Thursday, February 7, 2013


Yesterday Mom took my brother Barry to Dr. Patricia's office, and she did not bring him home again.  And the reason she didn't was because while they were there, Barry went to the Rainbow Bridge.  Usually, when dogs go to the Rainbow Bridge, it is because they are sick, but Barry wasn't sick.  Barry was just pretty much his ordinary self, which means he kept attacking Nicky and biting him.  And sometimes Barry also attacked me.  But I have thicker hair and skin, so I did not get bites and need stitches like Nicky did.

Barry in his younger days,
before his muzzle turned all white.

A few weeks ago, like maybe three, Barry bit Nicky on the shoulder.  It was not a deep bite, so Mom just cleaned it up good and put some ointment on it.  But then, the very next night, when all of us dogs were getting ready to go out in the yard to potty, Nicky suddenly got totally freaked out by something.  We don't know what it was, exactly, but Mom thinks it might have been that Nicky saw Barry's reflection in the back door.  Of course, it doesn't take much to freak Nicky out, so it could have been almost anything.

But what happened was that Nicky whirled around and went galloping through the house and stumbling up the stairs.  And while he was doing all of this, he skinned up his knee and his heels, and he cut his front leg.  So Mom had to bandage the leg and take Nicky to see Dr. Vodraska the next day, and Nicky got four stitches.

Well, it took more than two weeks for that cut to heal up, and finally Nicky got his stitches out on Monday.  But he started licking the wound and he made it bleed again, so Mom put his muzzle back on him to keep him from messing with it.

That night we all went to bed about midnight, and then Nicky got up at 1:30 or so and started peeing on the rug in the hall. Mom heard him peeing, so she got out of bed to go clean it up.  But when she opened the closet door to get out a towel, Nicky suddenly bolted back into the bedroom.  Barry was right there inside the door, and maybe he thought Nicky was coming to attack him, so he defended himself by attacking first.  A lot of dogs might have done the same thing, but Barry had a special talent for this kind of "bite first and ask questions later" reaction.

Anyway, Barry bit Nicky in the side, and Nicky yelped, but he couldn't bite Barry back because he was wearing that muzzle thing to keep him from licking his other wound.  When Mom saw the bite wound, she thought it would have to have 8 or 10 stitches.  She tried to bandage it by wrapping the bandage all the way around Nicky's big greyhound ribcage, but the bandage didn't want to stay there.

So then Mom put her clothes on and loaded Nicky in the car and drove over to VCA Mission, which used to be called Mission MedVet, but we are almost used to the new name.  Mom ended up leaving Nicky there so he could get stitched up, and also so that Dr. Grigsby, the internist, could see him later that day when she came to work.  Then Mom came home, and we all went back to bed about 3:00 a.m.

Nicky's bite wound.  We think there are 10 stitches, but it's hard to tell.
That red skin is the petechia.

We slept just fine until about 5:00, when the emergency vet called to tell Mom that Nicky had a high temperature, and he seemed very nervous and stressed.  Well, Nicky is often nervous and stressed, so this was not big news, but the high temperature was.  The vet said they were giving him IV fluids and antibiotics.  She also said that Dr. Grigsby would call later, after she had seen Nicky.

Anyway, to make a long story a little bit shorter, Nicky stayed at the vet hospital all day Tuesday and also Tuesday night.  He got this stuff called petechia, which means that there were all sorts of little tiny blood vessels that were leaking blood, so it makes you look like you have a rash or a very bad sunburn.  Dr. Grigsby thought maybe it was probably the high temperature that first night, which went up to 109º, that gave Nicky the petechia.  She was worried that his blood wouldn't clot properly, but when they tested it, it did.

Mom told Dr. Grigsby that she could not go on having both Barry and Nicky in the same house, because it wasn't working out very well.  Mom didn't think either dog could be adopted by anybody else, and this was because Barry was 11 and had so many fear-aggression problems, and Nicky has so many physical problems.  And also, he is a totally weird and neurotic dog.  So Mom said maybe one dog should be put to sleep, and maybe it should be Barry.  And Dr. Grigsby agreed, except there was a little time when it seemed like Nicky might not get through this medical crisis, and in that case, maybe he was the one that should be put to sleep.

But by yesterday morning, Nicky was doing better, and Dr. Grigsby said he could go home.  So Mom made an appointment to take Barry to Dr. Patricia's office.  But she had time to take Barry and Mel for a walk, so Barry got to do that one last time, which I hope made him happy.

Barry at Shawnee Mission Park

Now Barry's not here, which is really strange because it seems like he has always been here.  And mostly he always followed Mom around because he was such a mama's boy.  He thought Mom needed protecting at all times, so he lunged at strangers and really scared them and even nipped some of them.  But he never ever growled at Mom, and he didn't bite her either, like Gabe did a couple of times.

Nicky is home now, but he is feeling lousy, which you can tell by just looking at him and listening to him pant.  His temperature went up yesterday evening, and it was 108º, so Mom called the emergency vet clinic, and they said to bring Nicky there, but Mom said she couldn't get him in the car because he was too heavy, and he was so shaky and weak that he couldn't even walk.

Poor Nicky.  You can see the petechia on his legs, too.

So they told Mom how to use cold compresses and a fan to cool him off and bring his temperature down.  Mom did this, and it worked, and it was lots cheaper than going back to the emergency clinic.


  1. Poor Barry. I am sure he did not really want to cause so many problems. I'm sure he's much happier now.


    1. I think you are right. Barry was just being a dog. He could not help it that he was born with a "fear" gene, and also he did not get very well socialized when he was a puppy. I miss him, but it's also kind of nice having Mom more to myself.

      Your friend, Piper

  2. Poor Barry. Sometimes aggression is a sign that they are sick in their head, so sometimes the best thing one can do is send them to Heaven. I am very sorry that you lost your brother, Piper. It isn't easy to lose a sibling, even if it is an animal sibling.

    I'm also very sorry Nicky is so injured. I hope he gets a lot of rest and heals soon. A dog can only put up with so much, you know? I hope your momma finds a solution to help with his pee pee problem.

    Zena used to do this and was on bladder pills for a while. Then we changed her diet to a frozen raw food diet (her food is expensive, but it is the very, very,very best doggy food available!) and she hasn't had a problem since. Her food is called Steward Fresh from Home Raw dog food. You can find it at some PetSmarts! Better diets are also good for disorders like yours and help with aggression!

    How are you doing? Is your disorder under control?

    1. Dear Katie,
      Thanks for your very nice comment and your sympathy. Nicky was eating a special diet of Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein because of his inflammatory bowel disease. But now he has gone to doggy heaven, too (which you can read about in my blog today), so we don't have to worry about his food anymore. Mom started feeding the rest of us something called California Natural Kangaroo and Red Lentils, which is totally yummy, if you ask me. Of course, I like any kind of food. I wish Mom would give me more of it, but she says I'm too pudgy already. Say "woof" to Zena for me!
      Your friend, Piper