Sep 302009
 

Every day I wake up hopefully to the welcome sound of my dad saying “Come on, Joey, let’s get up!” I know that we’re going to get our run! Once I hear those words, it doesn’t take long to get me out of my daze and to get my tail wagging.

Running with my dad in the early morning hours has been my life! I used to run with him for over an hour.  Since I was hit by the car, even after I’ve been running every day or every other day, I am pretty tired after 20 minutes. And my Dad knows this. After we go around the pond and are heading back up the big hill, I can hear him saying “Joey, you can do it. Come on. You can do it!”  Before I was hit by the car, he never had to say that to me.  I would go and go and go. So once we get to the top of the hill, we turn off of the carriage path and Dad runs me back home.  But still, I love running and I love my dad and I love running with my dad – any amount of time. Nothing could be better!

After our run, I wait and see what gems my mom is going to offer me on this day. Will I be able to go outside for walks? Will I spend time in the glow of the sunlight in the back yard while my mom does things outside that I don’t understand? Will I ride in the back seat of the car as she goes from place to place?

Sometimes the day unfolds to a place way beyond my imagination – to some land so close to my heart that I can just sing a song of nature.  Today was such a day.

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playland for dogs
playland for dogs

As my mom and I walked down the path in this blessed woodland, I could almost hear the call of my father and his father and his father, champion hunters all.

*

A babbling stream called to me. My mom didn’t remind me that I’m supposed to be afraid of water. Instead, she said “Joey, gogogo” and sort of nudged me toward the water’s edge.  I walked right down and into the water, pulling her behind me.  She followed. I kept going and she stopped.

*

She watched me fearlessly go into the water.  She was a little nervous: She was wondering how my broken leg and broken foot were going to fare in this new untested and rocky ground, where the bottom wasn’t always visible.   She wanted to encourage me to feel free and comfortable and happy in the water – but didn’t want to encourage me to do something if it was going to be harmful. I jumped from rock to rock, making sure I was stable on one before I scouted out where to go next. My mom stopped and just watched me.  I was absorbed in my own world.  My world.

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I went from rock to rock, across the knee-deep stream toward the other side and then across the rushing waters to the other side – and then felt the tug of my lead telling me I couldn’t go any further. My mom called. Then I went back across the water and from rock to rock again to where my mom stood and waited. Then suddenly we were crossing the rushing waters of the stream again, me first, and my mom following me every step of the way.

It’s hard to say what captivated me about the water. Were there smells in there that I could smell but she could not? Was it the sounds of the rushing water itself, hurrying to get somewhere?

I was still in the water but about to climb up the other bank and my mom was in the middle, struggling to get to my side, when a wonderful dog and his very nice master came walking along the path, and crossing the little bridge!

I discover Cody

I discover Cody

I couldn’t figure out how to get to Cody fast enough.  Cody was on his lead and I was on mine and this was it, but still, I’m not complaining.

Once my mom gets out of the stream, Cody and I get nose to nose – and then it’s time to move on.  I’m okay with that. There are jewels in every step of this park and my mom is happy to just let me wander, explore, stop, smell, and delight.  Maybe the memories of my father, and my grandfather, and my great-grandfather, champion hunters all, are visiting her, too.

More to come!

********

Sep 282009
 

No, I didn’t suddenly get very small and grow pointy ears. This little dog is Cheyenne.

cheyenne at vet_cr

Unfortunately we dogs sometimes seem to find ourselves in places that are meant for cars and trucks – and definitely not dogs – and when that happens, it’s not too good for us dogs.

My little friend, Cheyenne, is half Miniature Pinscher and half Jack Russell and little Cheyenne was hit by a truck.  Her survival was really amazing.

Cheyenne got a splint put on her broken leg, just like I had. Cheyenne also had her jaw wired and her pelvis broken.  I’m going to say that Cheyenne doesn’t feel very good right now.

But the good news is that she is alive, and got really good emergency medical care, and that she has momma and a grandma who want her to get better!

Cheyenne is only a puppy.  And there are so many things going on around her that she doesn’t understand. I think that in this photo, she is saying “Just love me!”

If I could, and if she were feeling well, I would give Cheyenne a big lick – my way of saying that I want to be her friend!

*******************

Sep 282009
 

No, I didn’t suddenly get very small and grow pointy ears. This little dog is Cheyenne.

cheyenne at the veterinarian's

Unfortunately we dogs sometimes seem to find ourselves in places that are meant for cars and trucks – and definitely not dogs – and when that happens, it’s not too good for us dogs.

My little friend, Cheyenne, is half Miniature Pinscher and half Jack Russell and little Cheyenne was hit by a truck.  Her survival was really amazing.

Cheyenne got a splint put on her broken leg, just like I had. Cheyenne also had her jaw wired and her pelvis broken.  I’m going to say that Cheyenne doesn’t feel very good right now.

But the good news is that she is alive, and got really good emergency medical care, and that she has momma and a grandma who want her to get better!

Cheyenne is only a puppy.  And there are so many things going on around her that she doesn’t understand. I think that in this photo, she is saying “Just love me!”

If I could, and if she were feeling well, I would give Cheyenne a big lick – my way of saying that I want to be her friend!

*******************

 Posted by at 5:05 pm
Sep 262009
 

<- to part 1

Follow up with the veterinarian is essential.  So are regular visits, including the annual exam.  Finding a veterinarian who provides excellent care for your dog and who values good communication with you is just as important.  You and your veterinarian can work together to provide excellent health care: You can ask your veterinarian all your questions, tell her or him your concerns and observations, and work out solutions to problems or medical conditions together. After all, you know your dog – you observe him every day – better than anyone.

This morning, my mom puts the lead on me. This is good.  We go outside and I’m standing on the sidewalk, awaiting instructions on what we’re going to do and which direction I should start heading in. Then she says  “Joey, go to the car”.  I do. She’s very excited that I’ve learned this new word, car, and says nice things to me. She also says the words car Go to the car car Go to the car a zillion times. I heard her the first time, but she persists in saying this word car.

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When my mom and I arrive at the animal hospital and she is putting the car in a parking space, I’m already excited.  The door to the back seat, where I am, opens and I get excitedly out of the car and I know just where to go.  I walk excitedly up the side of the building to the door of the animal hospital. Each step brings me closer and closer to bliss.  The door opens and – I’m inside!  JOEY!!!! I hear my name ring out from the medical technician and this is even better. This is the place where I was first taken when I was hit by the car.  Except that now I’m all better! This is the place where I have many friends.

Soon, I meet a technician I’ve never met before. He is really kind, I can tell right away! He talks to my mom a lot and I’m hearing the words he and Joey a lot.  I’m used to this.  I have to stand on that thing, the scale, and everybody is happy that my weight is just about back to where it was before I was hit by the car.  Then we go back to the little room and talk more. I am at the center of all this activity.

Soon my beloved Dr. Tamara comes into the room. She talks to my mom, then examines me a little, and then talks to my mom. While she’s talking to my mom, I’m paying attention to Aaron, who is really kind to dogs and to me. While Aaron and I are sitting in a corner, my mom is telling my doctor about how often I pee and mark, and about my daily habits.

Then I stand up and Aaron holds me gently around my chest while Dr. Tamara examines me some more, but I can’t see her. She’s examining me from my rear end. This is a strange examination and my mom comes over to me  and stands really close to me and looks into the depths of my eyes to a place beyond human language and speaks into my eyes and says “Good boy.  Good boy.” That’s very nice and very calming the words and the way her voice kind of sings. But this examination is very unusual.

The doctor says things to my mom that I don’t understand.  I’m not sure I want to understand.  I’m not moving – one inch – from this position.

Then that’s over.

Dr. Tamara and Aaron have me lie down on the floor. Jane comes over to where my head and face are and says nice things to me. Again, I’m at the center of all this activity but I have no idea what it’s all about. Soon, Dr. Tamara is pulling back the prepuce, the skin over my penis, and she is examining my penis. She is looking at where my penis was lacerated during the car accident. She is talking to my mom. I’m quiet. I’m a good patient.  This doesn’t hurt but it is odd.  My doctor examines me and says “I’m not worried…I’m not worried” and then nobody seems worried.

Then it’s all over. Everybody acts happy and I get treats. I’m not worried, either.

I understand happy. But my mom is very happy.

I never understood the fuss in the first place.

Everybody agrees that the urine in my blood that had the other doctor so worried about 2 months earlier when I was being boarded was just from my damaged penis.   And my prostate gland, while enlarged, is not abnormally enlarged for a male dog who is whole, like me. And I pee and mark like a normal dog and poop without any strain.  All of which make my parents, who seem to observe and note every little thing I do, very happy.

So, in the end, after a lot of examining and a lot of talking, my doctor writes “healthy” in my chart.

Healthy – and happy.

A healthy and happy ten-year-old unaltered male dog who has survived being hit by a car and is loving life, more than ever.

*********

Sep 242009
 

This story is not for children. We’re all adults, right? I’m 10 years old in dog years but I’m 57 years old in human years so that qualifies me.

Some of you have been waiting to hear about my prostate thing, waiting to read the answer to my parents’ question on their page, to neuter or not to neuter. You’ve been waiting to hear about all the activity that took place when I was being boarded two months ago from my post, what’s a prostate? what’s enlarged? and what was the big deal between the doctor there and my parents.  You’ve asked if any of this has to do with my being hit by a car.  You’ve been waiting to hear about whether I’m going to remain the wonderful whole male that I am and have always been, or whether this state of glorious and holy wholeness is going to end.

My parents know me better than anybody else in the whole world and they think it’s time I told this story.

To be honest, I don’t understand anything about enlarged prostates, I don’t even know what a prostate gland is. Or a gland. I do know that different dogs have different odors, and that male dogs like me who are whole have a different scent from male dogs who are not, and that we dogs can detect the difference.  And I know that this is a factor amongst some dogs who are deciding whom to make friends with, and whom to not make friends with.

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So with that said, we go back five months, to when I was hit by the car.

I’ve already written about my broken ankle, my broken toes, and my broken teeth. But one place I did not mention that got really badly injured was my penis.

Dr. Kiko thinks that what happened was that I was pushed down to the ground under the car, and my belly was scraped, and the prepuce, the skin that covers the penis, was pulled back and my penis was badly lacerated.  The cut went all the way around it, like a ring.

At the two animal hospitals where I was going, all of my wonderful doctors took really good care of me and my belly healed.

It took a lot longer for my penis to heal, however.  Every time I got excited this area filled up with blood and sometimes I was bleeding pretty badly.  Once, my parents even had to rush me to the emergency room. This need to keep me calm is why my parents didn’t allow visitors to our home for a long time.  This is also one of the reasons why they kept the shades drawn and our curtains closed. If I remained calm, I wouldn’t bleed. Keeping me calm is not easy, as you know.  I’m a very enthusiastic dog!

When my parents would walk me outside, we would see many children outside, playing, being strolled, roller skating, just being children enjoying life. But my parents would say “hello” and then keep me walking because I wasn’t allowed to get enthusiastic over anybody.

Soon enough, my penis healed well enough for my parents to allow visitors into our home and to allow me to play with children.  The shades went up, the curtains were opened, and daylight entered our home once again! Light entered my life again, too, in a big way.

With that, I will end my story for this evening, and you will be ready to read part 2, in which I will describe my visit to my local animal hospital.

But first, make sure you read my mom’s page, to neuter or not to neuter, where she explains all the things I cannot.

to part 2

*********************

Sep 222009
 

<– to part 1

“Is your dog friendly?” is what many dog owners who are out with their dog ask my parents when their dog sees me and wants to play with me.

is your dog friendly?

is your dog friendly?

My mom thinks that this is a funny question. I mean, I am Mr. Friendly!

At the 1000 dogs walk, somebody asked my mom again, “Is your dog friendly?”

She also finds that question, Is your dog friendly?,  interesting.  She wonders if any dog owner is going to answer, “NO”.

But at any rate, when somebody asks her that question, she answers, “Yes! Very friendly!” and then she includes, “And he’s very strong.” Then she holds on tight to my lead.

I’m soooo friendly that my dad worries about me being left alone outside in the evening: He’s worried that I’m going to try to make friends with the raccoon and the skunk that clunks across our back yard from time to time when the sun has gone down. At these times, he says, “Joey, you’re going to get it some day.”

It’s easy to tell when I’m having a good time and easy to see that I was having a great time at the 1000 dogs Walk for Animals. For example, is my tail wagging? If so, I am having a good time.  Is my head in one direction but my eyes looking out to another? This is one way you can tell that I am playing. I do this with my parents when we play ball and they are holding the ball in their hand. I want them to think that I am not looking at them with the ball so that I can gain the advantage.

i want her to think I'm not looking at her

i want her to think I'm not looking at her

At the walk, almost all of the dogs were friendly to each other. The little dogs, who often yap at me,  didn’t yap at me.  They wanted to play – with me!

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The bigger-than-me dogs had good manners, too.  Only one dog who I met – and he was a very large dog – was not friendly and did not play nicely with me.  And when he got nasty to me, his owner just said to him “Let’s go” and pulled him away.   If I acted nasty to another dog, which I don’t, I would hear my parents say “Bad” or “Joey, No!”.  My parents want me to learn good manners, too.

This was a nice morning and afternoon because the dog owners let us dogs get to know each other and to decide if we wanted to play together and if we did, they would let us play, and if we didn’t, we would move on to other dogs and other possible friends! We dogs were on leads (and my dad had to hold on tight to mine!) but we were really having a good time.

I also like to play with dogs – dogs of all sizes and all breeds. With small dogs, I feel like a father to them. I like to put my paw on their back and lick their faces. This little dog, Fiona, let me do that. We became friends for a little while that afternoon.

i'm happy to play with dogs of all sizes

i'm happy to play with dogs of all sizes

I am happy to play with retrievers, but any friendly dog is fine with me!

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We dogs have our own system for deciding who we like. And we’re not going to give up our secret, even if you interview us and try to find out!

can you tell who is who?

can you tell who is who?

Here I am with one of my own, another chocolate lab.  See my ears? As tired as I was, there is always energy for making friends with one more dog!

This is one more wonderful activity that I’ve participated in since I was hit by the car (which I don’t remember at all) and since my broken ankle and broken toes have healed, and since I’ve bounded back to life.  And now I have to have good manners and thank my parents for letting me have this wonderful day!

*****

 Posted by at 4:30 am
Sep 202009
 

What a day.

me and Rufus

me and Rufus

I haven’t been this exhausted in a long time.  There must have been 1000 dogs in this place. Every where I looked a dog. Every where I turned a dog. Every where I smelled a dog!  There were more dogs than trees!

First, we were all together just having a grand old time.

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Then after a while, everybody started walking.

My dad had already taken me for a walk in the morning, and here was another one! But not just me and my dad; it was me, my dad, my mom and 1000 other dogs!

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We walked and walked.

Then we stopped walking.

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I was exhausted and my parents brought me to water bowls that were all over the place. Sometimes the other dogs and I were more interested in each other than we were in drinking water, but then my mom and dad would give me a moment to socialize and then would say “Joey, drink” or its variant, “Joey, drink water.”

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We rested for a while. I found a spot under the shade and caught my breath.  This other dog wanted to make friends with me but I was very tired.

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My mom was pretty happy.

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After a while, my parents and I walked back into the car.

My parents were pretty happy though my dad said he was “dogged out”. I don’t know what that means.

My mom feels this was a successful day. It was an opportunity for me to socialize and get together with other dogs. This is a big thing with her now.  She is looking for opportunities for me to use my boundless labrador-retriever energy so that I will not dig my way out of our property again and so that I will not get hit by a car again.  She also raised money for the MSPCA and the animal hospital where I had my surgery, to help other dogs.

Why can’t every day be like this day!  Well, I’m not complaining. I’m happy with each and every day in my life.

go to part 2

*****

 Posted by at 8:12 pm
Sep 152009
 

So everybody – the doctors, the technicians – was all making a fuss over me the last time my parents went out of town.  I know, I’m a lovable dog.

I want to go out. I want to totally enjoy life.

I want to go out. I want to totally enjoy life.

I’m also  a whole male dog!  I’m all there, as they say.

So I was having a really nice time, being boarded.  I’d maybe even forgotten about my parents. (That’s between me and the four walls, so they say.)  I found a lot of places I wanted to mark, and I did.  Then suddenly I started getting even more attention than I had before.  Doctors were examining me more than before. Then there were tests.  Not that I minded, but this was a bit unusual.

I really have no idea what it was all about. But attention meant more people to play with and to make my friends.

Then my parents came and picked me up from the boarding.  They aren’t telling me much. I still hear JoeyJoeyJoey when they talk to each other and when they talk at this telephone thing.  I do know, however that they’re saying my name a lot but they’re acting like normal.

Meanwhile, when I go out walking, things seem pretty normal. My sense of smell is really good; I am excited that other dogs have been around!  Some are more interesting to me than others and I follow their scent, when my parents allow me to.  I feel good. I mark a lot, just like usual. This time spent walking, smelling, and marking is one of the highlights of each day!

Today I heard my mom on the phone saying “somethingJoeysomethingJoey” and more.  Something’s up. I just don’t know what.

But I have something more important to concern myself with now: I need to convince my mom to take me out for a walk right now.  Life is calling me, and I want to thoroughly enjoy it!

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 Posted by at 2:26 pm
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