What’s up, cool cats. Today I have a bit of a bummer story, but I figure I could make a bit of difference in some lives if I relate some of it to my adoring fans.
I have a very dear friend who I’ve known for an embarrassing number of years and decades. She has been with me through thick and thin, and has been a great help to me as I’ve gone through my admittedly extreme ups and downs in life. She’s the person who has picked me up out of a gutter in front of a dive bar at four A.M. after I was stomped by some bikers, and bailed me out of jail on more than one occasion.
This gracious and beautiful woman has a strength of personality borne from a very difficult and tumultuous life. She was an army brat, never staying in one place for more than a year or two, so she never had any close friends growing up. All she had was a few brothers and sisters, all much older than her, who never really paid her any attention; a mother who her father had married while stationed in Japan and taken back to the states, where she never really knew up from down; and finally, a drunk and abusive father.
Her home life was never good, and so as soon as she was legally able, she left for her mother’s home country of Japan to live with her grandparents. She grew up to be exceptionally beautiful, winning quite a few beauty pageants in her day. Unfortunately, her incredible looks and her poor upbringing made for a terrible mix, and the relationships she developed with men over time did not stray far from the ones she was familiar with in childhood.
She moved back to the states with her first husband, left him, and found a second one only a couple short years later. That one wouldn’t last either – and so it went, with her floating from one disaster in love to another.
There were only two really stable relationships in her life – me (which is really saying something), and her dog, Mako. I couldn’t tell you what breed or mix of breeds this little runt is – jet black fur that tufts around the neck, with a splatter of white on the chest, and the most annoying yapping bark that you could ever imagine.
Still though, that dog has been her constant companion for going on fifteen years now. She never had children, despite her many marriages, and so Mako is the sole object of her maternal love and devotion.
That’s what makes this story so sad – she recently noticed the dog had been barking a little less, coming to greet her a little less enthusiastically, and seemed a bit less excited to go on walks than usual. She took her to the vet and received the worst possible news: cardiomyopathy.
In other words, a death sentence.
She called me up in tears, and she brought the dog over to me and cried in my arms all night. I’d never seen her like that before – the woman always seemed impenetrable, always upbeat and positive about life no matter what new tragedy she was walking into.
One thing she had always neglected was healthcare – not only for herself, but for the dog. She simply had not grown up in an environment that put much stock in taking care of yourself and making healthy choices.
If she had given the dog regular checkups, the problem might have been found a little earlier – prognosis usually improves if found in the early stages of the disease. If they had caught it a little earlier, a cardiac veterinarian may have been able to give her the tools needed to extend Mako’s life comfortably and given her a little more time to say goodbye.
I, of course, didn’t tell her any of this – don’t need to rub that in her face. For those of you reading out there, however, consider this some advice borne from experience: get your dogs regular checkups, and make sure if they find a potential heart issue, get them to Dr. Carly Saelinger of Cardiac Vet. She will give you an accurate prognosis and treatment plan that will get your pet back on track, or at least give you a little more time.
What’s up, cool cats! It’s been a while since my last post, but some recent events have pushed me to write up about something that’s a little bit of a downer, but stick with me.
When I was growing up, my family owned a couple dogs that I basically knew from the time of my birth through my earliest memories. This isn’t strange by itself, but let me tell you, I loved one of these pups like it was my own brother. I took him everywhere with me, and if I couldn’t, good Lord would I make my displeasure known to the world.
Well, unfortunately for both me and my little buddy, my parents were not particularly good pet owners. More to the point, they were also not great cooks or health buffs, which meant that dinner a lot of the time was either frozen pre-packaged meals or an unholy amount of pasta.
My mom, as my dad would say while chuckling, made spaghetti like the president and his retinue were joining us for dinner. She would make multiple boxes at once, leading to huge bowls of the stuff that would just sit in the fridge for weeks, wasting away.
Because we hated food going to waste, my father decided to start supplementing the normal dog food with the leftovers. This went on for years, and soon enough my furry friends were becoming so fat and unhealthy that they could barely walk.
As I said, my parents were neither good pet owners or very health-conscious, which meant they just kept on feeding the dogs spaghetti up until the older one suddenly died while I was trying to take him on a walk. Just yelped and fell over, then he was gone for good.
The younger dog, my little girl, lasted a short while longer. I begged my parents to take her to the vet so that she wouldn’t meet a similar fate, but by then it was too late. Her poor health and the heartbreak from her brother dying suddenly and away from her caused her heart to give out too, and we had a burial for her just a few short months after his.
Why am I telling you this? Well, obviously, this was a rather traumatic experience for me. I’ve gone through most of my life totally incapable of owning another dog, all because my parents were stubborn as mules and ignorant about how to keep their pets healthy and happy.
We all love dogs, but most of us aren’t exactly veterinarians, so it’s up to us to make sure that they are taken to the vet regularly to make sure they aren’t getting too fat or unhealthy because of our questionable decisions. For those of us worried about whether or not our pets are already suffering from a heart disease because of symptoms that have popped up, I recommend you enlist the help of southern California-based Cardiac Vet and her veterinary diagnostics support to help determine the severity and treatment course for your pet.
Even now I live in constant paranoia that my beautiful pups will just drop over dead, despite the fact that no expense is spared on getting them the best food available. Carly at Cardiac Vet has been indispensable in calming my fears and, if trouble does appear, I have complete confidence in her ability to give me the correct course of treatment.
I had a long jam session last night, so this article is a guest post by our neighborhood dog walker. Enjoy!
Every dog-owner will agree that their pets are an integral part of their families and that they cannot imagine their lives without them. These animals are so adorable and affectionate, that their wellbeing becomes such a priority that cannot be compromised at any cost. Needless to say, a pet dog has nobody else to rely on apart from its owner to take care of its health. A balanced diet, regular grooming and exercise, and routine checkups at the veterinarian are necessary to ensure that your dog’s physical and mental health is taken care of.
Keeping your dog’s heart healthy can make your heart healthy too. According to a study titled Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, owning a dog is linked to better human well-being and longevity. That said, if you notice that your dog is suddenly having difficulty breathing or experiencing fatigue, they may have a heart problem. You should schedule an appointment immediately with a Cardiac Veterinarian.
Furthermore, it is very important for you to carefully analyze your doggy best friend’s habits in terms of their activities, such as play, eating, drinking, and sleeping. Variations in these patterns are the clearest sign that their health may be in questionable condition.
Record their weight
A dog’s weight, much like a human being, is dependent on a balance between nutrition and physical activity. For instance, if your dog has been fed nutritious meals and is yet underweight or overweight, then you wouldn’t be entirely wrong to suspect that they might be struggling with health issues. Overfeeding a dog to keep him strong and healthy is a common mistake, as obese dogs are more vulnerable to developing serious health issues. According to experts, the best way to tell whether or not you are feeding your dog more than you should is by feeling the area around its rib cage. If you can feel their ribs under their skin without much padding, then they are likely in good shape.
Wash your dog regularly
There is no better feeling than petting the soft coat of your dog after a long, hard day. That said, you should check your dog’s skin frequently, as it can explain a lot about their health. Common causes for concern include scabs, white flakes, and red patches. As an owner, you should check your dog’s skin for fleas, lice, ticks, and any other such external pests that are capable of wreaking havoc. Spotted early, it can be controlled before it is too late. If there is a spot that looks like black dirt clumping their coat against their skin, it could be flea droppings. Therefore, in order to steer away from the possibility of your dog developing any such condition, they should be washed often.
Schedule routine veterinarian appointments
Vaccinations can prevent the dog from contracting serious illnesses that might be irrevocable or even fatal. Getting your dog shielded from ailments like hepatitis and rabies through vaccination will give you peace of mind, sparing you of the headache that comes with constantly worrying about their health.