Anchorage Away

We are in Anchorage! Tomodachi has an appointment for a spay on the 8th, a day after I have eye surgery. She is happy to be in a new situation; Nakama is happy to be on a trip, too. Here’s the hitch…motion sickness.

I discovered after some ATV rides that poor Tomodachi has motion sickness. As I am a studious individual I went to the Internet MD and did some research. I discovered, on multiple sites (which I verified with some vet techs and veterinarians) that a puppy’s inner ears may not be fully developed until they are older, or they may grow out of the motion sickness issue. Nakama didn’t have motion sickness, but we were also able to use the ATV quite a bit when it was just he and I. Due to weather and not having a crate to put on the back of the machine, Tomodachi didn’t get the same advantage. Less than a month ago I started taking her out more and she would vomit during the ride. So sad!

While at the vet we discussed the ways I can help my pupper. I had many travel plans which we will now not do because I want her to enjoy our time out of Togiak. I was advised that there is a prescription (about 15$ a pill) that she can take sporadically. The vet stated that taking it daily wasn’t a good idea, but a 50 mg tablet of Dramamine would work (amount based on her weight, please don’t go giving a 5 pound chihuahua a 50 mg tablet) if needed. So I have four of the prescription pills, mainly for long trips, as we have to travel to Palmer again for her Leptospirosis booster, and we have a plane ride to go home to Togiak. To help her today she received a shot, which was a whopping 60$, but worth it because she didn’t vomit. Sadly, she still drooled (a clear sign of her upset tummy) quite a bit.

When we got home Tomo was lethargic for about 40 minutes. She and Nakama (and I, actually) took a nap since we were up at 4:30. After her nap she had some food and has kept it down. We also went on a walk to the coffee hut (Java the Hut is awesome!). I am gonna be honest and say that I believe it was kind of fate that we are not going to be traveling by vehicle. I am really low on funds right now due to how much I spent on this trip. So by her getting sick it is almost like a sign to stick close to the AirBnB, walk as much as possible, and not eat out. I still have a dozen doctor’s appointments to attend, but I will be taking the bus because the doggie daycare is within walking distance of our current Anchorage residence. We need to come back in December for further doctor’s appointments, and I will again see about a place close to doggie daycare so they can chill with friends. I’ll post a second update about the AirBnB, Daycare, and some shenanigans later this weekend. For now, happy thoughts to Tomo, please, since this vacation is probably not on her favorite list at the moment, nor is is gonna get better when she has her spay on Tuesday.

How Much is Too Much?

Puppers on a 5k!

A little over a month ago we did a thing! We managed a continuous 5k, but it was clearly too much to make this start. While Nakama is fully capable and ready for a continuous 10k, Tomodachi was not ready for this smaller continuous walk. When we got home they both passed out for the rest of the day. Granted, maybe we should have started with broken increments anyway, even for Nakama, who used to do 10k’s with me all the time. Unfortunately it was the nicest it had been in a long while, my feet were not hurting in any way, and we hadn’t had a walk in a long time. Part of the issue, not mentioned above, was the fear of the dog who had attacked. Said dog is now dead due to owner negligence. So, we were clearly ready for some sort of walk thanks to the cabin fever. However, now we will break our 5k’s up. Once school is over for the term we will have three walks a day for a total of 5 to 6k. This way we get out of the house for a time and still get in a good 5k a day to keep training for our massive walk.

Passed out after a walk!

A good rule of thumb for walking dogs under two, per many Internet searches, and speaking with the vet, is five minutes for every month of the dog’s age. Tomodachi is currently eight months old, so I keep our walks to 40 minutes or less. This includes meandering and basically sniffing every twig, brush pile, and rock cluster we come across. Generally we hit about 1.5 miles in such a time, which fits my 5 to 6k goal. I hope she improves in her concentration as we practice more. This summer we are hitting up Anchorage for her spay, so after she’s had a bunch of quality downtime, we are hitting the trails and exploring.

For the 5k we did a race where the proceeds went to helping animal shelters. Myself and both pups earned a race medal, which they are proudly displaying in this photograph!

Spay and Neuter

Where to start. I was really hoping that Tomodachi wouldn’t go into heat before I could fly is to Anchorage to have her spayed. I also had no clue that a neutered male was more than happy to ‘get it on’ with an in-heat female. Well, after the pre-heat (bring on the blood specks everywhere!), now I have a couple of horny dogs running amok in the flat! I have no idea why anyone would want to go through the entire process. If the dogs are always outside, then I guess folks don’t notice, but inside pets who are not spayed or neutered? Holy heck, what a mess.

Nakama was neutered the December of the same year I’d been adopted by him. We flew to Anchorage for a slew of doctor’s appointments, multiple for him, too. People in countless places tell me how much they love male dogs because they don’t have to worry about puppies. I find these people the most uneducated individuals when it comes to creatures that breed. Sure, the male dog owners don’t have to worry about their dog getting pregnant, but what a thing to say! I’ll let my dog go out and impregnate as many females as he wants, it isn’t my responsibility. Folks who say this shouldn’t have pets or children. No, I am not sorry to say this, either. There are overpopulation problems among domesticated pets and humans, all because the humans have this mentality. Nakama’s neuter May have kept a whole bunch of cute puppies from being born, but at least he is not creating puppies that are disposable.

Tomodachi is set to be spayed in June. We are all traveling to Anchorage for some socializing and surgeries (all three of us have one). Nakama and I will walk around the area while she is in surgery, most likely worrying about her because she is our family. Afterwards we will spend a number of days just chilling. I look forward to her not having to worry about unwanted male advances in the future. We can walk without worrying about the ferals that run around in the village because people don’t tie up their dogs, or get them fixed (for the reason I mentioned in the prior paragraph). I want her to have fun, and I can say for certain that she is not enjoying being in heat. She can’t relieve herself without the uncut males coming around, and she can’t relax in our flat unless I shoo Nakama away. Once she is spayed, all she will ever need to do is have fun!

Here is where my major problem comes in. Due to my ASD I have some OCD going on and let me tell you, the blood on the floor is freaking me out. All of these people are just like, use diapers or a pair of underwear. They might work well with someone who doesn’t shred things to oblivion. Nakama and Tomodachi both shredded a pair of underwear I’d used as a makeshift diaper. There is no way I would use a real diaper because if they shredded that and ate the plastic?! Not to mention the feral dogs and birds get into the dumpsters here, so there are dirty diapers all over the ground and I don’t want to increase the amount of disgust. So I am washing bedding and mopping my floor almost daily. This, at least, keeps the demons in my mind at bay.

The other day, when I was shouting at a nasty feral (I call him nasty because he has killed a dog and injured others, he also killed an eagle, which the owners of said dog just discarded in the dumpster 🤬) to get away, a number of local children just asked why I didn’t let Tomodachi have puppies. Puppies are cute, puppies are fun. I had to educate them the only way I knew how. Looked them straight in the eye and asked if they thought it was okay for a child in my grade (I teach fifth) to have a baby. They looked at me like I was crazy. I informed them that at seven months, Tomodachi isn’t fully formed, so her having puppies is like a child having a baby. Of course to them my babies are just dogs, so we do not see things the same, but even my vets have said that dogs shouldn’t have puppies during the first or second, some folks have even said to wait to have a litter or two when the dogs are two years or older. I like those responsible answers, but I still never want to deal with the ‘fun’ of a heat, again…ever. So she will get her spay and then none of us will worry about the situation further.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Here is a picture of my cute, little doggie-boy, Nakama. I ended up terrorizing him yesterday because he managed to swallow a piece of felt about 1.5 by 1.5 inches; totally my fault, I should have known better. I also thought I had the hydrogen peroxide at hand, which it wasn’t and when I called our market, they didn’t have any either, so I shoved the poor guy into the bathtub and tried to induce vomiting using my finger and shoving it down his throat. Poor guy ended up bleeding and foaming at the mouth, but still didn’t vomit at which point I contacted a friend at the school and asked if she knew if we had any hydrogen peroxide in the nurse’s station. She said she had some in her desk and I was welcome to the lot. So I prepared to drive my ATV back to the school, but ran into a set of flatmates and they had some at the flat. Needless to say, I borrowed the stuff and did what my folks had said, I put some of that in his mouth and had him outside to vomit. Well, nothing happened, and I was thick enough to not have my mobile on hand, so we went back inside. I had recalled reading on a web post that it takes about five to ten minutes and the hydrogen peroxide needs to fizz. The stuff didn’t fizz. So I did the intelligent thing and called my vet in Wyoming. I spoke to a few folks and eventually I was informed that the dog should have something in their stomach (I gave him some chicken while on the phone), it could take up to thirty minutes to work, and walking or running around helps. Just as I was preparing to hang up, Nakama started his vomiting spree all over the apartment. It was a major load, let me tell you. Two huge piles of food (one of which I did find the felt), and then quite a few hydrochloric acid spills with foam. Poor guy walked around the apartment for an hour vomiting and I cleaned as he went since I didn’t want to drag him down the stairs after he had already emptied the food contents of his stomach. Lesson learned in multiple ways, especially in making sure I cut off all loose pieces of felt from toys since it only takes a few seconds for a dog to gnaw off and swallow. Keeping hydrogen peroxide at hand is good (the vet told me he could have up to two table spoons, but I am not sure if that is based on his weight or not, he weighs about 30 pounds). Also, since it could take up to thirty minutes, ignore what is said on certain Internet sites and just chill outside if you don’t want to clean up a sticky mess. I know dogs tend to eat all sorts of garbage from who knows where, so when you live in the bush and do not have access to a vet, this is the best option. I would still call a vet to walk you through making the dog vomit, just because they are knowledgable (they said up to thirty minutes when the Internet pages I read said between five and ten, that extra twenty minutes is a long time when your heart is racing!). Nakama had only rice and chicken for dinner last night and this morning to help settle his tummy. He gets that normally anyway, but I held off on his dog food because I have no idea how his poor digestive tract feels after yesterday. As I mentioned, I tried to manually induce vomiting and he was quite distraught after that episode until I brought him outside, at which point he was excited to be out without Tomodachi. I am sure he felt he was being punished, and in a way he was, for my mistake and his natural desire to mangle any and everything in his reach. As long as I have the hydrogen peroxide at hand, then at least I don’t have to worry about him becoming aggressive and biting a finger off by manually making him vomit. All I can say is, thank you to everyone who helped me fix this problem and I learned many valuable lessons.