“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” – Emily Dickinson
We have 2 dogs, Bentley and Pepper. They came to us back in 2006 via Missouri and Kansas. We decided it was time to get a pet, we didn’t think a cat was our style and after reading a bit it became clear that a dog, or dogs would be a good fit. The reason we got 2 was because of further reading, I forgot where, that they keep each other company while we’re not around. In this post I’ll give you how we got the beasties, learn how to deal with diabetes and more.
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We went to the local pet shop, saw the doggie in the window and couldn’t imagine paying those prices and opt’d for a different route, Puppy Find. There you will find a huge assortment of every kind of 4 legged puppy imaginable. Also, here’s a tip, if you’re having a ‘meh’ day, click on those puppies and you’ll get over that feeling quick.
We realized there we could get 2 for the price of one locally. Ok – yes, we ‘paid’ for them. This was before the huge social push to adopt from shelters. When we get another dog we’ll do what’s socially right and go to a shelter for a rescue. We’ll make it right on the next pet.
Training wasn’t too difficult, we watched tons of episodes of the Dog Whisper and learned a bunch from Caesar. We also did some reading on how to get the puppies to potty outside instead of on the carpet in the living room. Yes, there is some work but if you’re committed to getting the dog you need to also commit to training the dog and train yourself.
After a few months we realized that our condo wasn’t really the right place for 2 dogs and thought having a home with a closed in yard would be great for them and us. We went on the hunt for a home and found our current address. Smallish back yard with fence and gate for the security. It has grass and a patio area for the beasties to run and be dogs. We even installed a dog door for them to go out when they need/want to. Walking around the neighborhood is also easy, it’s quiet and the natives are mostly friendly.
Aside from the usual vet visits we’ve had a few emergencies over the years. Like when we first moved in Bentley cut his foot on some metal in the yard, stitches required. Bentley again cut another foot while we were living over in London, more stitches. He also swallowed something he couldn’t ‘pass’ so that required surgery to remove it. He seems to be over all the problems now. Pepper has been the easy one until last summer.
We went on a family trip to Hawaii and left our doggies with a house/dog sitter we found on House Sitters of America website. This is another blog post about their service. Anyway, we returned after a week and noticed how much weight Pepper had lost. It didn’t seem too scary at first but after a few days I noticed she wasn’t exactly her normal self. A vet visit confirmed she had developed type 2 diabetes. We were shocked that this could or did happen to one of ours. She went from 25 pounds down to 17. The vet prescribed insulin shots twice daily and didn’t recommend changing her diet. But I panicked and did some online reading.
The New Normal
We tried to maintain a home cooked regime but after nearly 10 months I decided to switch to a recommended dry food. Nulo Lentil and Cod. A social media group dedicated to diabetic dog owners has steered me to this brand and mix and it’s helped on both sides of the equation. Nulo brand has several different mixes for different dog types!
Pepper loves the food, no hesitation to eating it. Bentley loves it too and his last vet visit it was recommended that he loose a pound or two. This mix is for senior dogs, it’s labeled ‘Adult Trim’.
I’m recommending this not only for our diabetic dog, but for the senior dogs who are looking a little pudgy. Measuring it out per the recommended serving size will help your best buddy look better in a matter of weeks. We add some Evangers Nothing Else (Pork link), they have a nice variety and the beasties like them all.
Oh we also use Pure Bites dog treats, they offer several different freeze dried one ingredient treat.
Pepper is doing great on this food, her glucose numbers are holding steady and we’ve not had any complications after 3 months on it. Fingers crossed that she’ll continue to do well and live a long, happy life with us. She’s a fighter!
Our new normal is what we call the “Pepper Clock” and sticking to a schedule and serving amount. This is recommended by both our old and new vet as well as many of the people on the social media group I’m a part of.
If you have any questions about these brands, let me know!