Monthly Archives

June 2011

Dog Health

PRA clears

They were all line-clear, so this is no great surprise, but the tests are back and the whole crew – Clue, her son and daughters, and Friday – are negative. Thanks and thanks and thanks again to VetNostic labs, who sponsored free testing for what ended up being about a hundred Cardigans.


The story so far…

A brief update on the Honour service dog search –

We were on a list for a Tibetan Spaniel puppy that was due this week. Unfortunately, despite a positive ultrasound early on, X-rays showed that there were no puppies. Nobody knows why some litters are resorbed; they just are.

This was disappointing. I am struck sometimes by how you can use words to describe something in a tenth of a second, as though as soon as you finish reading the words it’s over. Like “we built a house,” which is a year of sweat and yelling and swearing and afternoons that go on forever, but later you just say, “Oh, yeah, we built this house.” In this case, “disappointing” means “several days of Honour constantly bursting into tears, and blood on her knuckles because stress makes her hand-washing much worse, and Joanna really doesn’t get any sleep because she worries all night long and then has to be smiling and gentle during the days because it’s not fair to take it out on the other kids but maybe she can sell a kidney to find a puppy quickly? Would anyone buy it? Crap crap crap crap.”

Then the breeders of the Tibetan Spaniel litter called me to offer something quite astonishing – would Honour like to have one of their retired girls? This was not disappointing. It was wonderful. And it’s an offer we’re going to take them up on, next month in fact. The girl we’re getting – on very much a try-it-out-and-see-if-everyone-is-happy basis – is the age most service dogs are when they are thinking of retiring, so this is not a Grand Solution to Everything. But there’s a lot of real blessing to it: She’s a bombproof dog, she’s steady, she’s socialized within an inch of her life, she’s kind and wise. If she enjoys it here, she’ll make a wonderful emotional support dog for Honour and even do a few service-dog tasks if she likes the idea (I am not going to push). She’s also the right size and age to teach a toy-breed puppy the ropes of good behavior.

We’re still on the list for the next litter (this fall or next year) from these wonderful breeders. Nothing would make me happier than if that works out. But eggs and baskets have a saying about them for a reason. So the search goes on for a service dog puppy, as grateful as we are for the opportunity of the Lady of a Certain Age. ¬†More to come, as it happens.

Oh, and anyone want a kidney?


Hello, awesome new people!

I just looked at my stats and they went through the roof today. I am not sure what happened, but welcome! Lately my posts have all been pretty personal, because of my daughter’s search for a service dog, but if you want to get mad at me about meaty dog issues the archives are teeming with them :).

My main categories are Dog Health, Responsible Breeding, Cropping and Docking, Buying a Puppy, and Responsible Ownership. Lots of overlap between them. Lots of comments and discussions and people yelling at me for being bossy. I cordially invite you to join the smackdown.


I will miss this dog.

I will miss this dog.

I will miss this dog.

I will really miss this dog.

I will miss this dog too.

Oh, you KNOW I will miss this dog.

I will miss this dog.


Quizzy, thank you for being the best house-guest in the world. It was all the sweeter since we knew it wouldn’t last forever. Leslie, thank you for a huge dose of joy just when we needed it.