Into the wilderness

When I started down this venture in 2008, there was an active blogging community that covered dogs. I was an idiot in those days and a far worse writer.

You got hits by being a pugilist. I punched. I got punched in return.

And it was okay.

But then the major blogging networks that held this fractious community together “went corporate, and all the organic aspects of this community died.

What we were left with just competition and vitriolic bellicosity.

I kept this up for as long as I could, but then I either grew up or just got tired of all the bullshit. It’s probably the latter.

I have yet to find a community in the real dog world that isn’t petty and dogmatic. Probably the only exception to this is my own Facebook group that is associated with this blog, but that is like the Island of Misfit Toys, where they are led by the ultimate broken jack-in-the-box (me).

I am never, ever going to be a super dog trainer. I don’t have the skills, and I’m not going to pretend that I have those skills anymore. I’ve tried to learn them. I just don’t have it.

It’s the toughest thing in the world for me to admit that I cannot do something.

Not everyone can read historical documents or peer-reviewed articles either.

That’s what I tell myself.

You may have noticed that the scope of this blog has changed a lot in the past few months. I am trying to find my voice again, and I think I do better as a story teller than what my grandpa called a cross between a prostitute and an encyclopedia: “a fucking know-it-all.”

I may lose readers if they don’t see the latest story about a dog bite or something stupid that a TV dog trainer did.

That’s okay.

There still are places where you can read that stuff.

It’s just not me.

I’ve lost a lot of friends over the years. I don’t think anyone from that community still talks to me or links to me from the early days.

I have a few readers who have stayed with me for the long haul. They’ve seen my various evolutionary epochs.

And I now am the point where it I don’t think I will ever go back.

The conflict that exist because of the problems of the modern dog fancy have been solved in the grand scheme of things. In North America, the main multi-breed registries are essentially ignored. In Europe, there is just so much public pressure for reform that it will happen. It will happen as the older generations die off.

In the mean time, a lot of damage is going to be done, but because the people who are okay with the damage are so certain about their views, it is a waste of time deal with them.

Allow the attrition of the generations to take care of this problem.

I find myself falling into an anhedonic state when it comes to these issues.

But I also know the rightful place for me is in the wilderness.

The battles of dog people will go on.

I’m checking out.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Natural History

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Proud Mama

Proud Mama in Naples.
RIVIERA DOGS

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Mother love can be harsh sometimes

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Get Ready for Holiday Baking: Save 40% on Cookie Cutters!

As we count down to the holidays, don’t forget dog-shaped cookies (and ornaments) made with cookie cutters! This week only, ALL our cookie cutters on our PawZaar Cookie Cutter Collection page…



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DogTipper

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The dog on the roof

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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An ER Euthanizes a Beloved Pet. This is What You Should Know:

There are certain calls to news editors that prove irresistible.

I imagine in this day and age of ratings and clicks mattering more than actual investigative reporting, nothing makes editors salivate more than the tale of a devastated family and the greedy, lazy, and/or incompetent veterinarian responsible for the death of a pet.

It neatly checks all the boxes modern day news websites are looking for: sad family. Adorable pet. Terrible situation. Having fulfilled these requirements, the media happily narrates the story with appropriate gravitas and murmurings of “tragic, Jane, back to you for the weather” and then they go on with their lives while the veterinarian in question now is left with the angry mob to deal with. Who cares? It got a ton of clicks!

Savaging a veterinarian who cannot legally or ethically defend themselves in public has become so common and so rote now that it doesn’t even surprise me any more. The latest happened in Greenville South Carolina, but the same old formula has been circulating for years. I should know; it happened to me too.

I understand- truly, I do– the devastation of a client who has lost a beloved pet. I understand that grief does funny things and it often becomes easier to turn guilt into anger, to blame someone else for all the things you could have done better. Better this than to say to yourself, “I played a role in this pet’s death too.”

Used under Creative Commons license by Alodor at http://flickr.com/photos/7147444@N03/484428480

Used under Creative Commons license by Alodor at http://flickr.com/photos/7147444@N03/484428480

But I do blame the media for swallowing these stories as presented, regurgitating them to the public as if they were an absolute truth without bothering to even try to get another side to the story. They are part of the reason veterinarians burn out and leave the field, develop addictions, or worse. Because here’s the truth:

As the Vet in Question, You Can’t Win

When someone has lost their pet under sad circumstances and goes to the media, as the professional involved, you are in a terrible situation. We are not supposed to discuss our patients in a public setting. Pointing out that a grieving owner has some responsibility for what transpired is, even when it’s true, awfully callous. There’s just no winning.

As a member of the public, it’s easy to feel outrage when you are presented with a one-sided story, but I’m begging you as someone who has been there, before you jump on the social media bandwagon and pillory yet another professional trying to do their job, to consider that there is probably another side to the story.

I Wish He Had a Chance

In this recent case in South Carolina, a Pomeranian with no ID and no microchip presented with breathing difficulties to an emergency hospital; he was considered a stray, brought in by a Good Samaritan. The pet was euthanized. This is what we know. The hospital declined to comment, as is standard practice.

All any of us have to go on is the owner’s story. My comments, as an emergency veterinarian who’s been in similar situations, follow.

“Bridges says Meeka had a history of tracheal problems that were easily managed with ibuprofen and Benadryl, and believes the vet misdiagnosed her dog’s condition.

Ibuprofen is not prescribed in veterinary medicine*. If the pet was being treated with that, his condition- whatever it was, as ‘slipped trachea’ is not a condition- was never accurately diagnosed or managed. In fact, ibuprofen toxicity is itself a common reason for ER visits.

In an emergency situation where a good Samaritan brings in a pet with breathing difficulty (a true emergency), you are between a rock and a hard place as simple stabilization, never mind diagnostics, runs into the hundreds of dollars or more right out the gate. When you don’t have authorization from the owner and the pet is at risk of dying, you have to make very tough calls.

The family says Meeka was euthanized just a few hours later.

“You can’t be in that profession and not even have a second thought that this that could be a four year old’s puppy that you’re killing,” said Bridges.

This is true. I imagine they did wonder about the pet’s family, and they still made that call. That lets you know how sick the pet was. I can’t speak for the veterinarian in this case, but I’ve been there and when it was me, this is what I have thought:

This is devastating. This poor dog. I wish I knew who he belonged to so I could talk to them. I hope there isn’t a little kid at home wondering if he is OK. I wish he had a chance. I wish he were not panicking while trying to breathe. I wish I had another choice.

The records also show that the Samaritan couldn’t pay for Meeka to have an emergency tracheotomy, and without the funds, he was euthanized.”

He must have been extremely sick. We don’t recommend tracheotomies or euthanize on presentation for a mild soft cough. According to the records shared by the owner, the pet was blue and couldn’t breathe without oxygen- conditions that, in emergency medicine, are as dire as it gets.

If there’s any way to keep the pet safe and comfortable long enough to find the family, of course we will. We want our patients to live too.

My heart is with the Bridges family, who is understandably devastated about Meeka’s death. I don’t blame them for looking for answers. Grieving people do that. I blame the reporter Brookley Cromer, may her stilettos always encounter dog poop, and the team at WISTV, for their laziness in amplifying a grieving family’s questions into implications of guilt instead of presenting the real, nuanced situation. Remember, a collar with tags would have resulted in a different ending.

I wish the Bridges family peace. I wish the staff at Animal Emergency Clinic a bottle of wine. It’s just sad all around.

 

*The news article has been updated to remove the name of the medication, but that is what was stated by the owner.

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Trump: What’s he got against dogs?

(Language warning at the very end.) Crooks and Liars is running a story quoting Keith Olbermann’s thoughts about Donald Trump and dogs. Olbermann points out that Trump continues to use dogs to describe people in a derogatory manner, and that this behavior could lose him votes, given the number of people who have great relationships […]


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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This is disgusting! It's another great big tax…

This is disgusting! It's another great big tax scam just like in Peterborough with the new ridiculous cat law! This where all cats are NOT allowed to leave their yards, must be fixed and on leashes if outside! These laws are absolutely pathetic! This is a totally wrong way to deal with the problem. Who can afford fees they are charging to keep your dog. Who's right is it to say if you can breed your dog. I would say the owner. Another pile of liberalistic idiocy where a band aid is put on instead of dealing with the source which would just happen to be the OWNER!
BAD RAP Blog

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Rescued Chihuahua Rescues Elderly Owner

Marie Alexander and Sassy the chihuahua

Photo credit: ABC Action News

Who would save your life if you fell out of sight and couldn’t get up? For one elderly Florida woman, her savior was a little Chihuahua she had rescued from a shelter.

According to ABC Action News, in 2010 a woman was unable to keep her Chihuahua, Sassy, when she needed to move into a nursing home. Thankfully, Marie Alexander spotted Sassy at a shelter and gave her a new home. Six years later Marie told a reporter, “I am so glad I got her at that shelter.” Marie is glad not only for the love that Sassy has provided, but also for Sassy’s persistence and determination that saved Marie’s life on August 13, 2016.

Marie Alexander is 92 years old. Her home is fenced in with some brush and shade. On August 13, after checking her mailbox, Marie turned to walk back along her stoned pathway to head inside. Unfortunately, she tripped, fell backwards, and hit her head. Marie couldn’t get back up to get inside and call for her. Because she hadn’t planned to be outside long, Marie didn’t have her phone with her. Because of the way her yard is setup, Marie wasn’t easily visible to passing cars or people. Her injuries were so bad that Marie was unable to crawl into shade as the Florida heat rose with the day.

Read Marie and Sassy’s full story.

Halo Pets

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The police ID was that the dog was a bit bull. Th…

The police ID was that the dog was a bit bull. The pound later heard from the neighbor that the dog was a boxer. So…..this is why you cannot ban a breed.
BAD RAP Blog

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