Saturday, March 29, 2014

Think About the Pets

I got to thinking the other day about how we are so accustomed to having the services we need only an email, text or phone call away.  But what would we do if this changed.

In my case, it concerned the care of my dogs.  Twice a year I take them next door to my friend, the dog groomer.  They are given baths, hair cuts, the excess hair is removed from inside their ears and their nails are trimmed.

One of my Yorkies, Jessie Jane, has weird nails.  The quick (the part inside the nail that has nerves and blood vessels) grows unnaturally long, so her nails can never be trimmed short.  Cutting into the quick causes pain and bleeding.  So as her nails grow, they curl sideways.  This doesn't seem to bother her or slow her down any.  Until yesterday.

Jessie Jane was holding up one of her front paws when she came out of her kennel for her morning cookie.  So as soon as she ate her treat, I picked her up and checked her paw.  Sure enough.  One of her nails had gotten so long that it was poking the adjoining pad on her foot.

Like most people, my first thought was to call the groomer and make an appointment to get Jessie's nails cut.  But then I got to thinking, what if I didn't have access to a groomer.  What would I do?

I don't have a proper nail trimming tool, but I do have a small wire snipper.  So I got it out and carefully trimmed the offending nail as well as the rest of them on that foot.  It wasn't a professional looking job, but she could run without pain, and that was what I wanted.

I am big on having a variety of foods on hand - store bought, home canned and dehydrated.  I have extra water stored.  I either have or plan on buying in the near future, alternative methods of cooking, heating at least one room of my apartment and light sources.  But, shame on me, aside from stocking up on food and water for them, I hadn't thought ahead for the care of my fuzzy buddies who share my life.

So this weekend I will do the research to see what I should have on hand for their proper care.  And next week I will go to a pet supply store that I trust to have good quality merchandise, and buy a nail trimmer, a good quality clipper for hair cuts, and whatever other supplies I need.  There may come a time when I won't have a veterinarian three blocks away as I do now, so I need to think along the lines of what to have on hand should they become sick, as Lily was the past couple of weeks, or injured.

Our pets give us so much.  They love us even when we are not lovable.  They are glad to see us even when we are cranky.  They only ask to be fed, have clean water and occasional pets, snuggles and belly rubs.  I will still take them to the vet when needed.  But if the time comes when that's not possible, I want to be able to do the very best for them that I can.  They deserve no less than that.


  1. Nail trimmers are inexpensive.

    I couldn't figure out what some were, until my wife showed sister's inside dog, when I was in high school, spent much time outside, too, so his nails never needed cutting.

    At first, I thought the trimmers were some kind of garden tool.

  2. Jess.....Nail trimmers are odd looking things, but their design helps to keep the nails from splitting when they are cut. If I lived where I could just turn them out to run in a yard, they would wear the nails down, but alas, that isn't to be.

    It's the hair clippers that will be a little spendy, but even with the discount my friend gives me, I still drop close to $100 to have both groomed. I figure grooming them myself is well worth it.

  3. I remember my father when he trimmed the farm animals hoofs and nails. He used a nice sharp ax on the dogs and cats. Wasn't too bad as he only misjudged on occasion. It's amazing how quickly the critters adjusted to three legs.

  4. Stephen.....There is no better way to start my day than by laughing so hard the tears roll. Speaks volumes about my slightly skewed sense of humor - and yours!

  5. If your hands don't bother you, you might consider manual clippers, as they don't need electricity.

  6. Gorges.....I was thinking of getting both - maybe not all at once, but within the year. My hands still work pretty well. Wish I could say the same about back and legs!!

  7. Aw, thanks, Mary. Those pictures are a couple of years old. They're looking a bit rough now as they need haircuts. I have them shaved down and turn them into chihuahuas twice a year!

  8. For years we had to do with a vet who basically took care of horses, dogs and cats. She did her best but she didn't know anything about ferrets. My Christmas present to her last year was a book on ferret care. So we kept all the articles I could find from Ferret Magazine and other sources on caring for them. We keep a little supply of medicines they can take, but sometimes they have to have a vet. Fortunately, there is now an exotic mammal vet who comes to our town twice a week, and that helps.

  9. Your dogs are beautiful. I had dogs growing up, and we have had cats since we have been married. (27yrs) Our boys are spoiled, it became clear as we ran out of treats and they have not been happy. Its funny how so many of us have pets we think of as our children.

    We now buy the cats a 16 lb bag of food that lasts over a month. I used to only buy a 5 lb bag every couple of weeks. I am buying 2 bags in April, and a bigger bags of treats.

    My folks had a dog that had to be clipped, otherwise all have been short hair.

  10. Harry, it must be a challenge to care for animals about which the local vet doesn't have the knowledge. That is an excellent idea - keeping the articles about their care. I have started doing that for my dogs. Having had two Yorkies in the past, I'm familiar with what can go wrong (lost one to a collapsed windpipe), but I am also always learning. I'm lucky to have a vet so close who is familiar with this breed.

  11. Rob.....Thanks. They are pretty when they are kept in the traditional Yorkie haircut, but in order to do that, I would have to have unlimited funds!! So I shave them down twice a year. They seem to like it. Although both are 13 years old, they act like puppies after haircuts. I understand about the treats. My cat could care less, but God help me if I run out of doggie cookies. Three animals may seem like a lot for an apartment, but they are small. The cat is bigger than either of the dogs, so they mind their manners with her. They sure are good company for me.