Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Hungriest Dog

Angie had a dog named Shade, before I came to live with her.  Shade was a small, black lab, and she was 3 years old when Angie rescued her from a shelter.  She had lived for a long time on the street – a stray dog who probably ate from trash cans, dumpsters, and anything that she found lying on the streets.  Even though she was fed in the shelter, and when she came to Angie’s house, she always acted like she was afraid she would never eat again.

Shade was a search dog, not on rubble, but in parks, woods, and other places where people could get lost.  Just like me, she would bark when she found somebody.  Guess what her reward was?  Food, and a toy.  She liked both, and if Angie gave her just one, she wanted the other.  So first she got food (and she did not care what kind of food it was), and then a big orange bumper that she liked to retrieve.

When Angie was training Shade, she had to tell her many times to “leave it’” because that dog would put anything in her mouth…empty bags of chips, left-over chicken bones, and even small animals like rats. One time during training, Shade had a tail dangling from her mouth when she found the person who was hiding. That is disgusting!

Angie tells a story about how one Thanksgiving while nobody was looking, Shade took an entire mincemeat pie off the counter and ate it.  Another time, when she went to visit one of Angie’s friends, she ate a plate of lemon bars.  And another time, when she should have been waiting her turn to meet a trainer, she ate half of a chocolate cake and several donuts.  You can see that dog would eat anything!

The most dangerous thing happened when Shade was staying with one of Angie’s friends.  She found some medicine at the bottom of a backpack, chewed the bottle, and swallowed all of the medicine.  She was so sick that she almost needed an operation.  Angie’s friend felt terrible that this happened.  She thought the backpack was empty. Remember, keep all medicine away from pets. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Doctors for Dogs

I was thinking about all the doctors (they are called veterinarians, “vets” for short) who take such good care of me and my friends.  Sometimes I see the same person, but not always.  Today I went to the biggest place, where there are many vets, and some people who are learning how to be vets when they finish school.  Angie and I drove to College Station, like we do once a year.  Today I got 2 shots, a spray in my nose, and some blood taken by a tiny needle.  And don’t feel sorry for me.  The whole time there were needles, Angie was feeding me Easy Cheese that was spread on a spoon.  So I wasn’t feeling any pain!

My regular vet at home is Dr. P.  I love going to see him.  He always calls me “kiddo.”  And he lives very close to me.  He is also the vet for Sprinkles and sometimes for Sasha.  One time during a search, Sasha cut her foot really bad, and Dr. P waited for her to get to his office so he could make sure she would get stitched up.  I think he is my favorite vet.

Then there are the vets who come to training at Disaster City.  They are the ones who check my temperature after I finish working, and sometimes when it is very hot, they put water in my body through a needle in my skin.  It does not hurt at all, and I feel better afterwards.  There are always students with them who are learning to take care of dogs.  I saw one of them yesterday in College Station, and she remembered me.

And there is a place called an “Emergency Clinic” that is open all day and all night. This is where dogs go who are hurt or sick, and their regular vet is closed. Like that time when a snake bit me, it was Saturday afternoon, and Dr. P’s office was closed.  As soon as Angie told them I was bitten by a snake, the vet saw me REALLY fast.  Or if a dog gets hit by a car, or is bleeding, those dogs get seen right away.  Oh, and cats can go there, too.  My mom’s friend, Carrie, has a 4-month-old puppy, and she went there on a Sunday because her leg was hurt, and Carrie was worried about her.

There are Emergency Clinics in every city.  It is important to know where the closest one is so that you can get there quickly if something happens late at night or on a weekend or even on a holiday.  And if Angie goes on a trip without me, she always tells whoever is taking care of me where the Emergency Clinic is located.  I hope you never need one, but just in case……