Yesterday was a looooooong day for us. We started out with GS coming over for reading practice. We’ve found a subject he really likes, and we’ll use it as unit study. It will certainly increase his vocabulary! Emmy lay nearby and avidly gnawed at her feet. As her ear infection has come back, I called and made an appointment with the vet for that afternoon.
Then, it was off to do grocery shopping. As GS likes to go to new places to eat with me, we decided to try Firehouse Subs. Not only did they welcome us, they helped us by pushing two tables together, offered to get water for Emmy, and asked if she needed any food!! The sub was very tasty, well prepared. The floor was clean – so clean Emmy wasn’t interested in sniffing around – until GS spilled a little bit of cheese from his sub!
Then we went across the street to Publix. As usual, nearly everything stopped at the cashiers’ stands as all the cashiers and baggers heard someone (not I!) call out – “Emmy’s here!” They all looked around and smiled at her and said things like “Hi Emmy!” It was very friendly and very nice.
We did our shopping with an eye on my watch. Golly, groceries have gone up!!! I notice a difference each time we shop. Good thing the Ol’ Curmudgeon is once again gainfully employed! Emmy picked up my cane several times. I handed out her “business card” to some people who were interested in her.
As we were checking out, the lady behind me was chatting about Emmy – how beautiful she is, how quiet she is, how she watches me all the time, how happy she seems to be. Of course, I thanked her, and we continued to chat as GS unloaded our groceries, and I made out my check. As I moved out of the check-out stand, I was able to see the woman. She, too, was in an electric cart and had a cane. She said she was losing the ability to walk due to a spinal injury that was progressing. She anticipated not being able to walk in a few months. I gave her a card for PAALS as well as Emmy’s “business card,” and told her to call me – that I’d be delighted to come to her home and show her how a mobility service dog could help her. I hope she calls me!
I couldn’t help thinking that I’m moving into the same situation – my back is getting worse, and I have more numbness and tingling in my legs as time goes on. Some functions that are controlled by the lower spine are starting to deteriorate. Once we get the insurance stuff straightened out, I’ll have to go to the neurosurgeon the rheumatologist recommended. Hope I don’t need surgery, but if I do, these guys use the microendoscopic kind of surgery that is less traumatic, less invasive and more likely to be successful over time. We’ll see.
Then to the vet. He carefully went over Emmy and quizzed me about her symptoms. Emmy lay down and proceeded to gnaw her back foot when the exam was over – so I could point to her behavior right there. He agreed with my assessment – she has allergies. Most likely these are seasonal allergies, but he is carefully testing out everything. First, he suggested Omega-3 Fatty acids to help reduce the inflammation that makes her itch. Then some antihistamines. First we’ll try Benadryl. It that doesn’t work well, we will work through Claritin-D and Tavist and a few others. He also suggested a trying a hypoallergenic diet for 6 weeks in case her responses are due to food allergies. I’ll try anything to help Emmy, so she started on her fatty acids and the Benadryl last night. Although her lamb and rice diet is about as hypoallergenic as it can be, other ingredients that may work their way in could be a problem. We’ll try that for a while. Her treats will be those kibbles. I’ll stop using the Pet Wipes for 3 weeks after she has her quarterly bath next week. They will use a hypo-allergenic shampoo with an extra soothing and moisturizing hypoallergenic conditioner. After that, for 3 weeks I won’t use the Pet Wipes. Once she’s feeling better, I’ll add each of the old products one at a time with 1-2 weeks between to be sure she isn’t reacting to them. Baseline, however, the vet thinks pollen and dust. I’m going to get the GSs in to vacuum thoroughly (more carefully than usual!), and I’ll re-wash all her bedding and her woobies. I’ll use the hypoallergenic stuff on Magnus (the Magnifi-cat) – maybe that will reduce his dander a bit. Hope Emmy isn’t allergic to cats!!
I’ll do anything I possibly can to make Emmy more comfortable.
The yard people are supposed to come by sometime in the next week or so (that’s what they’ve said for 3 weeks now, but all the rain has prevented them doing the work needed) and will use industrial Round-Up in the back yard. A week after that, they will come in and clean off all the dead stuff – should take it down to the dirt. That will certainly reduce the pollen in the back yard (won’t help the trees, but taking all them out would be prohibitively expensive, and would be a bit of overkill when all the neighbors have the same trees in their yards). At least the poison ivy will be gone, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to let Emmy play in the backyard again. I’ve had to keep her on a flexi-line for the last 3 months – both because of poison ivy and because of her penchant for eating cat skat. But the cats will be moving soon, so that should stop that!
Today Emmy is doing a LOT of sleeping from the Benadryl. When she’s sleeping, she isn’t gnawing her feet! Right now she is sleeping with her head on my feet. She is doing less scratching already! Yeaaa! Benadryl and Omega-3 Fatty Acids are certainly low cost! I hope this will work for the long term. I can deal with a sleepy service dog better than an itchy one who drops down to scratch uncontrollably before she can execute a cue!