Posted: September 21st, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Dog Health, My Book! | Tags: cat, cats, dog, dogs, Emergency Vet, insurance, PENN, rescue, sweet | 1 Comment »
There’s nothing quite like spending your weekend at the Emergency Vet. Yep… a big fat U G H… It’s a combo of:
- Boring: you end up having to sit in uncomfortable chairs for what seems like an eternity
- Expensive: Emergency vets are like Emergency Hospitals. Thing just cost more when there is a rush.
- Anxiety: Inducing: you’re scared about your dog’s health and about how much it’s going to cost.
It’s indeed all these things and more wrapped into one package.
Gratefully I think Ranger is now okay, I’m still not sure what was/is wrong with him, but he’s stable. However it wasn’t always so clear, in fact I was pretty freaked out…here’s the break down of the weekend…
Ranger threw up or really spit up on Thursday, but seemed totally fine except for a bit of cough on Friday. Then at about 2am on Saturday morning, and again at 6am he awoke with more explosive hacks and some spit-ups. While he wasn’t lethargic- a telltale sign that your dog is not doing well and you have to go to the vet immediately- I decided Ranger really needed to go to the vet and he needed to go at that moment, i.e. he couldn’t wait until regular vets opened at 9am.
I would have preferred to wait-emergency vet hospital visits are (as seen above) boring, expensive and anxiety producing-but Ranger’s regular vet wasn’t even open on weekends so basically I weighed the options, i.e. knowing I was going to get him seen right away but would be paying for that privilege, vs. getting him seen by a vet I knew but that still wasn’t his own a few hours later for about 40% less up-front.
Ugh again, I obviously chose the former and headed west down Santa Monica boulevard towards Sepulveda-the Veterinary Hospital Homeland-hoping for the best and still unsure if I made the right decision. See, I’m a bit of a Jewish mom when it comes to my dogs’ healthcare. This can be beneficial, as I know that I had my girl Bella as long and comfortable of a life as possible because I was hawkish about her health, but the flip side is that it can get insanely expensive.
Was I being overly cautious and neurotic, or was I being careful? I debated even as I was filling out the intake form at the Emergency vet. Thankfully I have insurance, which made me feel much better about going for the more expensive option.
Everyone at the emergency hospital (I went to ASEC) was very nice, and the vet I got assigned was so sweet and smart-she went to PENN after all (I happen to grab my PENN sweatshirt as I was getting dressed so we bonded immediately.)
University of Pennsylvania
But even as nice as everyone was, it’s just an overwhelming experience: between the estimates they give you and the options for treatment… do you keep them in the hospital or take them home for observation… do I go with the expensive blood panel or do a more limited one and then see…all that while you’re worrying about your dog’s health as you watch a stream of other dogs and cats facing some scary illnesses come through the door. With my rescue work and Bella, I’ve gone through the vet hospital experience more times than I care to think about, but you really never get used to it. It’s really enough to make your lose your mind.
At about 6:30am on Saturday they took Ranger back to get x-rays and do some other diagnostic tests. When they came back the very nice vet showed me what appeared to be “a fabric-patterned object” in his GI track. But it was unclear if this was what was causing him to hack and wheeze. His tummy was also full of poop so they needed to get that to pass so they could get a better view. So they asked me to come back at noon.
I went and took a Pilates class that I had scheduled at 10:30, returning at noon upon which time they asked me to come back again because they had a dire emergency to deal with. While some people might have gotten upset at this delay, I knew that this meant that Ranger was stable enough to be back-burnered for a bit, so I went home, watched super disturbing episode of Toddlers & Tiaras (in case you don’t know about this show, it’s a disturbing look at the world of Pageants. It’s on TLC and I’m obsessed) and then came back at 2pm.
Toddlers & Tiaras
In that time the doctors witnessed one of his wheeze-fits and while they were still concerned about the GI issue, it was clear that whatever was going on with him was directly affecting his respiratory system and that is what needed to be dealt with. Gratefully Ranger still wanted to play and eat and eat some more so while they were worried that they didn’t know what was wrong, his clinical signs were pretty good.
So they sent me home with a cough suppressant and antibiotics. I could have left him at the vet for observation but who wants to leave their babies if they don’t have to-particularly for hundreds of dollars a day. This goes back to that expensive part that makes Emergency vets so challenging. They literally take a credit card deposit from every client in the amount that the vet anticipates your animal’s treatment is going to cost in advance of the treatment really even getting started. They do this because-and I know that this happens all the time because in rescue we get dogs that have been dumped at Emergency vets quite a lot, so they’re not making it up-people will simply leave a dog if the cost is too high. People literally take off and leave the vet to eat the cost, and care for the pet.
So back to the rundown… after we went home around 4ish, we ended up back at about 7:30pm-ish because Ranger’s hacking cough was just downright scary.
I was there with him until about 11pm when were discharged with new meds that would hopefully soothe him. Unfortunately they didn’t and we ended up back at 2:30ish.
Ranger stayed from 2:30am until about 5:30pm Sunday when I picked him up with different meds but still no new diagnosis. Thankfully though there was a decrease in the intensity of his coughing fits and some pending tests that might tell us if he has some sort of cooties.
The vets gave me instructions to keep him quiet and give him a combo of meds that should ease him, and the suggestion to bring him to his regular vet for follow-up. So we headed home and straight to bed to watch the Emmy’s together under the covers.
Ranger only woke up about every two hours or so with some coughs and the meds they gave me to give him, did seem to help soothe him. Too bad they didn’t give me any meds to help me through not having slept much over the weekend… but I guess that would have been somewhat illegal, appreciated but illegal.
Ranger is currently spending the day at his regular vet where I will be picking him up after work. Who knows, maybe we’ll have a new diagnosis… I’ll keep you posted…
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Posted: June 19th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: My Book! | Tags: dogs, People Magazine, peoplepets.com, pick-up lines | No Comments »
5 Best Pick-Up Lines for the Dog Park—What’s Yours?
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You’re sitting at the dog park with your pooch, when a certain someone catches your eye—and we’re not talking about that beagle. So how do you sniff out the situation without looking like a Chihuahua in heat? To help you make the first move, we asked our favorite canine counselor, author Betsy Rosenfeld (The Complete Single’s Guide to Being a Dog Owner
), to unleash her best pick-up lines. (Warning: always check for wedding rings and nearby human companions first!)
1. That’s a nice dog. Does it have a phone number?
2. Is that your dog’s tail wagging or are you just happy to see me?
3. Oh, that’s a great looking dog! Can I pet you—I mean, him?
4. My dog is humping your dog. It must be fate!
5. Would you like to go on a poop-duty double date?
Think you can do better?
Share your dog park pick-up lines at Peoplepets.com
And, check out Hollywood’s Hottest Bachelors, in the new issue of PEOPLE, on stands now.
Posted: April 27th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: My Book! | Tags: book, dog, dogs, Hollywood, los angeles dog rescue, The Complete Single's Guide to Being a Dog Owner | 3 Comments »
Click here to buy the book!
It’s quite surreal to be holding this impeccably designed (I can say that because I didn’t design it) book in my hand and think holy crap I wrote this!
It’s been almost two years to the day since my beautiful friend Tara who was my book agent–we’ve been friends since 10th grade (think big hair and scrunchy socks)–called me to tell me that there was a publisher (Adams Media) interested in buying my proposal.
I have to say I barely believed her.
After working in Hollywood, “interested in” something is about as good as “I’ll call you”. So while I was excited, I didn’t even really tell anyone for a few days because I didn’t think it was real!
Gladly it was real, and soon after I had a contract and an editor. After the holy s**t-momentary freak-out that now I had to actually write this thing, I dove in! Even with my (self-diagnosed) ADD, I just went into a zone. My whole life became about the book. No longer did I have to feel badly about going home early or not going out at all. I even went on a dating a hiatus! “Sorry, I may be 34 and single but I have to write.” No guilt, no second guessing. It was liberating. It was genius!
From July to November, while keeping a full-time job and of course caring for Bella, I wrote close to 80,000 words. The contract only called for 45,000– a number that I was so worried I’d never reach–but as I covered the items I outlined in my proposal to a level I saw fit, somehow the word count just kept growing. I’d certainly come a long way since college when I spent almost as much time playing with the font, margins and spacing (to make my papers seem longer) as I did writing.
Me & B
With the book’s roll out just beginning, a publicity strategy in place, and parties planned, I bursting with anticipation and excitement. But underlying it all is a bit sadness that Bella isn’t here to live experience this with me. I know it’s great that I’ve commemorated her in print, but in some ways it makes me feel my loss that much more because the whole book talks about her and us in the present tense, and I miss thinking about her in the present tense. In French, the term I miss her, Elle me manque, literally translates to she is missing from my life. And that is how I feel.
But enough with the sadness. I’m not a big one for dwelling or regret. Instead, I am gleeful about the book. I walk around with my copy like a kid with their blankie. And I am happy to have my sweet boy Ranger at my side to pick up where his sister Bella left off. As I type this, Ranger is lying by my side snoring away. He is pure love and canine happiness and I couldn’t be happier.
Ranger and his girlfriend Idaho
Now, go buy my book and tell your friends to do the same!
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Posted: April 24th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Dog Health, My Book! | Tags: allergies, dog, dog food allergies, dogs, los angeles dog rescue | 2 Comments »
Ranger with Friends
Like many Yellow Labs, Ranger has allergies. When we first got him, his ears were terribly infected. The doctor said was most likely a result of years of low quality food full of corn and or other fillers to which many dogs tend to be allergic.
As soon as we got Ranger, I put him on a chicken-based food that is usually good for dogs with allergies and we continued to give him treats and chews. Like his big sister Bella, he was quite a fan of the bully stick, particularly the round ones.
Initially Ranger’s itching ceased and then it all of the sudden came back with a vengeance. He was itch-obsessed. One morning I woke up and realized he also had the beginning of a rash. So I scooped him up and took him to the vet. More money than I want to admit later, Ranger had been given a medicated bath, Advantage, which he now needs to get every three weeks not four like other dogs, and he has to be on a restrictive diet– Duck and Potato from Royal Canin. It’s a food made for dogs with allergies, so it has limited ingredients which helps vets figure out what foods a dog is or isn’t allergic to.
Ranger's New Diet
Pretty much immediately Ranger began to itch less, which is great. But holy crap it’s hard not to give him anything but his food. No treats, no bribery when we’re leaving and I feel guilty… nothing. It’s like being on a diet myself!
Thankfully Ranger is happy with his food. However tonight, he found a left over bully stick. Before I could realize what he had in his mouth, he took off. I chased him up and down the stairs; all around the apartment trying to get it back from him. He of course thought we were playing a game. For what seemed like an eternity, we went round and round the couch in a game of face off. I was laughing hysterically and he was eluding me at every turn!
Eventually I cornered him and got the bully stick back. I literally shouted, bully stick in the air ”A-Ha, I got it!” Defeated, he followed me and watched as I put the bully stick on top of the fridge. He looked a little sad, and truly I wanted to give him that bully stick so badly, but I couldn’t. So as a consolation prize, I opened another can of his food, went and found his Kong Toy and stuffed it full of a combo of wet and dry Duck & Potato Royal Canin.
Ranger is now happily slurping away and I feel good that at least one of us stuck to our diet today.
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Posted: April 5th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: My Book! | Tags: dogs, Hollywood, karma media labs, Publicist, rescue, Squirrel | 1 Comment »
Getting ready for my book, The Complete Single’s Guide to Being a Dog Owner, I have hired a great marketing and publicity firm called Karma Media Labs. The woman handling the traditional side of the PR (Karma is a multimedia agency) is a super-cool chick named Wendi. Aside from having tons of experience and being fun to spend a Saturday with, she showed herself to be my kind of girl today as she rescued these two little guys and brought them to safety.
- 2 Squirrel in a Blanket!
They had fallen out of their nest and were too young to fend for themselves. Wendi cancelled her fabulous brunch plans, and instead spent the day helping the little angels. She first followed the directions as given on the Squirrel Rescue page, because there are some things such as making sure the squirrels are warm and hydrated, that you can do on your own.
When it was clear that the mommy squirrel wasn’t coming back, Wendi brought this brother and sister squirrel duo to a certified Squirrel Rescue. There, they will be cared for, rehabilitated. If all goes according to plan, they will live out the rest of their lives as happy Sherman Oaks squirrels; taunting dogs and dodging cars!
Brother & Sister Squirrel
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If you find a squirrel in need, check out this Squirrel Rescue site
and contact your vet to find a certified squirrel rescuer in your area.
Posted: January 7th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: My Book! | Tags: amazon, book, dog | 1 Comment »
I can’t believe it’s real. I am so excited for it to come out. The tentative release date is May 11, 2009.
I am a VERY informal writer; god knows how I graduated from college or grad school or even 10th grade. But what I lack in formality (thank god for copy editors) I make up for with a lifetime devoted to dogs and dog rescue.
My intention for the book is to help dog owners and dog owners-to-be know the ins and outs of dog ownership. It’s like a ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ but instead of kids, it’s about DOGS! Click here to pre-order!
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- My Book!