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Today in My History

2000:  I'm Sick!
2001:  Because
2002: 
A Sticky Situation
2003: 
This Feels Familiar
2004: 
Rip Van Winkle
2005
Always on the Edge of a Scream

2006: The Zen of Shopping
2007: The Dumbing of America


IN MY OPINION
It's About Tim
e

Books Read in 2008
 
Updated: 9/10
"Hannah's Dream" 


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ANTABUSE

20 November 2008

There is a scene in A Star Is Born, toward the end.  Norman Maine (James Mason) is making his first public outing after being released from an alcohol rehab place.  He goes into the racetrack and gets into a fight with a guy he thought was his friend.  He goes to the bar and asks for a double Scotch.  He drinks it down and then hunches over the bar, kind of doing this dry retching business.

From years of typing for The Psychiatrist, I know about Antabuse, the medication they give to people with drinking problems which makes them very sick if they drink alcohol, so they quickly learn not to drink (or so the theory goes).

I just found out that I have doggie Antabuse sitting in my own pantry.

When I was at Cousins Day, I was bemoaning the fact that Nicki eats her own poop.  In fact, when she was accidentally locked outside for a couple of hours, after dark, I suspect she was eating all the poop she could find.  (Walt wants to know what happens to all that injested poop?  Is it just recycled back out again?)

Peach told me about a couple of products she knew that you could mix in with a dog's food that would prevent her from eating poop.   I guess it makes it smell undesirable or something.  (Of course how that works with a dog who doesn't seem to be able to smell the way other dogs do is not clear).

Today I spoke with a dog trainer, who is going to come tomorrow and work with me and Nicki and give me some pointers about how to deal with her...more on that in a bit.  She said that yes, there are products out there that may work, but the thing she found that was the most effective was adding a couple of chunks of pineapple to the dog's food.

Peach had mentioned frozen pineapple as well. 

Fortunately, I had just bought a big box of pineapple at Costco, so I have lots of it on hand and will begin right away adding pineapple to the diet and see if it works.  There is nothing like picking up a sweet little puppy who goes to lick you and smells like feces! (Especially with a dog whose feces are as...uh...fragrant...as Nicki's are.)  I may have to revise my statement that a really sweet smell is "puppy breath."

I had a long chat with Casey, the dog trainer.  She spent time with Nicki the one day Nicki went to obedience class (and freaked out again).  She's going to come here tomorrow and spend some time with us, on Nicki's home turf, to help me work with her in a more effective manner.

It was as refreshing to speak with Casey about Nicki as it was to speak with my ophthalmologist about my "bad eye."   Dr. Heinz was able to explain to me why it was that I couldn't see with my "bad eye."  He was the first person who understood what I meant when I said that I didn't use it for vision.  After 65 years, how refreshing it was to speak with a doctor who understood what I was telling him.

It's the same with Casey.  Ashley understands what Nicki is doing and has been pretty accurate in her assessment.   Casey has the experience to understand exactly the problem.  It is her theory that Nicki's problem is not that she has vision problems or hearing problems or smelling problems, but that she has some sort of defect in the occipital lobe of her brain.   This would control how her brain perceives the impulses that it gets.  That would explain why sometimes she seems to see just fine and other times she can't figure out that the door of her cage is standing wide open.  It would explain why she turns away from a swab of alcohol held under her nose (which the neurology doctor did to her to show that she can smell), but why she can't sniff any treats that I hold for her.   It would explain why she can't hear me if I call her, but can hear me if I clap for her.  It would explain why she seems to be able to function less well when she's stressed than she can otherwise.

It's going to be interesting to work with Casey tomorrow. 

She also feels that the way to find Nicki the perfect home is to put out a call to vet students, especially people who work in Neurology, who will understand what may be going on in that little  head of Nicki's and will be able to see her for the sweet little dog she is, even with her problems.   I know that person is out there.  Somewhere.

In the meantime, I'm going to freeze some pineapple chunks and see if we can at least get rid of one of her annoying ideosyncracies!

PHOTO OF THE DAY

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