Category Archives: pet

michael vick update

For those that are interested, here is some videos about a few of the dogs rescued from michael vick:

Here is a quick update from DogTime and another one from the Best Friends Animal Society

Cesar Millan and Michael Vick

I am really surprised that Cesar Millan hasn’t plublicy said anything about the whole Michael Vick situation. He mentions often on his show The Dog Whisperer
that Bit Pulls are often misunderstood and defends them. I am hoping
that he takes some of the 50 dogs that were taken into custody from
Vicks “kennel” before they are euthanized, which apparently is
happening today.

Washington Post article on Michael Vick

I think many people arn’t looking at the sheer number of dogs that Michael Vick abused, tortured, and killed. It wasn’t 1 or 2. It was more like 68. 8 of which he personally took part in killing. The fact that he is only getting 12-18 months in jail considering he is personally guilty for a lot more than just animal cruelty is simply amazing. Illegal gambling, animal cruelty, racketeering, dog fighting, drug charges.. and more. The fact that the NAACP things that Michael Vick is being villified and should be given some sympathy and some slack is simply amazing. What a worthless pointless organization that has completely lost sight of what their purpose was supposed to be. I say screw him and them. Actually, screw you too.

This article was interesting until she started rambling about “galloping elitism” or even mentioning the possibility that this was all because he was “brought up in the ghetto”. What a load of crap

what the hell is dog island?

Look at this site I came across this morning: Dog Island Free Forever

Over 2,500 dogs are already enjoying a better life at Dog Island. Separated from the anxieties of urban life, dogs on Dog Island are healthy dogs who live a natural, healthy and happy life, free from the stress and hardship associated with daily live among humans.

They live with almost limitless space, and tens of thousands of rabbits, rodents, fish and other natural prey. Surrounded by thousands of other dogs, this is the only place for them to be truly social and create healthy families.

Dogs at Dog Island have another chance.

and even better, on their FAQ page:

My dog is being picked on by neighborhood raccoons. Can you give me any advice?
Yes. Send your dog to Dog Island. But in the meantime, teach your dog to be tough. Buy a BB Gun and get your dog a stuffed raccoon, like the owners of our favorite dalmation, Charlie, did (see article)

So you give them your dog, they release the dog on some island where the dogs are free….and hunt rabbits all day. Doesn’t this sound like some movie?

If you want to send your dog there on a “3 week vacation”…

Vacation Island: Three Weeks
Vacation Island, on the other hand, is very very expensive. It is only for rich people who have that kind of money to spend. This is the only way to visit the island with a dog and still come back with your dog.


Last tuesday we adopted a puppy from an animal shelter in CT. He really enjoys going to the bathroom. We named him Charlie, and he is a Beagle/Jack Russell Terrier mix. As of today he is a little over 9 1/2 weeks old.


If you want to see more fun pictures of little charlie, click here

Your pet or your house?

For anyone that read any of the posts about my dog, or about the discussion on how much is too much to spend on a pet, this is todays tidbit.

Sell your house to save your pet’s life

If you want to catch up on the original discussion about this topic, along with my dogs past situation, here is my old post with all the links

The biggest problem I have with the whole article..and comments is how I find the parts about thinking pets and children are the same. That isn’t exactly what I meant, or I think any of the other commentors who said similar things. You shoud go read the article on, especially the comments. It is interesting, but still aggravating. I just can’t see the whole “gift card” point of view. Like you’re getting a pet, and attached to it is a gift card with whatever stupid made up amount of money you set on the pets life. Once the card runs out…bye bye sparky.

Here is the comment I left on that blog entry:

I can partially see the first commentors point (bruce) about the majority of the “pets are the same as children” are childless. Not clueless however. I have made that pates same as children statement a number of times, and as was mentioned in the post, most (if not all) people, probably including me would go to as extreme an extent, like selling your house, to save a pets life as for a childs life. Obviously I wouldn’t have first hand experience with making decisions like that with a child, but I am willing to bed most of the readers of this blog, including the first commentor have had to either, so you really can’t say what you would do. My point, which I have mentioned before here and elsewhere, is that if you are a responsible person, maybe even just a “humane” person, you shouldn’t have a set “death limit” for your pet. When my dog started having all the problem he did, some of which were similar to the one in this article, like the monthly fee for life part.

Your saying…as many of the commentors have, that you will just stop at $1500, and that is only if you decide it is “worth it”. So what happens when you hit $1500? do you tell your kid “sorry timmy, we had to kill sparky because if we spent any more, I would be dipping into the cable bill, and daddy would rather watch the superbowl”

That to me is irresponsible, and is just plain wrong. You shouldn’t be going into owning a pet with his death sentance already planned out. Sure, everything has its and I, just like probably anyone else that said they view their pets as children, would do whatever was necessary to say my kid. You’re not even giving your dog a chance. If your not willing to even attempt to make a sacrifice to save your pet, maybe even if it is only for another year, then you just plain shouldn’t have one. Get a fish tank, they are cheaper and don’t live as long.

You would really feel fine going to sleep the night after you put your dog to sleep when you hit that $1500 mark? especially knowing that their are plenty of reasonable sacrifices you could have made. It wouldn’t….and didn’t sit well with me to think that I chose cable TV, a better car, high speed internet access, a cell phone, or whatever other amenities you can think of over a pet…a companion…and a member of a member of the family, like your child, but I don’t think anyone said that they would treat both the same.

Setting a limit of $200 on a cat? many of them live a good 20 years. That is just cruel, which again ties into the whole child thing. When you read in the paper about some parent who had been abusing their kid or depriving the child in some way, that is cruel, and shouldn’t happen. Obviously not the same as with a pet, but a reasonable person can understand the differance. People spend $200 going to dunkin donuts. That is worth more than spending a little on your cat?

If you go into getting a pet with its death tally already planned out. Just do everyone who actually likes their pets a favor and just not get it.

I spent a ton of money to save my dog. He lived at least 2 years extra just because of that. The sacrifices I made were petty and insignificant. But I, am my dog enjoyed those 2 extra years. When the dog had to be put down when nothing else could be done, my younger brother had a real tough time dealing with it. The decision was all mine since it was my dog, but he lived with that dog his entire life, and now he had to watch him get put down. Fortunately he is old enough to understand why, but how do you parents that know so much more than me tell that to your 5 year old? Is the heartache and torment that they deal with worth anything? or is there a price on that too?

As I said in a previous comment on this topic, the $15,000 plus I spent just in the last 3 years of my dogs life were worth every penny. I would spend it again if it meant that I didn’t have to see how heart broken members of my family were. I would have continued the $80+/month for the shot that was stabilizing his system, and I would have gone further if it hadn’t reached the point where he couldn’t breathe on his own, and would have died…more painfully, on his own days later.

Maybe instead of setting a predetermined limit on a pets life, you should figure out what “adjustments” you could make in your life to keep him alive.

Or maybe instead just watch your kids cry when you needlessly kill your pet.

[tags]dog,finance,death sentance,spending,pets,money[/tags]

How much would you be willing to spend to save a pets life? (Cont… again)

If anyone was following either of the past 2 posts/comments on made on the discussion on, I think the author hit the nail on the head with his third comment:

3. Whatever you’d spend to save your pet, it’s likely that it will be an expensive choice. If you are willing (like many people are) to spend $2,000 or more to save your pet, you better be saving up for it now. It’s a future expense that’s highly likely for many pet owners.

On an oddly related note. I spent a good portion of the day today back posting all the blog entries I had lost when my server crashed a few months back. google had everything still cached apparantly, and I just finished putting back up the 2 posts from when my dog had to be put to sleep. Now that him passing away is months behind me, looking back I still feel like I should of, and maybe could have done more. With that decision comes the need for more money, which is why if your going to have a [tag]pet[/tag], you should be prepared to have to make some tough decisions, and do what is best for your pet instead of maybe you’re wallet.

I always have a never-ending list of material possessions I would like to own. Right now I really want to get a digital SLR to replace my 35mm one, and on top of that is all the money we are supposed to be saving for our wedding in september. It’s debatable what I would have done financially if none of my dogs medical problems ever existed, but I am willing to bet the rough estimate of at least $15,000 I spent over the last few years of his life would still be around to some major extent. I would probably have that digital camera right now. I probably wouldn’t still owe my mother so much [tag]money[/tag], since luckily when I needed it, she has always pulled through as being the “bank” and lending me the money I needed at an unbeatable interest rate. Saving all the money that my fiance and I need for our wedding might not even be a problem.

Knowing what I know now, and knowing how many other things that money could have gone to doesn’t change a thing. I would spend that again in a heartbeat if something happened with a future pet, and I still wonder if putting him to sleep was the right thing, or if I should have tried the last 3 tests even though the chances of him even surviving the tests were so slim…let alone the tests even leading to something that could be fixed.

Maybe the real question is how much are you willing to spend on guilt? I guess either way..for guilt or for saving a pet, the end result is still the same. You shouldn’t put a price tag on the people (and pets) that you love, and for that matter, if you don’t love the pet (hopefully not the person either) than you shouldn’t get a pet, possibly leaving its fate in life completely in your wallet

[tags]finance, dogs, euthanize[/tags]

How much would you be willing to spend to save a pets life? (Cont…)

A while back I read a post on [tag]Free Money Finance[/tag] about how much people are willing to spend to save their pets life.

The author, obviously had a difference in opinion about how much to spend on a [tag]pet[/tag], and didn’t agree with my comments. Read the last paragraph of this post to see his response to my comment

Read the post I made on that a while back where he completely missed the point I was trying to make.

He made another post about it today, and I think further misunderstands the way things are for pet owners who actually treat their pets as anything more than a car purchase.

[tag]Pet insurance[/tag] doesn’t work anywhere near the same as health insurance for people work. All the pet insurance companies I have come across drop you as a customer when your pet reaches a certain age, with my dog I think it was around 8yrs old. Also, the insurance benefits long run out before any form of a major problem is taken care of.

The one thing he is right about is that there are plenty of reasons to think over before you get a pet. If you can’t take on the responsibility, or just toss a pet to the curb as soon as a problem comes up, then no, you (or him) should not have a pet.

Sad day

Maxwell Devlin

Last night I got home from work and max was almost acting like his normal cheery self, so I decided to bring him for a nice walk, especially since it was looking like it might be his last. We spent a good 30-40 minutes walking around the development near my apartment, going through some little paths in the woods and just letting him have a good time. It was sad to see him not be able to smell things, but I think he still had fun. As soon as we got home, he pretty much made himself as comfortable as he could and tried taking a bit of a nap. I think he got pretty tired from all the walking.

Then later on that night, maybe around 11:30, he actually started to clear his nose, but you can tell it was really stuffed with something. I think maybe a blood clot, because after he tried that, things got pretty bad. I think his nose started to bleed down the back of his throat and he kept kind of gagging and choking, probably from trying to swallow and breathe at the same time. It was horrible to watch, and after maybe 20 minutes, we decided to head to my parents house to make the decision.

He seemed to stop the coughing/choking pretty much by the time we got to my parents, but his nose was still bleeding a good amount off and on, and he was still only breathing through his mouth, and it just seemed like he couldn’t be comfortable like that. Eventually we decided that the best thing to do for everyone was to bring him to the animal hospital and see if they could clear up his nose. Our plan being to learn if there was some temporary fix they could do for him or if they couldn’t do anything at all, in the latter case we would have to put him to sleep.

We went to the animal hospital in Woburn and I had to tell his complete medical history to at least 3 differant people. The vet basically agreed with what Saugus Animal Hospital and Angell Memorial had told us, which was that the only options left to even see what the problem was, a CT scan, possible an MRI, and possibly the Rhinoscopy, All of which would make him more uncomfortable. The most likely result of what they found probably wouldn’t be fixable. At best they could have made him a bit more comfortable for however long he made it.

So, as much as me not wanting it to be the one, I pretty much made the call to put him to sleep and my father, brother, Aimee and I watched him fall asleep his one last time. It killed me to watch…my brother as well, and I still can’t help but feel like I failed at taking care of him. I can only hope wherever he is now, he is happy, breathing easily, and loving not having to take pills every day and get a shot every month. I hope he really did enjoy the almost 12 years I had with him as much as I did, and I hope he thinks I took better care of him and was there for him more often than I do.

Max was a big part of my life, he was a great friend, and he was everything you could ever ask for in a “pet”. He was just as much a person to me as anyone else, and he will be sorely missed. I am just happy that all of us were with him when he left us and although if I really tried, he probably could have lived a bit longer, at least it ended for him before he really started to be in pain.

Everything I see around me in my house or my car reminds me of him, and maybe one day I can replace all this guilt and sadness I feel with memories of all the love and joy we gave him, and all the fun times we had.

Maxwell Devlin

Saying goodbye

I think this week might finally be the time I have been dreading and hoping it would somehow never need to happen for years now. I think I am going to have to make the decision to put my dog to sleep. This is definately the hardest and saddest thing I have yet to go through in my life, but it really seems that this will be the best thing for him.

The hard part isn’t as much watching him go, but having to actually make the decision that it is time. When my grandfather died a couple years back, it was really sad and I felt real guilty. But the thing is, we knew he was on his way out, just like with maxwell (my dog), but with my grandfather, he died on a hospital bed, pretty much after everything possible could have been done for him.

In maxwells case, I know that isn’t completly true. Everyone can tell me I did as much as I could for him, and that I did more, and spent more helping him than almost anyone else would, but the fact still remains that in the end I feel as though it comes down to a matter of money. How exactly am I supposed to decide now is finally “enough”? is it because nothing else can possibly be done? not exactly. Is it because he is suffering too much? I don’t really know. Is it because doing anything more will cost too much money? I can’t help but feel that this is the real reason. I know more can be done for him, and I feel like that could extend his life a bit more, but is it worth the money and suffering he will have to go through?

Maxwell has always had a lot stacked up against him. Sure, my family and I gave him a good loving home, but over the last maybe 4 or so years, it seemed like every couple months something terrible happened to him.

There was the time he was breathing wierd, then started coughing up blood..large amounts of it too. We brought him to Danvers animal hospital, and apparantly he had caught pneumonia. They had him oxygen and an IV for a day, put he pulled through it and was as good as new.

Then he started having joint problems, mostly in his hips. Sometimes, especially after he got up after laying down for a while, he would limp around a bit until his joints loosened up. It seemed to kind of come and go depending on the weather, but somehow, it seemed to kind of fade away and he rarely had that problem again.

Then he grew a tumor on his side, right behind his right front leg. We got it tested, and it turned out to be non-cancerous, but it kept growing. His vet said we should leave it alone until it starts getting in the way of his walking. Then sure enough, maybe a year later, it seemed like it was getting too big, and we decided to have it removed. It was supposed to be a relatively simple day surgery thing. The vet was going to put him under anethesia, take out the tumor, and we’re done, but…it didn’t end up quite like that. Apparantly the tumor had a bunch of veins and such going through it, and when they removed it he started bleeding a ton. They had to give him a blood transfusion, and he seemed like he might be okay. We went to pick him up at the end of the day and he was the saddest looking thing. He had that big funnel thing over his head so he wouldn’t bite at the stitches, had a bandage over one of his paws where the IV was attached, and was a little more than half completly shaved. The worst part was that coming out of the top and bottom of where the tumor was..was a “drain” because apparantly when you get a tumor removed, your body gets confused as to why this big thing is gone, so it fills up the space where the tumor was with fluid. The drain is supposed to make sure this doesn’t happen. So I covered the floor of my bedroom with a plastic sheet, and got a bunch of beach towels and hoped for the best. The poor dog could barely even lay down with that stupid funnel on his head. But that wasn’t the bad part.

After we brought him home from the surgery he just wasn’t acting right. At first we thought it was just some after effects from the anesthesia, but a day later, he was barely walking and wasn’t eating or drinking…or anything for that matter. A night later, when he was barely moving, and I honestly thought it was the end for him, my mother, father, brother and I piled into my fathers truck and headed for Angell Animal Hospital in Boston. Maxwell couldn’t really even stand, so I made a little stretcher for him out of a piece of plywood and his bed. He was making all kinds of unhappy sounds, and the drive to the hospital was the longest one ever. When we got there, I was amazed with how that place Operates. We pulled up at the front and someone actually came out with a real stretcher for him. They wheeled him inside, and the ER Vet looked at him, and brought him into the intensive care ward immediately.

What apparantly happened was that Maxwell had Addisons Disease, and the surgery to remove the tumor apparantly made it got nuts since his body was in such rough shape especially after the blood transfusion. He was in the hospital for 4 days. I visited him every day, twice a day, for the whole hour of visiting time they gave you. Basically he had to stay there until he started to eat on his own again. So I would bring him in turkey and ham and things like that, hoping he would eat it. Every time I showed up, and even more so every time I left him there, he would cry, and all I can picture is that sad face he had on.

But sure enough he pulled through. Aside from his shaved side, and the gross drain sticking out of him, he was almost as good as new in about a week. Then this started his new life.

While at Angell, they also discovered he had a heart murmer, along with the beginning signs of glaucoma. So, between addisons disease, the heart murmer, and glaucoma, for the rest of his life, every day we had to give him a prednisone pill for the addisons disease, an enacard pill for the heart disease, and eye drops…every day. Plus, every 25 days or so he had to go to the vet to get a percoten-v shot.

I think he has been on this plan now for maybe almost 2 years. It was real rough at first, but after a little while it was almost like a normal thing for him, and he seemed happy.

Then this brings us to the present. About a month or so back, he started having a bit of a bloody nose every day, and to make matters worse, he would sneeze, and more blood would come out. At first it wasn’t too bad, but as it came closer to today, he would have these times where the bleeding would be real bad. He would sneeze, and a ton of blood would come out. It would make the house look like a crime scene. The first time this happened, we brought him to Saugus Animal Hospital, (his vet) and they held him there all day, and we decided, as risky as it was with his collection of medical conditions, to put him under anethesia, take a bunch of x-rays, and get a better look at his nose. The vet cleaned out his sinuses, and packed them with some kind of medication, and then he was back to having the mild bloody nose here and there.

He also got put on 2 new medications. The vet didn’t know what it was, so maxwell had to take an antibiotic and an antifungal medication every day now too. We hoped it was just an infection or something like that, and things would improve, but they didn’t and after 2 more really bad nose bleeds, Aimee and I brought him back to Angell memorial to see a specialist. I hoped she would give me an easy solution to make Max all better. She looked at all the work and X-rays Saugus Animal Hospital had done, and said that she didn’t think medication would do anything, and that the next step would be to put him under anesthesia again for a CT scan and a Rhinoscopy The 2 procedures, plus the anethesia would run about $1500, and all this would do is possibly tell is what is actually wrong with his nose. According to the vet, most likely it is 1 of 3 things. In the best case, it is some foreign body, in which case they just take it out. Next in line to that is if it is some fungal growth type thing. In this case he has to come in for one, and worse yet possibly 2 surgeries. During which they put him under anethesia again, drill a hole through his nose (dog noses apparantly are much harder to work on than human ones) and then they insert a tube in there, and flush all of his sinuses and nose out with some kind of topical antifungal liquid, then that should fix it. But in the worst case, it is some form of a cancerous tumor, which would mean a series of chemotherapy visits.

All of which may not be successful partly because of his other conditions, especially the heart disease, which greatly enhances the risk of death when he he is put under anesthesia. The vet also said that more likely than not, it is either some fungus, or cancer, so in the best case we are talking about 2 times under anesthesia, but it is more likely to be 3 or more, plus, if it is the fungus, how happy is he going to be with a hole drilled into his nose? and if it is cancer, how well is the chemotherapy going to go? it may not even be successful.

The, just to add more to the story, a beagles average life expectancy is about 13 years, and maxwell will be hitting 12 years old I believe in August. Between all his others problems, its real possible that even if I did everything I could, it would only delay the inevitable by a year or so.

And obviously all of these options arn’t cheap, so we decided to leave it alone, deal with the bleeding as it comes, and as long as he stays happy, then everything is fine.

But the last week, especially the last few days, breathing through his nose has been tough. It sounds like he has a stuffy nose, sometimes he will sneeze up blood, sometimes he will sort of be okay, and last night I think has been the worst, because it seems like he can’t use it nose at all. He is breathing completly out of his mouth, and it makes it real difficult for him to sleep because every time he breathes, he opens his mouth a little bit. At some points it looks like he is trying to sleep with is head up, and sometimes when I look at him, I see that same look I got from him when he was in Angell Memorial for that week. He just seems so sluggish and lazy, and it kills me that he can’t use his nose. Being a beagle, he likes to sniff everything…everywhere, and now he can’t. When I bring him outside, he just kind of mopes around, and he puts his nose to the ground every once in a while, but I don’t think he can actually even sniff.

but the biggest problem I am having is dealing with the fact that I have to decide whether to let him live or die. Whether to end it now, or hope he gets better, or maybe either way, just let him die on his own. I don’t know if he is actually suffering, I don’t even know if it is as bad as I think it is. All I do know is that above everything maxwell is, and was always my best friend.

When I came home from work, he would know it was me and get all excited.

At night, he wouldn’t really go to bed until I did, and then he would sleep in his little bed right next to mine.

If I got home late, he would still be waiting up for me. Even if I came home drunk at like 4 in the morning, he would still be waiting for me.

I got him as a puppy only a couple weeks old when I was in the 8th grade. I really wanted a dog, but the rest of my family really didn’t. I begged for a good 2 years, trying differant types of dogs, making deals…anything I could think of. Then finally, my parents started to cave, and they said I could get a beagle. They actually wrote up a contract that I had to sign saying I would take care of him, walk him, feed him…all that stuff. And ever since then I have loved having him, but now its at the point where I am afraid to bring him anywhere. I feel like walking him might be too much.

Over everything else, I feel this huge amount of guilt though. I suppose it is like this when anyone dies, but I can’t help but feel like I failed. Like I could have done more. I know I didn’t walk him nearly as much as I should have, and he always loved going for walks. He kind of made the rules when we went out, he would spend the whole time sniffing everything he came accross, so it was kind of hard to actually walk anywhere. There was plenty of times, especially during the summer where we would go for our nice little walks at night, and he loved going out every time. Sometimes when I worked on my truck he would come out and sit and watch, but he would get unhappy if he was away from me. I never really brought him for too many car rides, because he would shake and it seemed like he hated being in the car, and then, after all the problems started to happen, I just felt like he was too fragile and I was afraid to even take him for walks at times. Really I don’t know if I could have done more, or if there is anything else I can do now, but I just wish I didn’t feel so guilty about how I took care of him, and if I gave him as good of a life as he could have had with some other family. It would be nice if making this decision wasn’t so hard either. I don’t like having the end of someones like completely in my hands, and I hate feeling like there is all this uncertainty. Like maybe in a couple days he will be fine. Maybe if He went in for the CT scan and all that stuff, and had the surgery that he would last 5 more years, or maybe he would last less. Maybe he would die on the operating table, but at least in that instance, I tried all I could. Right now I feel like I just weighed the pros and cons of the options available and where I am at now is because of the choice I made, and I hate even more the fact that money is obviously a factor in the whole decision. People I know can say a million times that I did all I could, and I spent more than anyone else would, but it doesn’t really matter. Since the surgery for the tumor on his side, I (and my parents in some instances) probably spend $10,000-$15,000 on him. I think it was worth every penny, and I can’t help but feel like giving up now is just that. Giving up. I look at maxwell as a member of my family. I don’t really look at him as a dog. He has been there for me so many times over the past 11 years, I feel like I owe him the same. But if he was a person, there wouldn’t even be a decision to make. He would have been on that operating table probably a month ago. Health insurance or not.

Dealing with that simple fact, and the immense amount of guilt I feel about how I ran his life is a lot to bear, and I just don’t know how I can handle bringing him to the vet to end his life.