Monday, November 28, 2005
When I’m working, Ebbey lays on a foam bed looking out the window. This year, we’re living in a house with a big back deck. My landlord has several bird feeders which also feeds a number of resident mice. I’m amazed at the size of some of the younger rodents. Though proportioned like adults, one was about the size of a large lima bean with a tiny tail to match.
After a week long cold spell, the mice population has significantly declined. They may have frozen to death or were likely eaten by magpies or a cat.
After being away all day, I walked Ebbey when I returned. Though with a baby sitter, she has started refusing to eat when I am gone or asleep. Plus she’s always really stressed out by the time I return and more naughty than normal. We met up with a really nice golden retriever. It was bitterly cold, but the two dogs played a bit. Though only a year apart in age, Ebbey was so eager to burn off the stress, she was down right obnoxious in her efforts to play with her new friend. Barking and running back and forth. The well behaved golden didn’t know what to make of her. It turns out the golden has very bad allergies and her health has suffered greatly because of it. This is her owner’s first dog and I felt so bad, not only because of the stress involved with a sickly pet, but the cost. Apparently the vets did not diagnose allergies for the first couple years and only medicated the symptoms. The poor dog has had several surgeries and lives on a daily regimen of steroids and a vegetarian diet. Guess I’m lucky that I quickly refused a similar type of treatment for Ebbey and went the homeopathic route. After the first round of vet’s pills and cortisone shot made no impact on Ebbey’s symptoms, I started to research her conditions. I have allergies myself and surprisingly Ebbey’s her symptoms were very close to my own. I started her on a homemade elimination diet and bathed her skin with a homemade anti itch formula. After 4 months of sleepless nights, dousing her skin and keeping her covered in old t-shirts, I finally got a couple foods she could eat - beef and brown rice. As she gradually improved, and her immune system strengthened, I would add one food a week and see if she reacted to it. Though there are only about 15 or 20 different foods she can eat with out a reaction, Ebbey is now a very healthy dog. Unfortunately, most people work away from home and are unable to deal with an allergic pet. It’s just good timing that I am making my first film and the dog is almost always with me so I can take care of her.
Friday, November 25, 2005
I Love all Dogs
Walking in an urban park, Ebbey was suddenly surrounded by a pack of roaming miniature fluffies. I’m unsure what kind of breed they were, but each fluffy white dog barely weighed 9 pounds (4kg). I don’t think the owner saw us, as he was suddenly alarmed to see his five fluffies dominating Ebbey’s 80 plus pounds (37kg).
Monday, November 21, 2005
Ebbey was found starving in a garbage dump and it took a number of months before her immune system improved. She would vomit up to seven times a day, unless fed every few hours. Because of this, and even though Ebbey is now very healthy, I am always scared when she doesn’t eat. I’ve even gone as far as hand feeding her, just enough to prevent her from vomiting up bile.
She gets fed three times a day and because of allergies, has a very small list of foods she can eat. Her meals consist of either .4 pounds (180 grams) of cooked ground beef, elk or bison plus brown rice. At dinner time she also gets a tablespoon of ground broccoli and jicama which is a Mexican type potato. Plus a clove of minced garlic and a tablespoon of olive oil. As of late, Ebbey has become increasingly disinterested in her limited diet. So I’ve been adding a bit of ground beef liver to one or two meals per day. Once or twice weekly she gets a large tablespoon of raw pumpkin, millet and blueberries on occasion. Though mildly allergic, I also try to give her a couple tablespoons of salmon or sardines once or twice a week. Turkey is also good except that she will start scratching if given more than twice a week. Most every other food causes a reaction. She also gets ground vitamins, though I have to be careful there as well for allergies. So unless the meat is freshly prepared she gets a bit picky and refuses to eat or expects to be hand fed.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Big Bad Trucks
Found starving in a garbage dump, Ebbey lived as a stray for an unknown period of time. Even inside a house, she becomes frightened at the sound of a pickup truck. Feral dogs were used as target practice, where she was rescued, so I imagine the guys that were shooting at her may have driven trucks.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Coyote or Not
Likely attacked when she was starving in a garbage dump, Ebbey is now much larger and has developed a hate on for coyotes. Some urban coyotes are very bold, realizing that leashed urban dogs are no threat. I’ve often had them follow me and the dogs, despite Ebbey’s kill all coyote screaming barks.
The coyote is often spotted watching us from behind. Ebbey now hesitates to sniff and watch, before attack barking, because though it looks like a coyote, it could be a dog.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
More Elevated Mice
Though at risk of being eaten by magpies, mice have been climbing up and eating from a railing mounted bird feeder. Especially when the temperatures drop.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
My Teeth are Fine
My first vet was very proactive when it comes to dogs and stressed the need to keep a dog’s teeth clean. He sold me a tooth scaler which I used for my first dog and now for Ebbey. Though very stubborn in other ways, Ebbey seems to understand that her teeth need to be cleaned and has always allowed me to scale the tartar. I wish she was as patient when it comes to cutting her nails. Ridgebacks have very fast growing nails which need to be cut every week. Weekly cuttings are becoming more and more difficult.