Wednesday, September 26, 2007

dogs' life

The most difficult practicality in moving was with the beasts. Without a car or a credit card it looked nigh on impossible to cross the country with 2 dogs and a cat. With a combination of truck, bus-taxi and hired car - with thanks to a friend - we managed. We even got to visit a new doctor in san jose on the way. Hoss has allergies, this in itself intrigues me, how can a dog have allergies? His skin is dry, flaky and irritated, he was gnawing on himself all the time suffering hair loss and just looking and feeling awful. The vet in nicoya gave me what I thought was anti-histamines but turned out to be steroids. They worked really well for the days that he took them, but the moment he stopped all symptoms returned. Obviously not working. So we went to Alicia Lopez, a Chinese medicine and Acupuncture vet. She said Hoss was a very typical “hot” dog. It was a step for me to let go of the allergy diagnosis. She looked at his tongue, took his pulse and said he had too much heat. I had to stop with the dog food and only allow him cold foods (in Chinese medicine). He had already stopped dog food a couple of weeks before, but he was basically eating whatever I was. Now he has his own diet. She tried to give him acupuncture, but even with a herbal sedative and 3 adults holding him he managed to jump clear off the table. So he has herbs instead. And delicious smelling shampoo which works wonders on his skin. He has stopped scratching almost entirely and the hair is growing back. He smells good and has energy again. He eats a lot of vegetables and legumes, sardines and has his herbs and vitamin C and the Bs. He gets flaxseed and spirulina. He likes the food and eats a lot more heartily than he ever did with his dry dog food. The cynic in me says he was allergic to Pachamama or Guanacaste trees or bamboo. But everyone believed he would be worse here because of the higher temperature and humidity, and he’s doing well.

Lady J is also doing well. She has also changed diet and is getting her vitamins and supplements (me too). She was always a beautifully placid and sweet dog, but here she has become much more loving and will lie at my feet whenever we are both at home. She used to stay outside through her choice in Guanacaste, but now she stays close and is very free in her affection, both with myself and with Hoss. I wonder if she herself feels freer knowing somehow that she will never be sent back? She has become a much more integral part of this family.

The dogs spend their day playing, eating, sleeping, exploring and marking territory. It seems a very wonderful existence.

Molly is pregnant, the gestation period is around 65 days, I don’t know when she conceived – she showed no signs of being in heat, nor were there any other cats around, that I saw or heard. Yet she is pregnant. I don’t know when she’s due. I would say fairly soon given the size of her nipples. I don’t think she’ll have a big litter, maybe 3 max? given her size. I hope they are healthy, I hear that the survival rate for a first litter isn’t great. She has adapted very nicely from living in a tree and has made herself completely at home with favourite chairs and viewing posts. She has a box in my closet that I hope she will use when the time comes, it’s really the safest place away from prying canine noses. I’m at a loss with this birth business, I’m in awe, and clueless.