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Katrina rescues: The near-toothless poodle goes to the veterinarian

In addition to starting her "Snowball Effect" campaign, Phyllis DeGioia has taken two Katrina foster dogs into her home. Here's her report on the taking her foster dogs to their veterinary appointment:


Clint is his name because he’s a manly man for a 10-pound poodle. He not only managed to take over the best dog bed in the living room within minutes of his arrival, but yesterday when I was cleaning his belly and groin because he smelled bad he started to hump me. I say any male who still humps has quality of life!

Clint was a big worry yesterday as he was refusing water and food. I kept shoving containers of water under his face to no avail; food held no interest. Later in the day he started trembling, and I recognized it from when my dog Fred arrived at the age of 2 ½: Clint was scared and nervous. This called for drastic measures, so I cuddled him in my lap for a couple of hours last night. Clint managed to turn left even in my lap, which gets a little old after a bit, but he seemed to enjoy it. At 11:15 p.m., he finally ate a lot of soft food and drank some water.

This morning around 5 when Bella cried and howled, Clint joined her. At least I think he did. Either that or I’m hallucinating from lack of sleep. I have not heard a peep out of him before. Bella’s crying was of far less intensity than the prior night. I was so occupied last night with getting Clint to eat and drink that I forgot to turn on a radio for her, as I’d intended to do.

This morning he wouldn’t eat, but he drank water. I let him twirl around in the back yard for quite a while so as to hopefully avoid the fecal accidents we had yesterday. Of course, his poop is the size of a quarter, so it’s not like it’s a problem to clean up. Still, he must have his pride (it’s that manly man thing again).

I feel like I’m living in a production of "Noises Off." Doors opening and shutting here, moving dogs from room to room. I can’t wait for this isolation stuff to be over.

My cat, Chelsea, has made her viewpoint on our visitors known by peeing and pooping upstairs in my bedroom, where there is no litter box. This is no surprise but it is disheartening since Chelsea hasn’t even seen Bella yet, and she’s ignored Clint.

After the veterinary appointment

Clint, that manly man, is staying at the veterinarian's until tomorrow evening. I already miss him. Allison is in charge of the rescue group.

Allison: He's having a dental tomorrow so he’ll just stay here.

Me: On four teeth?

Allison: His mouth will feel much better. We'll probably pull them all. And we'll neuter him while he's under.

Me: uhm, OK.

Oh boy. He was such an eating machine before (not) that I can only imagine him with no teeth at all. I'll pick him up tomorrow at 6:30. My poor boy! Now he can be deaf, blind, and toothless. "Macho, macho man.....I just wanna be...a macho man."

Clint Eastwood would cringe.

Allison thinks it will be OK to bring Bella out of isolation! Tomorrow when I pick up Clint she'll give me something for Bella’s fleas. That's what she thinks all the itching is, and it would also be effective on mangey mites. Also, some antibiotics for the cough. She needs to get these out of the rescue group’s supplies, not the veterinarian's, which is why I didn’t get them today.

She couldn't remember if Bella is one of the animals who was surrendered or needs to wait 30 days. With 70 animals in this caravan, I'd be stunned if any one person could remember details about each one. She'll check the paperwork, but first they're working their way through the veterinary care. This group does not have a facility. It's a loose network of fostering and they bring the pets to PetsMart on Saturdays for adoption days.

One of the veterinarians came out and saw Bella. "What a pretty dog!" he said, and I told him that's why her name is Bella. He gave her a treat, which she took daintily. Then she growled at some Sheltie who had the audacity to walk in the door. Oops. I also walked Bella over to the adoptable cat area just to see her reaction to them. The cats were all caged and safe. One of them hissed at Bella and she pulled back in a whiz, so there’s hope she and Chelsea will be fine.

All the dogs met on Sunday night and have been sniffing through the door. So when I got home, I brought Bella into the fenced back yard and left her while I let Fred out. It was fine. Then I brought Ginger out, and that was fine. Then we all came in the house and all of them are asleep at my feet here in the office. I put a gate up in the stairwell to the upstairs to protect my cat Chelsea.

So far, so good, but I want my macho man back home turning counterclockwise circles to his little heart’s content. -- Phyllis DeGioia, editor, VeterinaryPartner.com

September 20, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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Tracked on Sep 22, 2005 9:50:15 PM


i am thinking of adopting this very sweet poodle from a nearby shelter. they say he is about 6 yrs old, but he looks older to me because he only has 2 or 3 teeth. is this a common problem of poodles? i know he was badly neglected before he was rescued. he looks healthy otherwise. thanks for any info you could provide.

Posted by: dot | Jun 29, 2006 8:24:00 PM

Sheryl, I really don't know what type of canned food is best for any given dog, particularly a finicky one. Clint eats Mrs. Merrick's Senior Medley, and he has also eaten Science Diet with no problems. The real reason I use Mrs. Merrick's is that someone who got a case of it for free in a promotion gave the case to me, and Clint liked it and does well on it, so I kept using it. But if your dachshund is only missing some bottom front teeth, as opposed to most of the mouth, it seems possible that he could eat kibble rather than be required to eat canned food, which is higher in calories. Do you think he'd like a mix of kibble and canned? I've had a finicky dog before and know how difficult it can be when they turn up their noses at something they loved yesterday.

Posted by: Phyllis DeGioia | Apr 14, 2006 11:37:11 AM

No comment, just a question. I have a toy dachund, 9.5 years old. She is missing her bottom front teeth. Can you tell me the best food for her? She is finicky, what she eats today she might not eat tomorrow. Any suggestions?

Posted by: Sheryle | Mar 25, 2006 6:02:07 AM

The "Noises Off" comment made me laugh! My aunt and uncle still have an attatchment to that movie! My cousins and I watched it all the time as kids!

Posted by: KCC | Sep 21, 2005 8:49:59 AM

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