good towels!

What am I going to do?  If she drools all night at this rate, I’ll have a small flood in the kitchen.  Can I even wait until the morning to call the vet?  It’s too late to call my neighbor with the puppy so I Google it.  “What causes incessant drooling in dogs?”  Apparently lots of things.  I thought the best answer was that they probably ate something and you should make sure their mouth is clear of any foreign object.  I would need rubber gloves for this.

Now, it is late enough in the fall that nothing is growing in the yard.  Or so I thought.  The vet (yes, another appointment) thought she was eating mushrooms but I insisted that there aren’t any at this time of year.  Just in case I’m wrong, I walk through the yard when we get home.  And there they are.  Stupid mushrooms.

I got new towels for Christmas.


Christmas in the fall

Remember how she eats everything?  Rocks, aluminum siding, bees.  In the fall of 2014 the sedum were flowering.  There were 4 plants across the back of the house and they were beautiful.  The bees thought so too.  One flower can attract several bees.  Each plant has many flowers.  By my math, there were a lot of bees.  There were so many buzzing around it was like Christmas for Ruby.   They were there just for her.  She leapt at them and snuck up on them.  She must have actually gotten a couple, but a few stings wasn’t enough to spoil her holiday.  She kept at it.  She’s very diligent.  I tried to warn her.

I keep checking on her and I see she’s finally out in the yard away from the flowers.  She’s on a break.  Thank goodness!  The next thing I know, we’re flying to the vet for an emergency appointment.  They’ll be ready for us when we get there.  She’s unresponsive.  Breathing shallow and fast.   I couldn’t believe it.  I hadn’t decided if I loved this dog yet (remember the biting?) but I certainly didn’t want this to be the end.  And she appeared to be near death.

As we’re driving, I can see her eyes are beginning to focus a bit.  She’s trying to lift her head.  The nurse met us in the parking lot and we got her on the gurney.  She’s rushed in and attended to immediately.  An hour or so later the vet brings her to an examining room and says she had been in anaphylactic shock.  She’ll need an epi-pen!  She’s never prescribed one before but she’s sure we can get it at our pharmacy.  And, we’re not out of the woods yet.  She’d like to observe her for another hour or two.

I had plenty of time to decide that I must love this dog!  Why else would I have been so upset and scared?  I wanted her to be OK.  When I got home I cut back all the sedum.  This summer I have no flower pots.  I guess I do love her.


Whiskers like nothing you’ve ever seen



She has these amazing whiskers.  As you can see in her vanity shot they are long and there are lots of them.  What you can’t see are the whiskers around her eyebrows.  They are curly.  So curly that they dip into her eyes.  At one of our vet appointments the nurse even commented on them.  He said something like, “those are some pretty crazy whiskers you got there.”  They seemed more appropriate for an elderly dog.  You know how hair grows wild in places it shouldn’t as we get older?  She is affected with that condition at an early age.

Ruby in the snow



The best dog ever

So my brother has a Golden and he is “the best dog ever”.  I wanted one of those.  Ruby has yet to prove herself.

She is, however, full of surprises.  Some good, some not so good.  She survived the spider bite and recovered fully.  Sort of.  I mean, we didn’t go back to the vet as a follow up to that but for a whole new “issue”.   Diarrhea.  And lots of it.  And often.  Remember it’s the second coldest winter on record?  And she’s not completely house broken yet.  And you don’t just let a puppy wander around outside alone at night.  5 or 6 times a night.  In the dead of winter.  Outside with her.

Fortunately there are lots of different foods you can try to help with the diarrhea.  Mostly prescription.  All expensive.  We tried weight control food, pumpkin, gluten free food, probiotics, limited ingredient food, blah, blah, blah…  Nothing helped except another antibiotic.  Maybe this was puppy colitis.  There’s a pill and a special diet for that.  Maybe she’s nervous (?).  I know there’s a pill for me for that.  And none of it was covered by her AKC pet insurance.  Really?  At 3 months old can this be a pre-existing condition?

Meanwhile she’s still eating everything and pooping.  A lot.


The early days

Picked a red one.  Ruby’s her name.  Got her at Christmas, 2013.   She’s beautiful and soft with very sharp teeth.  And she has to poop or pee all the time.  So 5 or 6 times during the night she has to go outside.  In the dead of winter.  Every night.  5 or 6 times.

And she has to go to the vet every 3 or 4 weeks for all those puppy shots.  In the dead of winter.  Did you know that the winter of 2013/2014 had the second most snow on record in our area?  But the shots are important so we do it.  And we watch for swelling and other reactions to the shots as the vet suggested.  Don’t you know, on Superbowl Sunday after the game, her nose is swollen and you can’t touch it.  It’s 11pm on Sunday night and we don’t know what to do.  I’m not a vet.  So we do the next best thing and call our neighbor.  She has a puppy too. She’s not a vet either.  But together we decide it’s not urgent so we wait till the morning.  What’s another sleepless night?

It’s a spider bite!  And she’s allergic to them.  She obviously thought she could eat it.  She eats everything else.  She even tried to bite the syringe the vet was using to administer the antibiotic.  The Dr. said that was a first.  The first of many as it turns out…