A place of passing

“I’m never going back,” I have heard more than one pet owner say. They are talking about the office of their veterinarian, a person with whom they have built a relationship for years, someone they like and trust. But their pet died there, and the painful memories are too strong. So strong for some people that they go and find a new vet, even if they liked their old one just fine.

It’s one of the reasons I like having the option that I offer, of performing in-home euthanasia and pet hospice with Paws into Grace. Because I know more than anyone that as much as the client hated the office that one time, many pets hated it every time. That can be pretty upsetting for some families.

Which leads to the next concern, one I hadn’t thought of until a client voiced it to me. “I don’t want to go to the vet office, but I can’t euthanize my pet at home,” she said. “I can’t have that memory associated with my house.” So sometimes those clients end up decamping to a third party location, a park or a beach. And I respect that decision, though I would encourage those who feel that way to think on it a little while before making up their minds. Here’s why:

1. The precedent has been set in human hospice for staying at home.

The gold standard in human hospice, for those who have adequate support systems in place, is for people to pass at home whenever possible. That is by far the most comfortable place for a patient, in familiar surroundings. I was with my grandfather when he quietly died on a rented hospital bed in the living room he called his own for 40 years. He hated hospitals and I’m pretty sure had we put him in one, he would have haunted us all.

2. Moving an ill pet can be a challenge.

Pets who are very ill can be nauseated, painful, disoriented, and uncomfortable. This goes for people, too. How many times have we been down with the flu and known that we should probably go to the doctor but we feel too rotten to move? Same goes for pets. Add in mobility issues and it is just one more stress for owners, especially with very large pets or very upset cats- no matter the destination.

3. Your home is deafeningly, loudly, overwhelmingly a place of comfort.

This is the place Kekoa died:

home1

But unlike a vet office where I might only have a handful of memories, I see this place every day and I don’t look at it as the place my dog died. I look at it as my living room, the place we opened Christmas presents, the place Brody plops down while I’m writing. It also happens to be the place Kekoa chose to settle down and leave this earth, because she knew as well that this is a happy place.

And you know what? It still is. I am glad she chose our sun dappled living room. At home, when I administer a pet’s sedation, they choose where they want to be: outside, in the kitchen, in mom’s lap. People find comfort knowing their pet selected the place they are most at home.

home euthanasia pet hospice

I’ve only been in this house a year and it’s had more than its share of sadness. I am looking at the floor where Kekoa died while sitting on the couch where Apollo died. I actually drove him home from the specialty hospital as quickly as I could- after he got lots of pain meds, so he could curl up on my lap after everyone got a chance to say goodbye.

But right now, it’s the place my dog is chewing up a toy and my son is doing his homework. This is our home, where life happens. And I feel good about that.

Want more info or to know if anyone in your area provides this?

Not all veterinarians even know this service exists, and information can be hard to come by. Here are two national databases of veterinarians that offer this service:

The International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care

Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement

Here in America’s Finest City of San Diego, you can of course reach me or my wonderful colleagues through Paws into Grace.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Rescued from a Puppy Mill

My name is Susie the Survivor. I’m a little Coton De Tulear. Most people have never heard of my breed, but those who have know that my brothers and sisters and I are expensive dogs to purchase. We usually can only be found by contacting a specialized breeder. Maybe in my case the word “breeder” is a misnomer (see, I can use big words because we are intelligent dogs). I was born and raised in a “puppy mill”, definitely a dirty word in my limited vocabulary.

We Coton De Tulears are favored for our happy, playful, clownish, loving, gentle and friendly demeanor. We never tire of giving and receiving love, and we want to be an important part of a family, and always – the center of attention. We become very attached to our owners and love to be cuddled. We are fairly easy to train, quick to learn and eager to work, although occasionally we can be a bit stubborn.

I’m covered with fluffy white and black hair which only needs an occasional brushing. My coat is quite long and feels cottony. In fact, my name is derived from the French word for “cotton.”

My forebears came from Madagascar and I am related to other French Bichon dogs like the Havanese and the Bolognese. My ancestors arrived in Madagascar during the 15th century, apparently brought by either sailors or French troops, no one knows for sure. Eventually we became the favored pet of wealthy families in the city of Tulear, and our breed became known as the “Royal Dog of Madagascar”.

I should be a happy and proud dog with a background like that. But I’m not. You see, I was born in, and grew up in a puppy mill. A puppy mill is a horrible place that no animal should be subjected to. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about dog breeders. I’m referring to puppy mills where greedy people keep hundreds of dogs and make them have puppies over and over again.

We had no dog houses, no blankets or pillows to sleep on, not even bowls for our food and water. Some of us were kept in cages all the time. The food they fed us was rotten and smelled terrible – raw chickens, cow udders and pig intestines – stuff that tasted terrible.

Nobody ever paid any attention to us, we were never cuddled or loved by anyone. Every day was a fight for survival. In the winter it was freezing cold, and in summer it would get very hot and humid and the rain would soak the ground beneath our cages. Some of the dogs died from lack of decent care. Nobody ever cleaned the place and we had to live in all that filth. We were always scared and I often felt threatened by everything.

Some of the dogs were at the puppy mill for years, especially the female dogs who had to give birth to many litters. A lot of them were very sick with open sores and cancerous growths on their bodies. It was a horrible and scary place.

One day a group of strangers arrived at the puppy mill. They were accompanied by a television crew with cameras and everybody acted angry and upset. They started inspecting all of us dogs and then carried away the ones who were sickest. All the mothers who had a litter of new puppies were also carried away. I was one of the lucky puppies, still healthy enough to be considered a survivor. We were all removed from that horrible place and taken to a clean and spacious shelter where we all were examined by the doctor, and those who needed it were given medications and watched over by a loving staff of young men and women.

Some of my friends from the puppy mill needed surgery, and unfortunately some were just too sick to be saved. But I was feeling much better, and for the first time in my life I was clean, free of fleas, and hunkered down in a warm and safe place with clean blankets and fresh food and water.

After a few weeks at the shelter, most of my brothers and sisters were rescued from the puppy mill and were adopted by families looking for a nice puppy for their children. I was beginning to worry that I would soon be left all alone here while all my friends would be gone, living in happiness with the family they had only dreamed about when they lived at the puppy mill. Then the next day, a nice smelling, older lady arrived, wrapped me in a warm, clean blanket and took me home with her. She spoke softly to me and petted me every time she had to wait at a stoplight.

At my new home I was taken out of the car and put on the freshly mowed lawn. It smelled so good I could have fallen asleep on it right then. A few minutes later a whole pack of dogs came tearing out of the woman’s house. They all seemed very happy to see me. Then we all went inside and the nice lady gave me fresh water. Later I had special food, just like all the other dogs – I counted 6 more, all of them apparently older than me. No raw chickens and nothing green and smelly.

It took some time for me to get used to this new life. Ever since birth I was surrounded by ailing, scared, and distressed dogs and puppies. Now suddenly, everything was new and strange. There were so many new sounds, different tastes and things to learn, like potty training. I wasn’t house trained obviously and no one had ever fed me a treat, given me a bath or groomed me.

After a lifetime of sleeping on cold, hard surfaces and fighting for my share of the food, it took a while to realize that it was okay to eat when I was hungry, sleep when I was tired, and learn to share my food and toys with the other dogs, all of whom I had become fast friends with. I soon became house trained just by watching what all the other dogs did.

My new home has a big garden that we all play in. There are lots and lots of toys to share and many soft, warm and clean places to sleep all over the house. My life is so much different from what it had been at the puppy mill. I heard the nice lady talking on the phone yesterday, telling someone that most of my rescued friends had also been adopted by new owners. I hope all of them are as happy as I am and that all the other dogs still in puppy mills will soon be rescued. I also hope that more people become aware of the intolerable cruelty that so many innocent animals suffer at the hands of some very bad humans. I am ever so happy that I was rescued from a puppy mill.

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Cool Dog images

Some cool Dog images:

Dog lost six years returns
Dog

Image by State Library and Archives of Florida
Local call number: PR02778
 
Title: Dog lost six years returns
 
Date: 1951.
 
Physical descrip: 1 photoprint: b&w; 8 x 10 in.
 
Repository: State Library and Archives of Florida, 500 S. Bronough St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250 USA. Contact: 850.245.6700. Archives@dos.state.fl.us
 
Persistent URL: www.floridamemory.com/items/show/2633

Dog Wing Pattern
Dog

Image by Stitcher Scribbler
Pattern which I drew to make my dog’s Halloween costume.

Please feel free to use it to dress up/annoy/humiliate your own dog! :)

For TTNP and Blogged here:
missniff.blogspot.com/2008/10/halloween-eve-makings.html

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WALK 2: The Route

WEST COAST WALK ROUTE
Launch Date:  May 10th, 2014
Launch Location:  Peace Arch Park Vancouver BC





Vancouver BC to Everett WA:
Route: 543 to Portal Way
            Vista to Hovander
            West Smith to Pacific Highway
            Northwest Ave to Samish Way
            Hwy 99 to Cedardale Rd
            Pacific Hwy to Hwy 99
Distance: 90 miles.  Estimated Week of Arrival (WOA): May 18th
Everett WA to Seattle WA
Route: Hwy 99
Distance: 30 miles.  Estimated WOA: May 18th
Seattle WA to Tacoma WA
Route: Hwy 99
Distance: 35 miles.  Estimated WOA: May 25th
Route Tacoma WA to Portland OR
Route: Hwy 7 to Hwy 507
Distance:  155 miles .  Estimated WOA: June 8th
Portland OR to Otis OR
Route: Hwy 99 W
Distance: 85 miles.  Estimated WOA: June 15th
Otis OR to Gardiner OR
Routes for Remainder of the Walk: Hwy 101 and Hwy 1
Distance:  100 miles.  Estimated WOA: June 22nd
Gardiner OR to North Bend OR
Distance 30 miles.  Estimated WOA: June 29th
North Bend to Brookings OR
Distance: 110 miles.  Estimated WOA: July 6th
Brookings OR to Eureka CA
Distance: 115 miles.  Estimated WOA: July 20th
Eureka CA to Loleta CA*
Distance: 15 miles.  Estimated WOA: July 27th
Loleta CA to Garberville CA*
Distance: 65 miles. Estimated WOA: August 3rd
Garberville CA to Fort Bragg CA*
Distance: 70 miles. Estimated WOA: August 10th
Fort Bragg CA to San Francisco
Distance: 175 miles. Estimated WOA: September 1st
San Francisco to Carmel
Distance: 120 miles. Estimated WOA: September 14th
Carmel to Santa Barbara CA
Distance: 230 miles. Estimated WOA: October 1st**
Santa Barbara CA to LA
Distance: 110 miles. Estimated WOA: October 12th**
LA to San Diego CA
Distance: 125 miles. Estimated WOA: October 26th
San Diego CA to Border
Distance: 15 miles.  Estimated Date for Arrival Party:  Weekend of November 1st
TOTAL ESTIMATED MILEAGE: 1,675 miles

*Some areas of Hwy 101 don’t seem to be open to pedestrians. Alternative route may be necessary

2 Dogs 2,000 Miles

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‘En famille’

This little dog and her family were at the recent ‘Naval Battle of the Flowers’ festival in Villefrranche-Sur-Mer. 

RIVIERA DOGS

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The Tick – The Tick vs. The Idea Men

Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Side Effects of Rimadyl in Dogs

In the past you may have seen television commercials showing previously lame dogs jumping and running about like young puppies. These commercials were promoting Rimadyl, a drug introduced in 1997 by Pfizer Chemical for the treatment of hip dysplasia and arthritis in dogs. What the commercials carefully avoided was any mention of the side effects of Rimadyl in dogs.

Today it’s no longer possible to see those commercials because the advertising was halted by Pfizer for good reasons. As a dog owner, we are indebted to dogs like Montana, a six-year-old Siberian husky who had stiff legs. Montana was prescribed Rimadyl by his veterinarian and at first the drug appeared to work well. But then Montana lost his appetite, wobbled when he walked, and finally was unable to walk at all. He began vomiting and had seizures; eventually his owner was forced to put him to sleep. An autopsy was performed which showed the presence of liver damage that could only be associated with a harmful drug reaction.

Drugs for pets are big business in the United States, as well as in many other countries where pet animals are valued. It is estimated that world-wide, the sale of these drugs total more than 3-1/2 Billion dollars annually. Rimadyl is one of the bestselling drugs included in this estimate.

Rimadyl has been prescribed for more than four million dogs in the United States alone, and has earned Pfizer tens of millions of dollars. After introducing the drug, the company ran full-page magazine ads and a public-relations campaign that resulted in 1,785 print stories, 856 radio reports and more than 200 television news reports of the benefits of Rimadyl. What dog owner whose beloved pet was suffering from arthritis or hip dysplasia wouldn’t want such a “miracle drug” for their pet?

But Rimadyl has also resulted in many debates and intense arguments between veterinarians and pet owners who were furious that they were not warned of the risks of giving their pets Rimadyl.

After Montana’s owner contacted Pfizer and the Food and Drug Administration to complain about the early and untimely death of her dog, Pfizer offered to pay her $ 440 in what they called “a gesture of good will.” Today we can be thankful that Montana’s owner was insulted by Pfizer’s offer and their lawyers’ stipulation that she tell no one about the payment (or bribe as some would call it). She refused to sign any of Pfizer’s proffered documents and would not accept any money. She felt it was an affront both to her and to the memory of Montana to absolve Pfizer of any blame.

As additional reports of serious reactions and the deaths of many dogs started pouring into the FDA, the agency recommended that Pfizer list “death” as a possible side effect in a warning letter to veterinarians and also place a warning on the drug labels. Pfizer indicated this “would be devastating to the product” and after much stalling, eventually was forced to put the word “death” on Rimadyl’s labels and notify all veterinarians in writing.

The strongest blow to Pfizer’s inappropriate labeling and advertising was the FDA’s requirement that they mention the same warning on their television ads. When given an ultimatum about their commercials mentioning “death” or else pulling the ads, Pfizer chose to stop all television ads for Rimadyl. Although this came too late to save the life of Montana, he and his owner should be credited with bringing pressure to bear on the FDA and Pfizer and forcing them to begin warning of the possible serious side effects of Rimadyl.

Since the introduction of Rimadyl in 1997, the FDA has received reports of more than 1,000 dogs that died or had to be put to sleep, and 7,000 more that had serious adverse reactions after taking the drug.

Despite these serious side effects, the FDA has not ordered the removal of Rimadyl from the marketplace. The FDA requires safety and efficacy testing for animal drugs just as it does for human drugs. However, animal drug tests are conducted with a much smaller number of test subjects. Pfizer used about 500 dogs in their trials of Rimadyl, which is less than one fifth the number of subjects used in most human-drug trials. During Pfizer’s Rimadyl trials, some dogs developed unusual liver-function readings and one young beagle tested on a high dose of the drug died.

Neither the FDA or Pfizer found these effects alarming, and the drug was subsequently approved. A consumer group has mounted a campaign against Pfizer called BARKS, which stands for ”Be Aware of Rimadyl’s Known Side-effects.” Hopefully this organization will be able to influence more dog owners to carefully consider very seriously whether or not to have Rimadyl prescribed for their pet dog.

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Chicago Newlyweds Are Reunited with Their French Bulldogs Lost in a Burglary

It’s always a nice change when you can start off the day with some good news, so here’s some: Charlie Gurion and David Wilk, the newly married couple whose dogs disappeared when their Chicago apartment was burglarized, have been reunited with their pets.

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Rue and Pierre sleeping together.

Despite all the press coverage (and of course, coverage here at Dogster), what reunited the family was that grand old Internet standby, Craigslist. A man found the two French Bulldogs, Rue and Pierre, wandering around in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on Tuesday and brought them home just before a storm hit Chicago. More than five inches of snow fell on Chicago on Tuesday and Wednesday, causing transportation problems and power outages throughout the city. Gurion and Wilk had heard that people had seen Rue and Pierre walking around in Humboldt park, but when they went to search Tuesday night, the snow and rain was too thick for them to see.

"I was like, 'Literally, my spirit is cracked, I don't know how we can move forward if we don't have the dogs,'" Wilk told radio station WLS. "They are like our kids; we felt like two of our kids were kidnapped."

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According to housemate Josh Crews, Gurion and Wilk offered a reward to the man who returned the dogs, but he declined. The dogs, however, were delighted to be back.

"When they came in the door they were so happy to be home that they went bonkers crazy," Crews said.

"We immediately just started bawling when we saw them," Wilk said. "Pierre fell asleep in Charlie's lap on the way home. I can tell Rue is a little timid right now. I feel like she's a little traumatized from being out in the cold, but she's coming around."

The couple say that they're going to get the two dogs microchipped immediately.

Our congratulations to the whole family, and we hope that they recover quickly from their forced separation.

Via WLS AM and Chicago Tribune

Read the most talked about news on Dogster:


The Scoop | The Scoop

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Ticked Off Trannies cast shot

A few nice Tick images I found:

Ticked Off Trannies cast shot
Tick

Image by david_shankbone
Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives Shankbone blog post.

(About David Shankbone)

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Week in Review

Whoops!  Sorry.  Didn’t mean to do that you to again.  We had a pretty good week.
I had to do a “Collaborate” photo for my 52 week project and while I didn’t quite interpret it the way the author probably intended, it sort of fits the theme.  I asked Amanda to help by bringing her crew to see if we could get a group shot of them.  As you can see things started off a little rocky.  LOL

But we eventually got it all straightened out. :)  The nice thing with the picnic table is that they were a) easy to line up and b) were forced to sit close together. The other times I’ve attempted group shots I just found the dogs too spread out so this was perfect.  Good thing Boone didn’t come as he wouldn’t have fit!

We also had a little more fun with the fisheye lens this week.  I still haven’t quite figured out how to get exactly what I want… but I’m having fun learning.

I also went and helped a rescue dog burn off some steam on the weekend.  Unfortunately he cut one of his pads on the snow and was bleeding so we had to cut it short but we had a lot of fun.  I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed playing with and watching a really active dog.  Kilo is with Windy City Canine Rescue and is still looking for a home if anyone out there in the blogosphere is interested!

In other exciting news to celebrate her birthday Lorelei is doing a project with 55 things and she chose my idea to use 55 dogs.  So in a month or so, we’ll be attempting a giant group photo.  It should be fun!  I can’t wait.  Wish us luck.
Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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