Kathy: Immiticide Day One

Cochise tells the tail

Two weeks ago Kathy got the first step in her heart worm treatment: Heartguard an oral medication that kills the baby heart worms in her bloodstream. The Doc also put her on Prednisone at that time.

KathyThis morning HairyFace dropped Kathy off at the shelter to get her first Immiticide shot. She’ll get her second one tomorrow. These go deep into the lower back muscle, and they hurt. They make us stiff and sore too. How sore depends on the dog: we all have different thresholds for pain. And it depends on whether we sat still or jumped during the injection. Jumping causes extra tissue damage.

The poison that kills the heart worms also makes us sick. Some will be affected only a little, others will be hit hard. Again this depends some on the dog and some on how bad the infestation is.

HairyFace went back this afternoon to pick Kathy up. He ran into Samantha outside and they talked about Kathy for a while. It seems many people had been in the shelter today and all of them fell in love with Kathy. She could have been adopted several times over today — if she were available, but she’s not. A local couple have already laid claim to her. Sam said, “I put a bed in her crate for her, you can take that with you if you want.”

Kathy Immiticide 1Inside, HairyFace found Kathy making herself right at home. Alicia (the Vet Tech) and a volunteer were standing nearby commenting on Kathy. They said she was sitting contentedly in her bed until she saw HairyFace, then she started ‘working it’. Kathy is good at that!

Since she will be coming back tomorrow, HairyFace left the bed in the crate and Alicia tucked the crate away in the med room.

They went for a little walk before they got into the truck to be sure Kathy didn’t need to go potty before they started the trek home.

Kathy Imiticide 2Normally dogs ride in the extended cab part of our truck, behind the seats. Kathy does too when NiceLady is riding shotgun. When NiceLady gets out at her office, Kathy moves up front. So HairyFace brought her blanket to keep dog hair off the seat (and thus off NiceLady’s work clothes). Kathy started out on that blanket, but decided there was too much sun and it was hot, so she retreated to the basement.

Kathy Immiticide 3She rode down there until they got headed a direction that kept most of the sunshine from beating down on her. She tried to get into HairyFace’s lap and insist that he scratch her, since he was sitting down (had a lap) and wasn’t doing much of anything. HairyFace explained that driving was important and he needed to focus on that right now. She went back to her seat and rode there the rest of the way home.

When they got home, Kathy milked her condition for all it was worth:

Kathy_Immiticide day 1 from HairyFace Bittinger on Vimeo.

Kathy Imiticide 7I got really put out by these concessions: she’s breaking the rules AGAIN! How does she keep getting away with this when Blondie and I can’t? Blondie got up and left the room. I glared at her until she decided to get down and find a legal resting place. She tried my bed, she tried her snuggle pup, she eye-balled the sofa, but I told her “no way.” and she abandoned that thought. Finally she settled in to her most secure sleeping place.

kathy immiticide 8She slept in there, snuggled up to her Snoopy doll, most of the afternoon.

She was having a hard time getting comfortable, so she’d come out and wander around now and then, but ended up splitting her time between the crate and Snuggle Pup in the bedroom.

I hate to tell her that it will be worse tomorrow night after the second shot. She may bounce back in days, like Bristol did, or she may be sick for a while. I was miserable for weeks. Or, it seemed like weeks. I hope she gets over the yuckies quickly. She will be on activity restriction for the next 4 weeks. That means no more rough-housing with Blondie or running in the yard with me until she is recovered. Then she can ease back into full activity and will be ready for adoption.

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Kathy is Breaking the Rules!

Cochise tells the tale

Kathy is our latest arrival in foster dogs. She is unusual in that she is the smallest dog we’ve cared for. She’s a Jack Russell mix, so she’s smart. Maybe too smart: she thinks, because she’s cute, she’s above the rules.

not breaking the rulesSince I’ve been here, No Dogs On the People Furniture has always been one of the rules. But it wasn’t always that way. When I first got here Dolly was my mentor. Dolly told me that when they all lived in the old house — the one that is HairyFace’s workshop now — she had her very own sofa to sit on and watch TV! That’s amazing!

When they moved to the new house, which is smaller, they bought new furniture (and had less of it) and they instituted the dogs on the furniture ban. That never mattered to me: I was thrilled to be able to come into the house! And since they give us cushy blankets and doggie beds to lay on, I didn’t mind not being able to get up on the sofa or their bed.  Neither did Blondie.  Before being rescued she was kept chained in a yard.  This is heaven compared to that!

But Kathy thinks, because she’s little and adorable, she should be above our rules. And the Peoples are letting her get away with it! That’s causing some hard feelings among the dog populace of this home.

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A Demerit for Kathy

Cochise tells the tale

Kathy is very smart. She has learned the rules — and learned some ways to subvert the rules. For instance, when HairyFace gives us a treat or our bowl of kibbles, he has us do some small thing: sit, shake, speak, some little thing to acknowledge his leadership over us. He has been working with Kathy to sit on her blanket before he puts down her bowl of kibbles. She just looks annoyed at him, “Why? I’m going to eat standing up. Why would I want to sit only to have to stand up again.” So he puts the bowl back on the table and turns to his own breakfast for a few seconds, then tries again. She then realizes that if she does not knuckle under, she won’t eat. So she sits.

Recently she found a way to subvert this dominance thing: she sits when HairyFace starts handing out bowls so she’s not responding to his command: it’s her own idea. But he gets the upper hand anyway by asking her to shake. She thinks, “curses foiled again.”

Are you fixing breakfast? Could you please hurry?

This morning Kathy was especially hungry and was encouraging HairyFace to be quick with breakfast. Being Wednesday, HairyFace cooks up something special, and that takes a little longer than oatmeal does. Kathy just couldn’t wait and went hunting for a snack. Instead of settling in with a hoofie or chew bone (which is acceptable and encouraged) she found Hairy’s rice thing on the floor next to the big bed.

This is a special cloth bag that NiceLady made, filled with rice. They each have one. They warm them in the microwave then put them on their sore neck and shoulders — when needed. HairyFace needed his last night, but dropped it to the floor when he was ready to go to sleep. Kathy found it and decided the hard little grains of raw rice would make a good snack. She tore open the bag and scattered rice around on the carpet.

Lady caught her at it, scolded Kathy and expelled her from the bedroom.

kathyKathy scampered out to find Blondie. She curled up in the snuggle bed with her hero and cried, “Lady said ‘bad girl’ at me, Blondie. That hurt my feelings!”

“What did you do?”

“I was just getting a snack.”

I told Blondie what the little scalawag had done.

Blondie stood up and said, “I can’t snuggle with a bad girl. We do not tear things up.” and walked out to her blanket in the kitchen to await breakfast – which HairyFace was working on while all this happened.

Kathy thought on this until breakfast was ready. When HairyFace called us all to the table, Kathy trotted over and stood on her pink blanket. When Hairy said, “sit.” she sat. We all had a pleasant breakfast.

HairyFace vacuumed up the spilled rice and everything went back to normal … except NiceLady made sure her rice thing was safely up off the floor.

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Kathy and Mr. Toad


The Dogtor is in

This morning, while we were all escorting Marie to the side gate and her departure for work, I encountered a good-sized toad: about the size of a tennis ball. I encouraged it to leave, it refused. Toads can be kind of pig-headed. To keep the dogs away from it I created a shelter by leaning a board against the fence it sat next to. I didn’t want the dogs to take an unhealthy interest in it, and maybe the roof would encourage it to go through the chain-link and up into the grass.

We saw Marie off. I headed into the garden to see what needed to be picked this morning. The dogs were wandering around the play yard.

As I was finishing up and heading into the house, Kathy trotted by smacking her mouth, which was dripping white froth. I had forgotten about Mr. Toad. Toads have a defensive mechanism of secreting a foul tasting liquid that can in some species of toads be highly toxic to dogs. I know the giant Bufo toad (Colorado River Toad) is extremely poisonous, often killing dogs in 15 minutes after mouthing one. Those are not native here in Tennessee, but Kathy is a pretty little gal, I’d best be sure she’s not in danger. I found Mr. Toad near where I’d left him, upside down with legs tucked in tight against his sides. He looked dead, but that could be a ruse.

I took Kathy inside (Blondie and Cochise came in as well) and wiped her mouth off, then used a wet paper towel to repeatedly rinse off her gums and tongue. She did not like this much. Then I looked up what the symptoms were and identified the toad in question.

As I suspected, Mr. Toad is an Eastern American Toad. Mildly toxic. had this to say about toad toxicity symptoms:

Symptoms usually appear within a few seconds of the toad encounter and may include the following:

  • Crying or other vocalization
  • Pawing at the mouth and/or eyes
  • Profuse drooling of saliva from the mouth
  • Change in the color of membranes of the mouth – may be inflamed or pale
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Unsteady movements
  • Seizures
  • High temperature
  • Collapse

after toad careOther than the white froth around her mouth and the “Yech, yech, that tastes terrible” mouthing, she shows no symptoms. I’m watching her closely (with Nurse Blondie’s help) for a while but in the past 20 minutes she seems to be doing fine.

I took a plastic bag out to pick up the toad carcass. Mr. Toad was sitting upright, right where I left him, looking quite smug, “I guess I showed that dog!” I used the plastic bag like a glove to pick up Mr. Toad and give him a good heave up into the tall grass and brush well above our fence line. Better hunting up there anyway, I suspect.

Normally I make the small toads who inhabit the garden welcome. They eat bugs. I respect that. But when they get a bad attitude with me I’ll evict them. Especially if they threaten my dogs: that don’t fly here … but attitudinal toads do!

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Twas a Dark and Rainy Morning

Wants out on a rainy day
Kathy sitting at the door asking to be let outside.

Kathy (the new little foster dog) wanted to go outside this morning, in the dark and in the rainy weather. With her it’s hard to say if she needs to go outside because she needs to “go” or because she wants to play around and hunt. She had been living the free-and-easy life for a while, just doing what she wanted when she wanted because no one was looking after her.

Marie let her out.

Kathy is the smallest dog we have fostered. I have been adamant about going out with her when she went, to keep an eye on her. I’m not at all certain she can’t squeeze out through gaps between gate and post in the fencing. Marie did not go out with her and I was contemplating whether I should put shoes on and go out after her — in my pajamas, in the rain. I decided since it was rainy, she probably would not stay out long.