Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hops in the Right Direction: Who You Gonna Call?

No, probably not the Ghostbusters, unless your dog's missing leg has come back from the dead and is stalking your family.  (Actually, call me for that.  I want pictures.)

The point is, although I like to pretend otherwise, I am by no means a dog expert.  Like every aspect of my life, with Prada, I am winging it.  And when I run out of "winging it" ideas and need advice, I have a short list of people I trust to give it to me straight.

  • Example 1:  I cut Prada's nail too short and now it won't stop bleeding and oh god do I need to get her to the emergency vet and I am the worst pet mom ever? 
 I call my mom.  She's a life-long dog-owner, she went to school to be a vet tech, and she's great at calming me down when I'm freaking the freak out.

  • Or, Example 2:  Is that a pimple?  Does Prada seriously have a pimple?  Can dogs even get pimples?  Maybe it's an ingrown hair or folliculitis.  Or cancer.  Shit.  It's probably cancer. 
To the vet I go.  I try hard not to panic before absolutely necessary, but if it's health-related, I want to know asap what's going on. (Don't worry, it's just folliculitis.)

  • Example 3:  Most dogs will let you pet them.  But hands make Prada so freaking overexcited!  What do I do?  I just want to pet my dog!
Here's where I go beyond the "Yes, Dana, we already know all this because anyone who owns a dog knows to go to the vet when the dog is sick so shut your trap" part.  See, the training facility I go to, Animal Sense, has a blog.  I've linked to it before, but I will again because of one very special feature on that blog:  "Ask a Trainer."  That's right.  You type in your question, and they answer it, and it's awesome.  You don't have to be an expert.  You don't have to be their customer.  They're cool like that.  This week, they answered my question.  You can see it here

So many good dogs with well-intentioned owners end up in shelters, and often that is because of behavioral issues.  Maybe, if more people had good resources for helping them learn to integrate their dogs into their life successfully, that number wouldn't be so tragically high.

Lots of shelters offer low-cost or no-cost seminars, like preparing your dog to acclimate to a new baby, or no- or low-cost microchipping or vaccinationsLocal expos are a great way to learn what your area has to offer and maybe even score some freebies!

Point is, the resources are out there.  You don't have to be an expert as long as you know where to find them.  (By the way, I love research.  If you need a hand, let me know.  Finding all these links took me about twenty minutes, and some of that time I was fooling around of Twitter.)

Karma is a spunky little angel who only needs one resource--you!


  1. I call my friend in Florida, who's a vet tech. When my sister's dog was a puppy, we called her with the-nails-are-bleeding-now-what and can-dogs-get-chicken-pox.

    (BTW, for the bleeding nails, she recommended dipping them in flour. Which Molls loved, because then she would lick all the flour off.)

    1. Interesting--I might have to give that a go. I have styptic powder somewhere, but I can never find it when I need it.

      Can dogs get chicken pox?