If you were Teddy’s friend, you knew it each and every day


Frank’s asked a couple of times when I’m going to write an "Ode to Teddy."  I haven’t been able to write it because I miss her so much.  And I’m not sure I could do her justice.

But if there’s one thing about Teddy that should not be forgotten, it’s her greetings.  She said hello with her whole body.  She barked at everybody that came to the door.  But once she identified you as a friend – and that might happen when your car pulled up or it might happen once you stepped into the house – she would go into full greeting mode.  She’d squeal with delight, spin in circles, dive between your legs, roll over onto her back and wiggle, and then jump up to give you kisses.  It didn’t matter whether you’d been gone for five minutes or five months – you got the same elaborate greeting.   If we happened to be waiting for someone somewhere, she would watch for them.  (She knew most of our friends by name and I could tell her they were coming.)  When she spotted them, she’d immediately start a high pitch squeal/whine and start crouching down on her front legs and spinning.  If I let her off leash, she’d beeline to our friends in an all out sprint, miss them by an inch, turn around and do the Teddy greet – see above. 

One of my friends nicknamed her Twirly Girl and I thought that name was particularly accurate.

If you were Teddy’s friend, you knew it each and every day.  Friends of Teddy, feel free to describe it in your own words!

Do you think marathon runners are crazy?

I always thought people that ran marathons were crazy but it turns out that humans are built to run long distances – that’s how we used to hunt.  Humans hot, sweaty, natural-born runners explains how our ability to run long distances gave us a competitive advantage.  We can run longer (although slower) than all other animals.  One of things that allows us to run long distances is the fact that we can sweat.  We can lose the excess heat while we are running – all other animals have to stop and pant to cool down.

So I guess I should stop thinking all those marathon runners are crazy – sorry Dana and Dad!

By the way, the article said the other two animals that are distance runners are dogs and horses.  So see, I really wasn’t torturing Teddy all those years!  (I knew I wasn’t but I had friends who thought otherwise.  She loved our daily runs although I’m sure she would have preferred walking.  More time to smell the roses – or to roll in stinky things.)

Photo by Hugo*.

Would you rather be dead?

My vet says my dog would rather be dead.  Actually, he didn’t say it like that and he’s a great guy but he does really think I should euthenize her.  I don’t agree.  As of yesterday she was still walking around, following us everywhere, tail wagging.  Not her usual self, but she still wanted to be a part of things.  Today I’m not so sure.  She slept most of the day and she had to be coaxed out to the car to see the vet.  But he assures me she’s not in pain, she’s just extremely uncomfortable.  So how do you decide whether she’s so uncomfortable that she’d rather be dead?  Personally, I think she’d rather be alive.  Am I making the right decision?  Nobody can know.

As for what’s going on – Teddy was diagnosed with kidney failure last September.   The vet gave her two months to two years to live and it looks like it’s going to be within the next week. She’s down to 35 pounds – from 75 pounds a year ago and she hasn’t eaten anything for the past week.  I’m going to miss her!

Diphragmatic Hernia

Chase buddy, our dog, needs all your good wishes.  He’s just been diagnosed with a Diaphragmatic Hernia.  There are two types of diaphragmatic hernias, one you are born with and one that is caused by some type of trauma.  In either case, it means there’s a hole in your diaphragm and your intestines come up into your chest interfering with your lungs and heart.  (It can happen to people as well as dogs.)

Symptoms we noticed were that Chase would not move, not lie down and not eat. He would sit rigidly for hours with a very curved back and he drank a little bit of water.  He also lost 12 pounds (20% of his body weight) in four days!  He still wanted to cuddle but he wouldn’t come to you.  He threw up all day on the 3rd day. 

We have no idea what happened to Chase.  We know it happened sometime Saturday while we were camping. The vet and the internet say a diaphragmatic hernia is usually caused by a car, a blow to the stomach or a fall out the window.  As far as we know none of these happened but he was tied up at our campground during the day without us. (He was tied to a post in our campground while we were on the boat.)

He’s going in for surgery right now and we should if he’s going to be ok in about 24 hours.

[3:24pm]  Followup: The vet said the trauma could have happened a long time ago.  Since Chase routinely jumps the fence, I’m guessing it happened on one of those excursions.

Seperation anxiety in dogs

Ever wonder why your dog destroys the house while you are gone?  Bonnie Beaver says in this article, CNN.com – U.S. is a nation of 360 million — pets – Mar 13, 2006:

Dogs, if we look at the wolf model, would normally spend 20 hours a day with members of their pack. Now we are their pack, and we leave for 10, 12 hours a day and now the dog is alone. And we wonder why they get destructive and develop separation anxiety.

We leave our two dogs home together and one of them still has problems, a major case of separation anxiety.  We have to leave Chase in the bedroom (where he spends the day sleeping on the bed) or he’ll urinate and defecate in every room in the house.  I don’t think Chase is being malicious – I think he’s just that stressed out.  One theory that Julie Yamane gave me is that there’s too much space and not enough rules about what to do when you are home alone.  Since Chase is never more than two feet away from me when I’m home, I can believe that having the whole house to himself might be a bit scary.  Julie recommended enclosing him in the bedroom when we leave him in the house and it’s worked great for avoiding his seperation anxiety.  And great for saving our carpets! 

Do you buy your dog Christmas presents?

Are you looking to get your dog or your friend’s dog a Christmas present?  If you are buying a present for another person’s dog, especially someone who just got a dog, there’s a lot of things that person might need for their dog, like:

Personally, I think the best presents for dogs are:

Our dogs love all of those. Remember, dogs love all food!


Do you miss your dog?

Would you take a pay cut to be able to bring your dog to work?  Would you work longer hours?  Bringing pooch to work | News.blog | CNET News.com.

I’d certainly like to bring my dog(s) to work, but I really wonder about all the people/dog and dog/dog interactions that would happen.  If you’ve ever stepped into a doggie daycare place, you know it can get kind of wild with dogs running around and barking at each other.  If you have a bunch of dogs at work, do you have to hire a doggie nanny?