As many of you know I have two mixed breed chihuahuas, Minnie Mae, and Louie Valentino. Minnie Mae is 11 ½ and Louie is 14 ½. For two weeks I’m also dog sitting my granddog, Hamlet who is also 14 ½. Because they’re considered to be “older dogs” they each have their own special food, meds, and health issues. But I love being a Doggie Mama and it keeps me sane, despite the challenges.
My daughter is on vacation in France, so she dropped off Hamlet who was the first dog we lived with as a couple before the other two came along. When my daughter moved out to go to school, she took him with her. We missed having a dog to greet us at the door, so my daughter took pity on me and showed up one day with Minnie Mae. Louie showed up not long afterward wandering the streets and we adopted him from a neighbor who worked all day and couldn’t give him the attention he needed.
Older dogs have health issues
Hamlet has a heart murmur and is taking heart medicine. Otherwise, he’s healthy. When my daughter dropped him off, she left instructions on what meds need to be given and when. He takes two heart pills, a probiotic, a chicken flavored powder and his own special dog food. Each pill needs to be cut into halves or fourths and inserted into a piece of a hot dog.
Louie was just diagnosed with canine diabetes. It’s not because he was eating sweet stuff. Diabetes in dogs is caused by problems with the pancreas. And because I’m his doggie mama, I have to give him insulin shots twice a day. I also take him to the vet regularly to check his glucose. Injecting insulin is awful. We have a system where he licks a spoon with a little of his wet food on it while I attempt to give him the shot.
Sometimes it goes smoothly and other times he yipes and jerks away. A couple of times I’ve stuck myself. You can’t do do-overs because the dosage will be off and it could be dangerous. I feel God awful when the shot goes wrong, but Louie always comes over and kisses me up to make me feel better. Still, I feel like a huge louse because it hurt him.
He’s always been an indoor pisher, so he wears a male wrap around the house. When his diabetes kicked in, he started peeing every 5 minutes and I had to order disposable diapers to go under his wrap. His medicine, thankfully, dried up that problem, but he still wears a diaper because we don’t trust him in our apartment.
Minnie Mae is healthy, but she’s had her bouts and not long ago I had to take her to the vet hospital because she had a bad case of the runs. (Like having to get up and take her out 5 times at night) I wear contacts so that meant I had to find my glasses, throw on some clothes and hope I didn’t trip over something in the dead of night.
We need “Medicare for all” for pets
Vet hospitals charge an arm and a leg, so I usually take the dogs to their regular vet, who is 20 minutes away from where we live. We didn’t switch vets when we moved because his office doesn’t try to gauge us every time our dogs have a problem. Vet hospital – $300 just to look at Minnie Mae and give her pills. Our vet – $200 to keep Louie all day and check his glucose. Even still, it always packs a wallop on my credit card that I’m trying desperately to pay down. I don’t have pet insurance, but I should probably look into it.
Walking three dogs is always fun too especially with 3 curious chihuahuas. One is always going in the opposite direction of the other two and I spend most of the walk trying to untangle them. It’s sort of hilarious, really. If Minnie Mae sees another dog walking nearby, she goes ballistic and turns into the Tasmanian Devil. I can never have a conversation with a neighbor because she thinks it’s her job to protect me. Occasionally she gets a crush on a dog and starts squealing to meet it. She’s a little weird that way but she’s my baby.
Pet supplies delivered to my door
I don’t know what I’d do without Chewy. It’s a fabulous online shopping site where I buy all my dog’s food and supplies. When I place an order it usually turns up at my door the next day or day after. They offer great prices which saves me a ton of money and I don’t have to haul dog food up the stairs to my apartment. I have to order a different prescribed food for each dog (both dry and canned) but Chewy takes care of that by connecting with our vet and getting it authorized.
I love being a doggie mama
I don’t have grandkids yet because my kids are taking their time, but despite the challenges of dealing with pets, having dogs to cuddle with all day long gets me through a ton of stress. Dog hugs are way better than taking a pill and they give me plenty of exercise so being a Doggie Mama works for me.