Monday, April 23, 2012

Bumper crop of fleas

Scratching. And thumping. And flea biting. Confirmation came last night when Murphy was curled up on my lap. My reading light was aimed at my Nook and Murphy's head. There they were. Fleas. Uck. And there are 5 Labrador retrievers in my house. Yikes.

Frontline worked for years. We applied it 10 days ago. It didn't work this time. Maybe due to the mild winter. Who knows? When in doubt, talk to your veterinarian. We did. She recommended Comfortis, a fast-acting oral medication. She also suggested that we vacuum thoroughly (for several days in a row) and wash everything the furkids had come in contact with - everything that will fit in the washing machine, that is. On it, doc.

Comfortis worked and it worked fast. What now? The vet recommended that we go back to Frontline next month - that most likely once our dogs are completely flea-free it will work again. And since Frontline gets rid of those pesky ticks, too, we'll give it a whirl. Check back in a month and we'll let you know how it's going.

Monday, April 16, 2012

words worth reading

I do not know this author. I only know that his words capture the relationship between we humans and the dogs we love better than most.
He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.)

When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself.

He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant.

His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever—in case I need him. And I expect I will—as I always have. He is just my dog.
Gene Hill

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ignoring it won't make it go away

Occasionally Brown Dog feels the need to speak out about something larger than his very doggy world. This is one of those times.

What is it in the human psyche that makes it okay to abuse animals? I don't know the answer to that one. So here's another ... what is it in the human psyche of "good" people that makes it okay to ignore animal abuse?

We have screwed this up so badly that the ASPCA actually has a Cruelty Glossary on their website. Here's an example. Before you eat your next plate of veal scallopini, read this:
White Veal: From birth to slaughter at five months, calves used to produce "formula-fed" or "white" veal are confined to two-foot-wide crates and chained to inhibit movement. They are fed an iron-and fiber-deficient diet resulting in anemia; the lack of exercise retards muscle development, resulting in pale, tender meat. Learn more about our efforts to protect animals in factory farms.
And, just for comparison sake, here is the USDA's version of veal "production":
How are Veal Calves Housed?
Today's modern, environmentally controlled veal barns provide for animal health and safety. The barns are lighted artificially and by natural light, and a constant source of fresh air is circulated.

Individual stalls are used for each calf. These stalls provide a safe environment where the calves can stand, stretch, groom themselves and lay down in a natural position. These pens are invaluable to the health of the animal. They allow the calves to be individually looked after. The stall's slotted floors allow for efficient removal of waste.

How are Veal Calves Raised?
Veal calves are observed individually and are provided with specialized care. They also receive a milk replacer diet that provides all of the 40 vitamins and minerals they require.

Veal calves are usually separated from the cows within 3 days after birth, allowing for control of diseases and monitoring the dairy cow for udder problems.

Individual stalls allow veal farmers and veterinarians to closely monitor the health of each calf and properly treat a calf with a specific, government approved antibiotic. Veal farmers monitor each calf for health deficiencies such as anemia. The feed is controlled to meet the calves' iron needs. Health products for use with veal calves are approved by the Food and Drug Administration within the Department of Health and Human Services before being put on the market. The FDA also regulates information on the labeling of the product, the doses permitted, and withdrawal period. 
I wonder how the calves in this video feel about the USDA's take on all this?

Here at Brown Dog, we're going to take Bob Barker's advice and do SOMETHING rather than nothing. No veal ever ever ever and goodbye lattes. Why? Watch the video.

Murphy Brown Dog