hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
( Aug. 27th, 2007 06:08 pm)
Had a good day yesterday... and so did the dog.

For the most part, it was just another day on the island. Hanging out with the family, etc. Fun, but not much to really talk about. A few people went home yesterday, though. I took the dog for a walk to see someone off at the ferry (the kids' old babysitter, who had come for a weekend visit).

It was a long, hot walk, especially for the dog (fur coat, five sweat glands). We rested in the shade for a while, but he was still dragging. And I was hungry. So I decided to do something fun and special. The nearby ice cream place had a line out the door and almost around the corner, but I knew of another one a few blocks away. Dog was reluctant to go further, especially since he knew perfectly well that it was out of our way to go home. But I encouraged him and guided him and he came. I told him it'd be worth it.

Now, I knew that there was no way I'd be able to take him inside to put in the order. And I didn't want to leave him tied up by himself outside. My plan was to find some people at the end of the line, ask them to add our order on to theirs, and give them the money to cover it. Just as I got to the place, I came across a group of people heading that way. Some kids of varying ages, a few adults (some of whom seemed to have vaguely british accents). One of the adults stopped to ask me a question (if I wanted to go by or something). Perfect. I explained the situation, but before I could propose my solution, he offered his own... He'd hold the dog while I went for the ice cream.

I thought about it. The island is kind of a special bubble where people are nicer and more trustworthy and there's a spirit of good will and all that jazz. Getting less so every year, unfortunately. More actual cops running around. Higher crime rate. Ruder people. But still. And he had kids with him. And they were going in for ice cream at the same place. And the dog was too tired to go anywhere. I sized him up, agreed, and told the dog not to go anywhere without me. (The guy reassured me that it'd be fine.)

Went in, kept an eye on the dog through the window, and got a dish of chocolate for me, a bowl of water for him... and a dish of vanilla for him, too. He had trouble with it at first. His licks were enough to overbalance the dish, turning it upside-down on the sidewalk. I tried putting my foot in place to hold it, but it didn't work. So I sat down next to him, held his dish while he ate, and took turns to set it down while I ate my own.

So we had a 100 lb golden retriever sitting in the shade, his person sitting on the ground next to him, holding a dish of ice cream while he enthusiastically lapped it up. Quite the scene. More than a couple people commented on it. Only one of whom emphasized the fact that the dog is obviously rather large. But hey, it was hot, he'd been walking, and he deserved a treat. Not like it's a regular thing. Heck, it was his birthday (or thereabouts).

Ice cream, cold water, rest in the shade, attentive person... Happy puppy. Still hot and tired, though. We had to stop and rest a few more times on the way home. But still... a good outing for both of us. :)

Then, that evening, Mom and I went to the movie theater (the only one in town, since the other one closed last year). Never been to that one before. A little room with 80 seats in the back of a restaurant. They used to show artsy stuff, mostly. But now that the bigger, more mainstream theater closed, they're showing more regular stuff. Which is cool with me.

We saw... Underdog! Fun movie! Very silly, but not little-kid silly. Some of that, I suppose. But enjoyable for kids of all ages, I'd say. Mom and I certainly loved it. True to the spirit of the old cartoon (there were even some clips in the opening titles), but longer and with live action and something like a plot and more characters and Underdog even has a human family and a secret identity!

Of course, the best bits were in the trailers (still love the 1978 Superman homage with the "cat burgler" climbing up the side of the building), but there were a lot of other good bits and the whole thing was just plain fun.

Oh, and Patrick Warburton in a supporting role. Never a bad thing, IMO.

All in all... a good day and a very doggy one.

(Still dog tired, but what can you do?)
hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
( Jul. 15th, 2007 05:55 pm)
Well, dog's doing much better. We're not sure, but it looks like the whole thing was just "kennel cough," more or less the canine equivalent of a bad cold. They cough and feel crappy for a week or two and then they get better. Must have caught it from one of the dogs in the park.

So all that testing (x-ray, ultrasound, blood tests...) was pretty much completely unnecessary, and the vet who told Mom that he had a heart condition and could go at anytime was... wrong. That's what happens when the dog gets sick on a day when his regular vet has off. We may try finding a different vet, if there's another decent one in the area.

Anyway, point is that he's doing better. Still coughs a little when he overexerts. Still gets tired very quickly when running around. But way better than he was last week. Hopefully he'll be back to normal soon. :)
hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
( Jul. 9th, 2007 07:15 pm)
Thanks for the comments last post. Sorry I haven't responded individually, but they are appreciated.

Today's test seems to indicate that it's not the heart, after all. But now we have no idea what's going on with the lungs. So... more testing. But at least it's a good sign, mostly. Whatever it is, it's probably more easily treatable than the heart condition we thought he had.

And he's been better lately. Coughing less, less fragile. Still not nearly 100%, but better than he was. Hopefully, he'll continue to improve.

Meantime, shortly before all this started, we switched him over to a new food: Pet Promise. Came across an ad while going through the click2donate sites (I start off with Global Warming and click my way through. I do The Hunger Site family, too). Checked it out, seemed worth a try. Stuff costs twice as much as his old Pedigree stuff, but man... he absolutely loves it. And it seems to be clearing up his long-standing digestive issues, too. So at least he's had some good stuff happen this past week.

(And yes, we asked the vet if switching foods, even gradually, could have done it, and he said no.)

So... we'll see what the bloodwork says. And just keep treating him carefully. Hopefully, he'll continue to improve.

Anyway, just wanted to update you guys. Thanks again for the support. :)
hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
( Jul. 7th, 2007 12:38 pm)
My dog is sick.

(BTW, why are you "sick as a dog" but "healthy as a horse"?)

He was born with some kind of heart defect. We knew that when we adopted him.

In the past, we've noticed that, while he starts out enthusiastic, he often seems to very rapidly become fatigued. There were other little things, here and there.

A few days ago, he started following Mom around, distressed about something, but unable to communiccte what it was. Two days ago, he started coughing. A lot. It seemed to settle down, for the most part, but the morning, he was coughing again. Mom took him in to the vet. They were going to dismiss it as a passing infection, but Mom mentioned the heart thing and they decided to do a little more testing.

Turns out his heart is enlarged (always new he had a big one...) and there's fluid building up in his lungs.

We're going to do more testing and they've got some medicines to try, but basically... he has a bad heart. Which might be okay for a long time yet, if we're careful with him. Keep him moderately active, but don't let him overexert. Try to get him to lose some weight. Keep him on the meds. That sort of thing. Or... the coughing developed really quickly. It's possible that things could slide rapidly downhill without warning.

For now... the medicine he has seems to be helping some. He's not coughing as much. Starts to cough pretty quickly, though, once he starts moving around. A flight of stairs, a short walk, the dance he does when he sees his leash. And he tires out even more quickly than usual.

Hopefully, that'll get better with treatment. And we'll just have to take it easy with him. We'll see what the next round of testing says, and maybe see another vet (a specialist, perhaps).

Keep your paws crossed.
hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
( Sep. 3rd, 2006 09:24 am)
You know, sometimes I wonder what my dog thinks of me.

He knows I'm not a dog. Clearly, I'm a different shape, and I don't smell anything like a dog, either. Not to mention that he gets all excited whenever he spots a member of his species.

It's not just that, though.

I'm much bigger than he is.

I can throw things.

I can open doors. Even the ones that are properly latched and can't be just pushed.

I can make light appear or disappear at will.

I can make the garage door (which is really big) go up and down. By itself.

I can make the car go wherever I want.

I am in control of a seemingly endless supply of food.

I must be a God.

And then...

I throw the stick for him a few times. Then he decides he's done.
"Okay, good boy! You found the stick! Now bring it back. Come on."
*meanders back, stickless, then looks at me expectantly* You want it? You get it.

4:00pm rolls around. I'm on the couch.
*poke, poke* Hey, get up! It's dinner time!

We're on a walk. He's stopped to sniff a bush. After a while, I start to get impatient.
"Come on, we don't have all day. Let's get going!" *tug, tug*
*sniff, sniff, sniff* I'm not going anywhere just yet. I'm reading my p-mail. This is really interesting... Oh, hey. What's it say over here? *sniff, sniff*

*sigh* So much for that theory.