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Friday, August 19, 2011

No Such Thing As a Free Dog

Heed my warning, all ye who may pass this way:
Do NOT believe anyone who offers you a "free" dog!
She may be cute. And cuddly. And sweet as a baby.
You have GOT to stay focused and repeat after me:
"There's no such thing as a free dog."
"There's no such thing as a free dog."
"There's no such thing as a free dog."

How, you might be asking, have I obtained such a jaded view of the world?
Well, if you haven't already, meet Butter...

I've never really been a mushy pet person. (People who know where I work in real life are probably snickering right now.) As someone who grew up with farm dogs that wouldn't have dared let a paw cross the threshold of our front door, I was a bit hesitant to welcome an indoor pooch into our house. But, let's face it:  I was sure to lose this war with everyone else in my family envisioning cuddling in front a fireplace with a dog. So I relented.

She came into our lives a few years ago, when her original family moved and couldn't keep her any longer. The dad loved Butter so much. In fact, we had to be pre-screened, then interview over the phone so he could make sure we'd provide a good home for his beloved pup.

Based on that, I'm sure you wouldn't be surprised to know that this turned out to be an open adoption, including visitation rights. Yes, the original family still comes to see her when they are in town visiting family. Oh, yeah. And we send pictures periodically, so they can keep up with how she's doing. (They really are great people, and we count them as friends now.)

Now, fast-forward a few years and I've really come to appreciate that no, Virginia, there is no such thing as a free dog.

During her most recent trip to see the veterinarian, as a result of incessant scratching of her ear that caused a hematoma, our dear Butter has been diagnosed with allergies.

In a dog?

Yes, says the DVM. Probably her food, but we need to figure out the source for sure.

Can't we just give her some Claritin or something? I asked.

The best approach is to determine the source of the allergies. We need to start with the food. Prescription food.

Yeah, new food. New food that costs a mere $3.58 a pound!!! Doesn't she realize this 86-pound canine eats about 45 pounds of food a month???? I can feed her boneless pork loin for less.
I don't spend that much on food for my kids.

I think it stands to reason that the dog would develop allergies, too. Since everyone else in the house seems to have increasingly bothersome allergies... including LittleD, who has developed an allergy to the dog!
Is it possible to find a winner in this situation??
Maybe Butter is allergic to the daughter...

So, I'm asking around and getting some other opinions and input for our options.
Meanwhile, poor Butter had to get that hematoma drained and stitched up
So now, she's looking a little pathetic with one ear bandaged to her head...

Poor girl's going to be miserable Cone Head Dog for a few days. I feel so bad for her. Poor thing.

That's what I'm thinking as I pay the bill at the front desk. That, and:

"There's no such thing as a free dog."


  1. We had a dog be allergic to flea medicine. Had to give it benedryl.

  2. Maybe it's something about labs. We had a lab mix with allergies at one time.

    But you are absolutely right! Our dog is 9 years old and I just went to the vet with her the other day. I hated paying the bill even though she's been a good dog over the years. Yet, I find myself looking forward to the day she passes on to her doggie heaven and we have one less bill to pay! Am I calloused or just a penny pincher looking for some aging expendable? Times are tough everywhere, I guess!

  3. Been there myself. It is hard not to go with what the Vet says Good Luck

  4. LOVE the new look of your page!

    I feel your pain. Our Sadie is not an indoor dog, but I take her for shots every year, something my hubby was not used to doing. He has a more Darwinian approach to pets, but I told him with the girls around and their friends coming around, everyone needs to be up on their shots. May have to check HIS record one of these days! ;-)

  5. Years ago, a very sick little cat showed up on our porch. We took her to our vet, who found that she was near starvation, but he thought he could save her. Poor little thing didn't make it, didn't even have a name, but I was glad the vet gave it a try. Then I received a bill for $230.