Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Human Takes Matters into Her Own Hands!


Hi Y’all,

Fed up with the vets constantly giving me antibiotics.  Fed up with my suffering with chronic ear infections and anal gland problems, Momma decided, once my kidney problem was resolved to change my regimen.  I was really happy about that…hoping that meant she’d leave my ears alone. 

She had to decide what to continue. 

She didn’t like my food.  It had very poor nutritional value.  Temporarily she’d keep feeding it to me because I didn’t break out on it.

Second, she’d keep me on the allergy shots, which I now get once a month. 

Third, she’d keep giving me 2 Omega 3 capsules a day, since that was good for my coat and the itching.

Fourth, she’d keep using the baby wipes on me when I come in from outside.

Now for the changes she made.

First, she went to the drugstore and purchased Benadryl spray.  She still uses it when I have a breakout.  She sprays it twice a day on my sores and they clear up in a few days.  It doesn’t get absorbed like the pills, so it doesn’t make me sleep all the time. 

Second, she replaced the Benadryl pills with Generic Loratadine, 10mgIt is the same drug as the brand name Claritin.  It is or was experimental in dogs.  I take it once a day, increasing to twice daily during peak pollen seasons.  (Remember, I am a 100 lb. retriever.  If your dog has allergies, don’t try any medication, especially an experimental one, without consulting with your vet on dosage.) 

Third, she added a teaspoon of local honey to my diet.  The Humans were taking a teaspoon of local honey for their allergies.  Honey is pollen. It must be unprocessed honey from your locale. Because that is the way it works, I have different honey here at the shore.  I like the sourwood honey in the mountains.  This is a holistic remedy.

Fourth, she took me off of Frontline and the heartworm tablets and put me on MultiAdvantage which she got from our new mountain vet.  This is a topical heartworm treatment in addition to flea treatment.

Fifth, the bathes had to go.  She changed shampoos to Sulfodene Medicated. She bathes me after I have been swimming.  Otherwise, no bathes, just a good brushing twice a week, more when I’m shedding heavily.

Finally, she wasn’t keen on forcing another pill down my throat so she added a teaspoon of DanActive yogurt to my diet.  This was to replace the good bacteria in my system that all the antibiotics had destroyed.  She watched me closely for breakouts. I’ve been on yogurt now for about a year with no bad side effects. 

Unfortunately, this wasn’t to be the end of my saga.  I wasn’t to live happily ever after, yet.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you what happened.






Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Growling Vet and a Red Faced Human!


Hi Y’all,

We ended yesterday with more antibiotics, ear cleaner, Benadryl, special food and allergy shots. 

The vet started me on more antibiotics and finally I cleared up. 

The only good thing about all these allergies was that the vet didn’t want to do the big “snip” until I was cleared up.  Unfortunately, time had run out for me! 

But the big “snip” meant more antibiotics. 

If you’re wondering about how my Human got my pills down me, since all I was allowed was by special kibble, it was easier than cleaning my ears!  She would palm a piece of kibble and take the pill between her thumb and forefinger, open my mouth with the other hand and stuff the pill on the back of tongue.  I was smelling the kibble, ‘cause it was right next to my nose!  Immediately after sticking the pill on my tongue she gave me the kibble in her hand. 

After I heal up, we head back to the shore. 

It isn’t too long before I come up with another ear infection.  My Human took me to the vet here at the shore.  By this time I didn’t want anybody touching my ears.  I tried to hide or twist away every morning at ear cleaning time.

The vet looks at me and glowers at my Human.  Only Momma was with me.  He had the girls take me in the back and clean my ears.  It was really painful, but I tried to be good.  The vet gave my Human a bottle of antibiotics for me. 

We went out to pay the bill and the vet came out and told the girl to give me ear wash.  My Human spoke up and said she had ear wash. (We had bought a new bottle from the mountain vet.) He turns around and hollers at my Human “WELL! USE IT!”  Everybody, even the dogs in the waiting room, looks between him and Momma.  My Human’s face turned scarlet. Before she could retort, the vet was in another room with a patient. 

The antibiotics usually made me feel better. 

We had to go back to the mountains.  I still wasn’t feeling good.  Then my Human noticed I was asking to go out more and more often and not lifting my leg, just squatting. 

After talking to a couple of the Humans’ nieces, it was decided that I would change to their vet.  My Human makes an appointment and we go in to see him.  I do my roller over for my belly inspection.  The doctor gets down on the floor with me and does the exam.  Immediately he says everything indicates a kidney or bladder infection.  He could run more tests, but he’d recommend a series of antibiotics first and he felt sure that my infection would clear up.  It did. 

All this time, I’m still getting bathes, allergy shots, ear washes and Benadryl.  My ears are getting to the point I’d just like to bite my Human’s hand.  I start curling my lip in a warning.  All that earned me was a quick snap of that tab lead I wear on my collar and a sharp reprimand. 

My Humans sat down for a conference.  Momma had spent a long time doing research on the internet and talking to a holistic vet she and Papa had known for years. 

They had done everything the vets directed.  I’d lost my family jewels. I’d had my ears washed until they were sore from washing.  I’d had my butt cleaned regularly, but it just kept needing it. I’d had bathes until I thought that I was itchier from the bathes than from the allergies.  (a note: Chessies are not supposed to be bathed frequently because it destroys the oils that waterproof their coat.)  All the Benadryl was doing was making me sleep. 

My Humans were very unhappy about the amount of antibiotics I had to take.  Momma made the decision to take things into her own hands. 

Thursday I’ll tell you what my Human does and what happens next. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Now What? I Promised


HI Y’all,

Yesterday I left y’all with the promise to tell the results of my allergy test.

First they take a bunch of blood from one of your veins and send it away to somebody who tests it to determine what is causing your allergic reactions.  This test cannot determine what foods cause your allergies. 

My test came back with all kinds of sensitivities.  One of the main things I was allergic to is grass!

Here’s a picture of me back then in some tall grass!

Now I ask y’all, what’s a dog to do if he’s allergic to grass? It’s not as if a country boy can “curb” and I’m way too big for “pee pads”!  And it wasn’t just grass.  The list of things that I am allergic to is so long I doubt the Humans ever read beyond the “extreme sensitivity” portion. 

The vet ordered a special medicine to be made specifically for yours truly.  That was the good news.  The bad news is that it is administered in a shot!  Yes all you pups out there who hate to go to the vets!  Only my Humans get to administer the shot. 

At first it was a pretty miserable regimen.  Not only did I still have to take the Benadryl, but I got a shot every other day!  Slowly the shots tapered off to once a week.  Still on the Benadryl, I spent lots of time sleeping.

With the regular regimens of antibiotics, the allergy shots, the special food, and Benadryl my break outs started to clear out.

My Human had to make changes in my training routine too. No more “sit stay” or “down stay” practice outside on the lawn, or the concrete driveway. My Human put down a scatter rug for me to lay on while we practiced these.   It was easy to stay on the rug for the sit stay, but the down stay was more difficult.  It isn’t exactly like circling around to get comfortably arranged for a nap.  Placing my butt so that all of me would be on the scatter rug when I did the down was almost impossible.   

Then you still have the problem of my feet and legs!  There is no way I can go outside without my feet and legs getting in the grass.  Booties were discussed, but nixed for several reasons.  The main one was that all the protective booties were made with a material to which I was extremely sensitive. 

Finally “baby wipes” were adopted to clean my legs, feet and belly when I came inside.  My Human also uses them to wipe down my coat because it removes lots of the pollen that attaches to my wavy hair. 

Still, the breakouts and ear infections continued. 

Tune in tomorrow when, while we are in the waiting room in front of other dogs, their Humans and the staff, one of my vets yells at my Human.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I Promised!


Hi Y’all,

To this point, I’ve only mentioned a food allergy.  However, I’m just an example of how difficult it is to find an answer to your allergies.

My Human noticed when we were in obedience, despite having me on Frontline and the typical Heartworm tablet that I’d just plop down and start scratching. 

(The picture was taken during this early period.  We were hiking on a mountain path.)

Puzzled, off to the vet I went.  The vet decided to start with the assumption it was a food allergy.  We tried a number of foods.  We never got half way through a bag before I’d get worse. 

Then my Human decided to try to cook human food for me.  She fixed stuff like chicken and rice.

The vet instructed my Human to give me 4 Benadryl, each dose, because of my size and weight.  I got LOTS of rest! 

When I’d break out I had to go to the vet and get an antibiotic.  My ears kept getting infections.  My butt kept itching. 

Now, let me point out that I have 2 “family” vets.  One here and I go to a different one in the mountains.  We were in the mountains when we started trying to figure things out.

Finally, the vets put me on a special ultra anti allergen food.  Nothing else had worked, and we had given away about 12 different brands of dog food that I’d tried and rejected.  Neither of my Humans were happy about this new food, but felt their hands were tied. 

The new food helped some, but I kept getting the rashes.  The Humans and the vets decided to have an allergy test run.  In the meantime, every time a rash started, into the bath I went and was bathed with special oatmeal shampoo. 

I seemed to be getting worse, not better.  In order to take a picture of me, my Human had to be sure she was on an angle where my huge bald spots didn’t show. 

Finally, the allergy results came back. 

Tune in tomorrow for the results and what happened next.



Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sex and Food! Whoopee!

Hi Y’all! 

It’s not what y’all think! 

We were outside for our second walk of the day, just past sun up, and the air was filled with bird songs.  Overhead we heard a strange “whoosh, whoosh”, “whoosh, whoosh”.  My Human and I looked up and there was a huge flight of geese and all around them and behind them were maybe a hundred Egrets!  Out over the water, flying low over the water streamed hundreds and hundreds of cormorants.  Some of the Egrets settled along our shore line accompanied by a couple of Herons and some cormorants. 

The darker birds in flight are the Herons.  The little guys swimming there are cormorants or anhinga. 

The main difference between the two birds is the bill.  The anhinga has a pointed bill.  It dives and spears fish.  Then it surfaces and tosses the fish in the air, catches and swallows the fish.  See how the one just under the left wing of the front Heron seems to be only a head and neck? It is water logged.  They don’t have oil glands so have to stretch the wings out to dry periodically.  Often you’ll see them perched on something while drying. 

The cormorant has a hooked bill.  It scoops then holds the fish, rather than spearing them. 

Of course the white birds are the Egrets.  In this picture a Heron is hunting for his supper while two Egrets court each other.








Coming in for a landing! 

Below the Egret coming  in has his supper in his mouth. The two anhinga are looking up at him, but the Heron doesn’t appear to have lost his concentration on his own search for supper.

As two Egrets bring in their catch, they seem to have caught the Heron’s attention.

Check out the fish in the bill of the Egret on the left. The one laying down has a fish also.


Hope y’all enjoyed sharing some of the sights of the waterfront in spring.  Now, I have to go check out the pollen.  As you can see it’s quite HEAVY! 

Check back tomorrow when I take up the conversation about allergies! 

Y’all come back now!



Saturday, March 26, 2011

Flubs and Other Misses - True Confessions!


“OOPS!”  “ding, dang” “dang”  “dag nab it!”

Hi Y’all,

What on earth?  Is that what y’all are askin’?  That’s what my Human says when she realizes she’s missed a shot, or messed up a shot…with a camera that is. 

Daley’s Dog Years (here) and Talking Dogs (here) want to know how my Human gets the wildlife pictures.

The truth is, you carry your camera when you’re out walking and if something is visually appealing or you want to remember it, point your camera, focus quickly and shoot!  Simple as that!

Sometimes the shot comes out totally out of focus…

The above picture was of the goose, actually there were several geese.  The Human couldn’t get into position quickly enough and used the telephoto.  Unfortunately she set the focus wrong and the branches were clear and the goose a big blur!  This was a “dag nab it”.  The lighting on the buds on the little branch made it interesting anyway, so the picture became a save. 

Still having trouble with getting her focus right, we got another nice picture of some buds with a blur of geese. “oops”.

Well, finally!  The Human figured it out and there are the geese!  Four of them floating around, probably laughing at us!  Or laughing at the Human anyway.

Sometimes the focus is right, but the subject isn’t co-operating!  Winking smile

I was moving too fast and the Human was moving too slowly, so there’s only part of me, minus my head in the shot.  This next one the goose got behind a branch…

In this next shot the goose co-operates and you see him clearly.




The Human says you need two things, patience and quickness.  She misses most shots because she isn’t quick enough. 

The nice thing about digital is that you can take a lot of pictures quickly and decide which ones are worth saving.

Y’all come back now!  Tomorrow I’ve got some neat pictures of those big birds! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday’s Fun Facts - Answers to Y’alls Questions


Hi Y’all,

Time to catch up on some questions y’all have posted in comments.  I enjoy reading y’alls comments and it is only polite to try to answer questions. 

Dog is God in Reverse (here) asked if these steps

lead anywhere.  No, they don’t.  There is a pump, out for repair in this picture, that sits by the post to the left rear of me.  Usually these steps sit over top of it.  When the water is high, the steps can be used to get in the boat.  Usually, they just sit over top of the pump. 

The second thing Dog is God in Reverse asked was if we watched the Ohio State Buckeyes.  My Humans try to catch all the games, they spend longer watching a close game. (Papa rules with the clicker.  Momma says it’s a guy thing.)  Tonight though, they play my Human Momma’s alma mater, so… may the best team win!  Kentucky is a young team and are prone to make mistakes and play very inconsistently.  Momma has been pleasantly surprised they’ve gotten this far. 

Sage,(here) do y’all mean a recall like this?

Sage asked if he could do “stand stay in between his attempts to do a reliable recall.  Remember Sage, you have to practice, practice, practice, practice…you have to get to your Human before you can do the stand stay.  BOL Winking smile

Paw City Times (here) said that Darby (Doodlebug) has numbers 2, 3 & 5 of the “things about me” I posted in my Award post, in common with me. 

Darby knows the word “soft” for taking treats.  I know the word “gentle” and it works under normal circumstances.  However, when Momma is doing the click treat and we’re learning something new, or brushing up on something, I get so excited I forget!

Finally, Tanner’s and Oliver’s Human (here) asked if we’d give some tips and techniques on how we get our pictures…stop back tomorrow and we’ll show you some new shots and some oops!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday’s Thankful!


Hi Y’all!

It’s so wonderful to have good news!  This has been a really great week! 

First let me tell y’all about Snickers.  She was in a kill shelter in Waynesboro, GA.  The new ACO was determined to save as many dogs as possible.

She is a 12 weeks old sweetie!  The Old Fella Rescue at pulled her from the kill shelter.

She’ll be ready for her forever home the end of the month!   

If interested in


Old Fella Burke County Animal Rescue
Waynesboro, GA

Please click on her name or picture to go to her Petfinder page.  You can visit her rescue by clicking HERE or Old Fella. 

My next happy news

is that Enos,

who was desperately waiting for a forever home, was rescued on the eve of his time running out.  The name of his rescue seemed so appropriate!  All Dogs Come from Heaven Rescue!



He is located in Milford, OH.  Enos is housebroken, plays nicely with other dogs, and loves to play.  He is the perfect young dog for a jogger or active walker. 

Since Enos is a young Chesapeake Bay Retriever mix he needs a fenced yard. 

If you are interested in Enos, go to his Petfinder page HERE or click on Enos name or picture.

All Dogs Come From Heaven Rescue, Milford, OH

  • 513-519-5386

I hope this news has made y’alls day too! 

Y’all come back now!  I’ll try to answer some questions tomorrow.

Hawk aka BrownDog






Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday Already!


Hi Y’all!P1000864

This week has been just so exciting!  Gosh it’s going so fast! 

The picture ofP1000850 me is at sunset on the boat pier.  Those are the wisteria behind me. We were practicing my stand stay while standing on a step.  See the steps in the picture to the right?

The picture below right is of the sunrise yesterday P1000744morning.  It looks like God’s finger painting.

The azaleas and dogwood are in full P1000777bloom.  The roses are bloomin’ too.  I love to smell them.  Do y’all like to smell the flowers? 

I hope y’all are having a good time checking out the blogs whom I selected to pass the Stylish Award yesterday.  The Awards presented to me remain in the sidebar and link back to the original presenter.

Y’all come back now!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March Madness! A New Award!!!!


Hi Y’all!

I’m beside myself with excitement!!!! 

Can y’all believe it?  Li’l ol’ me received another AWARD!!

Thank you, thank you very much!  Carrie, Tanner and Oliver!  Remember you can click on the Award in this post or in the side bar or the names in bold to visit their All Things Dog Blog!

The blogs I’ve picked to pass the award to all represent something important to my Human and/or me.  I’ll try to tell you a little something about each blog, so you see why it was selected.


Mayli - tells the story about how she was found in a parking lot and how her life has improved in her forever home.   

Dog Foster Mom - This is the rewarding and entertaining tales of a young woman who works full time and still finds time to foster homeless dogs and puppies and volunteer. 

Pup Love - This is a blog about a dog named Jack interspersed with positive training tips and available rescue dogs.

Raising K9 - is another blog that is informational and addresses…what else but raising and training a dog.  Follow this pup as it learns to listen and do with positive reinforcement.  The positive reinforcement is not always food.  There are other ways to motivate. 

BZ Dog Activities - gives details of the daily training ritual.  There are some great ideas to organize your training schedule.

Of Pit Bulls and Patience - A young dog trainer living with two dogs, one a Pit Bull who is the inspiration for the blog.

if I didn’t have a sense of humor - a unique and wonderful blog that defies definition.  Just enjoy.

The Acre of Misfits - unique and beautiful photography, and yes, dogs too.

Just Dogs with Sherri - has 2 poodles and Jessie.  Sherri truly loves dogs.  Not only does her site feature fantastic dog photos, but useful, intelligent information regarding dogs and getting your dog to do what you want, not what he wants.  Some posts are more insightful regarding the Humans themselves.

Lessons from and for 4 Legs - 2 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels learn from their owner and their owner learns from them. 


Service Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but many are retriever types because of their unique natural instincts.  While they have the instincts, someone must raise them and train them in the basics before they can learn their specific job. 

One important thing all pet owners need to be aware of is that these dogs are not pets.  We should never approach or otherwise distract working dogs.  Distraction could result in serious injury, or worse, to the handler.  Read the blogs and understand the importance of these dogs. 

From Puppy to Public Access -  This blog is about the selection, raising and training of an “alert” dog.  These dogs have the unusual ability to alert their Human that they are on the verge of a seizure.  They often assist their handler in other ways. 

Miraculous Journey - This is the story of a puppy and his raiser.  The puppy is being raised for Canine Companions for Independence.

The Secret Life of Working Dogs - More stories of raising service dog puppies.

What About Bob?  A blog about the adventures of a guide dog in training.

At a Glacial Pace - A rewarding blog telling the trials and tribulations of living life and depending on a working dog, what my Human sometimes refers to as a “seeing eye dog”.   If you begin at the beginning, you’ll meet a young student as she faces her struggles and adjusts to life away from home in a sighted world.  As the blog progresses she faces all of the normal challenges of becoming an adult, meeting someone special and planning a future…With a delightful sense of humor learn about the unique difficulties and challenges she faces.

Telling 7 things about myself is more difficult…but here it goes!


1.  I’m air oriented.  I look up at birds and to find stuff the Human hides from me, like my toys.  I like the balls to go HIGH so I can run catch them on the bounce.

2.  My Human has to be careful when using treats for me ‘cause I can get excited over them and grab her hand too. 

3.  My Human doesn’t use a clicker for me ‘cause she can never keep track of it.  Instead she makes a cluck cluck or maybe it’s more a click, click noise. 

4.  I don’t go swimming without permission.  Sometimes I’m not even allowed to wade.

5.  I understand hand signals better than voice. 

6.  I respond to a whistle when I’m playing or working a distance from my Human.

7.  When my Human got me I wouldn’t retrieve.  I thought the game was keep away.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Madness!


Hi Y’all!

Yesterday was Sunday and in the afternoon the Humans watched basketball.  They kept saying “what great games!”  I felt totally ignored, although my Human took me outside to play.  I was hoping for a nice long walk, but the wind and pollen was just too much for her and Papa.  The pollen actually obscures the sun enough to make the day look hazy. 

Here is a picture of some dandelions taken several days ago on a walk.


This next picture is of the Paulownia trees with what I think is Sago Palmetto trees growing beneath.  

The next picture is reflections.  The Egret has spotted his supper, but the evening light causes interesting and confusing reflections of the tree trunks and reeds in addition to the bird’s reflection on the water. 

There have been hundreds of Egrets flocking together, but they have been moving from spot to spot so quickly and are so shy of Humans it has been almost impossible to get any pictures.  Egrets can perch in trees and this time of year many have already paired as shown in this next picture.  Notice the long black legs and the claw like feet grasping the branches far beneath the body of the bird.

Today, I’ll leave you with this picture of the wisteria flower. 

Y’all come back now.  I have some exciting news!