Friday, July 22, 2016

My 1994 Flea Infestation From Hell #12Bravecto

I hate fleas. But then again, who doesn't, so let's move on.

In 1994, newly married (but before human kids) and with our four pets (three cats and a dog), I experienced the worst indoor bug incident of my entire life: near death by fleas. OK, maybe death wasn't so near as eventual, but still. The fleas were EVERYWHERE, and in legions (Lord of the Rings legions, y'all). Pinhead sized demons, they were, and out for a blood meal (x 184,277, give or take).

So, being superior beings, my husband and I annihilated them. It was horrible.

It was HORRIBLE. I've heard this story before. 

This post is sponsored by BRAVECTO® and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help share information about BRAVECTO.  But we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Neither Intervet Inc., nor Merck & Co Inc., are responsible for the content of this article and have not written, reviewed, or edited it in any fashion. For more information about BRAVECTO please click here

Let me back up for a bit.


Reminder: This was 1994 (pets didn't have modern conveniences as they do today, nor did humans have as much information available about external parasites).

The cats were indoors only (apartment life) until the one day I got the bright idea to take Buster (my squishy brown tabby cat) out on a leash. To avoid dragging him down the sidewalk, I carried him into the yard and placed him on the grass. About 15 minutes later, he stood up, took a few steps toward a bush and sat down again. This went on for several days, until eventually, I surrendered and plopped down in the grass beside him. And though I can't remember what we talked about, I'm sure it was life-altering (Buster was my soul cat for 16 years).

Did you know she had a soul cat for 16 years?

Anyway, since we hadn't really done anything but sit in the front yard, Buster's occasional but lusty scratching never fazed me. Cats itch sometimes; no big deal (plus he was wearing a flea collar, so there was that).

Two months (and a pet-sitter; my husband and I both had jobs that required weekly out-of-town commutes) later...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Broken Chihuahua on Way to Wellness: Perfect Nutrition Meets Mange #GrainFreeForMe & Lele

Broken Chihuahua on Way to Wellness: Perfect Nutrition Meets Mange #GrainFreeForMe & Lele
This is my foster dog, Lele. 

Besides the two and a half-square inch, balding, reddish blotch in the center of her back, you wouldn't know it...that four months ago, Lele had been returned by her adoptive family to the city animal shelter, broken down in body and spirit: completely covered in thick, oily scales that both smelled rancid, and had caused her fawn colored coat to fall out in patches.

Not having seen her at her absolute worst (she'd been receiving treatment for several days before I picked her up at the shelter), I even have a hard time picturing her in that condition. In the time she's been in my care--with vigilant use of medicated shampoos and creams, ear cleaners, myriad prescription medications, veterinary consultations, and the best flipping food ever (grain free Wellness® CORE® Wild Game recipe kibble), besides the persistent itching, icky ears and previously mentioned back blotch, she looks pretty darn good today!

But, y'all! Before I go any further, I need to tell you something: As disclosed, I was compensated to write this post, including with a three-month supply of Wellness CORE dry dog food for Lele to try. Turns out, one 26-lb bag (my initial supply) is more than plenty to feed a 10.5-lb chihuahua, who eats 1/4 cup of kibble twice a day, for three months (more like four). I was BLOWN AWAY, then, when at the beginning of June, the FedEx guy dropped another 52 lbs of Wellness CORE food for Lele on my front porch! And if that wasn't enough, a few days later, FedEx guy brought us a full-size bag of Wellness CORE Air Dried food (tender little protein bites) to use as a topper for her kibble. All math computed, that's a whole YEAR's worth of food supplied by Wellness for Lele! After spending a small fortune on her vet visits and private pharmacy this year, I would be remiss not to shout how grateful we are!

Too tired from all the chowing down to lift her head.
Check out all the CORE food Lele got*! Thank you, Wellness!
* I purchased the rest, including the CORE protein bar treats.

Turns out WellPet Foundation--the charitable arm of Wellness Natural Pet Food--reaches out to help people and their animals in need a lot, including (in partnership with PetSmart Charities) a recent donation of 95,700 lbs of pet food to Alberta, Canada fire victims.

High paw, indeed!

But back to Lele and the state of her outward appearance...

Deranged food-eyes are totally normal and could be construed as a sign of wellness (at least a healthy appetite). 

Since I wrote parts one and two of this series, her coat (where it's not thinning) has gained luster and softness, and the only "fragrance" wafting from her these days is, well, simply "eau de chihuahua." And for a 10-year-old, her spirit is more like a girl's half her age: from bossing the corgis around, to admonishing a golden retriever who was minding his own beeswax in the lobby of the vet's office last time, my old girl still has plenty of fire left in her crackers!

Don't count her out of recreational activities, either: leaping and zooming around the house after walks and baths, and at the moment she realizes her next meal is coming, is a daily occurrence. She's even into the occasional play bow, and just yesterday, she tried to shake Bertie's stuffed goldfish into oblivion (the fish survived).

Lele is resilient. And all things considered, enjoys life.

And I can't tell you how badly her vet and I are hoping she has Sarcoptic mange!

Friday, June 10, 2016

How to Trim Your Unrealistic, Pre-Blogging Conference To-Do List so You Don't Hurl #BlogPaws

No need to get your hair all wound up in a dremel over pre-BlogPaws planning!
(Image credit: Me, 2 weeks before BlogPaws in 2013, aka crunch time, and I had not planned to get my hair
 cut short that year. The hair unwound, thankfully,
but the ends would never be the same. The dogs' nails, on the other hand, looked great.)

In a few days (I'm not counting, but 10.5), I'll be sitting on a Southwest Airlines jet, somewhere in the sky between Georgia and Arizona, stomach full of helium (figuratively) and head swirling like just beaten scrambled eggs. All my thoughts unintelligible...because I had to get out of bed at 3 a.m...nevertheless! I will have finished packing, and (save forgetting all the bloggers' names I've tried to memorize over the previous weeks, once I get to Phoenix) the planning phase of my fifth BlogPaws conference will have been a success, happily in my past. Leaving me to get on with making this conference my best ever... Thank God!

OK, OK, I know. Planning for a blogging conference (especially one to which one can bring pets, and wear leopard print every day, or sport a "Pugs, not Drugs" t-shirt without anyone giving a second thought, for example) can be crazy exciting. Jump-up-and-down-and-scare-one's-loved-ones exciting, if I'm being honest (especially if it's one's first time). But once the under-two-weeks-left-to-go mark hits, the task of finishing off one's to-do list can quickly morph from producing a fluttery, anticipatory feeling in one's stomach, to full-on shortness of breath and a sudden urge to hurl on the floor.


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