Thursday, January 31, 2008

Financial Aid For Urgent or Emergency Veterinary Care

I heard my human partner talking with a friend about how awful it is, when someone has an emergency with their dog or cat, and can't afford to pay for it. Veterinary bills in emergencies, they were saying, can easily run into thousands of dollars, especially if the animal has to spend days in the ICU (intensive care unit) or has to have major emergency surgery. What do "normal" people do? Most people don't have that kind of money unless they can "max out" a credit card. Well, my partner did a little research and there are a few organizations that can sometimes help. The best one appears to be They have a great web site, with discussion boards where the cases that need help are described. In an emergency situation, they can tap into a fund for initial care and then post requests for further funding.

Another site she found is only for cats, but still could be helpful, is the Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program:

Anyway, I thought that if I told all my friends about this need for people who can help other people pay for this vet care they can't afford, then maybe lots of people will donate lots of money and lots of animals will be helped. It's so sad that there are so few resources.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Day-Dreaming of Hedgehogs

Today, after a rousing game of throw the stuffed- hedgehog-into-the-air-and-try-to-kill-it-before- it-hits-the-floor, I felt myself fighting sleep, which was no fun because I really didn't want to go to sleep. I tried keeping my head up, but I kept nodding off. One time, I actually bopped my nose on the floor--That woke me up for a minute, but then I began to nod off again. During that half-sleep stage when you don't know if you are awake or asleep, I had the most bizarre day-dream. It was about a secret organization of animals trying to save humans from destruction. It began with a family of hedgehogs (of course),
and it went something like this .....................

Herbert was a young hedgehog who had been orphaned after a dog killed his mother. He was
raised by a family of gardeners in England. His real name was Herbert, but the family's youngest boy, Sammy, couldn't say Herbert, or any other name with an "H" in it, so he called him Piggy, instead. The new name stuck. Now, everyone called him Piggy. One afternoon, Sammy took Herbert into the back yard for a little fresh air. Piggy was really sleepy, being a nocturnal animal and all, so he wasn't really paying attention to his surroundings. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a huge hawk swooped down, grabbed him by his quills, and flew off with him. Sammy started screaming and crying and his Mummy went running outside, but there was nothing anyone could do. Piggy was whisked away in a matter of seconds.
Piggy was sure he was about to die, so he just closed his eyes and waited. However, in a few minutes, the hawk landed on a branch and Piggy dared to open his eyes again. What he saw amazed him. First of all, he had been gently placed next to 3 other hedgehogs close to his own age. But the most remarkable thing was that they were surrounded by all sorts of other animals, all high up in a huge tree. There were many animals that should normally be wanting to eat one another, but here they were, assembled as if they were about to have an important meeting. The large, somber-looking owl sitting on the highest branch appeared to be ready to address the entire assembly.
"Good afternoon, citizens and guests. Welcome to this emergency meeting of the
Animal Air Reserves. I will make this brief, since owls, I remind you, are NOT used to being up and about during the day. As you know, a national crisis is occurring, and the humans are in grave danger. Fortunately, they still have no idea what is going on. Because of the urgency of this crisis, it has become necessary for the Reserves to be called into action. We have four new weapons-recruits who need to be assigned to a partner. I need four unpaired hawks from our heavyweight group to volunteer. Please step forward. Golda, the colonel in charge of armaments, will see to your training." To Piggy's surprise, Golda, a huge golden eagle, turned to him and the other four hedgehogs and told them to follow her to the middle of a large branch. Her harsh eyes softened slightly as she reassured them that they would be perfectly safe. With that, four large Harris hawks swooped down, one at a time, from a higher branch, each grasping one hedgehog gently between his talons and soaring away.

Then, when I was just about to find out where they were going and why, some noise outside woke me from my day-dream. Darn! I promise to keep writing if any more of the story comes to me.

I do LOVE a little humor...........

I think that it is really important for the world to understand that big dogs are inherently superior to small dogs and nothing illustrates this point more clearly than these pictures.
Now, what German shepherd
would ever be caught in
this predicament?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Sisters

My real dog-mom had four girl-puppies a couple of weeks ago. They have the same father that I did, so they're like real sisters! I'm so excited. I think the one on the right is going to look a lot like me. Black and tan German shepherds start out much darker as puppies that they turn out to be as adults. Take a look (below) at what I looked like at different ages.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Ginny invites you to write to her with your questions...........

Q & A about health, veterinary
matters, training, and life

Q: Dear Ginny: I have heard that grapes and raisins are poisonous. Is that true? If it is, how many can a dog eat without getting sick?

A: Yes, it is true, but the toxic dose varies with the individual dog. The toxic substance has not been identified, but recent information indicates that it is water soluble and is in the flesh of the fruit, not the seeds. The result of consuming a toxic dose of grapes or rasins is acute kidney failure. The lowest reported toxic doses are 0.7 oz/kg body weight, for grapes (0.32 oz/pound body weight); and 0.11 oz/kg for raisins (0.05 oz/lb). Because of the wide variation in an individual dog or cat's susceptibility to the toxin, it is best not to feed grapes or raisins in any quantity. Vomiting is one of the first signs usually seen with grape or raisin toxicity. Unfortunately, vomiting is such a non-specific symptom that, unless you know that the animal has consumed grapes or raisins (or you see it in the vomited stomach contents or in the feces), it is difficult to know what the culprit is. However, 5-6 hours after exposure, other signs may start to develop, including diarrhea, lethargy, and increased water drinking (thirst). Signs of acute renal (kidney) failure may develop within 24 hours or take as long as several days. Signs include loss or appetite, lethargy, weaakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The urine volume may be increased or decreased, depending upon the severity of the kidney damage. The most complete information on these or any toxic substances can be found at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in Illinois. If your dog or cat has ingested raisins, grapes, or any toxic substance, call their hot-line at (888) 426-4435. A $60 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card. If a credit card is not available, they may be able to have the fee charged directly to your phone, using a 900-number. Their web site can be accessed on the ASPCA site: .

For more information on raisin and grape toxicity, go to the following web pages:

An excellent web site for many veterinary questions. The site is geared toward pet owners.

Disclaimer: The comments posted here are for information purposes only. Every individual is different, so if you have any health concerns at all about your pet, you should always consult your veterinarian.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Why dogs are better than children.

I know this list has been around a while, but it's always good to remind your people of these facts, because their memory is not as good as a dog's:
Remember: Dogs and Cats are better than kids because they.....
1. Eat less
2. Don't ask for money all the time
3 Are easier to train (except Terriers and ShihTzu)
4. Normally come when called
5. Never ask to drive the car
6. Don't hang out with drug-using friends
7. Don't smoke or drink
8. Don't have to buy the latest fashions
9. Don't want to wear your clothes
10. Don't need a gazillion dollars for college, and...
11. If they get pregnant, you can sell their children!!!

Sigh....My human is showing off pictures

I don't know why humans feel the need to brag about their dogs. What do looks matter, anyway? Isn't it brains that count? My human partner got these pictures back from somewhere and just had to include them in my journal. I don't know what's so great about them, since I had lost a lot of my hair after my heat cycle. My partner says that losing hair is normal for that stage, but I do know that it was a bit chilly. Oh well, here are the pictures.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Squirrel Wars

I don't know what kind of terrorism is going on in the world of squirrels, but I think it was coming to a head this morning! I was outside under some tall oak trees when I heard all sorts of commotion--chattering and name calling. I saw at least 4 or 5 squirrels on one tree, chasing each other up and down the trunk, with occasional pairs facing each other and flipping the end of their tail furiously. I couldn't understand all they were saying (since I don't speak Squirrel as well as some other animal languages), but they were NOT pleased with each other! You would think that they would realize that there are plenty of oak trees and MORE than enough acorns to go around. Ahhhh.... I just thought of another thing that might have been happening...... Maybe they were fighting over girls!
(photo credit:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My early life.

I used to live in a very snowy place, before I went to live with my current people. It was summertime when I was born, but I was so little that I don't remember much about that time. I remember my dog-mom and my sisters and brothers. I remember eating and playing and not much else.

Last winter, they had snow that was up to my chin! I was a silly adolescent then, and my brother Montana was still living with us. We played and wrestled a lot in the snow.

In the early Spring, I went to live with my new people. I fell in love with them right away, although I did miss my brother and our former master for a while. It's fun being the center of attention, too, although I have found that this role comes with a lot of responsibility--AND it requires a lot of rest! Anyway, after a few months, we moved somewhere that must be near the ocean, because I can smell it sometimes. One day we went walking on the beach and I made the mistake of tasting the water there--Yuck!--No one told me it was going to be salty!

copyright 1/23/08; all rights reserved

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I try not to discriminate against a species that is "less fortunate" than mine.