Tuesday, September 28, 2010

She's My Girl

Jesse puppy doesn't feel too well, poor girl

Nine years ago this past September 1st, Mr. Wonderful and I had a moment where we both, at the same exact time, suffered from a brain cloud (not to be confused with cob webs in the head syndrome). We decided to surprise the kids (who were just 3 and 5 at the time) with a brand spanking new puppy. I found an ad in the paper. Well, you know how it goes.

We strapped the kids in the car and drove about an hour to the place where we would find chocolate and yellow lab puppies. We wanted a little girl puppy simply because we had way too many trees in our yard. How's that for a reason! If you need a minute to think about that, I understand. Anyway, wouldn't you know it, they only had one girl puppy left. I was so caught-up in the moment of watching the kids playing with all the puppies, it didn't occur to me to really study the puppy we were about to take home. She was the one that was tormenting all the other puppies! Mr. Wonderful likes to remind me of this from time to time.

We were completely unprepared to have a puppy. I mean, we had all the necessary things you need to take care of one, but we really didn't know exactly what we were getting into especially with two little kiddos at home. You know how puppies are. They are so soft and fuzzy and smell wonderful and sleep so sweetly. But Wham! The next thing you know, they're shedding and gangly and tearing up the landscaping and leaving burn marks on Mr. Wonderful's gorgeous green Better Homes and Gardens lawn. And no, that wasn't a problem this year, was it?

It took our wild puppy dog about 5 years before she really started chilling out. If she had been a human, I'm certain she would have been diagnosed with ADHD. I don't mean to make her sound bad, but she was hyper...all the time.

The first Christmas, while we were getting ready to put up the Christmas tree, we had moved the furniture around and kept her out of the family room for fear she'd get stepped on. If she put her foot on the carpet, we just shooed her back into the kitchen. Do you know, almost nine years later, she has never put her foot in that room again. Isn't that amazing? It has certainly helped with keeping dog hair off the furniture!

We have found her to be so incredibly smart and wonderful. She's 81 years old in dog years. She's mellowed out and is like an old soul. She goes wherever I go, but that's always been the case. I feed her. She knows who's boss!

The problem we've had with her since she was less than a year old is her severe allergies. Chronic ear infections, skin rashes, and food allergies. I have done everything imaginable for this poor dog. Listen, I've done everything! She's not allowed people food and absolutely no doggie treats. No raw hides. No bones. Can you even imagine? Her dog food is a specialty dog food that contains only four ingredients. You'd think that would make it cheap. Nope. And still, she suffers. Come July, the poor girl is miserable.

The vet keeps telling me she's allergic to something. It might be grass. Well, we've got a little problem then, don't we now?

I just talked to the vet...again. I spent a small fortune last year trying to keep her problems under control. Well, they came back with a vengeance again and I had her back to the vet in the beginning of August. One cortisone shot and two antibiotics later, she's still suffering. I'm going to try something else to see if I can get her problems under control. The vet is convinced that with the weather change, she'll be over all this soon. I don't think so. Last year, it took me until January.

I do love her so much. The kids adore her and she's a part of our family. Is she like our child? Nope. She is a dog. But she knows when my feet just touch the floor when I get up early in the morning and she waits, without exception, at the bottom of the stairs. When she wants some lovin' from me, she just sits and looks at me patiently. She's my girl.


  1. What a beautiful post! You know, I too have a dog with chronic allergies, ear infections-you name it. It's really difficult, to say the least (well...you know!). Ours is allergic to *grass* and yeast. Do you know how hard it is for a dog to avoid stepping on grass?! Especially here in Washington--the "Evergreen State"? Poor girl. Yeast though. That implies serious food switching, watching, guarding...

  2. Thanks, Denise. So glad to know I'm not alone in my puppy troubles (I wouldn't wish it on anyone).

    Last year I even tried the "best of the best" products for dealing with systemic yeast problems. Nzymes. The stories were amazing. We took the BIG plunge and decided to give it a try. I can't remember the percent, but they said it doesn't help 5% of the dogs they treat. Guess who it didn't help? Yep. I've literally tried everything! I feel so badly for her. She knows I'm trying though.