Monday, May 9, 2011

Sausage and Choo Choo and a Mouse

Yesterday Padawan and I took a trip out to his Mother's house to leave her flowers for Mother's Day. (I have a key to the house, so it's not like we broke in or anything.) Since we were there, I thought it would be a good thing just to check in on Sausage, just to see how he's doing.

The last time I saw him was March, and he's fatter now than he was then. I took him outside to the yard to play, and I tried to engage him. He got excited and chased me for a few seconds. No, I'm not exaggerating. I mean to say he played for seconds before he stopped and had to lay down because he couldn't breath. Too fat to play, poor thing. So I took him back inside and we played tug of war for a few minutes, but he got tired really fast with that, too. Then he just threw himself into my lap as if to say, "Please stop making me do these things. They make me tired. Can't we just lay here together so you can pet me?"

I obliged him. Sausage has this one spot on his belly that is either really ticklish, or it feels good to have it scratched. His foot goes crazy when you scratch it. Cutest little thing. Choo Choo, unfortunately, doesn't have a foot thumping spot. She just enjoys a good scratching all over. 

Before we left I went to check out the special Diet foot Clueless bought for Sausage.

Good. Grief. 

I never look at brands when purchasing dog food because the brand is irrelevant to me. I always look at the ingredients. The brand she was using was something called Beneful (Beniful?) and the first two ingredients were yellow corn and "chicken by-product meat", followed by "cornmeal gluten." 

The first two ingredients say it all: this is not a good food for any dog, especially one that's on a diet. I don't buy Choo Choo any food that lists those ingredients. Her food may cost me an arm and a leg every couple of months, but at least I know exactly what's going into her stomach. What exactly is "chicken by-product meat" anyway?  A quick Google search tells me that "chicken by-product meat" means clean parts of the chicken that aren't actually meat. Lungs, brain, bone, liver...those kinds of parts. Why on earth would you want your dog to eat that when he's already got health problems?

I pointed it out to Padawan, who promised he would, once again, say something to Clueless. Who, by the way, has her court date set for the end of this month. I would say something to her myself, but we're at that same impasse we've been at since the day after she got out of jail after her second drinking and driving adventure. You know, the one where she's so embarrassed she won't look me in the eye or talk to me because her mother told her all about why I take drunk driving so personally and she knows, or she thinks she knows, what I'm thinking when I look at her.

Stupid and selfish is what I'm thinking, for the record. I make no allowances for youth because plenty of young people her age don't drink and drive. I make no allowances for her being the middle child because I myself am a middle child, and you don't see me doing stupid things like that. 

In the middle of all of this selfishness and stupidity sits Sausage, depressed and lonely and incapable of even playing outside because it's physically strenuous. Poor thing. I am determined that he will come stay with us, if not immediately then when she gets sentenced off to do her time. 

And for the love of sanity, I hope she doesn't make more friends while she's in there. Jail isn't a damned party. It's a punishment. There's something really wrong with our system if people actually come out of jail with friends and claiming they had a good, relaxing time. Is this what my tax dollars are paying for? Criminals enjoying themselves? 

Meanwhile, I gave Choo Choo a thorough examination yesterday, shifting through her fur to find out exactly how bad this skin rash thing is. And I thought it was just the few small spots where I could actually see the skin coming up and making the fur stand out. I thought it just wasn't so very bad. But what I discovered is that this rash/skin irritation covers most of her back and sides. It's just that she can't reach all of those places to scratch. The skin is only coming up in the places she can reach to scratch incessantly. And scratch she does. She rubs on furniture, backwards across the carpets, against the wall while standing on her back legs (and I wish I'd had a camera because, disturbing thoughts aside, it was a pretty cute thing to see her do), and then scratching the regular way with her paws. I brush her three times a day to help drag way the dry skin, but it's not enough. She just scratches up more. 

But there are patches of red, dry, flaky skin everywhere. And I can't figure out how she's not losing fur with her skin this irritated. I'd be ripping my hair out if I itched that badly.

I made an appointment with the Vet this morning. She'll go in Wednesday at seven, and we'll drop her off. Then Dr. Spacey can run tests on her. (They said testing skin samples, which I guess means they'll be pulling off layers of her skin and examining them under a microscope or something.) When they're finished with the tests, they'll call me and tell me what's going on with her. Then they'll say, "You can come pick her up at such and such time." And then they'll give me whatever medicine she needs, instructions, and I'll take her home.

It's unfortunate that Choo Choo came down with this in May, but it's not her fault that May is such an inconvenient time for her to get sick. May is just an inconvenient month. First, there's Mother's Day, which means gifts for Mom and Memaw. Then it's Choo Choo's birthday (which was on Mother's Day). Then Mouse's birthday. Then Relly on the 11th. Papaw on the 18th. Breezy and Lydia on the 27th. And then somebody is always graduating in May. This years it's my cousin, we'll call her Brick, so I'm taking the long, boring drive up to Dallas to be there for that. (Though why I should have to when she didn't even come to MY graduation, I don't know.)

Speaking of commencement, Mouse is coming home in June because he's served his four years of active duty to the Marine Corps. It's about time he comes home. Four years is a long time, and he's missed all of my birthdays for the last four years, and I haven't been able to visit because he's been either in Haiti, where I can't go even if I wanted to cross a shark infested body of water to get there, or in North Carolina when it's iced over in an unpleasant way and I can't deal with painfully cold temperatures. 

It will be nice to have him close enough to see regularly for the summer. You know, before he and his girlfriend/fiancĂ©e pick up and move to the outskirts of Dallas at the end of the summer. But Dallas is a lot closer than Haiti and North Carolina.


  1. Yes, doesn't that sound SO appetizing? I wonder if I'm the only person in the world that reads ingredients on dog food?

  2. If Choo Choo were human I'd say she has psoriasis or lupus. My sister gets psoriasis breakouts and her skin sounds like Choo Choo's.

  3. I have to confess that I don't. But then we're talking about an animal that will eat out of the cats' litterbox if it gets half a chance.

  4. George, but it's NEVER lupus. I've seen people with psoriasis and eczema, but it doesn't really look the same. I'm really hoping for an allergic reaction to something. It will be my fault, but at least it will be fixable.

    Bryan, this is true. But that's because dogs want to taste everything. I don't know why. But my dog is also a picky eater. She won't eat milk bones or most dog foods, so I doubt she'd eat kitty litter.

  5. I said it before, and I'll say it again: Poor Sausage! I REALLY hope you'll be able to take him home and help him before he dies of the many health complications involved with obesity. So sad!

    I agree with George. Choo Choo's skin problem sounds a LOT like psoriasis. Weird. Hopefully Dr. Kevin Spacey will be able to figure out something quickly.

    Your May sounds a lot like our June. It seems like every other week is someone's birthday. It's crazy! Lots of cake, ice cream, and gift buying.

    PS: Happy (late-ish) Birthday to Choo Choo! I hope she had a fun day! :)

  6. Poor thing. I'm going to get him some real healthy treats that are good for his teeth (because they need to be cleaned). And a toy. Every dog needs a really good squeaky toy and he doesn't have any and that might help keep him active. Heaven knows Choo Choo gets more exercise wrestling with her toys than she does any other way...

    Can dogs get psoriasis? Since it struck so suddenly I thought maybe it was just an allergic reaction to something. Isn't psoriasis a long term condition?

    There's always the ONE month in EVERY family that is just marked for insanity...

    PS. She got an oatmeal bath (to soothe her skin) and a new toy.

  7. chanel! my favorite blogger. glad to see you're still active. haven't been on in a while.

    haha i love that name. sausage. have you posted any pics of sausage before? i want to see :D

  8. I've heard brains do a lot for the complexion, especially when peeling, just ask your local Zombie.

    Thank you, New York. Goodnight!

  9. Arcita, I was wondering where in the wide interwebz you'd wandered off to for the last...oh, month or so. Maybe longer. Time seems supsended here on blogger.

    Favorite blogger? Nah. You just like coming here because you never know what I'm going to go on about next. Or if you'll walk straight into a brick wall of pink awesomeness.

    I think I put up a picture of Sausage and Padawan a LONG while back, but he wasn't NEARLY as chubby then as he is now. I'll have to take a new picture of him and post it. I also think I called him by his real name then, which is Scooter not Sausage, but I call him Sausage because he's shaped like one.

    Scott for the win! And I thought I was the only one going around relating everything to Zombies!

    Though I do think the peeling skin is actually sped up by the brains. Since Zombies are kind of falling apart. Or they are in most movies. In a gross way.

  10. I don't know if dogs can get psoriasis. It's an autoimmune disorder as I understand it, so maybe they can. Yes, it is usually more of a long-term thing, but it's long-term as in life-long, I don't know if its onset is sudden or gradual...

    But like you said, Choo Choo's condition could just be a bad reaction to something external, like you said. But definitely let us know for sure when Dr. Kevin Spacey has finished those tests!

  11. I didn't know psoriasis was autoimmune. But I suppose if it IS autoimmune than a dog could get it. Lupus can strike suddenly and it's autoimmune, so maybe psoriasis would work the same way.

    Oh, I will either be excitedly blogging about a simple solution, or sadly saying she has something that will need to be handled forever. Either way, you guys will know.

  12. Oooooh, I hope she will be okay. *fingers crossed big time* And I absolutely loathe by-product crap they put in dog food. I'm glad you label-read--it's an absolute necessity, isn't it?

    Did you see the Mavs sweep the Lakers? I'm so proud of 'em. What an incredible series...well...if your a Mavs fan or a Lakers hater, I reckon. lol

  13. It is necessary. You wouldn't feed that stuff to yourself, why feed it to your beloved companion/furry child?

    No, I didn't but I heard all about it and I say YAY for the Mavs. The Lakers can SUCK a lemon!

  14. Well, I went and looked and our dog food starts with yellow corm meal and soy meal. It doesn't get to the gluten and the by products until a little later in the list so I guess it isn't so bad for them. (sigh) But now that I'm aware of it, we'll have to switch brands to something better. Pfui. I need to get a little weight off Daisy before summer hits full stream anyway. DJ is still a pup and runs all of her excess off but Daisy is old and lazy and doesn't get around as well. It will be hard to put her on a diet and not make her think we are starving her to death. She likes eating almost as much as she likes sleeping.

  15. I bet you five gajillion dollares choo-choo would eat cat poop if given half a chance.

  16. Darev, well I didn't mean to make you worry about what you feed your dogs. I'm just saying that I'm neurotic and obsessive enough to check. Although diet foods that have those things in them aren't any better than non diet foods so if you want your dog to lose weight it's best to switch. Don't dogs normally lose weight in the summer naturally though? I don't think Daisy will notice too much if you give her the same amount of a healthy food. She'd still lose weight. But old dogs are, I think, entitled to a little laziness. You should put up pictures of your dogs. I want to see them!

    Doug, there's no such thing as a "gajillion dollares", let alone five gajillion. And how could we possibly test that? I don't have a cat!

  17. POOR SAUSAGE. I am so saddened by this. Dear Clueless: EXERCISE YOUR FREAKING DOG OR YOU WON'T HAVE A DOG ANY MORE. I'm so glad you're being proactive about this...I mean, I'm generally all for letting people do what they do, but not when a living creature's life is at stake.

  18. I've never really paid attention to ingredients in dog food. Once we were broke, I bought the cheapest dog food I could find...I think it was called Hunter's Choice. My poor dog had the shits and omfg the WORSE gas ever. You would even HEAR his tummy rumbling!

  19. Nicki, Master Plo Koon said that he took Sausage out for a long, long walk yesterday. Of course, when you're a kid a long walk probably means like ten minutes, but at least SOMEBODY is trying to remedy the situation. I think that between Master Plo Koon and my new determination to save that dog, he'll probably get better.

    Asha, I can understand wanting to cut corners where you can when you're broke. There was a time when I couldn't afford to buy Choo Choo's greenies AND her dog food, so I sacrificed her teeth for six months. Saved me thirty dollars a month, which helped. Poor think it smelled bad! He's got Super Smelling! But at least you fed him. Some people just stop feeding their animals regularly...which is shameful and cruel. If money is THAT hard to come by they shouldn't own pets!

  20. I'm thinking about posting some pics of the house and stuff anyway. I'll get a few shots of the girls to throw in as well. They are quite a pair.

  21. Yay! Soon! Soon! Soon! (Saying it three times makes you more likely to do it.)


My Shelfari Bookshelf

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog