It’s rather embarrassing to say I had surgery last week. It was nothing exotic like an appendectomy or breaking a leg while falling out of bed. Unfortunately, my veterinarian noticed slimy tartar was building up on my teeth. So they “put me under” (under what, I’m not sure!) and scraped away.
I hardly think this is my fault. Lacking opposable thumbs, it is not really possible for me to brush my own teeth. My pet parents are “busy” (translate lazy, afraid, confused) and they don’t brush my pearly whites, either. Although technically speaking, I think they were grungy yellows.
My pet parents refused to let me eat or drink for 18 hours. “It’s for your own good,” they said. Then they pretended we were going on an exciting adventure in the car. I was eager with anticipation…. Until they pulled up to the vet’s office, when I started shaking like a leaf. I realize veterinarians are highly trained professionals who really want the best for me, but it was still a little scary.
My vet let me snuggle with mom in terror while they explained the process. They use a tiny bit of anesthesia, so I would be unaware of the procedure. This appears to be necessary since dogs (and cats) don’t really like to have their teeth cleaned and veterinarians need their fingers intact so they can
examine other patients. After anesthesia is administered, they do dental x-rays to see what is going on under the gum line. Then they scrape and polish the teeth, just like when humans go to the dentist. In cases of advanced periodontal disease, they extract the damaged teeth. (But lucky for me, that wasn’t necessary.)
Mom left me there in the able care of my veterinarian while the team did their magic. She was nervous and scared (so was I!) but we both managed through the next few hours. Afterwards, I got to go home… tired, groggy, wobbly, but with a gorgeous smile. We cuddled and mom took very good care of me. I got
extra treats and soft food instead of dry hard kibble.
Veterinarians estimate 80 % of domestic cats and dogs have dental issues. If left untreated, the bacteria in a pet’s mouth can cause bad breath, difficulty chewing and other unpleasantries. Even heart, kidney and liver organ damage! Humans probably wouldn’t walk around with filthy teeth, painful gums or other mouth issues, but many people simply forget or ignore their pet’s oral hygiene. So I would recommend you and your pet parents seek recommendations from your veterinarian. Find out the correct methods of tooth brushing and use toys or treats which help promote healthy teeth and gums.
The pets at the shelter get their teeth examined by our volunteer veterinarians and in advanced cases, extractions are done. (Under anesthesia, back at the office, no matter how much it costs because it’s the right thing to do.) But I’m begging all of you to never let those pearly whites rot away so your pet at home never has to experience the pain of losing teeth.
As I mentioned, Mom took good care of me after my surgery. Which was a good thing, because a few days later, she had surgery on her foot. Now it was my turn to take care of HER. I was a good nursemaid. I snuggled next to her boot thingy, even though she accidently clonked me on the head with it a few
times. I reminded her to get up and take her medicine. I even took “walks” that were about 30 feet down the driveway and back. And I didn’t complain that my schedule was messed up, because she needed me.
It is good to know that families take care of one another. Doctors and veterinarians are here to help us through the ups and downs of life.
And when it comes right down to it, we’re all lucky to have one another, to love and to be loved.
Until next time,
Things I Wish My Mom Didn’t Do!
If you’re like me, your pet parents do things which are REALLY annoying and they have no idea of the havoc they create! So here are six things my mom does which I could do without.
She upsets my schedule. I like predictability… potty breaks at certain times and meals served like clockwork. But my mom likes to sleep in on Saturday mornings. Or she comes home late from work. I can only cross my legs for so long, you know! And then there are times when she wants me to go out around her schedule… right when I’m in the middle of my nap. Or she doesn’t get home until really late and feeds me dinner at like 8:00.
Even if dogs can’t tell time, we know when our bladders are full and our tummies are empty!
She doesn’t share her cheese. I come running when I smell cheese because I love cheese! Dad shares, but my mom says it’s not good for me. Something about dogs being lactose intolerant and large quantities of cheese can cause… (Can I use this word? Is there another way to say?) … diarrhea. So mom won’t give me cheese except under certain conditions. She thinks I’m oblivious when she sneaks medicine inside pieces of cheese. Believe me, I notice! It’s just worth it to take those doggie pills when there’s delicious cheese involved!
She takes me places I don’t really want to go. Whether we’re traipsing over wet grass or visiting the vet’s office, I try to put the brakes on when I don’t want to go someplace. And even though I weigh only 8 pounds, I can be pretty stubborn! My mom is too kind to actually drag me anywhere. She just picks me up against my own free will. That is just embarrassing and undignified! What would she do if I was a 120 pound mastiff?! Get stronger muscles or wait it out? I realize that sometimes “mother knows best” and I should just cooperate, but I bet you wouldn’t like sticking your bare tushie in the cold, wet grass to go potty, either!
She scolds me for barking. Mom, have you ever noticed I’m a dog?! Dogs bark, so just get over it! You could possibly scold me for meowing or mooing, because that would be weird. (Pretty remarkable, but weird nonetheless!)
She comes home smelling like other DOGS! I get that my mom works in an animal shelter. A little mingling is to be expected. But I can tell when she gets entirely too friendly with some of the pets around there. I’ve come to expect the scent of dogs around the bottom of her pant legs. But, whoa! She’s been snuggling other furry ones in her arms and that stuff has got to stop. I’m the jealous type!
She’s BORING! Sometimes I want to play and mom says she’s tired. Sometimes I want to go to work with her and mom says she has meetings and I can’t wait for her in the car. Sometimes I want a little extra kibble and mom says I already ate. And sometimes I forget how great I have it here with my family. It’s not that it’s boring… I just take it all for granted.
Sometimes I feel sorry for the dogs (and cats) at the shelter. Even though they have nice comfy beds, plenty of food to eat, and someone to take them for walks and play time, I imagine they get pretty annoyed they aren’t in a home with people to love. They have staff and volunteers, but they are still lonely. And that’s where you can help.
Won’t you please consider adopting a homeless pet by opening your heart and your home? Even if you do some of the annoying things my mom does, I just know your new pet will feel eternally grateful. We’ll promise not to tell anyone your secrets or bad habits. And you’ll promise to love us forever. Deal?!
Until next time,
The Stanley Cup
I’m going to guess you’ve heard about the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup, National Hockey League’s championship trophy. If you haven’t heard about it, you either live on another planet or you’re a cat who can’t be bothered to watch TV. The Blackhawks players have created a level of excitement around here not seen since… last year when they ALMOST made it to the championship series… and the year before that when they actually won it… and a couple of years before that when the three-peat dynasty actually started. So I guess the excitement has been almost non-stop since 2010.
The Stanley cup is like a really fancy silver dog bowl on a huge pedestal. The players, coaches and fans kiss it, drink champagne out of it, pose their tiny babies in it and take pictures of it constantly. There’s even a wheresthestanleycup.com app so you can track where it is at all times. Hinsdale Humane Society has dedicated staff members who are extreme Blackhawk hockey fans, especially Kathy, Alan and Sam. They can tell you all sorts of things about the players, their statistics, team history, superstitions, etc. Kathy even named her adopted dog Trevor after Trevor van Riemsdyk, the rookie player who suffered a devastating leg injury in November. (Trevor the puppy dog had to have his injured leg amputated.) Luckily, Trevor the Blackhawk player was able to recover from his injury AND came back in games 3 – 6 AND gets to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup!
My human dad screams loudly when the Hawks score and he’s happy. He makes the same screaming noises when the faucet breaks and water is spraying everywhere. One scream is happy and one scream is mad, but they both hurt my ears. There was a lot of screaming at my house in the last few weeks! Especially the “Hawks win! Hawks win! Hawks win!” kind.
Perhaps you know that the famous Mr. Quenneville, better known as Coach Q, lives in Hinsdale. He and his lovely wife adopted a dog from Hinsdale Humane Society. We are all hoping Coach Q will take a picture of his precious doggie sitting in the Stanley Cup. Wouldn’t that be fun?! We aren’t the only ones who think this is a good idea. Player Bryan Bickell is showing photos of #stanleypups, adorable adoptable pit bulls.
We’re all waiting to (hopefully) see Coach Q holding the Stanley Cup in the 4th of July parade in Hinsdale, just like he did in 2013. I know people who are cancelling their vacations just to stay in town on the possibility they might see the Cup. All of the adoptable animals of HHS dream of the chance to see the Stanley Cup stopping by Hinsdale Humane Society. (Hint. Hint. Wink. Wink.)
To all the Blackhawks Coaches and Players: Thanks for working so hard to bring another NHL Championship to the Chicagoland area. We appreciate the excitement and the memories!
To all the adoptable dogs and cats out there: Your happy day is coming soon. Perhaps you’ll hit the championship jackpot and get adopted by someone like Coach Q!
Thanks for your support. Go Blackhawks!
Until next time,