NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - After 18 years of service, U.S. Army Sgt. Colleen Starkey rarely left her home. With post traumatic stress disorder, she said the flashing lights, the television and the fire alarm at the elementary school across the street would act as triggers, leaving her haunted with memories and sounds of war.
NORTH VERSAILLES, Pa. - Eleven dogs greet visitors at the door of the lovely 115-year-old Victorian house. There's a lot of slow-motion tail wagging but very little barking and no jumping up and down. Most of the dogs have a lot of white around their muzzles, several limp a bit, and some have the rheumy eyes that come with great age.
Terry has received some bad news about his dog, Brodie, who has been diagnosed with lymphoma. About two weeks ago Terry was playing with Brodie and rough housing with him around his head. Terry felt two masses under the dog’s neck and immediately scheduled an appointment to see his veterinarian.
Ken and Susan contacted me recently concerning the escalating tensions among their three terriers living in the house. All lovely and outstanding personalities and manners individually, but their younger female has begun to challenge – and fight – with the older male and female.
Ellen from Modesto is the caretaker for Sassy, a 4-year-old tabby cat that Ellen loves dearly. Ellen is also pregnant and has concerns about being pregnant while living with a cat. Sassy is entirely indoors and Ellen has heard – without much detail – about problems that can occur to babies because of the mother’s exposure to cats during their pregnancy. She would like to understand any potential problems and risks.
Practically anyone with a dish towel, an empty beer can, a little kibble and whole lot of patience can teach a dog to fetch a beer.
Ivy Kite, though, will go you one better: The 3-year-old Australian Shepherd can happily retrieve the single bottle of Olde Mecklenburg Brewery Copper from a fridge otherwise full of Heinekens. (Because even dogs know craft beer is better.)
Molly is a 3-year-old Yorkshire terrier who lives with Fran and her husband, Bill, in Modesto. Molly spends most of her time indoors never far from Fran or Bill and has had no health problems until about four months ago.
Renal disease is most often put into two categories based on onset of the disease. One form is called acute, which comes on quickly and can be devastatingly fast in its progression to death. The other is chronic, which implies a slower onset.
Did the Easter Bunny hop on over and deliver more than just chocolate to your house this year? Did he leave a little furry critter behind? Spring is baby animal season, and while it can be difficult to resist adding a small pet to your Easter basket, once the initial surprise and attention wanes, there is still the responsibility of proper care of the new family pet.
Erin from Turlock takes care of Bondo, a 10-year-old cat that lives entirely inside his house. Recently, Erin has noticed Bondo making many more trips to the litter box to urinate and there have been times when blood was noted in the urine. Erin, thank you for your very detailed letter. The more details the better when it comes to figuring out a possible cause for what is disturbing our companions
Fran and her 7-month-old dog named Wally are from Eureka. Wally is a large dog, about 80 pounds, and has developed a limp in his right rear leg. She has noticed him limping on and off for about two weeks, and lately it has gotten a bit more severe.
Turtle has been having diarrhea on and off for the last three months. She has been treated several times with various medications at least some of which, according to Anne, were antibiotics. The medications have had varying degrees of success in lessening the diarrhea, none have completely eliminated it. Turtle is a 10-year-old tabby kitty.
Many animal lovers across the nation know exactly who Dr. Marty Becker, DVM, is. An author of more than 20 pet-related books, the resident veterinary contributor on “Good Morning America” for 17 years, the chief veterinary correspondent on Animal Radio and, well, I could go on and on. Becker has spent his life caring for pets and their people.
Phyllis is a loyal reader who wrote in with a question concerning her cat, Mathilda. The 12-year-old indoor cat has slowed down quite a bit in the past year or so. She seems to be eating and drinking well, but she sleeps more than she used to and has trouble jumping onto furniture, something she used to do with minimal effort. Phyllis thinks it’s probably due to arthritis and advancing age. She has read about treatment for arthritis in dogs but wonders what she can use to treat her cat.
Andrea from Allentown, Pa., has a Queensland heeler named Jake. Jake is 8 years old and in very good condition, according to Andrea. Recently, he has developed a lump on the underside of his neck and she has noticed it getting a bit larger in the last few weeks. Andrea points out that this lump does not appear painful or to affect Jake in any way. She wants to know what she should do.
One of the smartest things I ever did was to get into dog sports. I’m naturally a competitive person, so that was a draw, but mostly it was about developing a strong bond with my dog through lots of training and practice, and being around people who were just as crazy about dogs as I was. When I started decades ago (I won’t reveal how many!), dog sports were open only to registered pure-bred dogs; now most are open to mixed breeds as well.
Marsha, from Sonora, has a 7-year-old cat named Tiger with a persistent cough that has become more frequent over the last few weeks. There are times during these coughing episodes when Tiger will hunch his back and seems to hide in certain areas in the house. He also sometimes acts as though it is hard to breathe in between coughs. Could this be allergies?
Kyle from Modesto writes in to express some frustration he is having trying to get some weight off his dog, AJ. AJ is an 8-year-old Basset hound who has become quite overweight. Kyle had AJ neutered about 18 months ago and it seems AJ has gotten heavier ever since. Even with the use of a “lite” formula diet, AJ has continued to put on weight and Kyle is concerned.
Practically anyone with a dish towel, an empty beer can, a little kibble and whole lot of patience can teach a dog to fetch a beer. Ivy Kite, though, will go you one better: The 3-year-old Australian Shepherd can happily retrieve the single bottle of Olde Mecklenburg Brewery Copper from a fridge otherwise full of Heinekens. (Because even dogs know craft beer is better.)
Video by T.Ortega Gainesogaines@charlotteobserver.com
Meet Ivy, the beer fetching, picture painting Australian Shepherd
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