Mac the Dog’s visit to the vet

Mac waits for walkies

Mac the Dog’s chronic itchy paw problem may have a solution. Thanks to a tip from our super doggie mommy friend, we visited Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre at Sunset Way, where the vet told us that almost everything Mac’s previous vet told us was bunk.

Mac probably doesn’t have a thyroid imbalance causing skin problems. Nor is he likely to be having hormonal problems caused by food allergies caused by chicken and meats. Nor does he need long term steroid and thyroid medication.

A sigh of relief all round, you might think. But knowing how dogs understand what we say even if they don’t quite speak human, Mac has mixed feelings about yesterday’s visit because the new vet also says that there is no issue with him being neutered because there is no hormonal imbalance, and even if there were, it has nothing to do with his reproductive organs.

Oh well.

Adopting happiness: some considerations

We’ve realised that in advocating adopting cute, loving animals we have neglected to say that in doing so, you’re taking on some form of serious responsibility. Animals are not toys.

You need to make sure they’re healthy, and in the event they’re not, you have to seek the best possible solution for them. They cannot look after themselves.

Take Mac for example. He’s a sensitive little blossom, allergic to quite a lot of things, including, we suspect, grass. After several weeks of ointments, antibiotics (some of which he was allergic to as well), he was still very much the itchy dog, and spent quite a lot of time with his head in a plastic cone.

It was only a recent change in medication and treatment strategy that he’s been a little more relieved. Or else it’s quite a hassle having to watch him when he doesn’t have the cone on. He just can’t help but stick his paw into his mouth and chew like there’s no tomorrow.

A couple of times we’ve told visitors, “Don’t stress the dog or he’ll bite himself”, and we’re happy that things are looking less itchy for him now.

Part of his new diet (the bulk of which is a superhypoallergenic expealidocious dog food) includes a slice of papaya each day. Thank goodness he loves it.

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Adopting happiness

Pensive Mac
Mac eyeing Jake

If you treat them well, your adopted pets will usually give you back 1000% in smiles and unconditional love. I think that’s what most pet owners know.

“Mac was very happy this morning”, I said one morning to Naomi after I had taken the dog out for a short while.

“Dogs are usually happy no matter what, unless they’ve been abused or something”, she said.

Being a fairly new dog-adopter, I’ve been privileged to experience the nonsensical happiness Mac provides daily. He picks up a toy and entertains himself for a long time, even when we’re both hunkered down with work. Having a playful housemate in Jake the Cat provides Mac with even more entertainment as he stalks, chases and bites (gently) Jake all around the apartment.

Not that the harrassment is all one-sided. Once I was amazed to witness Mac chase Jake, then Jake do a U-turn and chase Mac back until he caught up with him and then leap over the stunned dog.

Mac even had a couple of battle scars from the rowdy encounters, but they’re all healed now. Sometimes they get too boisterous, and we have to separate them for a few hours to get some peace.

Cats on the other hand, are a different kettle of fish altogether. They’re a little more unpredictable, although with Jake, we know how much he craves company and attention, but on his own terms. He’ll meow his head off until we open our bedroom door in the morning just so he can see us for a minute, then he skulks off to another part of the house.

He also takes to provoking Mac into chasing him most days. Running at full flight at the dog and then away, so that he’ll get chased.

I don’t know how to explain seeing and envying a dog’s and a cat’s simple life of play, eat and sleep adds to our happiness quotient. It just does.

And if you do want a little slice of happiness this way, please, do like we did. Adopt, don’t buy. There are plenty of animals who need a loving home, and who’ll bestow upon that home 1000% returns in investment.

Visit the SPCA, and this blog written by an SPCA volunteer, and see for yourself.