Kangaroo on a plane! As an ESA! 


Got your attention with that title, didn’t I?

This whole faking service dogs or emotional support animals on flights is really getting out of hand. Here is another article about it. 

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Emotional-Support-Animals-Growing-Problem-on-Flights-318728371.html

Cat, turtle, pig, kangaroo?! Now, cat makes sense.. I suppose turtle could too, but a pig or a kangaroo on a flight?!!

Sad that they don’t challenge the validity of passengers’ documentation or need due to law suite.. 

Out of surgery!


I am so grateful to have so many friends and family who care so much for Makiko. 

Last night Makiko could clearly tell I was worried because she was extra cuddly. Here are a few pics: 

   
    
   
One of my coworkers picked Makiko and I up early this morning. We had Makiko at the vet and dropped off by 8. I went back to work. It was good to be distracted all day. She was out of surgery around 10:30. The incision is kind of large because they took a big area to make sure they got clean edges. Now they sent it off to the pathology lab and I should know more by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. Tuesday is her fourth birthday so it would be cool to get the hopefully good news that day! She was sent home on a pain med, antihistamine, and antacid. We go back in 7 to 10 days to see about getting the staples removed. Because they did take such a large area, we had to do sutures and staples.

   
 It was really sad and weird not to have her with me at work. Nobody to pet, walk around with, tell her to stay, sit on my feet under the lunch table etc. 

  
She is now wearing this HUGE Elizabethan collar. I personally think it’s a little too big. We may have to play with it because she is going to be wearing it for awhile. When we walked out of the vet’s office, it took a good 5 minutes for me to convince her to walk with it on. She also has had a hard time getting into the car and climbing the stairs. It’s pretty sad to watch. I think it’s a combination of the pain and not being able to see as much due to the cone.  The vet said I should keep it on mostly when we are not working, but I can take it off sometimes like when she is working. I may take it off for a few minutes when she goes to the restroom. We will have to see if she can wear the harness at all over the next week. It just depends where it rubs and if it hits the incision site. We shall see. If we can wear it, my aunt (also a vet) recommended we put her in a t shirt to help protect it. I liked that idea.

   
   
It will be hard not to work her that much this next week but it’s in her best interest so of course I will.

It was a huge blessing that Guide Dogs for The Blind is helping me cover the expense of this surgery as it was very unexpected. What a great organization! 

So now we are going back to my Mom’s in Dallas for the weekend. That will be better because it’s 1 level so no stairs. Tomorrow is my boyfriends birthday celebration but I’m not sure if she will be able to go with us. We will see.

Poor Makiko. She is in some pain and is also still a little groggy. She barely moves.. Whereas before she almost always followed me around everywhere. Here is hoping she feels better soon and it’s not cancer. 

Another (minor?) health scare


This just has NOT been a very good six months for my baby’s health. I’m not sure what’s up– she is usually so healthy! Not too long ago, I noticed a small lump on Makiko’s side. I touch Makiko all over many times daily as we play, give her puppy massages, cuddle, etc. She is so good and will literally let me touch everywhere. Well, one day I noticed a small lump on her side. Soon after I saw my aunt, who is a veterinarian, and she just thought it was a cyst. A few weeks later we saw her again and she didn’t think it had grown – she said dogs get these and they aren’t to worry about unless they grow, etc. So I hadn’t done much about it because she said there was nothing to worry about. Then a few days ago Makiko started acting funky — a little more sluggish, a little more clingy, just different – so I took her to the vet on Friday and they said she might be a little nauseated so we have been giving her a lot of water. They stuck a needle in the “cyst” and expected it to come out clear or white (they described it like toothpaste) but instead it came out bloody with a few other cells.. so they sent it off to the lab. I expect to hear back tomorrow. I trust my vets immensely. Dr. Lindsay said that she doesn’t expect it to be anything serious but it could be many different things.. well this of course scares me because in the last 2.5 years I’ve lost two people to sudden cancer and I also lost our last dog, Rusty, to cancer. I CANNOT lost Makiko right now – I just can’t. I know I shouldn’t be thinking that serious yet but it’s true – she is my everything. So, I’m a little nervous…. and anxiously waiting to hear back tomorrow.

Again, I am super blessed that donors give money to GDB so when we need to rush our dog to the vet, we don’t have to worry about the cost.. helps us take care of these creatures without the worry of money. Of course, I try to help pay when I can and I would get her taken care of regardless, but it’s just another thing that we DON’T have to worry about in these kinds of situations.

Prayers and thoughts would be appreciated. 🙂

Blindness Awareness Month Facts (FUN!) of the Day (October 12th)


Ding.. ding.. ding! That’s the bonus bell! Haha. 🙂 I found a bunch of really random, fun, not incredibly useless facts about eyes or vision disorders and decided to combine them all into one post. Most of these came from the NIH (National Institute of Health) site.

  1. Your dog or cat’s eyes appear to glow in the dark because they have mirrors on the back of their eyes.. yes that’s right, they have something called tapetum, which are silver mirrors on the back of their eyes. This helps them to have great night vision.
  2. While humans can’t normally look in opposite directions at the same time, chameleons can!
  3. If you’re sitting at a computer and are experiencing a lot of glare, adjust the lighting and make sure you’re at least 20 inches away from the screen.
  4. Some of the more commonly known vision disorders, such as age related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts have increased risk of happening in individuals who smoke.
  5. Many think that Benjamin Franklin invented the bifocals, when really Samuel Pierce, an English optician, invented them.
  6. Carrots do help maintain eye health.
  7. The phrase “you’re going to wear your eyes out,” is simply silly because while your eyes can feel fatigued after extended use, you will never really “wear them out.”
  8. Tropical fish and many bright colored animals can see colors that humans cannot because they have more color vision cells. Isn’t that cool?
  9. “Red eye” in photographs is caused by the light reflecting off the blood vessels in the retina. Interesting fact, I thought!
  10. I thought Scorpions could have a lot of eyes at 12 but flatworms can have as many as 100. Weird!

The Dog Puzzle!


Many months ago I went a little wild and bought Makiko many toys. I gradually gave them to her over time though. One of the toys was this Dog Puzzle Toy. I’m going to try and describe it. It’s a circle and has four large holes in which you can place treats. If you spin the wheel, those four holes get covered up and you have four empty holes to put treats in.. THEN you can cover those holes up with these little yellow cups, there are 4 of them one for each hole. So what the dog has to do is paw out/remove the yellow cups so that he/she can get to the treats and THEN figure out how to move the wheel around to get to the treats. It’s pretty tricky but really, if the dog just figures out to paw the yellow things out it will go smoothly, haha. 

When I first got it, Makiko did not quite get it.. she would LOVE when I would remove the yellow cups for her and she could get the treats and then when all four cups were removed and she could spin the wheel, she would kind of get it. So we would play with it together but after a few times of that she just didn’t get it that much so I put it away and hadn’t gotten it out since. Yesterday I decided to try it again and oh boy was it a huge success. We used a few of the treats that we got from the BarkBox (I’ll tell you about that in a future post). She is VERY good at her “wait” while I put all the treats in there and put the yellow cups over (thank you Jenni) and then when I released her she would play a little bit but then kind of look at me for a second and keep playing but not really getting the yellow cups out. So then I went around the corner to talk to my boyfriend while she was messing with it and then suddenly I hear her moving this toy ALL around the apartment, and then suddenly I hear a cup come out of it. I look and she has one cup out, soon she has 2, and 3, and 4! That silly little girl totally did it when I wasn’t watching. She then used her mouth to spin the wheel around.. pretty clever girl. So treats can slip from one hole to the next in the puzzle when she moves it, so what she would do is move it all around the apartment pretty fast and then the treats would move. It was pretty cute.

So, we decided to try it again tonight! I have such a smart girl. We did the same thing except with her kibble this time so she doesn’t gain weight.. I had her weight while I put it in there and then moved it around and put treats in the other holes and then put the cups on top. When I let her go at it, I stayed in the same room but sat down on the bean bag pretending not to pay attention. She spends a good amount of time on it but has a blast! I looked up when she was working on her last cup and you know what this little girl did? Just picked it up with her mouth, haha. Needless to say she got all of her treats and LOVES this game. It keeps her thinking and active and it’s a nice reward for it and since it uses the remaining kibble that we have already portioned out for her daily ration, it won’t make her gain weight either. Yippee! 

Here is the link if you’re interested: Kygen Dog Games Treat Wheel Dog Toy Puzzle

Flustered and Brutal


That pretty much describes me for about three minutes this evening. I am beyond frustrated with dogs coming up to me and Makiko. For some reason it doesn’t happen in Dallas but it happens near daily here. Most of the time I’m pretty good about it but tonight, not so much. And remember that Makiko has had a few little issues in the past where she forgot how she was supposed to behave, so we have been working on this a bit. Well tonight there were multiple dogs, and I couldn’t tell how many or where they were but they were sitting outside with their owners at a bar/restaurant that we went to. A dog came up to Makiko and the owner was like “Aww, come here, (insert dog name), come here,” but didn’t really care when the dog didn’t listen. I was frustrated and trying to express to the owner that she really did need to get her dog, and unfortunately I didn’t correct Makiko and teach her that interacting with that dog was not the right thing to do. I’m still learning and was thinking about that this evening and see how I should have handled that differently. We’re most definitely going to work on that on our next encounter. It’s hard to balance educating others about why their dogs or they CAN’T interact with my dog, while reinforcing my dog’s behavior to do the right thing. Makiko is near perfect, but we do have to remember that she is still a dog and we will have to work through some things. The “brutal” part came in when I was telling the lady, “You really need to get your dog away. She can’t be doing that. No, you really need to get your dog.. This is NOT okay.” A friend said that was brutal, and it very well may have been, but it’s so dang frustrating when I have to deal with this so often. One of my best friends with a guide dog came a little bit later and apparently she briefly knew this girl, so I felt bad that I was a little “brutal” to her, but my good friend said that it was good that I was because she needs to learn to be around guide dogs, especially since my friend has one. I shrugged it off a few minutes later, but that is one thing that is really pushes my buttons.. 

Chocolate = Poison


Image
This pictures shows three chocolate bars stacked on top of each other.

Yes ma’am, yes sir.. chocolate IS poison, I pinky promise it is… now, luckily it’s not poisonous for humans but it IS for dogs. 

This is a fact that I may have heard growing up once, but was really enforced in training. I’m not sure why but it came up multiple times when I was at guide dog training with Makiko that chocolate is poisonous.

Tonight I was making double chocolate chunk cookies. I have been having a bit of a rough time lately with the combinations of school stress, an issue awhile ago with Makiko, grieving over the loss of my father, etc., so I tend to find things to keep me busy when I’m at home. I made chocolate chip cookies and dropped a little tiny bit on the floor. I heard Makiko licking and I think she licked up a little bit of chocolate, but I can’t be certain. I freaked out because I did know chocolate was very poisonous, and described the amount she could have possibly gotten (one lick, don’t think any bites) to the vet and he told me not to worry about it. So far so good.. no abnormalities! 

So why is chocolate poisonous for dogs? Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, which contain caffeine in them, in addition to something called theobromine. This is the part that is dangerous to dogs because they metabolize this much more slowly than us humans. 

Chocolate is made from cocoa, and cocoa beans contain caffeine and a related chemical compound called theobromine, which is the real danger. “The buzz we get from eating chocolate may last 20 to 40 minutes, but for dogs it lasts many hours,” he says. “After 17 hours, half of the theobromine a dog has ingested is still in the system.” (Kevin Fitgerald, Denton Veterinarian). And this next part is why I got worried.. even the smallest amount of chocolate ingested can lead to vomitting, diarrhea, and if it is enough chocolate it can lead to hypertoxicity, seizures, high blood pressure, and many other scary symptoms. Now, do you see why I freaked out? Makiko NEVER licks things off the floor but apparently this chocolate was too good for her to resist, luckily it was a very tiny amount. 

Keep chocolate away from your dogs people.