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My dog Aiko has arthritis in one elbow. He is seven. He has done alright for several years on Rimadyl, but he just started limping really badly, I think after chasing a raccoon out of the yard. His vet prescribed gabapentin, which has helped a lot. But while I was searching the web I found:
FREE CLINICAL TRIAL! Canine Osteoarthritis (Fort Collins)
[A local reputable] Animal Hospital is conducting a clinical drug trial on dogs with osteoarthritis. Dogs must be 1 year or older and have osteoarthritis of at least one joint. All breeds, sexes, and sizes accepted. Qualified candidates will receive exams, lab work, medication, and x-rays at NO CHARGE and will receive a hospital credit of $300 for completion of this 112 day study to use toward any additional service. For more information and to see if your pet qualifies, please call us at


Could this be a good thing for Aiko? I care a little about advancing medical science for all dogs, but not nearly as much as I care about Aiko.
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Aiko has arthritis. Only in one elbow, but that elbow is so crudded up I am surprised that he has only just started limping. Also his allergies, which improved a bit with the grain-free food, have flared up again. Are allergies and arthritis related? They're both described as inflammatory, but is that just a metaphor or are similar things going on at a cellular level?


• What are you reading?

The Child's Child, by Barbara Vine. Getting into the head of someone whose actions seemed insane, seeing how it all made sense from their point of view, is something Ruth Rendell has always been good at. But in this book it feels like she literally isn't even trying. Here's the protagonist (who is getting a Ph.D. in English literature) describing the conscience-violating and out-of-character action whose consequences drive the rest of her story:
What it came down to was, I shouldn't have done it. I could have said no to him and sat up and hugged him again. Now I have forgotten why I did do it, but not forgotten that I did.
That's it. That's all she can tell us about her thinking.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Still Alice, by Lisa Genova, for library book group. This isn't really a novel; it's more a What To Expect From Early-Onset Alzheimer's article dressed up to look like a story. Wholesome but dreary. Do people really find information more interesting when it is presented by two characters as-you-know-bobbing at each other?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

White Horse, by Alex Adams. Jacqie says she likes to pick something a little creepy for October.
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I had a really good time at Wiscon. I'm just now getting over the tired. Yesterday and the day before, every time I sat down in front of the computer I'd discover that my eyes were crossing and I had to go back to bed.

[personal profile] kalmn had asked for some pictures of me with Newt, to give to her son, so that when he asked "where's Newt?" she could point to the picture and remind him that Newt lives with Susan-you-met-at-Wiscon. I'm not going to post any of those because they are terrible but here are a couple of Newt in his new environment.

I am not holding a treat. This is how he looks at me ALL THE TIME.

This time I am holding a treat, since I want both dogs to look at the camera at the same time.
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That is, I have adopted [personal profile] kalmn's dog Newton. Aiko looooves him. Newt does not love Aiko back, not yet, and sometimes needs to tell him so. My German Shepherd accepting a rebuke from a dog the size of his head is hilarious.

I've never had a little dog before. He seems so vulnerable. Much more so than a cat.

He's smart, though. In the house and the back yard, he stays next to me, but when we went out the front door, he trotted out ahead, ears and tail high, to the sidewalk, then right, then, two doors down, into the street where the van that brought him here had been parked. His ears were flat to his head and his tail to his belly when I scooped him up. I don't think he was afraid of me, since he didn't back away; I think it was just the overwhelm of the situation, realizing that he couldn't retrace his steps any further and he had no idea how to get home.

He will get home though. He'll come home to Aiko and me. You were wearing the ruby slippers all along, Newt.
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Aiko caught a squirrel!

The squirrel mostly caught itself. I think it walked into the house while the back door was standing open to catch the morning air and then, I don't know, hid for a couple hours? Because the door had been closed for at least a couple hours when I heard the screaming. The other possibility, which I would think more likely except that squirrel clearly knew that the back door was the way out, is that it came in through the attic and fell through the open attic access into the kitchen.

Anyway, there was lots of screaming, both canine and sciurine. Aiko did not object to releasing the squirrel and getting into his crate. He was shook. Squirrel hid in the spare room, then went to the back door, then hid again while I opened the door, then, when I poked at its hiding place with a broom, ran back to the back door and out. It did not seem injured.

Aiko got a mouthful of squirrel fur, a tiny scrape on his nose, and a trip to the vet for boosters on all his vaccinations.

dream dogs

Jan. 21st, 2012 09:34 pm
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I dreamed I had agreed to take care of a friend's dogs during the workday, so my dog would have someone to play with and her dogs wouldn't eat her house. They were pit-bull mixes, but not inclined to the slam-dance play that pit bulls often do, so I thought it would work. The great thing about this dream was the dogs' names, which were Boney and Parallelepiped.

Aiko is doing okay as an only dog. The woman who gave him to me was sure that he was a nervous wreck because she had no other dogs, and I think she was right, but while he was living with Tai Aiko also became securely attached to me. My husband said, "When you first got him I thought you were nuts-- well, I still think you're nuts, but you've done really good work with him."

My two old dogs weren't young when I got them. I had them for seven and eight years, which was as much as was reasonable to expect. When they died barely a month apart, I was determined that my next dog would be a puppy, but I'm mostly over that now. I'll take whoever the universe sends me. Hey, universe! I'm open!
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Here is actually the best picture I've managed to take of Aiko. He isn't very good at holding still, especially when you are pointing something at him.

He is as sweet as he is beautiful. Aged two-and-a-half, he's still a puppy. He chews things. But he's so lovable, only Kitsu can bear to scold him.

phew!

Dec. 19th, 2009 10:31 pm
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+ Aiko slipped out the front door tonight. He dashed hither and thither, afraid to stay where he was, afraid to go anywhere, very afraid to be caught. Hugh kept his intimidating figure between Aiko and the road. I followed him, sweet-talking. Nixie let Tai out. Tai obeys me, and Aiko feels safe with Tai, so with everyone's help I caught him and brought him back inside.

+ Finals week is over.

+ Hugh and Mungo painted Nixie's designated bedroom with yellow walls and sky-blue ceiling. It is lovely.

- Nixie won't use her bedroom until I deal with the floor.

+ I pulled up the horrible carpet in Nixie's bedroom without much trouble, to find

- horribler stained, stinking carpet pad stapled to disintegrating linoleum over unfinished hardwood.

- Don't know what to do next.

+ Have dog fud. + Have shower. + Have new mask for CPAP.

- Aiko's going to freak when I turn on the CPAP.

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