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Posts Tagged ‘Veterinary Medicine’

Is this the Year of the Dog, or the Year of the Bird? Last night, a gorgeous picture of a Boykin Spaniel popped up on my Instagram. Liver colored, with soulful eyes, droopy ears and curly fur, it looked just like my very first dog. She was the sweetest, most lovable creature ever, although maybe everyone’s first love takes on a special significance over time.

The Boykin’s photo was courtesy of a National Geographic photographer I’m following who is shooting a series called the #yearofthedogs. His name is Vincent J Musi, “…a trusted friend to animals everywhere.” He doesn’t just capture their distinct personalities, he tells you a little bit about his encounter – like how much the dog may have drooled, while noting that he’s also drooled back in the day. It’s a witty and wonderful start (or end) to any day!

Meanwhile, in the middle of my Monday, I found myself at the Animal Hospital with the Bride and Groom’s older dog, the much loved G-man. I just happened to be playing super heroes with our L’il Pumpkin when I noticed Mr G really digging into one of his paws. Upon closer inspection there was blood on his dew claw; so without further adieu, we headed to the Vet. At that point the Love Bug came home from school and wanted to keep us company.

Her level of empathy is amazing for a 5 year old.

I’ll dispense with the gory details, Mr G is now wearing the cone of shame to keep him from tearing off his bandaged leg. The hardest part will be keeping the new puppy from trying to attack him, um play with him. Maybe I should visit our friend Robin’s pet store, “Come, Sit, Stay” to find Mr G a special treat?

What is it about dogs? Almost every picture I have of me as a child has me standing next to, or holding a dog. The Flapper’s first child, my half-sister Shirley, the one I never knew, used to raise Welsh Corgis. Of all the dogs in the AKC, I too chose Corgis to adore when my children were little, never knowing that Shirley felt the same way. German Shepherd dogs hold a special place in my heart, and let’s face it, ANY and ALL rescues, like Ms Bean and G-Man.

My niece Lynn breeds the regal Scottish Deerhound, a breed known for their sweet temperament. She’s in that category of Best in Show dogs, traveling the country with a plethora of hounds in the back seats. Come to think of it, Shirley’s daughter Karen loves to travel with her canine companions too! Hmm, now that’s a children’s book!

Every other dog you meet in Nashville is a Frenchie! I loved Musi’s photo of a French Bulldog named Larry, who is friendly in a “take over the world” kind of way. Y’all know my Francophile ways, so a Frenchie might just fit with us whenever and where ever the wind blows. Having one pup in a city townhouse is enough for now.

But I digress, because I was wondering about 2018 now that we are 3 months in, and it seems that this isn’t the Year of the Dog, even though I’m a dog addict. It’s the “Year of the Bird!”

“National Geographic, National Audubon Society, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, BirdLife International, and more than 100 organizations join forces for 12 months of storytelling and science to examine how our changing environment is impacting birds around the globe.”

However, I wasn’t entirely wrong because according to the Chinese calendar 2018 is the Year of the Dog! Loosely translated we should all have “prosperous wealth.” I’m OK with that, because a house isn’t a home until it’s covered in fur. Maybe my next post will be about birds, and the way Ms Bean just plucked one out of the air!? Happy Birding everyone!

Awwww poor G-Man.

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Once upon a time, in a town between two rivers, we had 2 Welsh Corgis. One was the mama, Tootsie Roll, and Blaze was her son. When I opened the door in the morning, they would zoom out in perfect Blue Angel formation, zig-zagging across the yard warning all creatures great and small to stay clear of our territory. Our Vet was Dr Poole, and his daughter Heather was our dog sitter. Here is a painting my sister Kay did of the dynamic duo.

Heather was studying Chinese Medicine in NYC, and so we were agreeable subjects for her acupuncture needles. It wasn’t until we returned from a long trip, to an elderly Tootsie’s tepid reception, that we realized she had been practicing massage on our dogs. It was as if Toots was saying, “What, oh, it’s you again?” No happy, jumping, slobbering kisses for us!

Naturally I jumped at the chance to learn dog massage when our wonderful friend and vet, Dr Barbara Butler, offered a workshop this weekend: “Therapeutic Massage: Chinese Wisdom in Your Hands.” She brought along 2 of her beautiful and very well mannered English Setters, Pearl and Rusty. We learned that “An Shen” and “Tui Na” are methods that originated in different parts of China, but today are used simultaneously to describe all manner of animal massage. Dr Barbara showed us how to calm our dogs during a thunderstorm by rubbing gently in the hollow behind the ears. She also demonstrated how to massage the bladder channel running down a dog’s back to improve their health and well being. Earlysville Animal Hospital will post the diagrams of a dog’s meridian points in the near future. http://earlysvilleanimalhospital.com


Targeted massage can reduce pain, and help with muscle spasms by increasing circulation. It can also soothe joints and connective tissue in geriatric or arthritic dogs. It’s almost like yoga for dogs, an immediate stress reliever. Since our own special needs rescue pup has hip dysplasia, I was eager to try it on her. Ms Bean’s eyes glazed over and she immediately had to lay down. Thank you Dr Barbara and also Dr. Emily Kinnaird, her able assistant, and the staff at Earlysville – the best little animal hospital in central VA! Oh and thanks to Pearl and Rusty too. I have to think they returned to their farm for a nice long nap!

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