Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I Believe in Angels #3 -

 Visit # 3  I thought this visit was so special I gave it a title: When Hearts Are Breaking.
When I entered the lobby, I noticed three very serious looking people seated at a table talking quietly and reviewing lots of papers. I recognized two of the people, one of them was Mr. W.’s daughter, Miss Susan who I had met when I visited for the first time. I knew better than to interrupt, but as we were passing she said, “Just a minute, that’s Zoe; come here girl.” She asked mommy if we could visit with her dad, probably because she knew I could cheer him up. I can't remember exactly, but I think she told us how Mr. W.s dog came to visit on Sunday and the dog was quite anxious, but the visit was still a good one. She showed us a picture of Mr. W.'s dog, and guess what? Guess!!! He looked almost like me, except he was bigger. Mommy said that we certainly would visit his room. Then his daughter said, “That would really please my dad. He’s told everyone about Zoe’s salute and…and…today we are putting dad on hospice care.” I could tell their hearts were heavy, and so was mommy’s because her daddy was on hospice before he passed; that was nearly nine years ago. Mommy said she remembers that day as if it were yesterday. They chatted for a while, and I sat patiently waiting to make my visits for the morning.

Walking past the administration offices and down the short hallway toward Mr. W.'s room, we stopped to visit a few other patients. Somehow I wanted to go directly to Mr. W.’s room which was (depending on the direction from which you entered) either the first or the last room near the nurses’ station. Today, it was the last room. When we got there, the door was open, but the curtain was drawn. Mommy said, “Come on Zoe, we will come back later; there are a lot of people in there now. They’re busy.” But, it was too late…I already started to enter, and Mr. W. saw me peeking under the curtain. It was just Zoe height, about ten inches off the floor. His daughter said, “Oh, he sees the dog. It’s okay; come on in Zoe.” Everyone seemed very somber except for Mr. W. who was seated in the same chair as on our prior visits, and he had a bright smile on his face.

Mr. W. was holding the hand of a nice lady; I think she was his wife. You could tell they loved each other. I was at the foot of Mr. W.’s chair, and he tried to reach down and pet me, but couldn’t quite reach, so mommy picked me up. He had the biggest smile on his face, and he invitingly cocked his balding head toward me. I knew exactly what he wanted – a Zoe kiss! He cuddled with me a little and then motioned with his right hand to his forehead. Mommy said, “Do you want Zoe to salute?” He nodded. Mommy put me on the floor and told me to sit at attention. I did that just fine, but then I looked around and realized I was surrounded by, I think - eight people. One of them was a really tall man with a big book that had a ribbon it. I guess I sort of froze because I did NOTHING! Mommy, said, “Oh come on Zoe, let’s do your salute to the military…for Mr. W.?” She touched my right ear…I looked at Mr. W.; he was watching intently. I did my entire salute routine flawlessly. Then Mr. W. motioned a little circle with his hand. Mommy asked if it was okay for me to do my other tricks; his daughters nodded, “Yes.” When I was finished, they all clapped, and I did one last twirl with a jump about two feet off the floor. I left his room feeling very good about the levity I brought to that very serious situation. But, then mommy had to get some tissues...I guess something got in her eyes.

I will tell you more next time...

Sleep well tonight my friends. Did you know that a dream is a wish your heart makes when you are asleep? That's what my friend Cali Lollipop, says! So, I hope all your wishes come true.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I Believe in Angels - #2

July 7th

 Today’s visit with Mr. W. was  as special as my first.  Once again he had company but made me feel welcome and comfortable by snuggling close and briefly removing his oxygen.  He didn’t say much, except for his eyes!  It seemed as if his eyes had such joy and a beautiful peacefulness in them; this might sound funny, but I could read his feelings in his eyes just like humans can usually read their dogs’ expressions through our very expressive tails. Well, my tail waggled and waggled the entire time when I was with him.   He knew I was happy, and he knew exactly where my special petting spot was just behind my ears.  There was no mistaking my level of comfort and joy in his presence.  When Mr. W. smiled, I sort of melted.  He asked me to salute for him; I think that was his favorite trick, and this time mommy let him give me my treat.  Another successful visit!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Visits With Mr. W. - I believe in Angels

This is a mini-series of 6 different visits which culminates with my visit with an angel.  I believe in angels, don't you?

July 4th, 2013 – The morning of July 4th was the day I first met Mr. W.   Dressed in my patriotic red, white, and blue Independence Day outfit, I walked into his room while making my rounds through the care center; I thought it would be a typical visit of ‘meet and greet’, do tricks and exchange pleasantries, but this was different.  There was something different about HIM – something unexplainable. At first I was a little apprehensive, maybe even frightened, because of the various medical devices, but as soon as he smiled and removed his oxygen for our visit, it was love at first snuggle!  He just kept looking at me in such a special way and whispering things to me that no one else could really hear.  He had the most infectious smile.  When mommy asked if he wanted to see my tricks, he responded with a giant smile and a nod of “yes”.  After I finished my routine, he clapped as did his visitors.  It was so nice to see that he had visitors because so many of the people I visit are very much alone.  Then, his daughter, Miss Susan, asked if she could take a picture of us with her cell phone.  Mommy asked her if it she could send it to us, with Mr. W’s permission of course, and explained that maybe I would submit it to the quarterly magazine of TD Inc., the organization where I am registered, as well as my Facebook page and blog; Miss Susan asked her dad, and he gave his permission. I am so glad that she did.  It was an ideal first visit.

This was also the day I was asked to return to the center at 1:00 to be the Grand Marshall or the 4th of July Parade.  When mommy and I returned, I led the parade out of the dining room! I was so hoping to see Mr. W., but he wasn’t there.  We saw his daughter though, and when mommy asked about him, she said he wasn’t having a good afternoon, but I could stop in his room to just say hello.  So, that’s what we did – no tricks – just a quick hello and a few pets. It was perfect, and it brought a smile to his face.  I ---no--- we were happy.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Talking Tail! - The Doctor Is In!

 Did you know that your dog's tail is one of the best ways he/she communicates with you?  Think about the different emotions and varied degrees of expression that come through your pup's tail. Well, you need to know what happens when that means of expression is cut and how the communication continues!

Today I have to let all of you know about the horrors that can happen to your furry best friend who has his/her tail docked.  Below is a very sad picture of my good friend, Pixel Blue Eyes.  She and her mommy are on a very special mission about educating people, and hopefully, changing what I think is a totally unnecessary practice: Tail Docking.  There is nothing beautiful about this practice, and it often times is very painful and detrimental.  

Here is some information taken directly from my friend Pixel's blog. Please read it carefully.

"There are many symptoms and behaviors that a dog can exhibit when they are having docked tail pain. Some might seem unrelated, but they are. Here are just a few signs that a puppy or adult dog is having pain, irritation or difficulties with a docked tail:
1. Biting, licking, 'chasing' or whining at the tail or back end. Scooting or rubbing their bottoms or tails on the floor or against a piece of furniture.
2. Hiding under a bed or in a crate. Isolation from the family or laying alone in a back room.
3. Delayed or difficulty potty training, either on paper or outside. Often difficulty having a normal bowl movement (BM), including running away from a BM as it is occurring. Pixel is 5.5 years old and she still sometimes runs away from her BM's while they are happening.
4. Unexplained potty accidents, even if they are potty trained. If you are paper training and you occasionally have rogue locations where pee or poo will occur. Sometimes they have trouble holding it due to the cut tail muscles. They rely on the entire tail for this body function so it can be hindered with a docked tail.
5. Redness, inflammation or scaling at the tail nub tip. Before Pixel's surgery to try and correct her tail pain, would get seriously red and inflamed at times. Now it gets red after she has 'gone after it' due to pain & discomfort.
6. Sudden and unexplained moments where the dog leaps, jumps, or catapults themselves off of a bed/couch/chair and either runs away or goes after the tail. Leaping up suddenly then leaping down again off the furniture is often a sign they are getting sudden stabs of pain or stinging at the tail nub and are trying to 'get away' from the source of discomfort.
7. Sulking, having head down, and acting like they are in trouble or are being punished for no apparent reason. Dogs often associate the stabbing, stinging pain as something that is being "done to them" so they might very well feel they are being punished when they feel it. It's very psychologically traumatizing for them.
8. If someone goes to pet or touch the dog near their back end or tail, is there occasional crying out, yelping, or even nipping at that person (or another pet  if that pet gets too close to the tail). This can occur when someone is trying to either pick the dog up or move the dog for whatever reason.
9. Refusing to come when called, even though the dog knows and usually obeys that command. When you try to call them, they might sit in a bed, on a rug, in the corner, etc, just looking at you while you are calling them, trying to get them to come to you. This can be an infrequent occurrence where other times the dog obeys with no problems or hesitation (again, this refers back to them either thinking they are in trouble when they are hurting or that you are the cause).
10. Playtime, happy reunions, and/or meal time excitement getting interrupted by a sudden tail biting episode. Getting excited over a loved one coming home or a fun play time, can often cause a sudden bout of pain or stinging that results in yelping and 'going after' their tail. Excitement runs through the nerves in all dogs tails (or tail nubs) as they wag with joy, so docked tail dogs get 'punished' (in their eyes) for being excited."

This is some very valuable information.  I hope you follow Pixel's Blog  - No Tails Left Behind and Facebook Page as well.
Please join our campaign by visiting, liking and sharing Pixel's social media sites.  Send out Tweets as well!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Drs. Bean and Zoe Collaborate on Pets Taking Medication

 This morning at the Cancer Center one of the nurses felt that I would look much more professional if I dressed appropriately for my "professional" advice.  You can be the judge.

I am available for consultations.

I would like to introduce you to my friend Dr. Bean. She has excellent advice about your pets taking medication.  Here is her letter to all of you.


Hi frens!
Do any of you guys have pets that you have to give meds to & it’s really difficult? Did you know that it doesn’t always have to be such a stressful experience? The veterinarian knows best, & if they tell you to give pills, pill pockets can be your best friend.
But some of us critters are experts at eating the treat the pill is in, then spitting out the pill. Or if you mix it with our food & we don’t finish it all, you’re stuck wondering if we got the right dose.
Here’s a thought- did you know there are more & more pharmacies out there now who are expanding their services to animal patients? If your vet gives you a written prescription, they can formulate it into a liquid that has yummy flavors like bacon, chicken or beef! Sometimes they can make it into a cream that you rub into your pets skin too! It’s usually not much more expensive. I hope everyone’s pet is happy & healthy, but if something comes up & you need to give your furkid meds, don’t cringe at the idea of wrestling your pet so you can shove a pill in its mouth! We pets are connected to our owners, so if you’re stressed out about medicating us, we pick up on that stress! It can be easy! Just google compounding pharmacies in your area. Don’t be afraid to talk to your veterinarian about it.
Dr. Bean