Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Objet d'arf.

The little pup is doing better today following Sunday night's diarrhea panorama, thanks for the kind thoughts and notes. The vet didn't find anything too awful, nothing that had to be removed except some more money from my wallet, nothing that a good puppy antibiotic wouldn't eventually help. So our little guy is getting better, but it's taking longer than I might have hoped. He did sleep through Monday night, which was a minor miracle.

When your beloved woofy needs something, you immediately think of the vet or the store. Since he was really sick, the vet was the only choice; you lose a lot of options when the patient can't tell you what hurts where and when it started.

Our local PetSmart has a couple of aisles of stuff that can be used for you to play home vet. When Tralfaz was a puppy he really enjoyed eating his own poop, which I wanted to discourage as quickly as possible. For a brief time he was on a mission of coprophagia; if some of his product had not been picked up yet from the previous visit, it was Snack City! So I tried a chewable tablet that was supposed to discourage that behavior.

It worked brilliantly. Too much so, in fact. He would bolt from his own feces after that, taking off like a rocket when it was deposited, and it appeared that that caused him to stop expressing himself. If your dog has done this, you know how unpleasant it is. When I stopped giving him the tablets, he rediscovered self-expression. Fortunately he had pretty much outgrown the poop cuisine by then.

Dog products are always hit-and-miss, often because of your particular circumstance. We got one of those superlong training leashes for the big guy at one point, and when we weren't using it anymore for training we left it tied to the porch for those times he would be out there on his own. One day, in fact, I left the big galoot out there for a few minutes while I tended to a quick errand up the block. When he saw me coming down the driveway, he bolted off the porch with excitement. Then this happened:

When the clip snapped like that and half of it went flying---the rest of it has never been found---we both just stopped and looked at each other, like "Whuuuuuuh?" So I was able to corral him.

Interesting that the fabric and the stitching proved tougher than the metal.

Another item we got because of the dogs was this:

The Dog Gone Smart runner is designed to soak up water from your soggy doggy and protect your floors. It is the most incredible product I have ever seen at soaking up moisture. It works exactly as advertised.

However, in its standard usage it gets really dirty, even more so when someone in the house who shall remain nameless (Nipper) has a massive case of diarrhea and lets it fly on the mat while on the way to the front door. The runner is machine washable---although in case of poop you're gonna want to hose it off first---and the problem is all that water it soaks up. It claims to absorb up to 15 times its own weight in water, and I believe it. It weighs four pounds dry. After it gets through the washing machine it is about 60 sopping pounds---the spin cycle does nothing to get the water out, or very close to nothing, and even our heavy-duty washer goes wobbly with that kind of weight in it. You have to hang it to dry; you couldn't put it in the dryer in this shape anyway, even if your dryer can handle a load that heavy. And it does not lose all that moisture quickly. A simple clothesline may not be strong enough. And it's been raining a lot here.

The runner does exactly as it is said to do, but it is not easy to clean in my experience.

So these are some things we have found that are effective, but not without comical drawbacks. Poor puppies! How do they survive our attempts to help?!

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