Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It Hasn't Always Been Easy for Chaco

I had Chaco for a little over a month when he came down with Parvo. I had no idea what it was at the time and had never even heard of such. For those that are curious here is what wikipedia has to say about Parvo.

"The disease is highly infectious and is spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their feces. It can be especially severe in puppies that are not protected by maternal antibodies or vaccination. The common signs of the intestinal form are severe vomiting and severe haemmorhagic (bloody) diarrhea. Treatment often involves veterinary hospitalization. Vaccines can prevent this infection, but mortality can reach 91% in untreated cases."

I took Chaco to the Vet on a Sunday because he had been throwing up all weekend and didn't move a muscle all day Saturday. You have to understand he is a Lab, and by nature they are extremely hyper, so I knew something wasn't right when he slept all day Satuday and wouldn't come out of his crate Sunday morning. He had zero energy and was extremely dehydrated. I have never owned a dog before, so I didn't know what to be looking for that may throw up red flags.

The first thing out of the Vet's mouth when I took him in was "Parvo." The first thing out of my mouth was "whats that?" Basically as he explained it, Chaco's digestive system was shutting down on him, he wasn't able to keep and food or liquids down therefore causing dehydration and loss of energy. The vet suggested I leave him there to get put on a I V. I asked him what the chance was that I might lose Chaco, he told me since I caught it early enough he should be fine but there was still a chance he wouldn't make it. Then he asked if I had any more dogs, I said yes we have 2 other puppies at the house. He told me it was imperative to have my roommates bring them in right away so they could get a booster shot. He said take anything that Chaco has come in contact with and wash it or throw it away. He said we needed to mop every room in our house and make sure there isn't any remains of Parvo left. Even though we did all this, the other dogs still had a chance of getting it, thats how contagious it is.

I asked him how Chaco could have got it? He told me its very easy for puppies to get it. It could have been someone who came to our house that happened to walk through a yard where a dog had it, and they tracked it in on their shoes. Could have been as simple as a car that went down our street had it on their tires. He said it can come from anywhere that another dog has had it.

A week at the Vet and a nice $400 bill later Chaco was fine. When I picked him up it was as though he had never had it, and that tail of destruction was wagging as if I had a huge treat in my hand. Luckily for the other dogs, they never contracted it and all is well.
Happy birthday, Mom!I hope everyone can see,What a great mom you’ve always been,And how much you mean to me.
I always think about you,In times both good and bad,For the things you taught are with me,In happy times and sad.
So on this day I wish you joy,Just like you pass around.May all your good times multiply,And happiness abound.

By Karl Fuchs

Happy Birthday Mom, I love you, and Chaco does too.

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Dog Chaco as a Puppy

one of the first pictures I ever took of Chaco

This is my dog Chaco. He is a Chocolate Lab. Chaco has had a very interesting life thus far. He is just like any other dog out there, but better. As a puppy he did everything a puppy should do. He pooped in my room, he pooped in the hallway, he pooped in the living room, he pooped in the kitchen and every now and then he would poop outside.

When I first got him I thought I would let him sleep in my bed with me. First night, no problem, went straight to sleep like a good puppy and woke me up a time or two to go outside. Second night, again, no problem, cuddled up next to me and woke me up a few times to go outside. I thought to myself and told my friends, this having a puppy thing is a walk in the park. I was wrong. Third night, I wake up to a interesting smell. One I had smelt before, one that I am used to smelling outside, one that I shouldn't be smelling at 2am in the morning in the coziness of my room. He was sitting at the foot of my bed giving a little whimper. The first two nights that whimper meant "hey dude, take me outside I need to poop." If only I had been so lucky this time. I got out of bed and started for the door, no need to pull the string for the light I know where the door is, right? Bad Decision.

I would like to stop here for a second before I explain what happened next. Please if you will take a second close your eyes and remember back to when you were a kid playing outside in the rain. Remember that one pile of mud that was a little bit more liquidy than all the others? The one that had the standing water on top of it? the one that you weren't sure how deep it was going to be when you stepped in it? The one your parents would probably be mad at you about if you stepped in it, because there is a chance you might sink up to your waist and ruin your shorts? The one that when you stepped in it the mud would just ooze through your toes all nice and slimy? Remember THAT kind of mud? Good, back to the story.

As I reach my hand out to turn the knob on the door I step in what feels like THAT kind of mud with my left foot. I quickly lift my foot back to where it had just come from and take a step with my right foot. My right foot was greeted by the same feeling as my left foot. How is this possible? I have now managed to step in two separate piles of poop, with BOTH feet. So then I rush out of my room around the corner to the bathroom to get some paper towels, tracking what looks like THAT kind of mud down the hall, but it isn't mud at all. I then spend the next 30 minutes scrubbing the carpet in my room. Once I got as much out of the carpet as I could I realized I still have it on my feet, so I scrub them too. All the while Chaco is sitting on my bed looking at me like "dude, its 2am turn the light back out and let me go back to sleep, I don't need to go out anymore."

As you can probably imagine, I had the crate up the next day, and he slept in it at night until he was house broke. The saga continues at a later time.....