Sunday, February 27, 2011

Life Changing Grey

I think any dog owner can say that their dog changed their life in some way. I certainly know I can. This story, which is incredibly well written I might add, is a love letter to how an injured greyhound changed a bachelor's life forever. Enjoy.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, February 26, 2011

This Dog Rocks - And Rolls!

I love stupid dog tricks on David Letterman. While the dogs usually perform pretty cute stuff, I always like the way Dave seems a bit afraid and skeptical of the four-legged performers. On Thursday night, a beautiful French Briard named Norman (love that name), broke the ice with Dave by riding a scooter better than most people can. Seriously this dog cracked me up. Maybe it was the long beautiful coat, his expressive face or the fact that his feet were as big as mine, but I really thought it looked like a kid dressed up as a Muppet riding the darn thing. Click here to see Norman knock Dave's socks off!

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Itchy & Scratchy Show

I love Sam Simon. You may or may not know this genius behind the Simpsons, but besides being incredibly creative and an amazing writer, he has used his wealth to help dogs through the Sam Simon Foundation. In fact, he's been known to go to various animal shelters and adopt every dog there. Every dog no matter the age, color, breed, or temperament. I fantasize about being able to do that. Sam Simon does it.  
One of my favorite characters that can be credited to Simon (besides Santa's Little Helper) is the satirical parallel to Tom & Jerry - Itchy & Scratchy. Every episode staring this duo on the Simpson's television was violent, bloody, gory and really funny. I love the theme song for this silly little sub-set of characters and lately, I sing this song to Roxy as her new nickname has become Itchy Scratchy. 

I posted a few months back about her horrible skin condition that continued to get worse. The thyroid tests proved to be normal in every way (no excuses for her loony behavior now), but she was still covered in gross sores that were armed with green puss. She was consumed with itching and scratching 24/7. She couldn't sleep and I couldn't sleep and it made her noise phobia a lot worse because she was so miserable and on edge. 

Dr. Hottie suggested that we do an allergy panel. This is not cheap, but I was at my wits end and she had consumed more Benadryl and steroids than one canine should, so this was really our only option. I knew she had allergies, but I had no idea how much she was allergic to. In fact, Dr. Hottie said he was shocked and the number of red marks that came back on Roxy's report. Well, at least she excels at something. 

She is in fact allergic to every kind of grass known to man, peas, eggs, pork and me. Yep, she's allergic to human hair! Oh, and did you know that dogs can be allergic to themselves. Seriously - dog and cat dander is on the list and she was non-reactive, thank goodness. I don't know how you treat a dog who is allergic to her own fur.

The treatment is just like human allergy shots. They start with a milder exposure to the allergens via injection on a regular basis. There are 3 vials - green, blue and red. The blue shots are the ones that usually cause problems with some sort of reaction as they are the strongest in concentration. 

We're half-way through the treatment cycle. For the first 2 weeks she got a shot approximately every other day. Now we're on the higher concentrated stuff and she gets a shot approximately every 5 to 6 days. Warning: this treatment isn't for someone with the fear of needles, as they are rather large. 

So far, so good. Her fur has become much, much softer and her skin isn't peeling off in sheets. The scabs on her sores have healed for the most part and both of us are sleeping much better. While the test was pricey, the vials of shots are reasonable. I do think that by this point I would have spent the same amount on an endless cocktail of steroids, antibiotics and antihistamines. 

Roxy's lack of scratching may not require the singing of the Itchy & Scratchy theme song these days, but she likes the extra attention she is getting just the same, even if it comes in a syringe.