Monthly Archives: October 2012

Alex, In The Arms Of Morpheus

Today, Sunday, was one of those days when Alex decided that she’d rather sleep than eat.  Do I like it?  No, I hate it, to put it mildly because I worry everytime she does not eat.  But, then I reminded myself that there are days when she eats only 1 cup rather than her usual 3 cups and the next day she is fine eating her usual amount.  I did take her, as well as Oliver and Josie for a walk in the morning, but after that she just slept the rest of the day.  And finally in the evening she ate.  All right!

My Beautiful Alex

 

I have to make a mental note and remind myself that my girl is 10 1/2 and that, as per her vet, there will be days when she may not feel like eating or walking like she used to do before and that is just part of aging.  So, pet parents, please be mindful of the changes your senior dogs will go through and if ever in doubt, talk to his/her vet.  Enjoy your dogs and have a great week.

 

Alex and Halloween

I am not sure if this year I want Alex to dress up as a pumpkin as she’s done for the past couple of years.  Why my hesitation?  She does not seem to enjoy it.  I’ll think about it.  May be this year, I should let her be and get a movie so I can watch it while she is sound asleep next to me.  Well, we’ll see.

Alex wearing a bathrobe. Does she look happy?

Missing My Loved Ones

Today, Saturday, I stayed home doing chores while listening to my ipod, which is loaded with a pretty eclectic selection of music.  While I was folding clothes, a song came on, don’t remember the name, and I danced my butt off for a while to it.  Cynthia, my girlfriend, says that I do chores while dancing, this is true, and the reason why I am usually sweaty is due to my dancing and not the chore at hand.  Anyway, for some unknown reason, I started to think about my childhood in Ecuador with my aunts and cousins and I remembered going to the beach in the afternoons, coming back full of sand around my legs, and the smell of the sea on my skin, but above all, I remembered being very happy.  I miss my aunts dearly.  One of them, my aunt Maria, passed away in 2007 and even now while writing this I feel like crying.  My other aunt, mi mami Elvirita, she raised me that is why I call her mom, lives in Ecuador and usually comes back to the US once a year to visit family.  Now that I am an adult, all the memories I have of them I keep them close to my heart.  Ok, I miss my family, what can I say?

No, this is not a beach in Ecuador, but rather in Maryland

Then, I took a look at what I have now: my girlfriend and our dog, Alex.  They make me happy and they make me laugh sometimes so hard that my stomach hurts and I have tears running down my cheeks from pure delight.  My home as a child, and what made up my home, was in Ecuador, but that was so long ago.  Now, my home is here in the US and to be quite honest, I can’t complain.  Life is really good to me.  I’ll always treasure my memories from when I lived with my aunts, and now I am making new memories.  Dogs are supposed to live in the moment, and I do try my best to do the same, but sometimes I can’t help it and I remember things, but for the most part my memories bring me a lot of joy.

Cynthia squeezing the life out of our poor Alex

 

Collars For Dogs – Choose The Right One For Your Dog

I’ve learned from experience that one collar does not work for every dog.  Bailey, a beautiful mix breed dog, at the beginning would walk me, ok., let me rephrase this, dragged me with her during our first walks.  When we got back from our walks, my hands were red and hurting from her pulling me around.  Boy, those were good times. Anyway, one day I made her wear a gentle leader, and she walked perfectly.  It was as if once she had this gentle leader on, she became this perfect, calm, attentive dog.  I was so happy and surprised at the same time.

Alex, Cynthia, and Bailey wearing a gentle leader

A couple of weeks ago, we had Dozer and Sarris, and what they wear is a pinch collar.  Does it work for them?  Yes, they walked very nicely, but some people, I had a few give me dirty looks, are against it, because they prefer to use a choke collar. The pinch collar does exactly that, it pinches the dog in order to redirect his attention to you.  When used properly it is a very good tool.  Now, don’t take me wrong.  I am not against choke collars.  Au contraire, use it, but again, do it properly.  I had a dog a long time ago that did excellent with a choke collar.  I did a very light correction, and I got his attention right away.

Dozer and Sarris wearing a pinch collar

I am not advocating for any one particular collar because I’ve realized from experience that every dog is different therefore it is up to you, pet parent, to figure out what works best for your dog.  Take the time to talk to a trainer, in case you are having difficulty figuring out which collar to use, so this way when you are out with your dog this is a good experience for both you and your canine companion.

Fatty Tissue Tumors on Older Dogs – Part II

I cannot complain about this week, well maybe I could, but I am not going to because I got a call from Alex’s vet with great news: Her two little lumps are nothing more than fatty tissue tumors, which according to her vet are quite common in senior dogs.  What a relief!

She did tell me, though, to keep an eye on them and that if they grew at a fast rate to take her back to her office.  She is also going to keep measuring them each time I take Alex for an appointment, which the next one is in about 6 months.

This weekend I’ll take her for walks, as usual, but I’ll get a movie and let her sleep next to me on the couch, since it seems to be what she enjoys a lot.

Thanks a million to all the people that wished Alex well.  You are great!

 

 My girl, Alex

Fatty Tissue Tumors On Older dogs

A couple of days ago, while brushing Alex’s hair after one of our daily walks, I noticed two small lumps.  One on her undercarriage and another one on the right side of her ribs.  Since I had to take her for a booster shot, I asked the vet about it and I was told that most senior dogs develop fatty tissue tumors, and that they are not malignant, but to make sure the vet recommended doing a needle aspiration, which involves taking a sample of cells from the tumors and looking at them under a microscope.  As you can probably guess, Alex was not pleased with the possibility of having this procedure done, but I want to make sure that she is fine, therefore as she was walking away from me, she threw me a glance that told me, “Mom, I don’t like this”, and the brave person that I am turned around and let the vet take her while I had guilt written all over my face.

Anyway, I’ll find out in a couple of days if these are only fatty tissue tumors or not.  Alex is a very healthy dog, therefore I am counting on her amazing genes, her diet of premium food and food I cook, yes, I don’t cook for myself, but I do cook for Alex, and all the exercise she gets on a daily basis to see her through what I hope is something related to old age and nothing else.

I am going to try and live in the moment and enjoy my girl, sleeping on the couch right next to me without a care in the world while I finish writing this post.  Carpe diem.