The State of the Shepherd

Uschi’s on Prednisone for a bit to help with the allergy inflammation and it is truly bizarre. She has a lot of the normal side effects, like increased drinking and urination. But for the most part, she’s just been sleepy. My running theory on this is that perhaps she hasn’t been sleeping well because of the itchiness and now she has some relief. Honestly, though, I have no idea.

In any case, she definitely seems to be doing better. The inflammation isn’t gone, but does seem to be steadily clearing up as far as I can tell. Her new vet will be stopping by later this month to check in and reassess so we’ll know more then.

For now, I’m happy to finally have some concrete improvement with these allergies. I’m sure Uschi feels the same.

House Call

Uschi lying on the sofa looking a bit forlorn

Uschi spent most of the morning hiding under my bed. I can only guess this was because she was fully aware of her vet appointment today. She’s been having issues with her eyes again, but this visit was more specifically to get her anal glands expressed.

Unfortunately, last year she’d had this done and it was not a pleasant experience in the least. Uschi has always been strangely aware of her rear end. She doesn’t necessarily mind it being touched, but she always reacts. And I’m sure coupled with the discomfort of having full anal glands, it is not a pleasant experience to have them poked at. I warned the vet about this, and very strongly suggested I accompany her in the back because of this. He wouldn’t let me and when he came back he was cagey about what exactly happened. I don’t know if he was unaccustomed to shepherds and how ridiculously dramatic they can be about everything1 or if he actually hurt her, but she was very freaked by the experience.

Anyway, for this and several other reasons Uschi’s seeing a new vet now. It’s actually really awesome for me because the vet does home visits!2 It was still a rather awful experience for Uschi, but her anal glands are done now and hopefully she’ll be the happier for it. She’s also on new meds for the inflammation around her eyes.

  1. I’m sure she whined and jumped around and was completely uncooperative, much like Yara is with nail cutting.
  2. We were only seeing the other vet because our original vet had moved to a different practice and it is a bit beyond my travel ability.

Cone of Shame

The first time I ever put boots on a dog was also the only time Dolly ever wore them. We made the unfortunate mistake of having her in the kitchen1 where the linoleum floor provided no traction. There she stood in the middle of the kitchen, feet splayed out under her, slowly sinking to the ground with a look of pure hurt and betrayal on her face. It was evident even as we were putting each boot on that Dolly didn’t think we were adding a layer of protection to her feet, but rather methodically removing each paw.

That’s pretty much how Uschi is reacting to having an E-collar. She can’t understand the rest of her body is still around. It’s the most pathetic and hilarious thing ever. She literally can’t comprehend how to do the most basic tasks, like turning around or lying down. And when she isn’t utterly baffled by her missing body parts, she’s desperately trying to outsmart the collar in attempts to rid herself of it. She’s tried backing up through the entire house, rolling over and being adorable, and just looking disgruntled:

Uschi lying on her bed in my bedroom, looking rather disgruntled about the E-collar she's sporting

Lucky for her she’s only forced into the dreaded thing at night. The hope is that she’ll not only stop licking and chewing and scratching the various places she’s irritated because of her allergic itchiness, but also allow the new ointment I have some ability to settle in on that raw patch by her eye.

  1. Because it was one of the larger open areas in the house

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

The problem with blogging more consistently after a long stretch of inactivity and/or sporadic updates is that often everyone has moved on and it feels a lot like you’re talking to yourself. It’s like starting over from the very beginning with gathering readers. It’s harder now, too, because personal blogs have become almost obsolete in the wake of social media and so if you aren’t maintaining an active and very specific blog you’re just not interesting enough to people. Of course, I’ve never put much stock into booming stats or having tons of comments so it’s not all that different for me. Still, it does feel a bit lonely here sometimes. Maybe I should spruce up the design or something.

Anyway, aside from the brief mention of my major depression I haven’t yet gone into detail about my decline in posting. Of particular note to many is that there haven’t been any new photos here in months, which goes in direct contradiction to my proposed plans for getting more serious about my photography. In fact, you might have noticed that it’s been over a year since I had portraits taken, too. Why? Follow the jump or scroll on to find out, but fair warning to those with weak stomachs.

[Read more…]


I think I caught a cold. I’ve been feeling like I have a head cold all week, but I have been so sleep deprived and stressed that I wasn’t sure if it was just that. Add in that my cousin has a pretty nasty cold and that I spent a good portion of last night freezing I wasn’t surprised to wake up with the nasal-drip-induced sore throat and runny nose.

Celebrated my friend Greg’s birthday last night. Glad I went out, since all I’ve been doing is wallowing. Other than the freezing part, I had a great time.

Uschi has her annual this morning. Figure the vet can give her a flea bath if she finds any more fleas. I haven’t noticed any more bites on myself, though I did have dreams of things crawling all over my skin. I’m hoping that the ones I saw yesterday just hopped on from being at my grandmother’s. I checked all the usual haunts on her body for infestations and/or eggs and other than a single piece of flea dirt here and there I didn’t find anything alarming. She’s itchy, but that isn’t too surprising given how much I was bit up. At least when they bite her they should die!

Never got a hold of my dad yesterday so no clue what’s up with Yara. I’m assuming she’s better since she’s on Prednisone again. She’s probably peeing like a racehorse and eating like a cow. Just hoping that they caught it soon enough that she doesn’t develop a hot spot because those are just such a pain.

Tonight is Jeff’s memorial service. I have no words.