Why I Trust Our Vet

Early yesterday I noticed a response to a comment I made on a blog post about the differences between IBD and IBS. This response, while well-intentioned I’m sure, irked me a bit. So I was glad that my friend had already responded to it by the time I noticed it. And she did so in such a way that I didn’t have to add my own thoughts.

Still, that response from a stranger bothered me all afternoon. So I’ve decided to get it off my chest, per sé.

Why do some people feel the need to suggest to strangers that they should change a pet’s diet?  This person doesn’t know me, my hubby, or our dogs, from a hole in the wall.  She has no way of knowing what kind of relationship we have with our dogs’ veterinarian; nor his knowledge of pet nutrition. And this person is not even a veterinarian herself. So, whatever happened to the “I’m not a vet” disclaimer? 

First of all, our vet has been our vet for 16 years. He has treated all of our dogs – from Kissy, my poodle who was five years old when I first moved us down here from Long Island almost 23 years ago, to Ducky, who joined our family nearly four years ago.  Our vet has been there for us through Kissy’s final days and through our beloved Callie’s battle with cancer and everything before, during, and since those “events.”

Our vet is a good man. He’s honest, forthright, compassionate, and he truly cares about his patients. He sells the prescription diets at his hospital as a convenience for his clients whose pets need them, not as a way to make extra money. The profit he might make off the sale of a case – or bag – of these foods probably wouldn’t buy coffee and a pastry at Starbucks.

When Ducky was first suffering through her IBS issues, our vet gave me his personal mobile phone number in case something came up for which I needed advice. (I tried not to abuse the privilege since we do have an emergency animal clinic nearby staffed by wonderful, caring folks.)

And when Callie was so sick at the end from the lymphoma, our vet and his wife took time out of their busy Saturday to meet me at his hospital and hook her up to IV meds that got her feeling better for most of the rest of the weekend. 

I’m aware that not all vet schools have provided much pet nutrition education in the past. Aside from a very basic course in dog and cat nutrition, I don’t have any formal education in that area either. I mostly rely on my common sense and some research. And our vet. I have not always agreed with our vet’s suggestions about our dogs’ diets; however, I have always known that his suggestions are made in the dogs’ best interests. Over this past year, I have fully transitioned Shadow and Ducky to one of the diets our vet suggested. And both dogs have done well on them. Much better than on the premium foods that I’ve tried for them in the past. And raw diets are totally out of the question. I won’t even discuss them any more. The raw diets may be good for some dogs – and I don’t judge anyone who swears by them – but they aren’t for us or for our dogs. And our vet agrees with us. 

So, I’ll close by saying that even when our vet and I “agree to disagree” on certain things related to our dogs, in the long and short run I will follow his advice.

Okay, rant over.  #LettingItGo

#LoveOurVet

Thunderstorms

A thunderstorm woke me up at 2:15 this morning. Normally I sleep right through them now that Callie is in heaven. This one was different.

I’ve been opening the bedroom window at night these past several nights and letting the cool air in. But when I awoke to the storm, Shadow was pacing in the small space between the bed and the bookshelf that sits on the floor beneath the window. 

Shadow has never been afraid of thunderstorms before; but she was definitely uncomfortable earlier. So, half asleep, I got out of bed and closed the window.  That helped a little, but she was still upset. I invited her up on the bed, and after a momentary hesitation she jumped up. 

Meanwhile, we got a loud clap of thunder and Ducky barked at it. I smiled in the darkness and she stopped. But Shadow moved closer to me. I turned on to my side and put my arm over her shoulders. After a few minutes she finally let out a deep sigh and relaxed.

The storm ended about half an hour later, but my sweet Golden baby is still on the bed even now. She’s fast asleep. And I’m wide awake, though yawning as I type this post. I’m glad she feels safe at my side; but I wonder what it was about this storm that made her feel so uncomfortable?  And what was it about this storm that woke me up? Maybe in my sleepy state I felt Shadow’s discomfort and knew she needed my reassurance that all was well?

It Is What It Is.

Those of you who have been following my original blog, My Golden Life, for a while might remember that I completed my Dog Obedience Training Instructor course through the Animal Behavior College in May of 2012. It was because of the externship phase of that course that Ducky and I found each other. It is what it is.

Well, since completing the training course, I’ve also completed five of the school’s Continuing Ed courses. The first two I completed in late 2012/early 2013. Then I took an extended break before starting the third course.

I started the Pet Nutrition and Diet course just before we found out Callie had lymphoma. I tried to stick with it that first week of August but just couldn’t. Callie’s health and well-being occupied all my time, energy, and thought processes. So I got another extension to the beginning of January 2016. When I realized I was close to the exam due date, I called my program manager and got her to give me a two-week extension. I explained about Callie and how 2015 had been “the year from hell”. Well, the course was really intense but I got through it and passed the exam with a grade of 80%. Not bad considering I hated science and math in school.

Recently I finished the Pet Massage (really, it should be called Canine Massage) and Pet CPR and First Aid courses, with grades of 97% and 100% respectively. I wish I had taken these two courses first, while Callie was alive and well, so I could have helped her more through her illness; but it is what it is. At least the massage course taught me how to help Shadow when her arthritis is bothering her. And I have a manual to go by if either Shadow or Ducky should need first aid.

In a couple of months I hope to be starting the Vet Assistant course. I don’t regret waiting to take this course. If I’d taken it first I may have never found Ducky. And, as insidious as cancer is, there’s no guarantee I’d have recognized the signs of Callie’s illness before her annual exam in early August. I just want to have the knowledge so I can better help Shadow and Ducky if the need ever arises.

Okay, so now that I’m done tooting my own horn, I’d like to thank Jodi of Heart Like A Dog and Linda of 2 Brown Dawgs for hosting the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop.

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Welcome! 

Let’s get started with “Hello! Welcome to my new blog, In My Heart 4Ever”. 

This new blog will eventually replace My Golden Life, but for now I’ll just be posting here intermittently and over there about Shadow and Ducky, as usual.

I have a lot of work to do – more than I bargained for, I think – so hang in there with me and eventually I’ll get it done.  Meanwhile, check out my “About” page, and my pages dedicated to my canine angels, Kissy and Callie.