Monday, January 2, 2012



Helpful Buckeye hopes all of you had some time to enjoy the interesting stories in last week's issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats.  We are all a bit overwhelmed during the holiday season of late December and free time can be hard to come by.  However, a few free minutes now and then can help all of us maintain a fresh perspective on life.  It's only natural at this time of the year to think back over the last 12 months in a sort of review of what you've experienced.   The next step, of course, is to decide if there was anything you would like to change or improve upon during the coming year.  For the events that are beyond our control, we can only hope that we make good decisions as they are needed; however, for events that depend upon our input, a little planning can go a long way toward assuring a positive outcome.  As you make your list of resolutions for the New Year, keep in mind that your input, planning, and commitment will be major factors in seeing those resolutions come to pass.

The stories I've chosen for our "Holiday Rambling" this week are all tales (or is it tails?) of optimism and good news, as befitting the beginning of a brand new year.  As an example of something that could have turned out much worse than it did, check out this dog that apparently likes to eat in, green cash:

Family dog eats $1,000 in cash
Couple forced dog to throw up to get money back

Many people have heard the excuse "a dog ate my homework," but not many can say they have heard of a dog eating $1,000 cash.  But that's what a St. Augustine, FL, couple said their dog Tuity, a Labrador Retriever, chow, bulldog mix, did.

"I just think this is hilarious," the dog's owner Christy Lawrenson said.  Lawrenson laughs about it now, but two weeks ago, she was out $1,000.  "My husband and I are trying to pay off my car, and so every time we save $1,000, we just take it to the bank and we just put it in the account, so we have no checks," she said.

She withdrew the money, paper clipped it together and left it in an envelope on the counter. Lawrenson and her husband went to work, but when her husband came home on his lunch break, the envelope was gone.  When he looked in the living room, he saw pieces of one-hundred dollar bills scattered across the floor. The rest, including the paper clip, was in Tuity's stomach.  Lawrenson's husband poured peroxide down Tuity's throat before she came home on her lunch break.

"I took the money from the vomit and put it in a bag and saved it for him because I didn't want to puzzle it back together. It was still not real to me even though I had dug through vomit all afternoon," Lawrenson said.  They pieced the money back together and took it to the bank.  "My mother-in-law and our best friend were here and we were speechless. But they just laughed the whole evening and they helped us retrieve $900," Lawrenson said.

Tuity managed to eat too many serial numbers on the last one-hundred dollar bill. The couple sent it to the Department of Treasury with a letter explaining what happened in hopes of being reimbursed for the rest.

"I didn't really see that one coming, and I guarantee we'll keep money away from now on," Lawrenson said.

Adapted from: 

You see what I mean by saying this could have been a lot worse....

Continuing with the theme of pet owners not being as careful as they should be:

Kitten survives 50-min wash cycle

A lucky kitten survived a 50-minute washing machine cycle when she was shut in by mistake.  Princess, just eight weeks old, jumped in while her owner's back was turned.  Susan Gordon, 49, assumed her pet was in another room of her home in Aberdeen (near Belfast, Ireland) but ended up finding the animal clinging to a pair of jeans at the end of the wash cycle.

Mrs Gordon took her kitten to the Vets Now emergency clinic at Ardene House in the Kingswells area of the city. The clinic provides on-call cover for veterinary practices.  Judy Drysdale, senior veterinary surgeon at Vets Now's out-of-hours unit, said: "Princess arrived at the clinic on Friday night very shaken up and shivering, with a nose bleed and sore eyes but her owner had managed to dry her off very well prior to bringing her in to the clinic.  Princess was admitted to the hospital for emergency care which included oxygen, IV fluids, diuretics to remove the water from her lungs, plus lubrication for her soap-damaged eyes and, importantly, pain relief for her bruised body. She was also placed on heat pads to bring her core temperature up to normal. By Sunday afternoon following treatment, she was purring and eating as normal and behaving as a young kitten does.  Washing machines and tumble dryers are just the type of small, dark and often warm places that cats like to hide. We would like to urge owners to be careful and ensure the doors on such machines are closed at all times, and checked thoroughly prior to loading and switching on."

Veterinarian Ann Wortley, from Ardene House Veterinary Practice, said: "Princess was very lucky to have survived her ordeal with no serious injuries."

Adapted from:

Perhaps they should change Princess' name to...Lucky?

This account out of Oklahoma City brings us the tale of another cat that probably is feeling pretty lucky as well:

Injured Oklahoma City Cat Adapts To Life On Two Paws

First, he lost his two back legs. Then he survived in the wild for about a month.  When Deuce (I love the name!) the cat was discovered on Monday, investigators thought someone had intentionally cut off his back legs, but his vet now believes he was injured in some sort of farm accident.  When you first meet Deuce he's kind of a sad little sight. His back legs are gone from the knee down.  Still, aside from being malnourished, his vet at the Quail Creek Vet clinic said he seemed to be OK.

"He's a total miracle," said Beth Ruby, D.V.M. "To think a cat could survive an injury to that degree and then be able to live out in the environment without any kind of food or protection or any kind of health care for four to six weeks."

So they started thinking about prosthetics, but Deuce doesn't like to have his injured legs touched.  Then, Wednesday morning, he started balancing on his front two feet and walking around.  "He seemed to have figured it out," said Ruby. "He's compensating much better then we ever thought he would."

And, unlike anything they have ever seen...making Deuce more like a one and only.  "He's kind of a motivator out here," said Dr. Ruby. "We figured if he can do it, anybody can."  And now that Deuce can walk on his own, that gives his doctors hope they can put him in a long term home.  First he will go to a foster home, so the humane society can see if he's adoptable, so don't call the vet clinic and try and take him home.

Sheriff's investigators are looking for information on how the cat was injured, especially if it does turn out to be animal abuse.  If that's the case, the U.S. Humane Society offers a $2,500 reward for information.

When Stephani Coker saw Deuce's story, she knew she wanted him to join her family.  "It just tugged at my heart strings. I felt so sorry for him. First he has this accident, then he's left out there for a month or a month and a half without food or water," said Coker. "I just wanted to give him a forever home. I knew I could love him."

And after two and a half months in her home, Deuce is doing remarkably well. "He's a happy, wonderful little kitty. I mean he's just like any other cat," said Coker. Deuce can't jump. But he can climb. And instead of holding his stumps in the air, he's now actually walking on them.  He's warming up to Stephani's three other cats, including Finn, who's missing a leg himself. "I knew, hey, if I can do a three legged cat then I can take care of a two legged one."

And while he's still guarded around most people, Stephani says he warmed to her immediately.  "It even surprised the vet. He went right into the carrier. He wasn't skittish toward me. I just think he already knew that I was his mom," said Coker.

Stephani still doesn't know how Deuce lost his limbs and says she probably prefers it that way.  "It would just totally break my heart for him to know what he went through." And she says Deuce is now even teaching her a thing or two. "After everything he's been through and he's just happy to have somebody love him. That's it. You know he has a nice little bed to lay on and sleep on and he has love and that's all he cares about. You know and it's really made me look at things differently," said Coker.

Coker says the vet that treated Deuce says the injuries appear to be the result of an accident. She says his legs and tail were cut off in the same spot which led the vet to believe he'd gotten in the way of a blade, possibly from some type of farm equipment.

Adapted from:

Still think you've had some tough breaks this past year?

Those of you who have lost a pet (I mean actually had one disappear) will understand the anguish this family went through:

Dog missing 8 years from Virginia family farm turns up in Yuba County, California

The Virginia owner of a mixed-breed pit bull said she was dumbfounded upon hearing that her dog, missing for eight years, had turned up in Yuba County.  Petunia, who's a mix of American Staffordshire Terrier and pit bull, was found in the Spenceville Wildlife Area near Beale Air Force Base earlier this week after she disappeared from a family farm in Virginia in 2003.

The woman who found her, Meg Eden of Oregon, was working with her dogs in the wildlife area when Petunia approached her, according to the Yuba County Sheriff's Department.  Eden took the dog to Yuba County's animal shelter Thursday, where a microchip scan connected Petunia to a veterinary clinic in Virginia. Clinic staff told Yuba County animal workers who Petunia was. 

After the clinic contacted Petunia's listed owner, Kristen Pruitt of Fredericksburg, Va., she called the shelter and said Petunia, who was then 3 years old, had disappeared from the family's farm around Thanksgiving eight years ago.  Despite a large search, the family found no trace of her.  "We had definitely given up hope after eight years," Pruitt said.  A photo convinced Pruitt the dog found Wednesday was the same one she'd lost thousands of miles away, according to the shelter.  There was no explanation of how the dog traveled so far from where she was originally.  But Pruitt said her best guess is because Petunia is "gregariously friendly."

Yuba County Animal Care Services will assist Petunia in getting home to her family shortly, according to the department.

Fast forward back to Virginia....

When Frankie Pruitt came home from school for the holidays, he stopped on the way up the driveway to hug his pit bull, who had run to him with her tail wagging. “Petunia!” he said, and rubbed the fur around her ears and looked into her brown eyes.  “Same eyes,” he said. “Same old Petunia!”

He hadn’t seen the dog since 2003, when she ran out of the house one morning just like she always did, headed toward the family alpaca barn and didn’t come back.  She was found, in a wilderness area 2,700 miles from her Virginia farm and sent home.  The Pruitts can’t help but wonder where she’d been all this time.

When Frankie saw her, he immediately noticed the eight or 10 jagged scars and traced them with his hand in the short fur on her head. They think it’s from a barbed-wire fence, not from dogfighting or abuse. Because she seems to be the same old Petunia: sweet, gentle.  She does seem to be the kind of dog who loves to wander, Kristen Pruitt said. Sometimes, Petunia will stop outside and just stare off into the woods.

The other day, they opened the door and Petunia trotted out, headed toward the alpaca barn. “Frankie!” Kristen Pruitt called after her son, leaping forward to grab her collar. Petunia looked back at her, tail wagging. “Get her leash!”

Adapted from:

Were the Pruitts lucky or what?

Now, what about a family that "loses" their other words, thinks it had been killed:

Washington Family Believed Puppy Died After Accident, Finds Him Alive

Reta and Paul McKinlay weren't quite sure how to break the news to their grandchildren. Their 8-month-old Yorkshire Terrier-Shih Tzu mix, Scamp, had escaped from their yard in Yelm, Wash. and was hit by a car.

Assuming Scamp was dead and waiting until morning to bury the furry friend, McKinlay wrapped him in a blanket and put him under a wheelbarrow to keep animals away from his body overnight, KOMO news reports. The pair told their tearful grandchildren, Kaiden and Chevelle, that Scamp had gone to heaven.  "It was real sad to watch them crying over their dog and drawing pictures. We were trying not to cry," Reta told KOMO news.

But when Paul went to retrieve the dog the next morning for his burial, there was a surprise waiting for him.  The dog was sitting up, breathing, and very much alive.

After $3,000 of veterinarian bills from Olympia Pet Emergency, Reta McKinlay told The Olympian she felt confident enough of the dog's good health to tell her grandchildren that their puppy would live.

For Reta, the experience spoke to the meaning of Christmas:

"Christmas is about the kids. It's about miracles, it's about hope, it's about family being together. Scamp is part of our family."

Adapted from:

That's why parts of Italy still put bells on top of caskets until the day of burial.

How about a cat that earns money for the shelter that took him in?

Rare Cat Fetches Hundreds For Shelter

LOVELAND, Colo. -- A stray cat found in Loveland this summer is so rare he was sold for hundreds of dollars.  Calhoun is 7-month-old tortoiseshell calico cat. What makes him rare is that he is a boy.

Only one in 3,000 tortoiseshell cats is male, according to officials with the Larimer Humane Society. And that number may be as high as 1 in 30,000.  The tortoiseshell trait carries a sex-linked defect that doesn't allow the development of a male embryo in the mother cat...with rare exceptions.

Because Calhoun is so rare, he was put up for adoption for $500. Because no one took him after a week, officials at the Larimer Humane Society said his price was lowered to $300 and he was adopted over the weekend.

Calhoun is being renamed Sam by his new owners.

Adapted from: 

A Win-Win situation, huh?

OK, that finishes it for the Holiday Ramblings.  Hope you've enjoyed the lighter side of pet stories.  In next week's issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats, we'll continue with Part 2 of the series on "End of Life Considerations For Your Pet."

The Pittsburgh Steelers ended the regular season at 12-4, tied with the Ravens.  However, we'll have to be happy with a wild card for the playoffs since the Ravens beat us twice during the season.  That means we'll be playing at Denver next week  in the first round of the playoffs.  Injuries to several of our main stars may factor into the outcome of the game.  We cannot complain about having to be a wild card since we didn't take care of business with the Ravens.

Ohio State's basketball team laid an egg yesterday at Indiana in the 2nd half and produced our 2nd loss of the year.  That will undoubtedly cost us the #2 ranking this week.


As I savored my first cup of coffee for 2012 early this morning (Dunkin' Donuts brand,) my thoughts went to making a list of resolutions for the New Year.  Dogs have it easy...they pretty much just have to follow what their owner (hopefully, a conscientious one) designs for them:

Resolution #1: I will eat less and exercise more.

Too many nights on the couch, too many dog biscuits and too little time running around the local dog park has made me a little, well, fluffier. I don't think the old "I'm-just-big-boned" excuse will work anymore. I resolve to bug my owner to take me out to the doggy park several times a week.

Resolution #2: I will beg less.

I've got begging down to a fine art – he's putty in my paws – but it sure is demeaning. I promise to reserve the begging for worthwhile things, like going out to the park and T-bone steak.

Resolution #3: I will recognize the difference between furniture and fire hydrants.

I promise not to treat the furniture and walls the way I do fire hydrants. It drives my owners batty and has no lasting benefit for me (they clear away the scent almost as fast as I can "deposit" it.)

Resolution #4: I'll stay out of the cat's litter box.

I vow to resist the urge to snoop around the cat's private lavatory – even though it's a lot of fun and really makes her go nuts.

Resolution #5: I won't bite the vet anymore.

I'll remember that the vets and their staff are just trying to help in their own, inscrutable way, although they really know how to push my buttons with those needles!

Resolution #6: I won't steal food as much.

I won't go out of my way to steal food, although all bets are off if they make it really easy for me.

Resolution #7: I'll introduce myself in more appropriate ways.

In other words, I'll focus above the waist when introducing myself to humans. Somehow, I get the feeling my normal greeting methods invade their private space.

Resolution #8: I'll do better "holding it" until morning.

When nature calls, I'll steel my resolve to wait for my normal morning walk, unless special considerations apply. I'll decide what those special considerations are.

Resolution #9: I'll bark at the mailman less.

Even though it works to put him in his place, I'll try not to exercise my authority over him and other delivery people, although my self-esteem does get a boost when they retreat.

Resolution #10: I'll tolerate those homemade bandannas more.

My owner has gone to a lot of trouble to make these things, so I'll just put up with the way they feel and the taunts of the other dogs.

Adapted from:

However, it seems to be much more difficult for the resolutions we make for ourselves.  If we can first accomplish just the making of the list, we then have to have the drive to actually honor the resolutions.  Here are some general guidelines that should help most of you with the basics.  It's then up to you to decide how much detail will go into the expected results:

1. Spend More Time with Family & Friends
2. Fit in Fitness
3. Tame the Bulge
4. Quit Smoking
5. Enjoy Life More
6. Be Sure Any Drinking is Moderate
7. Get Out of Debt
8. Learn Something New
9. Help Others
10. Get Organized

Adapted from:
Helpful Buckeye is, for the most part, glad to see 2011 wave good-bye.  The situation involving my Dad's deteriorating health and, ultimately, his death took an emotional and physical toll on me that I hadn't anticipated.  Then, right after Dad's funeral, I severely tore a calf muscle in mid-September and couldn't ride my bike or play racquetball.  I missed out on 3 of the 4 events in my self-created Quadathlon of 2011 due to those circumstances.  My biking miles for the year took a 33% drop from my 2010 total.  I finally had to accept that things don't always work out the way you want them to.
However, by mid-November, I was back to riding my bike and by early December, I was playing racquetball again...albeit at a slower than normal pace.  Not to worry!  It has felt great to be doing the biking and racquetball again and I fully expect to be back at 100% early in 2012.  I have been constantly thinking of the words in Van Morrison's song, The Bright Side of the Road:
"From the dark end of the street to the bright side of the road".... 
Beyond the "bright side of the road," I did read 60 books in 2011, the same as in, the time I was recuperating from the torn muscle was well spent. 
Desperado and I were at the big pine cone drop festivities in downtown Flagstaff last night...helping to say good-bye to 2011 and welcome in 2012.  The temperature was 46 degrees warmer than a year ago (33 degrees vs. -13) felt great to be there!

Today, while walking the back 9 portion of our golf course, Desperado and I witnessed an aerial display by 2 bald eagles, soaring and diving right over our heads...what a sight!  Definitely a good omen for the year....

Starting today, we are putting together several short trips to various parts of Arizona we haven't yet seen, in preparation for the state Centennial on Valentine's Day 2012.  Yes, Arizona was the last of the "lower" 48 states to be admitted to the Union and some of the places we'll be visiting are essentially the same as they were 100 years ago.
Let's finish this first issue of 2012 with an awe-inspiring quote from Louisa May Alcott:
“Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations.  I may not reach them, but I can get up and see the beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.” 
I hope that all of you are good followers....

~~The goal of this blog is to provide general information and advice to help you be a better pet owner and to have a more rewarding relationship with your pet. This blog does not intend to replace the professional one-on-one care your pet receives from a practicing veterinarian. When in doubt about your pet's health, always visit a veterinarian.~~

No comments:

Post a Comment