In Memoriam

Posted by Aaron

Monday, January 18, 2010

I should probably try to find a picture of Daley when she was perky. She was such a mellow dog.

Right after Christmas, Daley lost her battle with cancer. She survived 6 months longer than she was expected to. I diagnosed her with Stage 4b lymphoma on July 4th. That's a tumor of the small white blood cells called lymphocytes. If lymphoma is circulating, it's called leukemia.

She responded WAAAAAY better to chemo than expected. I'm a believer in quality over quantity and I would only continue chemo if she felt well. Surprisingly enough, she felt really good during her chemo (for the most part). She had off days. It took creativity to find foods that she wanted to eat, but all in all, she kept doing all of the things she enjoyed doing.

Daley was at least 15 years old. Not bad for an old girl!


Retrievers Behaving Badly - aka My New Year's Resolution

Posted by Aaron

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Long time, no see! No excuse, just slow to post.

Nearly everyone has a New Year's resolution. Mine include the obligatory trips to the gym, not eating everything in sight, and actually trying to loose my "baby weight" (my girls are now 5yrs old, I guess it's about time to loose the baby weight).

It's also time to walk the dog.

Here's why I mention this. Kate, my yellow dog (she's supposed to be golden retriever, I don't think so), is a nut case. She's either the most wonderful dog in the universe, or I could just strangle her. She's the typical ADHD retriever dog. She has enough energy that I could probably use her to power a small house if I could only figure out how to plug her in.

So there's really only one way to help improve her behavior when she starts to act out. EXERCISE. If I walk her, even just once a day, it's like magic. She's so much better behaved. If I throw the ball for 10 minutes, she's a new dog! I can't tell you how many times I have an owner complain about a dog misbehaving (especially puppies!) and so much of it can be improved by just exercise! When they have too much energy built up, they find some way to burn it. If you don't find a constructive outlet, they will probably find something destructive to get your attention.

I have a friend who puts her dog on the treadmill. She tried it one day and her dog LOVED it. She actually begs to get up on the treadmill (she stands by the machine and stares at mom). I need to see if she will send me a video.

Yet again, I'll draw a parallel between raising dogs and raising kids. As any parent knows, rainy days are just the kind of thing to make a parent want to start drinking at noon when they are stuck in the house with their kids. Kids NEED to burn off excess energy. Their brains don't know what to do if they don't have physical exercise. Exactly the same with your dogs.

Don't forget cats! I'll post again with some suggestions on how to exercise your cat. It is possible. I'm not saying that your cat won't look at you, frown, and then fall back asleep when you suggest they get up and play, but it's POSSIBLE. Inappropriate urination, destructive behavior, aggression, and obesity are all things that are improved with exercise.