Category Archives: Dog health issues

Mystery Solved!

Hi Fellow Bloggers!

I know you were concerned about Opie! Let me put your worries to rest. He is much, much better. In fact, he’s fine now. So what happened?

What was wrong with him?

Well, the vet’s receptionist actually made an accurate guess based on what I told her?

Opie was stung in the paw by a bee.

Here’s what we think happened.

Opie went outside to take care of some personal business and do his usual squirrel patrol. Two days ago when this happened, it was a nice sunny day. I think it was about 74 degrees outside. I know my lilies and geraniums were blooming quite nicely as were a number of other plants in the neighborhood. So, even though it’s currently raining and 54 degrees outside right now, two days ago it was a beautiful day, a great day for bees to be out and about foraging for their hives.

Opie at some point encountered a bee, maybe it got stuck in his fur, maybe it entered the house with him and before my husband could close the back door. (Here again another reason to get a doggie door! Stop the entry of flying insects through the open back door!)

When my husband returned from picking the kids up from school — I stayed home to keep an eye on Opie– Michael found a dead or dying bee inside the house in the front door entryway. It did not have its stinger!

We had a 4PM appointment with the vet, and at 3:50PM Opie and I were on our way. I told the vet what we’d discovered. I should mention that by the time we got to the vet, Opie had STOPPED walking on 3 legs. He was walking on his sore foot. He’d spent the entire time at home with me licking and chewing on it.

Dr. Miyazaki gave Opie a very thorough examination and started really examining Opie’s affected paw. She spent a long time looking at each individual little pad and “finger” and finally said, “Aha! What’s this!? She pulled out a quarter inch long black stinger from in between his pads. YIKES! If I hadn’t been so busy holding Opie still during this examination, I’d have taken a picture of it. But here’s what it looked like.

I couldn’t see the little jagged parts, but based on the fact that we have regular bees in our neighborhood I think this is what it must look like under a magnifying glass or microscope. A bees stinger is attached to the abdomen, so when the bee stings its victim, half its belly gets ripped out. Sometimes that belly part is visible on the surface of the skin. The venom sac may be attached there as well. Neither the abdomen nor the sac was visible on between Opie’s pads, but he’d been working on it with his tongue and teeth for about 2 hours. Luckily, he is not a dog that has a bad reaction to bee stings beyond pain.

She saw only the slightest little inflammation around the sting area and he had no signs of stronger reaction.


Bee sting reactions in our pets can run the same range of severity as those in humans. Some dogs are going to go into anaphylactic shock and possibly die and some are going to be mildly irritated by the pain and that’s that. We were lucky that Opie is NOT allergic and didn’t have a severe reaction. He was bothered only by the sting itself and didn’t have any swelling or difficulty breathing. His pooping in the bedroom and hiding must have been based on fear of the flying insect that hurt him. Opie already has a definite fear of flies. He’d like me to keep that under wraps, but he goes a little nutty if we get a fly in the house. I imagine he’ll be even worse now.

Dr. Miyazaki finished off our appointment with a fast-acting cortisone shot to make his paw a bit more comfortable and then we were good to go. Opie has been fine ever since.

I know other bloggers have written about how to deal with your dog if they are stung by a bee, but I want to share what I’ve found out as well. This is a particular problem for anyone who lives in an area where there’s no real winter. As I said, it’s currently about 54 degrees outside and raining, but where we live, all those clouds could blow over during the night and tomorrow it’s 82 and sunny. It is possible to have a heat wave on Christmas day here! This is of course FABULOUS! But it also means that our “Bee” season never really ends. A couple days before this happened I recall finding a dying bee in the driveway. He could have been dying because the temperature dropped unexpectedly that day, or from that “bee” disease that’s been going around. The point is that if you live in an area like mine, please be vigilant and about bees. This could have been a horribly tragic incident. If Opie had been allergic, he could have died before I could get him even to the emergency vet. My kids would have come home from school to tragedy!

Bee Sting care for Dogs

Okay so here’s what I found out about regarding Bee sting care for dogs.

If you are lucky enough to witness the sting, check your dog immediately and find the sting area

If the dog has been stung in the mouth or face or ears don’t waste time…RUN, not walk to the vet! Call your vet immediately and grab your car keys! A dog stung inside the mouth is serious business, especially if the tongue begins to swell or the dog tried to swallow the bee or wasp. This kind of a sting can cut off their air supply and become life threatening quickly. So don’t let any grass grow under you feet. Hustle your bustle to the vet.

To treat a dog’s bee sting, the first thing you need to do is to remove the stinger. Do not use tweezers to remove the stinger. Tweezers will squeeze more venom into the wound. Get something with an edge to scrape across the surface of the skin to remove the stinger. Dr. Miyazaki used her nails and a tissue, but she’s an expert. My nails are not nearly long enough and my stomach is not nearly strong enough (Yes, I’m a pansy!) A bee sting will have a venom sac attached; a wasp sting will be more cone-shaped with barbs.

If your dog is not displaying any signs of severe swelling or difficulty breathing you might have time to make a little poultice to ease his pain. Personally, I’d just take the stinger out and hustle my bustle to the vet. I’m not a vet so I’d rather pay the cost than lose my dog because I was worried about the cost. I’ll talk more about how much Opie’s bill was in a moment. So, if he or she looks okay and you have to wait around to go to the vet anyway you can make a little poultice of baking soda and water. A little vinegar soaked pad will also counteracts the venom. By the way, this works for humans too. A mud pack will also draw out toxins; you can also make a little poultice of crushed plantain leaves. And let’s not forget about a little antihistamine, like Benadryl. However, I’d hold off on the OTC stuff. The vet is bound to have better drugs and you don’t want to cause a problem by dosing your pet before the vet can give you something more effective, or better. Additionally, you’ll have to consult them about dosage anyway. A good old fashioned icepack is also useful to bring down the swelling.

Here are the things to watch out for after the sting.

Labored breathing, wheezing, fast breathing, anaphylactic shock, collapsing, vomiting, diarrhea, pale gums, trembling or weakness, pale gums, excessive drooling, a fever or agitation.

If your pet exhibits any one of these things, hustle your bustle – call the vet and get yourself and your furbaby over there asap!

How do we Protect our Furbabies from the Flying Stinging Menace?

There’s not much we can do to keep the little stinging bees and wasps from bugging our beloved pets when they roam free in our back yards. Opie investigates every corner of the yard. He tracks squirrels relentlessly under the bushes and through the ivy.

However, there are a few things you can do to make things a little safer. We do these things, but as you can see there’s no complete remedy if you want your dog to enjoy the backyard and being outside. I have no desire to turn him into the “bubble dog.”

Here are some measures we’ve taken and that you can take as well.

We regularly inspect the eaves of the house and tree branches for wasp nests and bee hives. I have had to call L.A. County Vector Control twice to have both a bee hive and a wasps nest removed from cypress trees and our 60 year old ficus. We no longer have a significant wasp problem since we cut down the cypress trees (I never liked them) and I regularly “napalm” the eaves of the house when I find a wasp nest.

On walks, just to be nice to my neighbors I keep Opie out of flower beds. He’s not allowed to lift his leg anywhere near them and sometimes we hop into the street if the azaleas are blooming. (Double whammy for him – it’s a tall bush that he wants to mark and it’s a flowering bush where wasps and bees like to forage!) So keep your pups out of the flower beds!

Also be careful about water sources. Bees and wasps like to drink from stagnant pools, and puddles. Occasionally they fall in and drown, but their stingers are still dangerous even after death. So don’t let Fido near it. We have to be vigilant about standing water anyway in our neighborhood and our yard due to the whole disease bearing mosquito issue.

So fellow bloggers. Keep your puppies safe. This could have been a very sad article indeed. Personally, I thank God that Opie is not allergic. We all would have been devastated.

So on a happier note … expect the following postings from Opie coming your way… his Xmas list, A diatribe against flying insects, a rant about squirrels, a poem or cartoon or two, and other topics that he’s been bandying about with me.


Have a great day! Give your furrbaby an extra special cuddle from Opie’s Mom

Peace out,

Opie’s Mom





Thankful to be Back!

Hey All!

Opie here!

I know I’ve been gone for a while. I’ve been busy taking care of my pack – Mom, Dad, the boys. It’s been a really, really, busy time. Lots of stuff has happened.

First of all, I’m fine. I am doing really well. For a while I had a lot of trouble keeping my weight up. That kibble did not just did not taste wonderful to me. I frequently did NOT eat my breakfast or dinner. Now, though, Mom has been adding a little bit of shredded cheese to my meals. I have to say that’s been great. I usually got a little treat of cheese every day, but Mom decided that a little cheese added to my bowl would really add some “Umami” to my meal. Boy was she right!

So, now I am at the weight the vet wants me to be, and I feel great!

Nothing like being well fed and at the correct weight!

Don’t I look great?!

I find that I’m really rather relaxed and mellow now. Amazing what a delicious meal will do, right?

Unfortunately, some bad stuff has happened too. I discovered that I have a phobia of flies.

I hate flies.

I try and kill them every time I see them, but if I fail. I can’t help it. I turn tail and run and to my shame … hide. Think about it — they are not birds or squirrels. They are part of that tribe of flying things that FIGHTS BACK by STINGING YOUR NOSE! And look at this picture of one I found. Isn’t it creepy? It looks like an alien!

I don’t know about you, but I love my nose and don’t want it to suffer any insult! Especially, by that alien looking thing!

As a result of my phobia, Dad is getting ready to install a doggie door so that after I come back in from a trip outside, nobody has to jump up and quickly shut the back door. Sadly, it’s kind of my own fault that the flies got in the house in the first place.

On the upside, my folks are very sympathetic to my phobia and the boys are quite good at killing flies. Gregory nailed one with his basketball shoe a couple of months ago. Mom was not very happy about him throwing his big size 13 shoe in the house, but I had no problem with it. Another fly bit the dust and that was A-OK with me!

Enough about those rotten, moscas!

Good news for all doggies!


What does that mean for us!!!

Well, I don’t know about you guys, but it means great left overs and add- ins to my kibble. Here’s what I’m looking forward to.

Turkey meat, turkey meat, turkey meat and turkey meat!


The other thing I get to look forward to is lots and lots of pets and tummy rubs from my grandpa and grandma who come to visit during my most favorite holiday of all time.

I’ll be back soon to tell you how my holiday went. I intend to have some great naps on my very, very, very full belly!

So, Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Your Snorkie Extraordinaire,


Merry Boo-Boo Christmas!

Hi Fellow Doggers,

Well, I did it. I have another health issue. This time it was a boo-boo.

Mama thinks that a black cat has crossed my path or I broke a mirror, or that I spilled some salt!

Before you all get worried on my behalf – don’t. I mean don’t worry. I’m fine.

Here’s what happened. (Or at least what Mama thinks happened.) She’s not too far wrong, only it wasn’t a cat. (Tee Hee!)

It was about 11:30 PM. I heard an interloper in the back yard. Mom and Dad didn’t hear it — Just me. Anyway, I did my little “pee – pee dance” body language.

(They’ve gotten very good at letting me out since my little accident a few weeks ago.)

I went out the back door – into the darkness — and almost caught what smelled like a “cat” lolling about in our backyard. Of course, I told him off.

Mama says that my bark sounded very different than the normal – “I’m here! Stay out.” She said it sounded more like, “I almost got you, you “*&%^” varmint! Come back here and get an introduction to my teeth!”

She interprets my barks pretty well.

Anyway, the “cat” got away. I never laid a paw on it, and it didn’t lay a claw on me either. However, I chased it pretty good under several bushes and all over the yard until it unfairly jumped out of the yard over the fence.

Mama came outside just in time to see me demonstrate my cool speed moves under the bushes. She never really saw the “cat”. She hardly saw me. I was the “White Flash” zipping by. I think I even heard a sonic boom.

(I’m not bragging. I am just THAT fast! )

Anyway, after the excitement I did my business and went back inside the house.

What Mama and Daddy didn’t know — because we all went right to bed – was that I got a boo-boo on my head. I connected with a branch and it took a little chunk of my skin off the top of my head. Dog, did it sting, but I don’t whine ( except when I have to pee). I didn’t cry or anything.

I am not a wussy dog!

Remember – I’m a Snorkie, and I’m tough!

The next morning, Dad woke up first and gave me my usual head scratch. Let me reiterate that I did not whine or cry. Dad thought I had some schmootz in my hair and sat up to pick it out. It wasn’t schmootz. It was dried blood and a scab!

The scab is about ½ the size of my mom’s pinky nail.

During the night my boo-boo bled and scabbed over. Mom and Dad both looked at it. Michael and Gregory looked at it. Michael wanted to take me to the vet.

Dad decided that I could pass on the vet because the boo-boo was already healed over and had made a scab.

The good part about my boo- boo – according to Dad and Mom — is that I can’t reach it to lick it. I’ll admit that did want to give it a few licks, but a weird thing happened. It was a little itchy, but then I kind of forgot all about it. I think it healed faster because I didn’t lick it.

More importantly, I’ve dodged a vet visit.

So Merry Boo-Boo Xmas fellow doggers!

Do you think Santa will take pity on me and get me a bit more stuff?

This is my “please sir, may I have some more” face. Pretty effective right!

Of course, now, people are watching me all the time when I come back from outside. That’s actually kind of cool. I’ve been getting a lot more belly rubs and ear scratches. I have to say I like ear scratching almost as much as belly rubs. Nobody wants to disturb my scab. I’m beginning to love my scab!

Well, Gotta run fellow doggers! I hear some vermin rooting around in the back yard.

Happy Holidays!

Your Pal

The “Opie nator”

The Tough as Nails Snorkie!


A Snorkie’s Rant!

Hi Fellow Doggers,

I have a bone to pick with my family! I don’t know what happened, but suddenly they’ve decided to embark on all these “home improvements.”

I know, you’re thinking, “Home improvements? What’s wrong with that?”

Well, keep reading and I’ll tell you.

Every one of these home improvements has led to some discomfort for me. AND I DON’T LIKE DISCOMFORT OF ANY SORT!

Let’s take home improvement #1 – The new roof

Back in September, my mom and dad decided that we needed a new roof on the house. Personally, I thought it was neat to find little pieces of wood shingles in the grass after a mild wind storm. More sticks for me to bury.

Mom figured that I might object to guys tramping around on the roof, tearing it off, hammering and climbing on ladders.

She thought I might not take well to that. So, off I went to the kennel.

If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, you know that that was not a good thing for me.

My Bordadella shot didn’t work as well as it should have and I caught “Kennel Cough.” That was such a drag!

I had this nagging cough and I didn’t feel so hot. The up side was that I did have a lot of “Magic Cheese” for about 14 days. I also was “unenrolled” from my Obedience classes due to my contagious state.

I was really looking forward to getting my diploma.

I also picked up a rather itchy rash. Mom doesn’t think I got it at the kennel, but I’m pushing for a complete moratorium on doggy day cares so I’ll swear on a stack of “Dog Whisperers” that I caught it there. The rash necessitated another 14 days of “Magic Cheese”.

As you can see fellow doggers, if Mom and Dad had not fixed the roof, I would not have gone to doggy day care and ergo would not have contracted Kennel Cough! This in and of itself is sufficient evidence that home improvement is bad news for this Snorkie.

But there is more evidence to support my contention!

Home Improvement #2 – Painting the House

With the new roof it seemed only natural for mom and Dad to want to paint the house. Now personally, I thought the house was a becoming shade of “beigeish,” pinkish, grayish color. (Mom is reminding me that I’m color blind and should stop complaining.)

Well, fellow doggers, I thought that I had dodged the proverbial doggy day care bullet because I had such a short bout of wellness after my kennel cough. Remember after my kennel cough I got sick AGAIN. I had some mysterious stomach upset. I had hoped that Mom would have taken my illness into account and postponed the painting of the house, but no.

She muttered some folderol about getting the house painted by Thanksgiving. Anyway, there I was recuperating from the last bout of illness and here come these guys. They were scraping at the walls, the windows, sanding.

Worst of all, I was not allowed outside to bite them, and fellow doggers, they needed biting – especially the guy who was scraping paint off the front window – MY WINDOW!

Now I know you are as outraged as I am about the assault on MY WINDOW! However, this home improvement was even more horrific.

Just because I was running from room to room, barking my head off, scratching the shutters, trying to jump out the back door – generally showing those TRESPASSING PAINTERS WHO IS BOSS – I got….


Now you must understand, I know how to “go to crate” Mama trained me with duck sticks and other tasty treats to go there whenever she says to go. (Crate Training Blog Posts.)But guys, she hardly ever tells me to go to crate! I can stay at home alone uncrated. I use my crate primarily as a goodie stash! I don’t stay inside very long. I might have a nap in there if the boys are playing a loud video game but generally, I don’t hang out there.

I prefer a nice soft lap.

Mama moved my crate AWAY from MY Window and pulled it in the middle of the room behind the chair and covered up the side that faced the window with my doggy blanket. Occasionally, she let me out when the painters were working on other side of the house, but when they were on MY SIDE OF THE HOUSE. I got CRATED!!!

Do you now see why home improvements are NOT
a friend to dogs? I couldn’t care less that the house is now a deep golden color or that the old paint peeled double hung windows are now all crisp and white!


Home improvement is not my friend and certainly not a friend to any dog that I can think of!

So let’s sum up.

Home improvements caused me to contract kennel cough, a rash and be crated IN MY OWN HOUSE!!!

I appeal to you fellow doggers

Tell your Mamas and Daddys to eschew Home Improvement!

Be content with your dilapidated roof, your ugly house color, your squeaky floor boards, your leaky bathtubs!

Keep doggies in the house!

Keep workmen OUT!!!

If that doesn’t work, point out that vet bills totally blow!

This has been another Snorkie rant!

Peace Out!


I’ve been sick…. :( But now I’m all better!

Or Keep your Paws Crossed!

Hi All,

Both Mama and I have been under the weather. (Although, honestly, I’ve been sicker than Mama.) It all started with the roof!

Mama and Daddy had the roof re-done and I had to go to the doggy day care so I wouldn’t bark myself silly at all those strange guys on our roof hammering and making noise.

I went there just for the day for 4 days and one day extra when the roofers took an unscheduled holiday without telling Mama.

Now, you know I’ve got all my shots, but here’s something I’ll bet you didn’t know.

That Bordatella shot – which is supposed to be good for Kennel Cough – doesn’t always work.

Yes, you guessed it. I got kennel cough. And because of that I couldn’t do my obedience classes — Something about me being contagious.

I was fine with that. I had a irritating cough, but I also got a lot of magic cheese too (Note from Mama – antibiotic in stuffed into a piece of cheese!)

One other thing though – Mama caught me scooting just before she took me to the vet, and it seemed like I had caught something else too.

The vet said I had Giardia. Mama blames herself for that. She forgot my special water bowl when we went to the dog park the week before, and I drank out of the community bowl – the one everyone pees in. Oopsie! (Note to self – don’t drink out of pee bowl at dog park ever again!)

Anyway, the worst part of the Giardia thing me was the Vet’s examination. Let’s just say I feel for those alien abductees. Being probed is NOT fun!

The up side of all this was that I had to eat all of my food because Mama had sprinkled some magic powder on it to get rid of my pesky parasites. To make certain that I ate every bite, she broiled me some hamburgers mixed it in with my kibble. Boy Howdy… delicious. I licked the bowl clean!

I finished all my magic cheese and magic powder and for 2 weeks I was seemingly illness free.

Unfortunately, Mama wasn’t doing so hot. She was running back and forth to the doctor and getting referrals and lots of bottles and pills and things for herself.

I could tell she was stressed out. I sat with her while she read all those pharmacy drug interaction pages and did a little freaking out. It felt good to be such a comfort to her.

Then last Sunday, before Halloween, I don’t know what happened.

Something made my tummy feel funny. I started throwing up EVERYWHERE and yes, I threw up in Mama’s bed. I threw up about 5 times on one day. I felt rotten but I thought maybe it was out of my system whatever it was. Sure enough on Monday I felt lots better.

I even got to put on a Halloween costume.

I’m a dinosaur.













I know it might look like the dinosaur is eating me, but I assure you I am the one wearing the costume.


However, on Tuesday, I don’t know what happened again. I barfed again in Mama’s bed in the morning. This time Mama called the vet and got me a vet appointment. This was hard because Mama had doctor’s appointments too. In fact, Mama’s appointment took so long that Daddy had to take me to the vet that afternoon. Mama showed up later and Dad ran off to pick up my hubrother from football practice. I should mention that I hadn’t eaten anything all day long. Even though, there was food for me.

The vet thought I had a blockage in my intestines caused by a foreign body– Mama looked at me and said, “Opie, what did you eat?”

“I didn’t eat anything I shouldn’t have – I swear on my doggy honor. ” I responded. (I may have had my paws crossed on this one. What Mama doesn’t know won’t hurt her. )

Then the doctor took me for an x-ray. I didn’t like it. I had to have a muzzle and the vet technician is a bearded guy and I don’t like bearded guys at all. I growled at him. Of course, I wasn’t feeling so hot either.

They couldn’t see everything on the x-ray so Mama had to bring me back the next day. But before I left for the day, they gave me some medicine and a funny shot that made my back all puffy. Mama says they gave me fluid and some anti gas medicine so that the gas that was blocking their view of my duodenum would dissipate.

I wasn’t allowed to eat anything all day or before x-ray. The next day Mama had to leave me at the vet for most of the day so they could do their tests on me.

The Vet gave me some nasty Barium stuff to drink. She shoved it in my mouth with a syringe – nasty, nasty!

Then after a few hours they took more x-rays.

I had to wait around a long time between x-rays so they could see what was going on inside me.

Turns out I DIDN’T have a blockage.

They decided that I had gastroenteritis – that’s fancy talk for tummy ache or inflammation of the stomach.     

I was so glad when Mama came to get me. She made me a special dinner that ALMOST made all those vet outrages worth it.

Boiled chicken and rice! Oh My Dog – it’s so yummy you wouldn’t believe it. The only problem is she gives me tiny little amounts, but I get them about 4 times a day! I can’t wait until the next one. I’m licking my bowl clean every time. I also get a special rice chicken ball near the end of the day. (½ tablet of Pepcid AC or Acid Controller ( Famotidine 10 mg) – yes the same stuff we all take for heartburn)

I am feeling much better now.

Mama’s feeling better too and has taken me on some nice long walks lately.

Mama says I’m not allowed to get sick again and that I’ve used up my quota of vet visits.

Okay, Mama – I’ll be good! ( or I will try my best – Snorkie’s Honor!)

Well fellow doggers let’s keep our paws crossed!

Barks and Licks,

Your Pal Opie


Note from Mama:

Total vet cost of Opie’s barfing and belly ache.

$700 + over 2 days

(Not including previous Kennel Cough and Giardia incident)

I will be researching doggy health insurance in the very, very near future!

Just when you think you’re in the clear…. BAM!


Saved by Magical Cheese

Hi All,

I was looking forward to a nice uneventful few final days of the boys’ summer vacation. No more trips! No more Doggy Jail Central! No more haircuts! I should have known it was too good to be true.

I don’t know what the big deal was about really. I had an itch on my belly area and so I licked it. It itched a little more, so I licked it again and maybe a few more times after that.

The next thing I knew, Mama was turning me over on my belly and looking at my tummy OVER her glasses. (She always does that when she really wants to see something) I’m thinking….Come on Ma… give a Pup a little privacy!

She yelled to my Dad, “Opie’s got a rash!”

Now, the whole family was looking at my belly. Looking — not rubbing, looking! I don’t mind exposing my belly as long as I get a good scratch. And my belly was really, really itchy.

(This picture is actually of his rash AFTER he’s had his medication. It looked much angrier than this, but we were all too grossed out to take a photo)

Mama went to the pet store and came back with some “Hot Spot” spray. I hate anything in a spray bottle so I did what comes naturally. I hid under the coffee table. Of course, this was only a moderately effective hiding place. They sprayed me. I’ll admit this stuff relieved my itch for about 2 minutes. They tried to keep me drenched in this stuff most of the day. It was about as effective as my hiding place. I was itchy AND wet all day. Misery!

Of course, I continued to lick and now everyone kept trying to stop me. Michael grabbed my snout and pulled it out from under my hind leg. Dad even got in the act. He scratched my head and behind my ears until I was almost unconscious. Gregory tried teasing me with my favorite snake toy. It looked like it might be a lot of fun, but my itch kept urging me to stop and lick. It started to get really annoying. I discovered that my eye itched too. I started rubbing my face on the carpet and doing my “grass break dancing”. Usually, I do my “grass break dancing” outside on the grass in some odorous patch of earth. This time I needed to wiggle and scratch on the carpet which only smells like that vacuum cleaner monster.

While I was trying to wiggle my way to some relief, Mama was looking at me with a huge frown on her face. The next thing I knew she had her phone out texting. Mom never texts! She put the phone down and in about 2 minutes the phone rang. She read the text, texted something back and yelled, “I’m going to the drug store for some Children’s ‘Benny Drill’ ” I wondered who “Benny Drill” was.

It turns out she texted her sister-in-law who has a little dog who weighs even less than I do and flies all over the country. Mom was asking about the proper dosage for this “Benny Drill.”

(Yes, I know there’s been a recall of this product, but the manufacturer says it was not recalled due to any toxicity issue. Besides, this is a box we’d been using since the beginning of the summer with no ill effects)

A few hours later Mom came into the house with all sorts of stuff. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a whole bunch of cheese sticks.

I didn’t see this “Benny Drill” person. This was good, because I was a little too busy licking to give him a proper barking welcome!

I know what you’re thinking fellow doggers. You’re thinking that this is one of those itchy stories where I talk about how bad my itch was. Well it was bad, but there’s a happy ending. It ends with the most wonderful thing a dog can want (besides your own personal infinite supply of T-bone steaks!)

What could it be? You ask?

Cheese, fellow doggers!

Cheese – Wonderful – Cheese!

The cheesiest loveliest cheese!

And I’m going to take a risk and say it —


Laugh if you want to, but that cheese cured my itch. Mama gave me a really nice big cheese ball. Oh, it was so delicious I started to forget about my itch. In fact, after awhile, I stopped itching at all! I was a little drowsy, but hey it’s my job to nap! I take it very seriously!

Every once and a while the itch would come back, but Mama seemed to know when it would happen. She had a cheese treat all ready for me just as my belly started to heat up again.

Doggers, the cure for my itch was this wonderful MAGIC CHEESE!

My cheese treats and the itch continued from Saturday and all day Sunday. I was actually starting to like my itch! I NEVER get cheese!

However, today, I went to the vet. I don’t know why. The Cheese was doing a heck of a job! While we were there, I could feel my itch starting up again, but I hadn’t had my cheese treat for the day. I sniffed Mama’s purse. It was starting to get really bad. I gave her “The Look”. She just petted me on the head. I was just about to start licking when the vet nurse told us to go back to the examination room.

The lady we saw wasn’t my usual vet, but she was very nice. She had a nice soft voice like mama and she seemed to really love me instantly. We doggers can tell. She was so nice to me that I’m a little embarrassed by that initial growl I gave her. She never stuck me with a needle although she did stick a thermometer up my butt. But she was so fast I hardly noticed. We were in there just little while. She gave Mama a lot of bottles and then we went home. I was hoping the doctor might have some cheese for me, but they only had little bone treats. Tasty, but they did NOTHING for my itch. I would have licked myself all the way home, but Mama distracted me with the window. I stuck my head out the window and almost forgot about my itch.

I was a really good boy at the vet. I didn’t bark at anyone, or pee on the floor or growl….much.

So guess what fellow doggers? When I got home, I got TWO cheese balls. Oh and they were just as delicious at the other cheese balls. I didn’t feel very drowsy, but my itch was a lot less than it was before. I didn’t feel like licking not licking. In fact I feel pretty good.

Well hopefully the itch won’t be coming back anytime soon. But I saw Mom in the kitchen cutting up cheese sticks. I think I’m going to be in CHEESE HEAVEN fellow doggers!


Note from Opie’s Mom.

The Vet okayed a low dose of Benadryl to stop the itch until we could come in to the office. What she didn’t tell us, but we already know is that Childrens Benadryl has been recalled, but it was a voluntary recall. Johnson and Johnson says that the medicine is still safe. We also know that too much Benadryl can stop a dog’s heart. I decided to err on the side of caution gave Opie ¼ of a tablet. He only weighs 16 pounds. It seemed to work well, but we didn’t want to keep doing this. The Benadryl has been stopped, and he’s now on his prescription medication.

Opie has Pyoderma, which is really a general fancy term for a skin infection caused by flea bites, an allergy or other underlying cause. We don’t have any idea yet what has caused what must be an allergic reaction. Opie doesn’t have any fleas. He’s been on Revolution, and it works very well for him. Both the vet and I combed his fur looking for the evil little monsters. The Vet suspects that something harmful is blooming in my yard. That’s possible. However, I suspect the wet version of his dog food that we started him on a few weeks ago, or maybe he’s allergic to greenies. We’re stopping the wet food. I looked up Pyoderma on the internet and it WILL recur if we don’t find out what’s giving him the reaction. Opie will just have to make do with boiled chicken breast mixed with his kibble. Poor little hound dog.

In the mean time just for fun… here’s Opie’s “Cheese Schedule” We’ve posted it so that his feather brained parents can keep track of his medication.

He’s had his first doses as you can see. He’s already feeling better and he hasn’t licked his belly once since we gave him his “Magic Cheese” If those reading have any ideas about what might be the culprit, feel free to post your ideas. We’re feeling optimistic that we can make Opie a lot more comfortable, but we’d like to know what’s causing the problem in the first place. It might be plant life. There were three dogs and their mamas in the waiting room at the vet – all with mysterious belly rashes. We all got the same medicine — Antibiotic for the infection and Prednisone for the itch, and we all live in the same area. Opie also managed to give himself a little pink eye type thing, so he’s got antibiotic drops for a gooey left eye.


Opie’s “Magic Cheese” Schedule

Ode to a Blue Donut and other Snorkie Poetry



Three Haikus on Blue Donuts and Soothing Baths


Blue donut collar

Hides my itchy bump from me.

When will all this stop?


A bath brings freedom.

Warm water soothes itchy bump.

Donut’s cast aside.


Blown dry silky smooth fur!

Oh No, the donut returns.

Freedom is short lived.


Ode to the Blue Donut


If you weren’t around my neck, I’d use you as a toy.

I’d chew and pound and roll on you and earn a strong “Good Boy!”

If you were free from my poor neck, I’d drag you to my crate,

I’d hide you with my bones and sticks until a later date.


But you are wrapped around my neck, linked firmly to my collar.

Your bulbous shape defeats my lick and makes me want to holler!

You’re with me in my waking hours and when I go to pee.

I dream of tearing you to shreds then licking at my knee.

One day I will be free of you, you blue inflated neck brace.

The squirrels no longer will be free to laugh right into my face.

I know you’re something that I need. I am resigned to it.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t wish you thrown into a pit.


That hope springs eternal is an often quoted phrase,

I hang my wishes on that line that freedom comes in days.



Plenty of Words Wednesday – Let Me Give You a Piece of My Mind!

Hi All,

Opie here!

How would you feel? If you discovered that

this blue monstrosity around my neck was going to be your friend for at least 25 more days?


Let me tell you how this transpired!

Grandma called from Texas! She and her friend Linda were on an emergency run with Bogie, Linda’s very cool terrier dawgins, to his Harvard educated Vet.

Bogie is a diabetic and his sugar was low and he was feeling pretty rotten.

(By the way, they fixed Bogie’s sugar level, and he’s home now playing with dog toys!)

Anyway, Bogie’s vet is very nice, very friendly. A real down home guy who is not averse to giving out vet medical advice to any that ask for it.

Well Grandma, told him about my histio thingy. He said he’d talk to my Mom.

Now imagine me. I’m minding my own business in CALIFORNIA. Grandma calls and puts this Texas Vet on the phone to Mama.

Mama is consulting a TEXAS vet about my histio thingy!

During the conversation, it comes out that I’m still a little, just a little, well, maybe just a wee bit obsessed with trying to lick the histio thing!

The vet then says, “Well I reckon it takes about a month for the histiocytomas to vamoose. Little Opie should probably keep the collar on for pert near a month until it either shrinks to an unnoticeable size or hits the road entirely, I reckon.”

(I may have taken some artistic license with the Vet’s Texas accent. I seem to be feeling a bit sarcastic right now.


He also said Mama might have to take me in for some minor SURGERY to get it taken off if it doesn’t get any better!


Needless to say, I’ve started chewing on the phone cords. And if I get my paws on Mama’s cell phone, I will chew it down to the circuitry. I ‘m a double dose of terrier – You know I can do it!

At minimum, I’m deleting Grandma’s number off Mom’s cell phone.


Oh Yeah, Grandma – I blame you for this!

Mama was thinking about days with this thing– NOT MONTHS!


I’m just kidding. I’m not a dog who holds grudges… often. I’m sure that eventually I’ll calm down.

That piece of grilled hamburger Mama gave me seems to have soothed me somewhat.

(Guilt –The Snorkie’s Best friend.)

I’ve been looking at catalogues and I think I found a “Pro Collar” in pink that would look really good on Grandma!

Hey Grandma, let’s wear them together!

I’m not bitter, really I’m not!

Three Scares for Mama over the Memorial Day Holiday!

Hi Everybody,

I gave Mama three bad scares over the weekend! I didn’t mean to do it, but here’s what happened.

Scare #1

In my yard, the crows have baby crows, and they are all trying to learn to fly. Evidently, they are slow learners! Dumb crows! I was capering about on my 4 legs when I was a puppy without any trouble!

Anyway, one of these fledgling fell out of the tree while I happened to be outside. Now, let me tell you! This is not a tiny bird! And it is NOT cute! My mama would agree with me, too! This crow was just a little bit smaller than its mama and daddy. In fact, it was almost as big as I am.

Well, the crow landed practically in my mouth on my head. I was barking at it, and it was cawing at me. All the other crows in the tree were making a terrible racket. Mama came running out as fast as she could; she was yelling something about some Alfred Hitchcock movie. I don’t know if she thought the crow would peck me, or I would take a chunk out of its wing. There are no pictures, because mama ran out bare foot and in her pajamas. She was yelling for Dad to bring the leash. He came running too, but somehow he had his shoes on.

They put the leash on me and I got dragged back inside. Mama ran her hands all over me. I was fine. The crow never got me. The fledgling hopped around for a while in the back and finally managed to fly back up to its perch on the tree.

That was Thursday morning.

Scare #2

Mama let me out for my normal potty run about 7AM. I could see her watching from the yard. I did my normal route around the wall, to the tree, to the side yard and then to the pittosporum bush. I was on my way back towards the house when what do you think happened?

A crow fell out of the tree right in front of me! I thought it was a sign! I hadn’t had my breakfast; I was a little hungry, peckish (if you’ll pardon the pun!) My wolf DNA kicked in. This fledgling seemed a bit bigger than the last one, or maybe it was my imagination. His beak certainly looked longer. It didn’t matter to me! It was time to eat some crow! So I lunged and barked and snapped, and it lunged and cawed and snapped!

The crows started making a racket again up in the trees. Mama came out of the house fast, but dressed this time and swinging my leash over her head like the blades of a helicopter. The birds had started to swoop a little. I think the fledgling’s Daddy came to rescue it. But my Mama is way tougher. She told both birds they’d end up in a pot if they touched me. I had the leash on me faster than you can say “Fried Crow!” Back into the house I went. Now this fledgling didn’t have much sense. About 10AM, three hours later, the gardeners came to do the yard. Mama went to talk to them. They came back and said the bird was STILL in the yard. So Mama called…. Dare I say it…? Animal Control!

About an hour later the Animal control guy came, but by that time the crow was gone. The Animal Control guy is the one that said that the crows had been falling out of the trees all over town!

Dumb Birds!

That was Friday morning.


Scare #3 — The Biggest and Worst Scare of All

Saturday night, I was lazing around the house. Mama, Daddy and my hu-brother were watching a movie. I was lying on mama’s foot licking her toe. She finally got the hint and reached down to give me a belly rub!

That’s when she saw it!

I had this big red bulbous THING on the elbow of my right foreleg!

It looked like a boo-boo to her. I think she thought it was a crow peck! This is how it looked the first time she saw it. This isn’t mine, but it looked a lot like this!

Daddy looked at it too!

They decided I needed to go to the vet, but since I wasn’t licking it and was being my normal self they felt they could wait and take me on Tuesday when my regular vet’s office was open. It didn’t seem like an emergency and there was no blood. Quite frankly it didn’t bother me at all. Mama and Daddy gave me a good belly rub and cuddled me a lot after that.

Eventually, I had to hide to get away from all that affection! I could tell Mama was worried.

This is what it looked like today. This is mine!

This Tuesday morning, she took me to the vet where she got scared and soothed almost simultaneously!

My vet, Dr. Galea, said I had a HISTIOCYTOMA tumor. Mama looked like she was going to cry. I think Dr. Galea thought so too because immediately he told her that it was not anything dangerous or even a big deal. They said it would go away on its own. However, he was going to make certain and that’s when the Vet visit turned bad for me!

He took out this big needle and STABBED my HISTO thing and pulled fluid out of it. Then we all went out of the exam room and into the lab and he looked at it under the microscope. He let Mama look too. I don’t think she wanted to look, but he made her look. He was right. It’s the HISTO thingy. Evidently, it’s a common thing in young dogs like me. It’s not contagious. It just happens and they come up and then they go away!

Mama found this picture on the Internet. She says it looks exactly like my slide!

Dr. Galea told Mama not to worry, but she came right home and “googled” the Histo thingy. According to the Internet and Dr. Galea, these things are usually benign. That means they don’t turn into cancer! They happen in young dogs (under 3 years of age) usually around the neck, hind limbs, trunk and feet. They can get infected though. Dr. Galea told mom to watch mine. It might get bigger. If it does, he’ll take it off. I don’t know what that means. Mama covered my ears at one point in the conversation.

Then the visit got even worse – Dr. Galea decided that I might as well have some shots since I was only a couple of weeks away from my regular visit. I got stabbed TWO MORE TIMES with the needle.

Mama seemed to feel a lot better after the vet visit. The vet decided not to give me any cream for my Histo thingy because he knew I’d just lick it off. He was right. I’ve been licking the place where he STABBED ME all morning!


So Mama had 3 scares this weekend about me! I didn’t even mention the stomach virus that my Hu-brother got or the Air Softing adventure that my other Hu-brother went on!

So I’m fine fellow doggers! Mama says her heart has finally stopped racing.

She loves me and doesn’t want anything bad to ever happen to me.

She told me she’d have plucked that crow, cleaned him and roasted him for my dinner if he’d pecked me!

I love my mama!

Mama! Sorry I scared you!