Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Year of Puppy Improvement

At the start of the new year my husband and I had declared that this would be the "Year of Home Improvement." In the fall we had tiled our foyer and kitchen area and were impressed by how that relatively small change had a dramatic effect. So, we were pretty excited about this. I had dreams of adding in some new lighting and different sink fixtures, a bigger shower, etc... However, in January we got some bad news.

We have three dogs that we absolutely adore and our oldest puppy, Aussie, has severe arthritis in her hips. Considering how bad her hips look in an x-ray, she gets around amazingly well, but she does have the occasional bad day where she can't walk that well. We took her to the vet and were essentially told, "Aussie's not a candidate for surgery and all you can really do is give her narcotics and anti-inflammatories for the rest of her life. But the anti-inflammatories will also damage her kidneys and liver in the process. The prognosis isn't good."

We were crushed at the news and were depressed for about a week and a half. The only ray of hope the vet gave us was to suggest acupuncture. She said many dogs have had success with this. We are pretty much willing to try anything to help make her more comfortable.

So I found a certified holistic vet who does acupuncture and chiropractic care, along with conventional veterinary care. Amy said I have found the place where all the crazy people take their pets and essentially, she is right. I am quite at home. Every Friday we take her in for acupuncture and a chiropractic adjustment. I believe I am taking better care of my dog than I am of myself right now. That's sad, but true.

During the appointment, the vet brings us some pillows and a mat for Aussie to lie on. They then insert 16 needles into various acupressure points and then dim the lights and we sit there with her and pet her. She does pretty well with it and she does seem to be doing better. Since we've started, she hasn't had any bad days and is able to go for longer walks and just seems more comfortable.

Just to add even more crazy into the mix, we bought a book on puppy massage. Every night we give her a 20 minute therapeutic massage and then take all three dogs for a walk and then feed them some fancy dog food that actually reads, "Contains human ingredients." The dogs are eating New Zealand Venison and Barley and Flax Seed, and Atlantic Whitefish with carrots and barley on a nightly basis. It's just obscene and I know it, but hey, I love those dogs. A friend of mine once said, "When I die, I want to come back as one of your dogs." I took that as a compliment.

I don't want to think about how much all of this is costing, but none of it really matters when I see her jump up after a massage and start barking to go for a walk. In dog years, she's 72 years old. That's not bad behavior for an old girl.

On a side note, it was my birthday yesterday. In dog years, I'd be dead.


At 3:09 PM, Blogger Duke_of_Earle said...


First: happy belated birthday! "You're only as old as you feel," said the just-turned-60-year-old-who-feels-about-35.

Next: I was with you all the way through the accupuncture, and to hell with the expense! Good for you. But I'd draw the line at feeding your dogs "human ingredients." I mean, were these "ingredients" surgically removed parts of humans, parts of cadavers, or what?! I know, the old ad says, "Parts is parts," but isn't that a bit over the top?

The other ingredients you listed are OK, and I know you love your puppies, but...


At 10:10 PM, Blogger Duke_of_Earle said...

You write. I read. I enjoy. I comment. You ignore or refuse to publish my comment.

What am I doing wrong?


P.S. Is there a post forthcoming about plans for Iberia?


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