Posted: January 29th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Dog Health, Uncategorized | Tags: cancer, dog, insurance, pet health | No Comments »
bella has been a card carrying subscriber of petcare insurance since 2003. and thank god. soon after purchasing the policy bella burst her spleen and had to have emergency surgery to save her life. the costs came to well over $2300 dollars. within a few weeks of submitting the claim petcare wrote me a check for $1700 dollars !!! that was 70% of the cost, minus my deductible. how awesome is that?
within the last week, we have found what appears to be cancer in my sweet bella. it’s probably a bone tumor; not easy kind of cancer to deal with. i made the call today to petcare. and to be honest i was/is/am really freaked. will they cover this? i mean i knew they covered her last time, but i’ve heard all the horror stories of both human and pet insurance companies not covering on technicalities.
while i of course don’t have anything in writing, i did have an incredibly reassuring phone conversation with the petcare representative. his name was gabriel and he was great. i have some tough decisions ahead on how to best chart the course of dealing with cancer. but at least with insurance i have a little less stress about how i’m going to pay for the decisions i make.
for more information on pet insurance click here for a great article in the houston chronicle about pet insurance!
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think good thoughts for my bella girl!
Posted: January 27th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: adopt, boxer, dog | 1 Comment »
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Posted: January 26th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Dog Lifestyle | Tags: dog, flying with dog, golden retriever, puppy | No Comments »
my cousin called me last week and said, “hi b, want to go to new york and pick up a puppy?” um, well of course i do: A. she said PUPPY!!!! and B. and really most importantly my grandmother who lives in NYC turns 96 years old in a few weeks and i relish every opportunity to see her.
ok back to the PUPPY part. as a rescuer, i am not into breeder dogs. but when you’ve tried to get people to adopt dogs for an extended period of time and they consistently resist, it’s sometimes best to embrace one of my favorite mantras: “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”. meaning i’ve tried to get my friend/family/coworker (in this case my cousin) to adopt for the longest time, and it’s not happening. so at least lets make sure the dog is coming from a good breeder-which it is (one who supports rescue, works hard to keep the integrity of the breed, requires thorough background check, and who cares for their dogs etc.) and lets make sure that dog is raised with tons of love and training so it never has to be rescued or re-homed in the future- which i know it will be.
conveniently, and truly i had the opportunity to have some very important meetings in nyc. so with a work purpose, a puppy purpose and a family purpose i got on a plane on thursday and jetted to nyc.
i worked all day on friday, hung out with my boyfriend on saturday and at 5:00pm a little bundle of golden retriever love arrive at my grandmother’s apartment. her name is luna…the plan was to get her, chill for the night at my gran’s and then get up to go to jfk at 7:30ish for a 10:00 flight. well that was the plan anyway.
when it was time to go to bed, luna, wasn’t all that interested in sleeping-not in her bag, not in bed with me, not anywhere without snooping around an apartment that was NOT meant for puppies. art, oriental rugs, vintage furniture… and where there weren’t fragile items there were dangerous ones- power cords, heaters etc.
i got luna to sleep in her bag for about 90 minutes, all the while i only slept at about 40%. waiting to see if she slept, if she made noises, if she cried. all of which she did until that point when it was clear she wanted to be awake. we went back to the kitchen which i had determined to be a safe zone (confined and easy clean up) and she romped around; played with her toys and generally acted beyond the valley of adorable. soon, i got to the point of crossed-eyed fatigue and i simply had to figure out a way to sleep without worry about her destroying anything or hurting herself.
staring at a paired down 1950′s kitchen with a cold, hard linoleum floor. i thought have i totally lost my mind that i am contemplating dragging out the duvet and sleeping on the ground to accomodate not only the puppy but the other people sleeping in the apartment who would surely be awoken by her cries. so i compromised. i hijacked the 1950′s mattress from the back bedroom and dropped it down onto the floor. i was asleep as was luna, on my head by the way, within minutes.
we stayed that way for about 2+ hours until it was uppy time! ugh. i got up and went back to the kitchen as luna romped and played with her toys. while she made a few substantial pees around, which i over course cleaned up handily, she walked around in cirles squatting intermittently without generating more than a quick squirt of what appeared to be cloudy pee. this wasn’t marking behavior. it seemed that she really needed to go, but couldn’t. being a girl, it’s quite easy to identify this behavior as indicative of a bladder infection! ugh. they are so painful.
with the prospect of a 6 hour flight in approximately 7 hours, i felt that to be on the safe side luna needed to be seen by a doctor. how horrible for her to have to be cooped up on a plane with a urinary tract infection. i then hesistated for a bit; maybe i was being an overreactive jewish dog guardian. maybe i should just watch her for bit and see. she then squatted and didn’t potty about 4 more times. i knew i had to go.
i got online and googled 24 hour emergency vet and my gran’s nyc zip code. within minutes we were at the Animal Veterinary Medical Clinic. (by the way shout out to them- they were amazing).
i sat in the waiting room for about 2 hours with luna talking to other patients’ worried parents. i giggled with another golden’s mommy and cried with a sweet police office while i helped him make the decision about whether or not it was time to put his dog to sleep. sadly it was.
luna meanwhile was chilling. making friends and giving kisses to the support staff until the vet was available. the vet’s name was alicia and she took amazing care of luna. after a night of extremely depressed cases, a puppy with a UTI was a gift for her. a shot of pain meds and antibiotics we were on our way back home just in time for the alarm to go off to wake us up to go to the airport!
andre, my ever patient, ever wonderful boyfriend drove us to jfk for the flight. walking through the terminal we couldn’t walk 2 feet without an oohh or an ahhh! luna was a star. and i exploited up every bit of that attention to keep her awake; idea being if she’s awake now she’ll hopefully sleep on the plane!
and so she did for about 3 hours at which point it was uppy-up time. thankfully luna and i had the most amazing flight crew on american airlines- shout out to dana in particular! although it is way way way against policy luna spent the second 3 hours of the plane giving kisses and entertaining the passengers and crew.
it was indeed one of the best trips i’ve ever had across the country. especially because on the other end i was able to deliver my newest niece to her loving family!
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Posted: January 20th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Rex & Bisi, Day One
There is nothing more gratifying than seeing a dog that you placed years ago enjoying the comfort and love of a forever home. Over the weekend I was lucky enough to have that very experience! I was invited to a fundraiser for The Williams Institute; a wonderful organization out of UCLA which helps to protect the rights of gays and lesbians through rigorous research and scholarship.
The fundraiser was hosted by former adopters; the proud papas of one of my favorite dogs REX! I “bought” Rex and another dog (now Bisi) from two cracked out kids on the corner of Long Beach Boulevard and Imperial Highway. I remember bawling on the way home about REX. I knew I could get the golden cocker adopted but what about this sweet souled Pit/Shepherd cross? Who would take him?
Thankfully through Molly’s Mutt’s and Meow’s adoptions in West Hollywood, REX found his two daddies and now he lives the life of a King!
- Rex in his fancy dog run
Everyone at the party knew REX and more than one person there even brought treats for him. I myself spent a good 45 minutes with him in the side yard (there were hundreds of people there– too much for a dog to deal with.) Thank you REX’s daddies and thank you to everyone who adopts!
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Posted: January 18th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
One of the best parts of having a dog is taking them out with you. I am always on the lookout for great places to bring dogs, and today I found the best spot for both dog and owner. It’s Lamill Coffee on Silverlake Boulevard. I had already been there for their amazing coffee and menu but maybe because I had hit it at the wrong time– my co-foodie Lewis and I had been there for dessert once and then for a crack of dawn breakfast– I didn’t know that it was a mecca for breakfast-eating dog owners.
Click photo to visit Lamill's site
At 9 am the restaurant (well, the patio) was full dogs of all shapes and sizes enjoying Lamill’s yummy dog treats alongside their owner who were treating themselves to Lamill’s crazy-good breakfast. (BTW I highly recommend the butternut squash polenta with candied pecans and mascarpone, the donuts, and of course their coffee.)
German Short Hair
But back to the dogs. It was like a veritable dog park this morning. There was a Golden Lab, two Golden Retrievers, two Chihuahua mixes, a Pomeranian, a little black Spaniel, a bigger black Spaniel, a Wire Haired Fox Terrier, a Cocker Spaniel, a German Short Haired Pointer, and the most adorable Corgie mix named Harry. Grace, our waitress seemed to know all of them. She was like the muse of the Lamill dog pack. They loved her, especially Harry who was adopted from the east valley shelter 2 years ago and is still was still a little shy of strangers. But I did get a kiss.
There was also Emma, an Old English Sheepdog. OMG I love her. She is 12 years old and so beautiful. I thought she was a puppy, but that’s probably because her “parents” clearly take the best care of her. She goes for regular physical therapy at a great facility in Santa Monica called CARE, where she gets massage and does sessions on an underwater treadmill to help her deal with a slipped disk. I love dog people.
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Emma, Mom and Grace
Posted: January 18th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Dog Health | No Comments »
With the unseasonably warm temperatures and near drought conditions it appears we Angelenos have another thing to worry about– other than those conditions scream earthquake weather of course. In fact I’m talking about coyotes. Many of the hillsides are bare and the coyotes are hungry which brings them further into populated areas than one might imagine they’d venture. Last week I saw one running down the middle of the street at Doheny & Third; that’s near the Beverly Center for you out-of-towners. Of course I stopped because I thought it was a dog and I tried to catch it.
Then, this week a friend from high school, contacted me asking that I spread the word through my network that her dogs were attacked last night in Encino. These dogs were inside a fenced backyard (8 feet high by the way) in an area (North of the Boulevard) where residents had rarely seen coyotes.
So, with the weather how it’s been and really just because we cohabitate with these animals here is a link to the County of Los Angele’s Coyotes Page. It’s got some really great information; particularly on how you can Protect Your Pets. (WARNING: You may want to turn down the sound on your computer before clicking, the site features the sound of coyotes barking and howling)
Even if you have bigger dogs, live away from the foothills, or think this won’t happen to your dog, please do educate yourself about the danger of coyotes and remind your friends and neighbors to do the same.
betsy & bella
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Posted: January 16th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Do you know what happens after you drop your sweet pups off at daycare?
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Posted: January 15th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
After the sad passing of one of my favorite dogs Mr. Agustus Chicken Dinner Smith, AKA Gus,I need to lighten the mood here at Love Thy Dog with some happy sites and sounds. Check out this amazing clip and laugh like I did…
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Posted: January 14th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | 4 Comments »
People tell me all the time that they don’t know how I do rescue. They admire it and all but can’t imagine how I deal with the heartache. I can’t say that heartache-inducing moments aren’t abundant in rescue; they are. But they are balanced and far outweighed by the joy of seeing a dog who once had no one and no love suddenly become part of a family; being loved and cared for.
One of my first rescue placements was with an ex-boyfriend with whom I had lived in Seattle. After a year up there (it wasn’t quite the right fit for me) I came home to LA to go to USC for grad school. When home getting my apartment set up, I found the most gorgeous dog tied to a parking meter in downtown LA’s fashion district. He was a classic Rottweiler/Shepherd mix– chestnut colored coat with dark markings especially around his eyes which glowed with sweetness.
The dog had been tied up by one of the merchants who told us that the he’d been wondering around the area for days (sadly there are a ton of stray dogs in downtown LA) and that animal control was on their way to come get him. Um, I don’t think so. I asked for a pair of scissors; snipped the cord tying him to the post, and we jumped in my friend Susan’s convertible headed for the Westside! The dog was so big that we had to put the top down so he could sit without hitting his head. He didn’t seem to mind though; the big boy was full of kisses for his new found friends.
Seattle-Man as I will call him, had always loved my dog Bella, and here I had found what was basically the male version of Bella: a Rottie mix found in downtown LA. So on our way back to the Westside, I called Seattle-Man and informed him that I found him a dog and barring any unforeseeable obstacles, I would be shipping said dog to Seattle ASAP so he’d better come up with a name.
From downtown I headed home to introduce the dog to my parents- who have since put a ban on me going there alone for fear of my picking up another stray – and then to the vet to get checked out, vaccinated and ready for the flight.
Being the pushy television producer type that I am, I found a way to get the dog on a plane the next day to Seattle. Alaska Airlines made it very easy. I simply got his health certificate in order, bought a big crate (thanks Dad) and a ticket for $162.00 as I remember (thanks Dad again) and showed up at the Alaska Air terminal for an 8am drop-off. In retrospect I can’t believe Seattle-Man said yes to this. He hadn’t even seen this dog; not even a picture!
But as the saying goes, all is well that ends well. The dog arrived safe and sound in Seattle and neither man nor dog ever looked back. The dog’s name would be Gus and he would become one of the most loved dogs I have ever known: daycare, marrow bones, bagel beds, arthritis medicine, walks in the rain, dog park trips, car trips… you name it, Seattle-Man did it for his Gus. Gus was a part of his family; a part of who he was as a person.
A few weeks ago Gus started not feeling well, I will spare you the details, but it wasn’t pretty. A trip to a specialist revealed that Gus was suffering from PLE Excessive loss of plasma and other protein- containing tissues into the gastrointestinal tract. It’s a disease that’s common in Wheaton Terriers, Basenjis and Yorkshire Terriers. Sadly most dogs don’t survive for very long with PLE and Gus put up a valiant fight, but his battle ended today.
He will be missed and I wanted to dedicate this blog and a little piece of my heart to him and Seattle-Man.
Betsy & Bella
To find out more about PLE Click here
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Posted: January 14th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | 5 Comments »
Bella, my perfect Lab/Rotty mix had her first massage last night. Yes, it sounds somewhat indulgent and crazy LA, but Bella really needed it. While she is quite fit for her age(12ish) and size(80+lbs)- remember the bigger the dog the more challenging aging can be- she is slowing down and has been limping especially on those very cold — ok somewhat cold LA mornings.
Bella had already been on a regular protocol of pain meds and anti-inflamatories, but the were clearly not working well enough on their own so my vet referred me to a Jan Naud, a great trainer who has recently been certified as a canine massage therapist. As Bella has had some behavioral challenges in the past, we were familiar with Jan and her good work (she’s also featured in my book) so I booked an appoitment asap.
Jan came for the first of five sessions last night and let me tell you, it was amazing. Jan and my vet had already discussed his diagnosis (pinched nerve in her neck) but Jan went far beyond working on just that area. She gave Bella a thorough evaluation from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail; identifying where Bella was sensitive and stiff.
She had tension all over her body and through the use of various massage techniques we started to work them out. I will write more about all of them but the one I find myself using is called T Touch. Check out this great link that tells you all about T Touch!
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