Van Gogh.

There are a few theories about what happened to Vincent Van Gogh’s ear.  I’d like to add one to the list, maybe he had allergies and itched it off.

Sunday night, I noticed there were drops of blood, that led to more drops of blood, and wait, what is that on the blanket, oh right, more blood.  Your mission if you choose to accept it (and uh, yeah, you’re obviously going to want to figure this one out) is:  Where is the blood coming from?

I looked at both boys, neither showed telling signs that would suggest who was bleeding.  In fact, they both were snuggled and comfy.  I started with the little one, short hair, tiny body, I could rule him in or out quickly.  It wasn’t him.  I moved onto the big guy, I checked nails, paws, legs, stomach, nubbin, back, head and mouth.  Nothing.

I double checked that it wasn’t me.  I went to wash my hands.  When I came back, there was more blood.  It was next to Melvin — where hadn’t I checked?  I lifted one of his ears, and (insert gag and gasp) there it was.  He had scratched his ear up, and on the inside ear flap was a gash, that cut deep into him.

I went to my satellite vet office (the kitchen) and got gloves, antiseptic wipes and Animax (the one topical medication I would choose to take if I knew I would be stranded on an island with a dog).  I headed back up to the examination room (the bedroom) to find my patient (Melvin man) already asleep on the table (my bed).  I ascertained by his sleeping that this was not a 911 on the pain front, check. Melvin is the best patient, he has complete faith that whatever I am doing to him, no matter what the discomfort level he might feel, must be necessary.  I cleaned his ear, the gash looked much deeper but less gory once it was clean.  I applied Animax.  I sat and waited to be sure the medicine soaked in (yeah,that’s right, I’ve met you before Melvin. The moment I turn around you will have found a way to lick the medication off your own ear — or, you might even allow the little guy to do it for you).

We saw the vet on Monday night. He’ll have a scar but otherwise my wannabe Van Gogh will be fine.

We made it a family trip to the vet, mostly because I love torture and exhaustion…

Yes Jake, that is why I bought you the car crate, so you could stand up facing backwards while we are driving.10 29 13

“Where did they take my brother?”10 29 13a

I think they were hoping we’d go somewhere more exciting. 10 29 13c

Social hour at the emergency vet.

If there is one thing I’m certain of, animal emergencies almost always occur one minute before the vet closes OR over the weekend.  This weekend, our dog sitter V was across the street watching puppy Charlie.  Charlie ended up getting sick and needed to go to the vet.  The regular vet was closing and thought he should go to the emergency vet.  Off we went.

While in the emergency vet waiting room, I was reminded how much I love those who love animals.  I go to the human doctor a lot, and I can assure you that there is very little talking that occurs in the waiting room among patients. If I asked someone why they were there they’d prob tell me to eff off, stand up and move seats.  That is not the case at the vet, there is an immediate bond, in fact the bond is so strong that it forms before you even arrive.

We were in the waiting room for 20 minutes.

  • I spoke to the owner of a sweet-faced lab who had stopped eating.  She had rescued him.  She lives one mile from me.  There is a chance we’ll be on each others Christmas cards list moving forward.
  • There was a guy with a cat emergency.  Despite not loving cats, he needed a hug, so he got one.
  • The owners of a very sick bloodhound told me stories of previous bloat and the challenges of owning a giant breed dog. Despite countless emergencies, they wouldn’t have it any other way — this one was in fact their third of the breed!
  • We sat by as an elderly woman was told it might be time to think about what her 16-year-old cat’s future holds.  The woman was going to go home that weekend, with her cat, and decided.

We showed each other photos, we got each other through the time in the waiting room. We shared a language, of love.

Puppy Charlie spent the night at the ER and is back at home with his family.  We are hoping the other animals are too!


Welcome to one of my most favorite weeks!  This my friends is the week of (the weatherman best not be screwing with me) the first frost!  Yes, I love fall.  It’s good hair weather, it begins boot season, it’s visually lovely and cheeks take on a rosy glow.  But the first frost, that is the day we dance and sing!  Frost puts half of Melvin’s allergies into hibernation!  It’s a magical time, it happens LITERALLY overnight.

Thanks to medications, regular baths, baby-wipes and a strict diet, Melvin is now only twice as itchy as other dogs.  From the first frost to spring, HE IS ALMOST A NORMAL AMOUNT OF ITCHY (as long as we keep those things up and add a humidifier).  He even goes from being red, to only moderately pink.  Woohooo!

And this year, Jake is with us for the first frost.  Itchy dog #2 will get relief now also!  We shall dance extra and sing a little more loudly!  WOOT!

You can see that the boys share in my excitement!  10 21 13

Aversion to wetness.

Melvin hates the rain.  Jake doesn’t love the rain but he is easier to coerce outside, probably because he thinks squirrels and frogs and birds are still out there, despite the water falling. But Melvin, he does not even care if a giant-peanut-butter-covered-steak-dinner-with-fries is at the end of the driveway – homeboy don’t like getting wet.

This wetness issue has grown in scope lately, as Fall has arrived, the grass is chilly and damp each morning.  Thus, Melvin refuses to walk on it.  He will stand on the sidewalk, look at the grass, decide it looks wet, look back at me, then the grass, then me, repeat, repeat, repeat.  If I somehow manage to ‘nudge’ him into the grass, he freezes, unable to move.  He then tip toes back to the sidewalk, almost as if the grass is hot coals.  Once he’s to safety, the staring starts again.

The biggest issue of all is that: he has to ‘go’ and he knows he has to ‘go’.  Although he won’t go into the grass, he also won’t head back inside either.  So I do what any NORMAL dog person would do, I verbally plead with him.  I head into the damp, wet grass. I plead some more, often with treats.  And then, I have to play the one card I know he can’t ignore.  I lean down and I show Jake affection, just Jake, in public.  Boom, Melvin in grass, doing what he needs to do just to make the madness stop.

I’m genius. The end. Have a great weekend!

I only like grass if it’s dry…5 13 13b