Monthly Archives: June 2010
One of the things that bugs me most about where I live is the local government’s attitude towards dogs. There are many dogs in the Ardmore area and people are very good about taking their dogs on walks and picking up after them. And for the most part owners keep their dogs on leads. So why is the official attitude towards dogs so negative? Signs at every park I pass state in big bold letters, NO DOGS ALLOWED. I understand why dogs might not be welcome in playgrounds or sport areas, but they can’t wander in the woods? In all the places I’ve lived, dogs have been allowed to sniff and snuffle their way through parks as long as they’re on leads.
I don’t know who decided that dogs can’t frolic in the parks. Probably a bunch of official bigshots who like to pass ordinances to show off their power. If they could get away with it, they’d no doubt post NO SQUIRRELS ALLOWED signs in the parks too.
Here is one such sign just a few streets down from us, followed by Pablo’s pithy commentary.
The home animal hospital saga continues with another patient onboard. Rita, our cat, came down with a bad infection in her left ear with all kinds of wonderful bacteria growing inside. Another trip to the vet and another patient to medicate. Pablo still being on his meds, of course.
Here’s our morning routine—repeated at night. Give Pablo his antibiotics disguised in peanut butter which he gobbles down, thinking how lucky he is to get a special treat. Next it’s his ear drops. At first he didn’t like the drops, but now when he spots the vial in my hand he comes running. Why? Because when it’s over, he knows he’ll be rewarded with a dog biscuit. (The eye ointment treatment is finished and his eyes are once again big, beautiful, and clear. Yeah!)
Next up is Miss Rita. She caught on super fast that part of our morning routine is putting drops in her ear and as soon as she sees K coming, she scoots away. After a prolonged chase, K nabs her and holds her tight while I put in the drops. Except–Pablo see the vial and jumps up next to us. The greedy pug wants Rita’s drops, hoping they’ll bring him another biscuit.
The conclusion? Cats are definitely from Venus and Dogs are from Mars. Case closed.
Today we took Pablo to a new vet. Since we moved, I’ve been asking around for a good practice, and finally decided on a nearby animal hospital that is a bit pricey but came with good recommendations. Besides a general check-up, Pablo needed a few minor matters attended to. His ears, always a problem, had become gookier and crustier than usual, despite frequent cleanings. And lately his eyes have been gunky as well. What was up? Turns out both conditions are most probably due to allergies. The vet explained that with this year’s wet winter/spring many pets, not just people, have had allergy flare-ups. The vet cleaned out his ears and put him on antibiotics.
Another problem was Pablo’s gastric disturbances. Lately he’s been waking up, jumping off the bed, and vomiting a foaming yellow bile. The vet said it’s likely he has too much acid in his stomach. The cure? Right before bed he should be fed a little something—she recommended rice cakes—so that his stomach isn’t empty all night. As I mentioned to K, trust Pablo to come away from a visit to the vet’s with a prescription to be fed more often!
All in all, I liked the new vet, although I miss our old practice back in Beacon, the one that pulled him through his cancer scare. Pablo was super hyper during the visit, the way he always is on vet visits. He has always enjoyed going to the vet’s, no matter what happens to him there. I know some pet owners have to drag their dogs inside, and I’m lucky I never had that problem. In another two weeks I have to take him back to make sure the ear infection has cleared up. Until then, he has to take antibiotics, eye ointment, an acid reducer, and Benadryl (to control the allergy symptoms). What fun!
The American Kennel Club listings for most popular breeds for 2009 are out, and the pug comes in at number 17, a respectable placement for sure. The Lab still ranks number 1, for the 19th year in a row. The bulldog—my daughter’s fav—went up a spot to number 7, and the German Shephard knocked the Yorkie from second place down to third. (My first dog was a GS and the breed always holds a special place in my heart.)
Interestingly, when the results for Top Dogs by City are polled, the pug lands in spot number 5 (tying with the Rottweiler) for Newark, NJ. Newark!
I read an interesting article in today’s New York Times about a training program held in southern PA for hunting dog breeds (basset hounds, dachshunds, beagles, etc.) that have never hunted before. These dogs, your average house dogs whose most strenuous activity previously was jumping off the sofa to waddle to the dinner bowl, are paired with experienced, prize-winning hunting dogs. Set off on the trail of a rabbit, each paired team is cheered on by its owners. The usual result is that the pro dog is off like a shot after the rabbit (no rabbits were harmed according to the article), while the rookie remains behind like Ferdinand the Bull to smell the flowers.
This led me to wondering what field event pugs would qualify for. Since they are bred to be companion dogs, perhaps a lap-sitting trial? Experienced dogs, such as Pablo, would be paired with pugs who have never seen a lap. Out in the field, the dogs would be exposed to a sea of laps and cheered on as they curled up comfortably and began to snore.
The article reminded me of the only athletic event in which Pablo participated. It was a few years back at a Pug Meet in upstate NY. The organizers set up a race for all the pugs. At one end, an owner held his/her pug at the starting line. Three hundred or so feet away another owner crouched with a treat in hand. I had high hopes for Pablo, an athletic pug in his prime. An official counted down—three… two…one…. And they were off. Except they weren’t. The entire line of pugs behaved much like the twits in a Monty Python sketch. They stumbled off every which way, oblivious to their owners’ frantic calls. The only pug that eventually made it across the finish line was an elderly pug creeping along with a wheeled cart for its back legs.
Here are some photos from a day trip to the Moab Desert with K as my trusty guide. The hike up to Delicate Arch was a climb, and, man, was it hot. The temp when we left was 96 degrees. But the view was definitely worth it.
. . . to have a thankless pug!
We’re back, and we had a great time west of the Rockies. More about the trip later. We arrived home Saturday night after a long day of traveling—12 hours, 3 flight connections—to a hot house (air condition broken) and an overjoyed pug. So far, so good. After Pablo settled down and we repaired to the deck to catch whatever breezes there were, Pablo curled up by my mom’s feet. Well, like all pugs he gravitates to whoever fed him last, and mom had been feeding him all week. Still, you would think loyalty would win out.
So thank you Mom for looking after the gang and keeping up the blog posts. Next one will feature photos from our trip. Stay tuned.