The Bond Between Man and Man’s Best Friend

There is an unmistakable bond between humans and dogs.  Dogs give to us unconditionally expecting nothing in return.

Not only does your canine buddy give you companionship…

  • Studies have shown that pet owners were found to have lower blood pressure and heart rates than non-pet owners.
  • You are more likely to get out and walk with your canine companion. This is good, not only for your overall health, but helps with daily stress. Social media is fun for interaction with friends and family, but when you are out walking your dog you become more approachable by other pet owners thereby giving you an opportunity to increase your network of friends and acquaintances.
  • Service dogs create a much happier life assisting people with mental or physical disabilities. They give their human companions a more independent life.

The benefits are too numerous to list.

artist and hound dog

Glenn Swanson, a Montana artist and sculptor, is an avid dog lover and every dog’s dream human. Glenn doesn’t go looking for a new canine companion.  They place themselves in his path. I think Ginger the hound dog waited patiently near a logging road in the mountains of Montana until Glenn just happened to pass by. There are no accidents in life and as you can see from the photos of Glenn and Ginger, this was a match made in heaven.glenn swanson and hound dog

I am grateful for the multitude of benefits I get from my furry best friends.

Redtail bird by Glenn Swanson

Glenn’s work includes all types of wildlife, but his specialty is realistic portrayals of birds in flight.

Feed a Dog | Feed Your Soul

I stopped at a convenience store today to get gas and noticed, what appeared to be a homeless man with his beagle dog sitting in front on the sidewalk.

It is heartbreaking enough to see someone that lives on the road, but doubly sad when that person has their furry friend with them.  It has to be hard enough to beg for food without worrying about feeding your dog.  Maybe not…

As I approached the store, I commented on his sweet looking beagle.  His response was, “she is my heart.”  I could cry 🙁  This man, for all of his problems or loss that he has suffered that put him in this position in his life, beamed when he mentioned his precious dog.charles chaplin dog quote

Well, all I could think about in the store was this dog going hungry…yes, I do not like to think of people going hungry, either, but a person has a voice to ask for help…man’s best friend doesn’t.

Upon leaving the store, I approached the man and handed him cans of dog food for his best buddy.

He was so appreciative and thanked me.  He responded “she has already had two cans this morning.”  It made me laugh out loud.  All of the people going in and out of this busy convenience store and I thought that this dog was going hungry.

No, people are predominantly good.  I was not the first person today to worry about these two.

I am so grateful that people give without judging a person on their outward appearance.  Yes, he was obviously homeless, but you never know what could have placed him there.

As I left, I thought about my three spoiled animals at home lying comfortably in a dry, warm house.  I found all of my furkids on the road and they could just have easily ended up in front of that convenience store with a totally different life.

I am so grateful for my warm, dry house. 🙂

From Feline Dental to Death

My cat, Romeo, had lost his appetite. I took him in December 23, 2013 to Stockbridge Veterinary Hospital to be checked. romeo the cat

Dr. LaTanya Maney took his temperature, felt of his body, looked in his mouth and said that he had bad teeth. This made since because I had noticed his breath had gotten very bad. He weighed 11 lbs.

She said that, just like a person that he probably just didn’t feel good.

Fast forward to January 30, 2014. Romeo was eating but still not like he should be. I was loving on him and just happened to lift his lip in the front part of his mouth. I was shocked. There was a nasty big gray piece of some kind of tissue coming out of the front of his gum. No wonder he had become a finicky eater. That thing was bothering him. abscess on cats gum

I immediately called Stockbridge Veterinary Hospital and asked to speak to Dr. Maney since she is the doctor that had seen him just weeks before. I described what I had discovered and emailed a picture of his mouth to her. This was on a Thursday. She said to bring him in the next morning and since that was her surgery day that if it was something that she could take care of, she would do it right away.

I asked if he would need to be on antibiotics before surgery and she said no that she could give him an antibiotic shot during the surgery that would last for 3 weeks.

I arrived at Stockbridge Veterinary Hospital the next day. Jared, the vet tech, weighed him and told me that he weighed 9 lbs. Dr. Maney looked in his mouth and said that it was an abscess and needed to come off right away and stated “while he his under I will clean his teeth”. She had repeated many times how bad and nasty his teeth were, which is not a surprise…he was a stray cat when he found me.

I didn’t question anything…she is the doctor and she knows best, right?

Maybe not…my logical mind should have told me that Romeo’s loss of appetite would have compromised his little body, but again I did not doubt Dr. Maney…surely she would not operate on an animal in a compromised state.

Well I was wrong and found out in a very sad and heartbreaking way.

That same day I picked Romeo up after his surgery and Dr. Maney said that everything went fine. She said he did well and came right out of anesthesia…but she said “he had some very infected bad teeth so I pulled them…8 OF THEM” !!! (My receipt for the procedure stated 1 tooth pulled) Well, this seemed a little shocking, but she acted as though it was perfectly normal. She said that he would need to eat soft food since he would be a little sore.

SORE!!! Undoubtedly he would be sore…he had a huge abscess and 8 teeth removed in one swoop!!

Poor little guy…I was trying to take his pain away and inadvertently caused an incredible amount more.

I did sign a piece of paper before the surgery that if extractions were needed it was ok, but never dreamed it would be 8 teeth. The waiver you sign is like a questionnaire. Stockbridge Veterinary Hospital really makes sure they are covered. After the fact, I called several vets that told me that they would call before doing extractions.

My thought now is my poor baby should have been put on antibiotics before that much bacteria was cut loose in his mouth, but Dr. Maney said that I didn’t even need to give him antibiotics when I returned home because she had given him the shot that would last him 3 weeks.

So home we went (this was Friday) and Dr. Maney told me that Romeo would just want to sleep after the anesthesia and just give him his soft food and not too much water because he could get stomach cramps from the anesthesia. beautiful cat eyes

Well, Saturday he absolutely was not hungry, but would drink some water. He just whimpered…his mouth had to be incredibly sore.

Sunday, he could barely stand up, I held water for him and he would lick a little.

Monday morning I called and told Stockbridge Veterinary Hospital that he was extremely weak and did not want to eat. They said that Dr. Maney was off, but come in and they will take a look at him.

I arrived and they took his temperature and weighed him. He weighed 7 lbs. Dr. Howard said that his temperature was not even registering on the digital thermometer and he was not looking good at all. She said that he was completely anemic. She offered several times to give him a steroid shot. She lifted his lip and his gums were super pale.

She basically said that she didn’t think that he was going to make it. She said that I could leave him there for Dr. Maney to see the next morning or I could bring him back the next morning, but she didn’t feel like he would make it through the night.

Well, I certainly was not going to let him die in a cage in Stockbridge Veterinary Hospital’s office and the thought of him at home with me, but suffering, traumatized me.

I had now gone from having a surgery done to help him feel better to making the decision to end his life to prevent even more suffering in the next 24 hours…my poor baby Romeo.

We try to do the best for our furry friends and to do that we have to find a vet that we trust and trust that they will do the best for our fur babies.

But I should have listened to my intuition. Dr. Maney said he looked fine for surgery even though my visit to her had been about his loss of appetite.

I curled my little man into a ball on the vets table and held him close while Dr. Howard sent him to his final resting place with no more weakness and no more pain. 🙁

How did this happen? I was so eager to help my little man, Romeo, that I entrusted a veterinarian, Dr. Maney, that I thought could relieve his pain right away.

Since I had only had shots and purchased flea meds from them before, I had not checked them out as you would if your pet is going to be put under anesthesia.

Be careful who you trust and do your homework before you have anything major done to your fur baby.
black white cat posing

I am so grateful that Romeo came in to my life and will miss him for a very long time. He loved to be rubbed down with catnip and I am sure that he is laying in a cloud of it right now.