Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Pit Bull Puppy With Parvo (a deady disease if not treated)

Fostered Pit Bull puppy

The puppy in this  photo is one that I fostered in January and February of this year. He went to a rescue group in Austin,Texas after he was deemed hale and hearty. I did not get a pic of the puppy that I wrote about in this post. I still think about Spotty. He was a really fast learner and a very good natured dog. I hoped and prayed that he was adopted by a responsible person.

Friday, February 24th I had an appointment with a medical specialist who sees patients at a satellite clinic in Marble Falls. This clinic is much easier on my nerves so that I don’t have to drive I-35 to get to Austin.  Marble Falls is approximately 55-60 miles from Austin so Dr. D. asked me to bring the young woman who helps me with bathing and grooming my pets. As usual I needed a driver because of an old knee injury that prevents me from driving more than about 30 miles. So Brandi, my driver, a sick pit bull puppy, and I arrived at Dr. D’s house about 2:45pm. Brandi set to work on grooming Dr. D’s dogs.  Dr. D. began working on the sick pit bull puppy that had been diagnosed with parvo at a clinic in the town where Brandi lives.

It happened to be a warm day so we used the tailgate of my pickup truck as a make shift exam and treatment area. My driver watched as Dr. D. shaved a spot on the right foreleg of the puppy and quickly inserted a needle and cannula and then hooked the IV line to a liter of Ringer’s Lactate. She bolused about 60-70 ml ( I’m not sure how much was initially given) and then hooked the bag of fluids to a make shift IV stand. She then gave the puppy two injections- one of Serena and one of Reglan. These two injections were to slow/prevent nausea and vomiting. She also gave the puppy an injection of Bupenex to ease the stomach pain that is associated with parvo and an injection of Baytril which is an antibiotic. Within just a few minutes we could see a noticeable improvement in the puppy.  (Hydration and pain med made a huge difference). He was much more alert and had relaxed his body position. He looked almost like a new puppy but she warned that he could possibly still die even though he seemed not so ill. The IV was clamped off and he was then put in the large cat carrier and back into the warm truck.

Dr. D. gave Brandi written instructions for giving the meds and the fluids along with several cans of Purina EN.  

I am happy to say that by Sunday noon the puppy had almost returned to his former vigor and on Tuesday, Brandi said the puppy was back to normal. His (new Mom/owner) was ready to take him into her home again. I wish that I had taken some photos of the puppy but everything was so chaotic I did not even think about it.  Note see pic that is a puppy about the size of the sick one.

There is much more to write about concerning the parvo virus but that will be in another post. It is extremely important to treat a parvo  puppy with the right fluids for hydration and the right antibiotic that does not contribute to more vomiting, etc, etc. Rapid treatment at the onset of illness also makes a huge difference if the puppy lives or dies. Vaccination of any puppy should start at 6 weeks of age or as soon as your vet says it is time.

This puppy had been given his first 2 vaccinations so that may have helped with his body’s ability to respond favorably to treatment. 

Post and photograph: Yvonne


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Loving Your Cat to Death- Obesity and Diabetes in Cats

The vet’s obese cat          June, 2011

 Post written by my daughter, the veterinarian                       Original posting  November, 2011

Bonnie and Phil are an awesome couple in their mid-40s who moved to my neighborhood several years ago. They are without human children, but have two furry kids. One is Merlin, a giant fuzzball of love. He is a beautiful rescued Old English Sheep Dog with a wonderful personality. He is sweet, fun, lovable, and a great patient. (This leads me to remind readers that if you want a pure bred dog,  you can get one that just needs a loving home and help alleviate the problem of millions of unwanted animals). Bonnie and Phil’s other pet is a cat named Chaos that I had not seen as a patient before. I had seen Chaos out of the corner of my eye during a house call to see Merlin. Chaos is a calico cat with quite a reputation for causing chaos during vet visits. This beauty is an indoor cat only and I commend her owners for not allowing her to go outdoors. 

I will digress here just a bit. The great outdoors is fraught with danger for any cat. Coyotes, bob cats, fox, cougars, stray dogs, and  (possibly evil neighbors) are an ever present danger.  Living in the city or suburbs does not mean your pet is safe from these predators. Getting into a fight with another cat or hit by a car are other real possibilities that will shorten your pet’s life.  

This kitty’s owners were not aware of the importance of an annual physical exam by a vet. Until they heard about me, Bonnie and Phil were not aware that a house call visit was just a phone call away.  Honestly I can’t blame them for not taking their rather fractious cat for an annual exam, but not getting an annual exam can lead to some serious diseases being overlooked.

Phil called me because Chaos had been urinating outside of the litter box, which was out of character for her. I instructed the owners how to collect a urine sample. When  Missy (my tech) and I got to their house the first thing we did was check the urine specimen with a dipstick to look for blood, bilirubin, ketones, etc.  We put the urine on the stick and we all watched the strip turn from a lovely blue (negative) for glucose (sugar) to a very dark brown color which  indicated Chaos was spilling 4 plus glucose in her urine. I immediately knew that we needed to get a blood sample to confirm the diagnosis of diabetes. The presence of glucose in the urine and also an elevated blood glucose level is the indicator of diabetes. Chaos, like many calico cats I’ve seen proved difficult to handle. We sedated her and drew blood samples for full panel testing to go to Idexx laboratory. Venipuncture (puncturing a vein with a needle) was quite a challenge with this cat, but with the help of my awesome cat wrangler Missy, I was able to obtain enough blood for a complete work-up. 

The real CRUX of this story is that Chaos is extremely obese. She is actually morbidly obese and weighs a whopping 14 pounds. She should weigh about 8-9 pounds. Obesity causes INSULIN RESISTANCE and that is why Chaos has diabetes. Bonnie and Phil adore their pets and were only trying to do the best for them. Symptoms of diabetes include increased hunger and thirst, extreme appetite,  and some cats will begin to urinate outside the litter box. Finding unusually large clumps of clay in the box indicates a large amount of urine and drinking an excessive amount of water is also a symptom.  Some cats will  drink out of the toilet or from the bathroom faucets because they are so thirsty. Many of them will have a wet chin most of the time because they are always at the water bowl.
Chaos was  constantly hungry -the owners simply fell into the trap of over feeding her. Cats gain weight slowly over time and it really sneaks up on you.

Bonnie and Phil did not realize that obesity in cats can lead to such serious problems. So please,  if your cat is overweight,  see you vet for a prescription weight loss diet and feeding guide. Your vet will tell you how much food to feed and your cat will lose weight slowly over 1-2 years. INDOOR cats are very sedentary and need to be encouraged to play and execise.  A simple toy made of feathers on  a stick will entice your cat to jump and play. I have a food loving cat and I run all over the house with her can of Purina OM (RX diet cat food), banging on the can with a spoon and calling “Kit Kat!! Dinner time!!!” She loves to eat and runs behind me meowing for several laps around the house before I feed her. I am sure I look completely silly, but in this way, Kit Kat gets some exercise. 
Chaos will now need to eat prescription food for diabetic cats. There are several choices including Hill’s M/D Metabolic Diet for diabetics. It is high protein, low carb,  and low fat so that she can lose weight and keep stable blood sugar levels through out the day. She will now also need injectable insulin twice a day. There are several forms of insulin to chose from, but I like Glargine, which is a long acting insulin. We will start her on a low dose and then proceed from there according to her glucose levels.  The story of getting Chaos back on the road to health is just beginning.  

Kit Kat a few pounds lighter   September,2012

 Dr. D. DVM       Photographs:  Yvonne   


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The View From the Highway (click to enlarge photo)

Very old stone ranch house

My view from the highway is more than what one would expect driving in this rather unimpressive area of Texas.  It sounds boring but I always find something of interest. I drive about 130 miles from where I live for an appointment with a medical specialist. There is not much traffic and the countryside is wide open and rather desolate in some areas. Mostly it is ranch land on each side of the highway with many hills covered with cedar trees- mountain cedar or juniper to be correct. Lots and lots of cedar and not much of anything different to break the monotony. But there are some interesting views about every 10-15 miles or so.

It is Texas hill country and this time of the year there is not much scenery except dead deer that are too numerous to count. To me, it seems that hunting really isn’t needed to control the deer population. Four wheels to the deer are just as deadly as a hunter’s rifle. It still bothers me to see all the deer carcasses which makes me wonder if the deer’s death might not have been as swift as a bullet through the chest.

Game ranches are fairly frequent and are evident by the  8 to 10 foot tall fencing with special wire attached. Here the deer are enclosed and get to graze on oats or wheat, hay and or special deer feed. The game ranches are generally owned by wealthy individuals who make a profit by operating a swank hunting ranch. Some of these ranches have exotic game and the rich and privileged fly in from Dallas, Houston, or where ever to have a “relaxing week-end” of shooting at animals that have been fed and more or less pampered.

This kind of hunt is known as a “canned” hunt, meaning that the hunter really does not have to do much more that take aim and pull the trigger and he will have bagged a white tail stag with a huge rack. The rack refers to the spread of the antlers and how many points are part of the rack. Most hunters want a deer with a large rack which indicates a magnificent trophy.

Mules walking to the fence to check me out

Back to the drive to Marble Falls. I like this drive for several reasons. There are beautiful mules and donkeys to see if they happen to be near the road on my drive to and from Marble Falls.

Back in the summer some mules were fairly close to the highway. I stopped the truck;  gave my best whistle call for horses and mules (learned from my dad) and to my surprise that whistle is either a universal equine call or the mules just wanted to see what I was about. In the past I have attempted to take photos of the donkeys on my drive but they have yet to be near enough to the highway for me to get a decent picture.

My other reason for liking the drive is seeing all the old farm/ranch implements, old houses and barns. The tractors, plows, rakes, etc are rusted but I consider these pure objects of beauty. One small town that I drive through has a shop where cars that are in various stages of  rust and age are restored.

And finally,  my best reason for this post (that has become too long and rambling)  is the old 1800’s ranch house that I was able to get a few shots of when the lighting was not the best.  Writing about my  130 mile trip has given me a greater appreciation of my view from the highway.

Friendly mules that rolled in the mud


Post and photographs: Yvonne

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Just Cat Photos


Liddy adopted us


Liddy found her way to our home about 7-8 years ago. She was very thin with a matted and dirty coat. I feel that she was either thrown out on the street near our home or was left behind by an apartment dweller that had moved away. This has become a common problem. Callous and cruel people think nothing of leaving a pet behind when moving. It is easier to move without being bothered with  a pet. It is happening at an increasing rate and it is telling feature, in my humble opinion, of what is happening to our country. There is a famous quote by Mathatma Ghandhi who said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated.”

Polly lived to be approximately 18 -19 years of age.  She was a wise  and beautiful calico        Photo: July 5,2011


Gweenie,  formerly a feral-  solid orange female       Photo July 6, 2011

Approximately 75% of solid orange tabbies are male, however, the solid orange gene produces a female now and then. The cat in this photo is named Gweenie who was once feral. She is mostly a loner but she will snuggle next to me if another cat has not claimed the space. Gweenie’s body structure is petite- she weighs about 5 and 1/2 pounds. I think she is among some of my prettiest cats and photogenic as well. Even her meow is petite. I love this little cat.


Post and photographs:  Yvonne 

Dancer, the Aussie Saved From Euthanasia (click photos to enlarge)

Dancer, Australian Shepherd

Dancer, Australian Shepherd

Dancer waiting for my cue

Australian shepherd – high intelligence

Tagged for euthanasia the next day. This was the fate of a beautiful shiny black and tan australian shepherd. Had it not been for a lady named Nancy,  I would never have known the dog that has been mine for the past 8 years.  The little Aussie had been named Sadie by the workers at a Fort Worth, Texas, animal shelter – a kill  shelter. The animals that were not adopted after a certain length of time were put on the list to meet the grim reaper. Sadie’s fate lay in the hands of a lady named Nancy who “pulled”  dogs from the shelter when ever she had room at her home for a dog/s. 

 Nancy belonged to a small rescue group who used their own money to foster dogs until the dog could be placed in a forever home. Nancy was allowed by the shelter to take any or as many dogs that were doomed for euthanasia as she could manage. Nancy personally could only handle up to four dogs and generally she only took small dogs because she had life threatening medical issues. and these were easier for her to foster. However that day she happened to see Sadie as she made her way through a maze of huge cages.  Nancy had met her personal quota of dogs to “pull” but decided at the last-minute to take the dog named  Sadie, because, “her eyes spoke to me as if begging me to take her.” So that day about 8 years ago Sadie went home with Nancy.  That afternoon, Nancy began making phone calls to her “dog friends.” The first call was to her friend Shirlene, another rescuer of dogs. Shirlene an acquaintance, of mine,  in turn called to ask if I would foster an Australian Shepherd.. She said the dog  was one day away from euthanasia. Of course I was not going to turn her down after she told me the dog was destined for euthanasia.  “Sadie”  so named by the shelter staff was believed to be about 1-2 years old.  I spoke to Nancy in Ft. Worth on a Wednesday and the next day, Shirlene arrived with Sadie, at my house, 100 miles south.  


Shirlene opened the back of her vehicle and a black dog lay curled up near the door. The dog was wearing a tiny collar with a small frayed leash attached. I called her name and with a gentle tug of the leash she jumped to the ground.  As Shirlene and I stood talking, Sadie began licking my hands and then my shoes. Finally she stopped, looked  directly into my eyes. lowered herself to the ground and began crawling on her belly as she made circles around and around my feet. I had never observed a dog exhibiting such total submission. Finally I said, “you know Shirlene there is no need to foster her. I’ll adopt her but I am going to change her name right now to Dancer. The name popped right from thoughts. And, Dancer still dances around me to show her happiness.

I felt a strong connection to Dancer and her bond to me was immediate. She has shown her gratitude by being incredibly loyal and obedient. I only have to call her once and she is at the back door.
I really did not need to train her to do anything. She possesses high intelligence and is very quick to learn whatever I choose to teach her.

How could a person be so cruel and release her to the shelter? I will never comprehend man’s inhumane treatment and total disregard for a lesser creature, who has been a part of one’s life. How do you make the decision to dispose of the animal as if it were nothing.  

I think this is a good place to include one of my favorite quotes.
“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”
by Immanuel Kant

Dancer is much more laid back than my other dogs. But she thrives on my attention. I’ve taught her to sit, roll over, and of course to crawl since this was a natural proclivity. She will absolutely crawl for yards until I tell her to stop.  Dancer has proven to be one of my best watch dogs. She has keen hearing and usually barks before the other dogs hear a new sound. She becomes very agitated at the sight of any man. Possibly she was mistreated since she is especially distrustful of men. 

I am eternally grateful to Nancy for listening to her heart the day she pulled Dancer from the Ft. Worth kill shelter. And, whoever took Dancer to the shelter that day was the loser for I consider myself the winner, the day I gave her a forever home.

 Post  and photographs: Yvonne

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Notes From a Dog’s Diary and and Notes From a Cat’s Diary

This has been going around the web for quite some time. I think it is brilliant. However, I have no idea who initially put this on the web or if it was copied from a magazine or a book. For now this entry, which was sent to me by a friend, will just say author un-known. If anyone out there knows the name of the author please make a comment with the info and place it with this post.  And I will give credit where credit is due!!!!   

 Thanks, Yvonne               

 Excerpts From a  Cat’s Diary 

Day 983 of my captivity….

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets.

Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a ‘good little hunter’ I am. Bastards.

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of ‘allergies.’ I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow — but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released – and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

The bird has  to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now.

Excerpts From a Dog’s Diary

8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 PM – Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 PM – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 PM – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 PM – Milk Bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 PM – Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 PM – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 PM – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

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Annie, the Aussie Clown- Learned How To smile (Monday, October 22,2012 @1016am)

 You can find Annie’s  rescue story in the category The Vets Pets

Annie has the stocky build of an Australian shepherd but to me her ears are not quite right.  But everyone that meets Annie thinks she is a pretty dog. And for the most part she looks like an aussie. Her coat is a beautiful russet red and that color is sort of rare among aussies. 

Since she is my grandpet, I’ve been around Annie a fair amount of time. During one of my visits in early  summer I noticed that when she wanted my attention she would show her teeth as if in a ” smile.” I under estimated Annie’s intelligence.  A few times a day when ever Annie wanted to be petted, “I would say smile for grandma,” and Annie would dutifully obey.

Well it seems that after I returned home she began performing her new trick for my daughter. Not long ago I was visiting again and my daughter said,” Mama you turned Annie into a pest. She shows her teeth where ever I go and wiggles and gets in my way until I give her some pats on the head. I finally sort of broke her of that because it became down right annoying.

The problem with Annie is that once she learns something she contiunues to ” act out” what ever she learned as a means of gettting more attention.  Sort of like a kid that learns something new and keeps it up all day.   


Annie, a smart Australian Shepherd

Annie loves playing with this orange toy

Annie looking dreamy-eyed in this pic. (Required sedation for grooming)

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Idiots Who Reference Animals in an Idiom -October 21, 2012 @2353 (11: 53pm)


Muddy: “Cooked as a dog’s hind leg” (There is meaning in this idiom).

An idiom is sort of  a manner of speaking slang- at least this is my thinking. I learned just about all  of these so called idioms as I was growing up on a farm in central Texas.

Some of these old sayings just add a little something when chatting with relatives or friends. I still use some of these in what I call my everyday vocabulary.

Anyway to get back to the use of animals in our idioms.  Maybe humans are the idiots and dogs are the more intelligent ones.

There are quite a few  more old sayings that I did not include. Does anyone out there care to add some that you have heard about or use?? Please send in some comments if you do or just plain comment.


Gone to the dogs

In the dog house

My dogs are barking

Dog tired

Dog days of summer

It’s a dog’s life

Call off the dogs

Meaner than a junk yard dog

Sicker than a junk yard dog

Let sleeping dogs lie.

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks

Crooked as a dog’s hind leg

They dogged me all day.

Looks like something that the dogs drug (or is it dragged) up and the cats wouldn’t eat.

This dog don’t hunt

I’m dog tired

My dogs hurt

He who runs with dogs catches fleas 

It’s a dog eat dog world out there

Every dog has his day

The dog that barks the most is not always the one that bites

He was all bark and no bite


Post and photograph: Yvonne

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So You Think You Want A Labrador Retriever (Click image to enlarge)

The lab in this pic is Muddy (as in muddy paws). Muddy is now 4-5  years old . He is the product of some callous, cruel, uncouth, coward, ass-butt, who chose to dump him in the middle of winter at the hospital where I worked. I was the last person on my shift to leave the building one very cold and misty night. As I walked toward my SUV, I  saw what looked like a small animal sitting in the middle of the parking lot. With a few more steps I could see that it was puppy. I walked toward the puppy and he greeted me with a wag of his tail. I bent down to take a closer look and he returned my gaze and then sat down at my feet. The puppy had no collar and was rather thin. I walked toward my vehicle and coaxed him to follow me. Clearly this was not a lost puppy. There just was no way that a puppy of this size could leave home, make it across a very busy 4 lane street and on to the vast grounds of a government installation and keep going quite a distance past the entrance gate to the building where I worked. I believe that someone knew me or of me and believed that I would TAKE THE PUPPY.

I took him to my vet the next day.  Upon seeing the pup Dr. M. immediately said, “Oh, this dog belongs to someone. This is a chocolate lab and no one is going to discard a puppy that looks this good.” I told Dr. M. that I could not disagree more! I said, “people throw away purebred dogs all the time. And cats too. I know he does not have a microchip. You can scan all day long and there AINT NO MICROCHIP.” And of course I was right. There was no microchip!

I named him Muddy- it was a name that came to mind from out of the blue.  Really!  There is a blues singer who plays the guitar named Muddy Waters who has been on the music scene for a very long time. I remember him from  my teenage years. I have no idea how I happened to think of the name.  

Muddy grew by leaps and bounds. He has a congenial temperment and a surplus of energy. He and my border collie and Aussie cross became pals and chase each other or roll in the grass or dirt when ever I allow my dogs access to my one acre property. He also is good with the other dogs and doesn’t chase the cats.  He has one huge fault but I work around it. Food aggression is a big problem. The food thing began suddenly and I have no idea what triggered his excessive and hostile desire to protect his food from any dog that merely walks past as he is eating. At feeding time I put Muddy in the back yard and close the gate. As soon as he has eaten, I immediately pick up his dish which I place in a bucket of soapy water. This way he no longer has a bowl to guard.  Each dog must have finished eating before any of them are allowed in the smaller fenced yard that cconnects to the house.span>

To say that Muddy is a good dog is an understatement. He comes when I call, sits, and goes in what ever direction that I point;. He is loyal and thrives on affection.  That is really not a long list of attributes BUT he is a watch and guard dog. Labrador dogs love to fetch and retrieve just about anything that they can cram into their mouths. The odd thing about Muddy is that he is not interested in fetching and he is not a fan of water. Despite being such a big dog Muddy can clear the ground by about 3 feet or so. Now that does not say much but this is an eighty eight pounder and I have yet to figure out how such a gawky looing dog can be such an agile jumper. He can jump up and turn around before touching the ground. He is huge and the largest dog that I have ever owned in my long life. One other negative about the labrador retriever. These dogs shed more hair than any dog that I have been around. In the morning when I let them out of their crate the floor on the outside of the crates is covered in dog hair.

So there you have my take on the lab. I can see why these dogs continue to be, year after year, the number one dog registered with the American  Kennel club.


Muddy: Anticipating a game of chase

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Saving Annie

Annie      March,2011      Age: 4 years

This little story was told to me by Dr. D., my daughter. I wrote the story as she would have written it (first person). It seems that I can only write these stories in this manner. Maybe the wording comes easier for me this way. This is also one of my favorites and actually to do justice to Annie and my daughter there is another story to be added to make Saving Annie complete. Sometime in the future I will write another.

Another week-end day spent working at the emergency clinic. Known to most veterinarians as plain EC. I worked part time at the EC with the intent of learning from veterinarians who worked there as a steady job. All EC vets are extremely smart, fast, and know their stuff. Most of them thrive on the fast pace and the adrenalin rush. I can honestly say that I learned a great deal during my part time stint there. But it is not my steady cup of tea. It takes a special person to work in EC just as the nurses and MDS that work in the human version of the emergency room and the EMTs that bring in the sick and injured.

The day began fairly routine with some animals that were very sick and others that were not so sick or hurt. I always tried to mentally prepare myself for any and all challenges but if a vet needed help there were three or four of us with great vet techs who were super fantastic at their jobs. Two lucky veterinarians are on the job from 10pm until 7:30am. Those hours are not necessarily slow. The EC in Austin is almost always busy, regardless of the time- day or night.

About mid morning I was about to take a short break when I was told I had a case waiting for me in one of the exam rooms. As I entered the room I saw 4 children that appeared to range in age from toddler to about 10 years of age. Their mother was standing with her back to the door. She did not turn around to look at me as I spoke her name, Mrs—– , nor when I introduced myself. I maneuvered through the maze of four children so that I was facing Mrs —. Her dress and demeanor exuded the quintessence of wealth.

After speaking to the lady I then saw a small red puppy that was sitting on top of its carrier. The pup made direct eye contact with me. I have no idea why- but I knew this puppy was going to end up as my dog. I’ve been told that I have ESP but I do not always have the special gift. This day, the feeling about the puppy was quite strong.

The lady said that she had bought the puppy from a breeder and paid $700 for her. “I have her registration papers and proof of vaccinations that the breeder gave me. We’ve only had the puppy for two days. Yesterday, late afternoon, she began having loose stools with a little bit of blood. She has been eating but not very much and this morning she did not want to eat her puppy chow.” So I explained to the lady that first we would get a fecal sample and test for parasites and also test for the parvovirus.

In the mean time the lady showed me the pup’s papers. I quickly scanned the papers and they were really nothing. There was no AKC registration and no proof of vaccinations. To be honest the lady had been had. As I waited on the test results I questioned the lady about the breeder’s home and if there were lots of dogs, cages, etc. She told me what I suspected. The breeder’s home and set up, sounded as if it were a puppy mill. The lady appeared angry after I told her that the puppy was not an AKC registered dog.

A tech brought me the results of the fecal and the parvo test. Well there was good news and bad news; as far as the lady was concerned. The parvo test was a weak positive. The fecal test- well that was a doozie. I had never seen such a wide range of parasites in a dog before. But this was just an example of what you get when you buy a dog from a pet store or a puppy mill. The lady’s facial expression changed from horrified to total disgust as I continued to explain the parasites and the parvovirus. The puppy had roundworms, hookworms, tape worms, whip worms, coccidi, and giardia. After telling the lady the news of the worms she then said, “well the breeder said I could bring her back when I talked to her this morning. That is really what I should do.” At that point I wanted to yell. So I then had to convince her that all was not lost because the parasites would be fairly easy to treat and since she had a mild case of parvo, the puppy would be on the road to improved health within 4-5 days if not sooner. Her stay at the EC would just be overnight and then she would pick up the puppy in the morning and take it to her regular vet to finish out a round of IV fluids and medications. During that process she would receive other instructions and medications for further treatment of the parasites. But the lady persisted that the puppy should go back to the breeder. “I don’t want to spend any more money on this dog.” I then said, “if you take her back, the breeder WILL NOT treat the puppy and she WILL DIE! Please understand that her treatment will not be that expensive.” Then the lady said, “I’ll call my husband and ask him what to do.” I left the room and when I returned a few minutes later, she told me that her husband had given the okay to begin treatment.

I explained the treatment of the parasites and parvo. The puppy would need some IV fluids that contained some special meds that would help knock out the parvo. The IV fluids would provide electrolytes, re-hydrate the puppy and as a bonus, IV fluids help a sick animal recoup faster and just plain make the animal feel better. I told the lady that she and her husband could return for a visit to see the puppy or they could just call. I assured her that the puppy would respond very well to treatment.

The puppy’s owner finally left with her unbelievably well mannered four children in tow. I called for a tech, who helped me weigh the puppy, I calculated the drops per minute for the IV fluids and set the rate on the pump. I then shaved a spot on one front leg a few inches above the paw. I applied the tourniquet so that the vein would be easier to find. I palpated for a vein (sometimes the vein is not visible, so you feel (palpate) for the vein and I was in luck when I found a tiny vein on my first try. I pushed the needle in and then removed the metal needle leaving in place a small plastic pliable needle (this plastic needle stays in the vein better than just a metal needle). I then connected the IV tubing to the plastic cannula. The IV fluids with the added meds were then ready to begin flowing. (I’d like to add that it is no easy feat to start an IV on a puppy or tiny kitten. It requires a steady hand and lots of patience.) Medications were then given to the puppy by mouth to treat the wide range of parasites. The tech and I were still in luck because the puppy readily swallowed the not so good tasting medications. We then carried the puppy with the attached IV and pump stand to the back and placed the puppy on towels in a cage. I asked the tech to watch the puppy for a few minutes to ensure the puppy did not vomit the medications. With the puppy cooperating with the meds and the IV, I left the treatment area quickly since I had another case waiting to be examined.

That evening I checked on the puppy before my shift ended. She was sleeping peacefully. My day had been tiring. Dealing with the puppy’s owner had been an ordeal. When I got home I tended to my brood of pets and ate a bowl of cereal before falling into bed at 8:30 pm. I was in deep sleep when my cell phone rang. I looked at the time on my phone before answering. It was 11:30 pm and who in the world was calling me this late. It was one of the vet’s from the EC. He said that the parvo puppy’s owner was there and wanted to have the puppy euthanized, “because his wife feared that they would get attached to the puppy and it would then die.” With those words, I was then fully awake. I almost shouted, “What did you just say? That puppy is not critically ill and she will be just fine after a few days.” Dr. C. said, “well, all of us here tried to persuade him not to have the puppy put down but he said his wife was adamant that she no longer wanted to get more involved with a dog that could die. We have called several people and tried to get someone here to take her and then we thought of you.” Holy cow! I could not believe what I was hearing. “Okay. Tell the man to wait there, have the release papers ready for him to sign the puppy over to me. I’ll be there soon.”   

Hastily, I got dressed and drove the 30 minutes it takes to get to the EC. The man was waiting. I greeted him as I entered the waiting room. He merely nodded his head in response. Someone handed me the papers to sign and then he signed his name to release the puppy to me. He handed me the paper, and without saying a word, walked out the door. I went to the treatment area and asked one of the techs to get the puppy ready because she was leaving with me. I did not want the expense of the EC and I could easily treat her at home.

As I drove home with the puppy in a large dog crate in the back of my SUV, I remembered my thoughts when I first saw this little red dog. My ESP had been right again. Since this is proving to be a long post, I’ll continue with the puppy’s story in a future post. By the way- the former owners had named her Annie, which I thought was a fitting name for this little red haired Aussie.

Post and Photograph:  Yvonne

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Notable Quotes About Dogs and Cats (Click photos to enlarge)

More photos at the bottom of the quotes. Please click to enlarge photographs.

Marley  watching the cats

Muddy     Posing for the camera

Rocket loved this cart. My border collie died June, 2012. Lived to be 13 and 1/2 years old.

I’ve read many quotes about cats and dogs or animals in general. It is really difficult to just pick a few. When this web site was fairly new, I posted a few and added my thoughts about some of them.  I think I like this batch even more. I scoured the web for any quotes that mentioned animals, dogs, or cats. Some of these quotes hit the nail on the head and some are down right funny. I think that no truer words were spoken.   I feel these quotes are profound, thought provoking, or just plain witty.

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”   By Immanuel Kent

“A dog is the only thing on earth that will love you more than you love yourself.”     By Josh Billings

“Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”   By Ann Landers

“To err is human, to forgive is canine.”    Anonymous

“A dog has lots of friends because he wags his tail and not his tongue.”     Anonymous

“If having a soul means being able to feel love, and loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.”    By James Herriot

“The average dog is nicer than the average person.”    By Andy Rooney

“You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog.”    By Harry S. Truman

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he not will not bite you. This is the principle difference between a dog and a man.”     By Mark Twain

“I never married because there was no need. I have three pets at home, which answer the same purpose as a husband. I have a dog that growls in the morning, a parrot which swears all afternoon, and a cat that comes home late at night.”      By Marie Corelli

“We’re staying together for the sake of the cats.”      Bumper Sticker

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”     By Immanual Kan

More dog pics at the bottom of this post

Post and photographs: Yvonne

So happy! Spots in a blur.

Annie loves any ball

Sepia photo. Puppy standing in a pile of sand

Purebred, Pedigreed, Mutt, Mongrel, What is Your Dog? (click to enlarge photo )


Molly looking for squirrels   (foundling)

“Muddy” chocolate labrador retriever ( foundling)

Purebred and pedigree are two words that are often mistaken as meaning the same. I will attempt to simplify the words but the meanings can actually be confusing, if paying attention to detail is over looked.

Purebred is a dog that has been created to breed true of a certain type, with all offspring that have continued to look the same for many generations. For example the dogs with the same physical attributes are mated with repeated matings and sometimes within a small gene pool which means lots of inbreeding. So a dog as a breed may be recognized by the AKC but the progeny of the original breeding just might not have “papers” proving that he/she is of pedigreed stock. I want to make it clear that a dog does not need to have a pedigree with papers in order to be a good dog or a good specimen. For example quite a number of dogs are bred purely as working dogs and some of these breeders keep records but they are recorded in other registries rather than the AKC.  And, some breeders of working dogs simply do not enter their dogs in any kind of registry.

There will always be individuals  attempting to create a new breed. With each successive generation the breeders are hoping and applying for AKC regconition with years and years going by before the breed is finally deemed acceptable by AKC standards. Getting a little deeper here: it is up to the breeders of what ever dog they have created, to set a standard for the breed. This includes color or colors, and every physical feature of the dog which includes height, weight, ears, tails, etc. etc. A breed standard is complicated and one must study the breed closely in order to really know a breed.  

A pedigree dog means one that has a record- an ancestry record that is.  In other words if you buy a purebred dog from a breeder of good reputation then most likely you can get a dog that has “papers” as in American Kennel Club registration papers. This organization keeps records of all puppies with papers that are sent in by the breeder and the owner also sends in the final papers with a ridiculous sounding name such as “Othello the Great of Isle Dogdoright.” Well that is just a tiny stretch of the imagination. But I’m sure there are some of y0u that have a dog/dogs with a funny sounding name with AKC registration papers.  A (pedigree) therefore really means a (purebred) dog that has a long history of all of its descendants- mother, father, grandfather, great grandfather, etc. etc. and on down the line.

Some of my dogs are mutts and over half just happen to be purebred. I did not go looking for any of my dogs-they either arrived on our property or I found them in a hospital parking lot, apartment complex near my home, or starving on the street, Two of them were saved from the needle of death – one from the Ft Worth city animal shelter and one from the shelter in the town where I live. None of my dogs have a pedigree paper and yet they are all very smart and mostly free of any inherited disease with the exception of Kippy who is a mutt and developed a hernia that required surgery. My other little dog has chronic eye problems. I love all my dogs for their loyalty and companionsip. I can not imagine not having a bevy of dogs around me- and one major attribute is that my pets keep me safe. Each one of them can hold their own as a guard dog.

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