Rosie has been under the weather lately, with some vomiting and a lot of water drinking the past few days, so I took her to the vet today for some bloodwork. While we were there, they asked me a bunch of questions about her behavior, and I had to have a candid talk about Rosie.
Unlike Thurston and Lily, Rosie is very difficult to gauge whether or not she is feeling well, because she is such a bitch. Thurston and Lily like to cuddle, want to be on my lap, etc. Rosie just saunters around the house chugging haterade. And I don’t say this in a mean way, or to denigrate Rosie- I found her abandoned in the woods, it was clear she was abused, she has hip pain, and she’s just snarly. That doesn’t mean she is a bad dog or an unhappy dog, just that she is feisty and her own damned boss. She’ll bite me if I walk to close to her because she was probably kicked in the past, she doesn’t sleep in the bed anymore because she bit me so much in the middle of the night, she’ll bite me if I try to pick her up, and it’s 50/50 is she bites me when I go to put on her leash. They’re not hard bites, and the snarling is much scarier, but she doesn’t break the skin or hurt. Just a shot across the bow.
If she were a person she would just walk around the house scowling and when you make eye contact blurt out “WHATEVER ASSHOLE.” And again, I am ok with this. She’s not a bad dog, and she LOVES LOVES LOVES Tammy and my dad, and she likes treats and to go out and to sleep, so she is happy, she’s just not gonna win any Miss Charming awards. I know this is weird and hard for some people to understand, but while she is a “pet,” she is a living being with her own history and her own feelings and the two of us get along pretty well, considering. Not all dogs are gonna be your goofy, cuddly golden retriever.
So when they asked me all these questions, all I could really tell them is “she’s puked a couple times and is drinking lots of water.” The good news is, we ran some blood tests, and all she has is some minor pancreatitis. Basically, this boils down to her needing special food and some different pain meds, and we will continue on co-existing with the occasional side-eye as we pass each other in the house. Rosie is gonna keep on being her bad ass self for a little while longer.
I identfy strongly with Rosie.
Awe poor Rosie.
I never know how to answer when someone asks if Bella bites, or if she’s friendly. Does she bite? You? Probably. Is she friendly? To you? Doubtful. She’s quite friendly to me.
Bella vomits more than she ought to. We’ve talked to the vet and had her tested and swapped to single protein foods/treats and tried different food but can’t seem to pinpoint her problem.
I think it’s so cool that you see her that way. She found the right person when she found you.
I think once you get past the 3 fur baby threshold, the laws of group dynamics indicate that you get one animal with a “grumpy as shit!” disposition.
In other words Rosie is a typical JRT. My late Mother’s JRT Fran is just the same. The only exception I have known is Molly, a delightful JRT who hangs out at the Cafe where I eat breakfast on Saturday mornings.
glad to hear she is going to be okay. she certainly found the right home, many wouldn’t be able to deal with her. i remember being afraid for tunch when you first got rosie, but at least it’s worked out as far as steve is concerned.
Rosie’s watching out for Rosie as best she can with the tools and experience she’s accumulated. I love that you love her as she is and not as she compares to Lily.
We have a pair of mostly indoors feral cats. Spots is big in size, tail and personality while Chiona is a runt of the litter, food insecure and mean because she’s a scardy-cat. Always ready to take a swipe, but eager for cuddling if conditions are right and she feels safe. We didn’t need 2 kiki’s but 2 kikis we’ve got along with the slightly used and some asshole abused weiner dog. Spouse and I are no prize either so it all seems like we’ve ended up with the only one’s would put up with us and that’s all right with me.
I love how patient and loving you are with your pets and all their quirks and proclivities. it is inspiring.
I remember when you thought you’d have to rehome her, but somehow, lo these many years later, you and she have worked it out. You’re good people. You don’t expect the animal to be anything other than who they are, and that’s a real gift for an abandoned animal.
And with a JRT, no less! Not an easy breed. As my aunt says, there’s a reason they’re football-shaped.
J R in WV
Glad Rosie will probably be grouchy around the Cole household for some time to come. I bet if you had pancreatitis and aching joints you would be bitey too!
Thanks for taking good care of her even tho she bites you some.
Yeah, my wife hasn’t been able to touch our youngest girl kitteh for 4 years now. The kitteh just decided “Nope” one day and that was that. She seems perfectly happy to be here otherwise.
Sounds like Rosie is a good judge of character.
Around here she’d be called a sharp dog.
J R in WV
Our first dog was a little furball I rescued from a local Dairy Queen where she was trying to make a living off of hot dog ends in a cold and miserable February. We named her Ragamuffin, Muffin for short. Dark Gray curly coat, and her right hind leg was never quite right, she would pick it up against her stomach if she wanted to move faster.
She was affectionate, warm, sweet, not a Rosie type of dog. But when someone strange asked wife “Does she bite?” wife would always answer “She usually does what I tell her to.” Which, you note, doesn’t actually answer that question directly. She kept many a would-be evangelist off our front porch!!
I first started reading this here fine blog right around the time you found Rosie, so I have a very soft spot in my heart for her, and I’m glad to hear she’s got some more mileage on her tired body. She deserves a comfortable home, and that is what you’ve given her.
Okay, I laughed.
Glad Rosie is okay! :)
This is why ROSIE is my favorite Cole pet.
I can’t remember if I told you guys about how our third floor neighbor’s JRT Pebbles got into a habit of greeting Leto when he’d come home from work every day pre-accident and while Leto was in the hospital the dog would drag the lady to the stairs and wait for Leto every day.
My old supervisor had a JRT too. Very much a British dog. Liked her tea and toast every day.
They definitely have a personality and are their own dog.
I’ve got a senior cat who just adores the humans in our family. We’ve had him since he was a kitten in the same house, same environment. All you need to do is look at him and he plops on the floor, shows you his belly, and starts purring. Loud. Sleeps with me every night. Falls asleep in the laps of visitors to the house.
However, if you try to pull something from under him, like a piece of paper or a sheet, and he gets confused and might attack even one of his people. I joke he has “kitty Alzheimers”, like he forgets this is one of his beloved humans for a second and only remembers after the attack starts. He completely loses his furry mind at the vet and attacks anything and everyone. I call it “puma mode”. He has to be sedated every time.
Sometimes we need a reminder that dogs are their own selves, and don’t exist for our pleasure. Both of our dogs have their own peculiarities and we just have to roll with it.
Cole, I think you should be made permanent director of a national licensing board that screens humans carefully before granting them permission to own pets. Board will have power to remove abused or neglected pets from the home and fine or jail the owners accordingly.
I had a cat just like you describe Rosie. Mean, crafty, and would kill a varmint just to watch it die.
Man I miss that cat.
What’s “millennial” in dog years?
I’m glad Rosie will be okay.
Did I miss something previous about Rosie? I didn’t even know we were worried about her.
So glad that Rosie will be back to her old snarly self.
With a long history of rescues, I’ve had several that the best I could say was, they are safe, they are loved and they can do their own thing. They were never soft and snuggly. And it didn’t matter.
My 16-year-old Emma kitteh has pancreatitis -CBD oil has eased her bouts of it and shortened their duration. She went from having them monthly to maybe every 4 to six months. She’s even putting on weight.
My vet also gave us an herbal mixture that seems to stop the vomiting and pain when she has a bout. Not much else you can do.
If you want the info on her protocol, you know where to find me. ?
I LOVE ROSIE! ♥️ She was very sweet with me when I was at your place. She liked me scritching her little head and she kept coming back for more. But I get it. Lovey has a bit of that in her. She got really pissed at me the other day when I gave her her insulin shot all wrong. She moved a little when I went to put the needle in and I hit the wrong spot and it had to have hurt because the needle was bent when I pulled it out. She growled her meanest growl, curled her lip, showed her teeth and tried to bite me but I was quick. But I was seriously scared I was going to lose a finger. She steered clear of me the rest of the evening. But she forgave me because she curled right up against me when I went to bed.
“Chugging haterade”, love it!
I’ll have to ask SWMBO to comment later on (or just email Cole – I’m sure he’ll love that). As I recall one of our pack had pancreatitis with difficulty eating most foods. We made gelatin using beef (chicken?) broth for her to eat, and she loved it. Beef Jello doesn’t sound all that tasty to me, but it worked for her.
whew, good news
I’ve always had a soft spot for Rosie. She is a survivor! Please give her some love from me.
I saw a cartoon once where a guy was at the Pearly Gates and discovers that God is a giant dog.
And God smiles and says, “What, our endlessly forgiving, forever joyous and loving nature wasn’t a tipoff?”
It takes a special person to love a Rosie. Long may she live.
Poor thing. It sucks to hurt. Hope she’s feeling better soon.
Oh yah. Murphy and Rosie would fail to get along famously.
I tried to trim the hair on the paw Murph was licking too much last night, and got a warning shot across the bow. Mind, she’s never actually bitten me, but she’s certainly threatened. Me, and others. Which is also why I have so much confidence in her as my personal “livestock” guardian dog (I am the livestock in the equation.)
If anyone were foolish enough to try and hurt me or something in her presence, I have no doubt she’d rip their face off. But it doesn’t make her a cuddly pup! She will, every now and then, ask for ear skritches, which I am honored to provide.
Gotta love dogs.
John, do you give her Carprofen, Cosequin and fish oil? May help with the hip pain, and thus some of the grouchiness. If you go the Carprofen route, get the generic – half the price of branded ($35 vs $70) a month. You probably know all this already.
TaMara is right, CBD oil is your friend. Highly rec giving it a try.
zombie rotten mcdonald
Our current fuzz bucket, Lucy, has always been my wife’s dog. Oh, she tolerates me well enough, especially when we do a walk or I feed her, but she never really loves on me.
But she is on her last legs, although the vet says she is still healthy enough for an elderly dog. Doesn’t do stairs very well, and we have her on canned food because she had trouble with the dry food. Amusingly, one of the cats likes to partake of her food, and she won’t push the cat out of the way. She likes the cats more than she likes me.
I let her out and take her for walks, and she likes me when I do that. But she is obviously not doing so well; climbing onto the couch is less nimble and the other day, she had an alarming four limb failure that resulted in belly planting on the floor (she got back up, it was OK).
For a dog that never really warmed up to me, I am a bit concerned about how emotional I am about the idea that we may be losing her soon.
zombie rotten mcdonald
@piratedan: In our household, I think that is me.
This sounds a lot like the relationship I had with my orange tabby Alex (a.k.a. The Orange Bastard). He mostly tolerated me and the other residents of the house and only got snuggly toward the end of his life (when I think he realized he really needed me to take care of him). Damn I loved that cranky old fuzz bucket.
I remember being unreasonably hurt on Rosie’s behalf when you no longer allowed her on the bed, but I know you are both probably a lot happier (and sleeping better) for it. You’re a good man, Cole.
@zombie rotten mcdonald: It’s always hard with senior dogs. My Ellie is now 14, and while she has a great appetite, she’s moving slower and can’t manage the stairs anymore. I got her a ramp so she can get on “her” chair, but sometimes she tries to jump up next me on the couch and only makes it halfway before falling off backwards. Our walks have gone from a couple of miles to a couple of blocks, and only when the snow has gone.
I know I’m going to have to make a decision sooner rather than later, and am really dreading it.
Death Panel Truck
Glad she’s not too serious. Our cocker spaniel El Duque exhibited the same symptoms one morning last summer — chugging water and promptly throwing it up. He was severely dehydrated, so we took him to the vet, who referred him to the pet hospital across the street. They did an ultrasound and found a 5 cm. lesion on his liver. He was returned to the vet the next morning in severe pain that intravenous meds couldn’t control without killing him, so we had to put him down. If that dog was in any pain in the months leading up to his death, he never betrayed a hint of it.
A relative had a chihuahau who was an utter asshole but he had no teeth or jaw control so he couldn’t do any harm to the people he was a jerk to. It was fun, if the dog barked aggressively at her friends, she’d pick him up and hand him to them and then he’d be this embodiment of “awwwkward!” as he would realize all the threats he screamed at them were beyond any of his capabilities.
@OldDave: It was Gromit that had pancreatitis. His pancreatic enzymes were 1100 (300 signals pancreatitis) and he was in pain. Jello for pets. Knox unflavored gelatin (4 envelopes per box). A box of unsalted chicken broth (4 cups but you can reseal it to use as needed). Boil 1 cup broth in microwave and *slowly* stir in 1 packet of gelatin. Be careful as it tends to foam up and over the top. Pour into ice cube tray and refrigerate. Dole it out as she likes. You can give it to her warm and unset but make sure it’s cooled enough. Also, fats are the enemy. You are supposed to go with under 10% fat. I found ground chicken or turkey at 93% fat free was a winner. Cook it with more chicken broth (stay away from bullion. Too much salt). Use white rice and over cook it until it’s mushy. The vet said brown rice was harder on their pancreas and overcooking the white rice helped “predigest” it. Serve with more chicken broth so she stays hydrated.
On pain control, we had a dog that hated anyone walking near her. She attacked anyone at any time. I went into the vet at my wits end and said “tranks. Them or me.” He asked who was in the most fights. Dixie was in 90% of the fights and she drew blood. He put her on generic elavil (which has a pain component to it) and she settled into the sweetest, friendliest dog you could ask for (unless you were late with her dose). When we boarded her, before the meds the vet techs said it took 3 of them to get her in or out of a crate. After, they gave her her meds with a pill pocket and she was easy peasy.
@SWMBO: Also, if you can stand to be in the room with her after she has eggs, eggs are 7-8% fat. Nice snack boiled or scrambled in the microwave without butter or oil. Thurston is going to want some pancreatitis too if she gets all the good things.
Keep on keeping on, Rosie.
Return to health soonest for Rosie.
My dog Angus is somewhat like that. He was a foster fail after being brought into rescue from a rural animal control facility. The difference is that he’s very sweet and affectionate to me (most of the time), but he has no use for most other people and for cats (I have four at the moment). There are big orange “CAUTION” stickers all over his file at the vet’s. He’s also about 25 pounds of personality in a 10-pound package, which is nice.