Tuesday, October 7, 2008
The last 2 pics are at an old marble quarry called Natural Bridge. The other shots of this didn't really come out well, but it's really a neat place! The melting glaciers made tunnels thru the marble.
There is also a dam made from the marble, and the waterfall going over it is gorgeous.
Special note: We're very happy that Pepper is doing so well after his treatment of cortizone shots and prednesone pills. He was nearly put to sleep a few weeks ago! He fell down the stairs in Aug. and hurt his spine.
He did more walking at the quarry park than he has in a couple of months. We were worried that he might be in pain the next day, but he didn't seem to be suffering at all.
He's spunky as ever, yelling at the other 2 dogs and chasing the cat! Yay, Pepper's king of the world again!
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008
At least once a month or so a client will call with questions about pets who seem to grieve for their lost companions. Sometimes it’s a human death at hand, but more often it’s about pets who “miss” their recently departed conspecific (typically another cat or dog):
What should I do to help her grieve?
Will he ever get over the loss?
Could grief be making her sick?
I’m not always sure how to handle the questions since sometimes it’s obvious that human grief may well be the overriding issue. So I have to wonder, is this just our human way of anthropomorphizing our pets…or is it something more real?
I had cause to rethink this issue after reading an article in The New York Times’ science section yesterday. It detailed the heartbreaking story of Gana, a gorilla in the Munich Zoo whose several month-old infant succumbed to a congenital cardiac ailment. After its death she carried the dead baby around for days in a not-atypical display of non-human primate “mourning” where mothers will refuse to relinquish their young until they’re well-decayed.
The article proceeded to question what death means for different species: “dinner” for lions (who eat their dead mates) and perhaps “remembrance” for elephants drawn to the bones of their lost ones. But is it really “grief”?
I couldn’t tell you with any certainty but it’s my belief that dogs and cats experience grief—albeit differently from the Elizabeth Kübler-Ross variety most of us are intimately aware of. In my personal experience, “pet grief” resembles more a confused, missing-you state of stress: Where did she go?
Pets closely bonded to the deceased may pace, appear to search for their lost companion, eat less or demonstrate changes to their sleep/wake cycles. Most owners interpret this as depression—and who’s to say they’re not right?
Detractors of the concept of grief in animals suggest that pets are merely picking up on our emotional cues. That animals are devoid of cognition when it comes to the past and are therefore incapable of understanding grief the way we do.
Yet even if that’s true, don’t they still experience the loss in some way? I think that’s undeniable. And isn’t the simple experience of loss a sort of grief, too?
Why the need to question animal emotion, anyway?
We no longer question whether basic human physiologic functions are experienced similarly in mammals. We intuit that they feel pain and can document behavioral and physiologic changes that accompany it, for example.
So why do we assume that basic emotions elude them simply because they cannot conceive what is happening to them the same way we do? Their limited cognition doesn't decrease pain after injury any, does it? Why, then, do we wonder whether or not animal emotions like grief convey biological advantages?
Is it simply because we can't understand how that might work? Or is it maybe because if we know animals are capable of more complex emotions like grief we'll have even more cause to question how we treat them...?
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Saturday, March 8, 2008
A veterinary radiologist is a veterinarian who has a veterinary degree, a year of internship, and a three or four year residency in radiology under their belt. Veterinary school is hard enough to get into, and attracts the best and the brightest. Those who want to specialize in radiology have to undergo another round of competitive applications, and years of training to attain specialist status. Someone who is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Radiology or the European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging has had intensive training by other veterinary radiologists. Disciplines include radiology, ultrasound, Computed Tomography (CAT scan or CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MR or MRI), and nuclear medicine. A specialist also has to pass an intensive written and oral exam to become board certified. Veterinary Radiologists have extensive experience in obtaining and interpreting images of all types.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
A debate has been raging for years over the proper terminology to use when describing the relationship of a person to his or her pet. Historically, animals have been regarded as property in the eyes of the law. Therefore, people with pets have been called pet owners.
However, a growing number of people feel that the word “owner” does not do justice to the relationship between a person and a pet. Adherents to this school of thought often prefer the word “guardian.” They argue, quite reasonably, that people form intense emotional bonds with their pets, and that this relationship deserves a unique title. They point out that most people love their pets. Nobody I know would say that love their dishwasher or their sofa.
Members of the owner camp retort that calling oneself a pet guardian may have unintended consequences for people and pets. They point to the example of adults who are guardians of children, and claim that guardianship carries responsibilities that ownership does not. For instance, the owners of a sick pet can refuse veterinary treatment if they cannot afford it. The guardian of a child would go to prison if he declined medical treatment for the same reason.
Proponents of pet ownership ask what would happen in these circumstances if pet owners became pet guardians? And how would the change in terminology affect the availability of procedures such as spaying, neutering, and euthanasia? They point out that a child’s guardian cannot have him sterilized or put to sleep. Would an animal’s guardian be able to do these things?
As a veterinarian, this issue is a minefield for me. Pet guardians are offended if I call them owners. Owners think I am crazy if I call them guardians. I try to avoid both terms.
For now, the proponents of pet ownership hold sway in most quarters. But the guardian camp is gaining momentum. The guardians make some valid points, and I suspect that in the long run, if they can resolve the issues listed above, they will carry the day. Only time will tell.
(Written by Dr Eric Barchas)
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
The next day he was back, resumed his position, and slept for an hour. This continued for several weeks until, curious, I pinned a note to his collar: “Every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.”
The next day he arrived with a different note: “He lives in a house with eight children. He’s exhausted. Can I come with him tomorrow?”
Submitted by a friend...
She's an 8 week old German Shepard pup. Her folks searched all over for a high quality shepard. They picked her out at 2 weeks of age. Her eyes had barely opened! Her new owners visited her practically every week until she was old enough to go to her new home.
She has big paw prints to fill!
Monday, March 3, 2008
Mugsy was dropped off by his Dad one morning last week. He's just a baby all of 1 year old. Naturally he brought his teddy bear with him.
Mugsy probably didn't realize why he and his bear were checked in for the day...seems like poor Teddy was missing an eye. Mugsy had something to do with that.
We induced vomiting, the missing eye and its attachment were soon brought up.
Given Mugsy's small size we were worried that his small intestine could become obstructed.
More info re obstructions click HERE
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Jerry and Jen are part of the talented Lifetiled web design team. They work with Andy and Mike. Many thanks guys!