Friday, December 24, 2010

Second Annual 'Sleep in Heavenly Peace'

I mentioned that I would post a blog with new information about Lyme Disease sometime in the month of December.  Well I wrote up the article on Lyme disease for our clinic newsletter that will be out in January.  And I will post the article here too, but really, it is the day before Christmas and who wants to think about Lyme Disease.  Not me. 

Last night, I walked outside to unload some bags of cat food from my car when I noticed the mass of furry critters in the dog kennel on our porch.  We have 8 barn cats that live on our farm.  They are some what of a rag tag bunch of cats with various minor problems, but they are all neutered, vaccinated, wormed, treated with flea and heartworm prevention and VERY well fed.  We actually laugh because the group has split into two.  Three cats who really spend all their time on our front porch and the other five that spend most of their time in the barn.  For some reason this year, 2 of the "barn" cats have abandon ranks and joined the "porch" cat group.  I am used to seeing 3 cats curled up together in the dog kennel on the porch, but last night I had 5 sets of eyes staring back at me.  I think the youngest cat in the bunch is 7 or 8 years old.  So interesting to me to see older adult cats sleep like this.  I'm sure they like the warmth in the colder weather.

The cats sleeping together made me once again think about how peaceful animals look when they are sleeping.  The beagles are once again curled up beside the computer desk and they too have a look of total peacefulness.  A good thought to have because after all this is the season of Peace.  What a good time to step back and have a peaceful moment to reflect on all our blessings.  I for one feel totally blessed to have animals a part of my life.  May each and every one of us have a Merry Chritmas or a blessed holiday season in whatever way we choose to celebrate. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pictures with Santa

So you have been thinking about getting your pet's picture taken with Santa?  Or perhaps you want a picture of the dog and the kids together with Santa?  How about your 2 cats and your 4 dogs?  Well now is the time.  In the next 10 days, you have 3 chances to get pictures with Santa and support either the Ashtabula County APL or the Ashtabula County Humane Society.  Here are the three dates in order:

TONIGHT December 3, 2010 at the Geneva Lodge from 4 to 8pm.  This event sponsored by the Ashtabula County Animal Protective League

TOMORROW Saturday December 4, 2010 at the Ashtabula County Humane Society in Austinburg from 11am to 3pm.  This event is sponsored by the Ashtabula County Humane Society

NEXT SUNDAY December 12, 2010 at Country Doctor Veterinary Clinic in Jefferson from 11amm to 3pm.  This event is sponsored by the Ashtabula County Animal Protective League.

Links have been included above so you can check out the web pages for each organization to get more specific information. 

This a great way to support your local Ashtabula County animal shelters and have fun too.  Bring the whole family! 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

That dirty old ear sucking dog

I should have know my childhood fascination with my grandma's Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings albums would lead this city girl down a country road.  It wasn't until after college though when I married a farm boy that I disappeared down that road for good.  I won't go into all the long drawn out details of the journey, but here today I find myself with two huntin' beagles that keep the blanket on the floor next to my computer desk warm and furry.  It is required that they are called "huntin' beagles".  Saying "hunting" with the "g" would be too cityfied.  Besides, these dogs work for a living.  I am a big believer in dogs having an outlet for whatever their genetic make up tells them they should do.  So all year long, a couple times a week, the two huntin' beagles get to run rabbits in the creek bed behind our house.  Except during hunting season, there is no danger to the rabbits.  The two dogs work the trail SLOWLY.  I think I have even seen a rabbit stopping to nibble on a blade of grass as it lazily hops along to stay ahead of the trailing dogs. 

The two beagles at my house have very different backgrounds.  The older beagle, Gabby, I adopted from the local animal shelter.  I had absolutely no idea if she would hunt rabbits, but I wanted her as a pet first and foremost.  The fact that she loves her beagle job is just an added bonus.  The younger beagle, Buddy, I acquired earlier this year from a guy who raises beagles.  He had kept two pups from his bitch's last litter, but then was finding that he couldn't spend as much time with them as he liked.  So my husband and I agreed to have Buddy come live with us.  The two dogs bonded immediately.  Well, Buddy bonded with Gabby like glue.  I'm not sure the feeling is entirely mutual, but Gabby does not protest at the young teenage hound that follows her everywhere.

There is a ritual that is played out nearly every evening on that blanket on the floor next the computer desk.  After the evening feeding and the usual racing and chasing around the lower level of the house, the two beagles settle down on the blanket.  What happens next just amazes me.  As Gabby starts to fall into deep slumber, Buddy will start licking one of her ears.  It progresses to him taking all of Gabby's ear flap into his mouth and sucking on it.  And Gabby has big ear flaps.  Every evening I ponder why Buddy does this?  And how can he get that whole flap in his mouth?  And why doesn't Gabby seem to care?  This goes on for several minutes and then the two dogs just fall asleep side by side.  I would stop this behavior if I noticed anything bad happening, but Gabby's ear flap doesn't have any side effects except that sometimes it will kind of stick out at an odd angle if the saliva dries and makes the flap kind of stiff.  Otherwise all is well.

I took some pictures of what this all looks like.   The only reason that Gabby's eyes are open in these pictures is because of the flash from the camera. 

Which brings me back around to Johnny Cash.  While Buddy is definitely not old and he is mostly not dirty, he is an ear sucking dog.  Up from the depths of my childhood memories came the memory of a Johnny Cash song "Dirty Old Egg Sucking Dog".  I remember it was from the album "Everbody Loves a Nut".  I'll bet I wore out the vinyl on the copy that my grandma had at her house.  But other than remembering that I loved this song, I had forgotten the words.  So of course I had to go and look them up.  I guess it wouldn't be very politically correct to sing about stomping a dog's head into the ground or shooting it with a rifle nowadays, probably even more so for a veterinarian.  All I know is that I remember liking this song as a kid.  It probably made me laugh.  Maybe it's like the Blake Shelton song says "we've all got a hillybilly bone down deep inside no matter where you're from you just can't hide".  Time to go feed the huntin' beagles and watch that ol' ear sucking dog for a bit.

And for those who haven't heard the Johnny Cash song that I write about, here is a version with the muppets.  Now how can you go wrong with Johnny Cash AND the muppets.  Enjoy!