Human/Animal Bond

Pets, Kids: Is there a Difference?

Yesterday I realized that control is an illusion

August 24, 2015 (published)


Shiloh enjoys the hose. Photo by Dr. Wendy Smith Wilson
After a year and a half without a dog, I finally got a puppy. This poor little thing was found in a ditch. A friend of mine who is associated with a rescue group contacted me and the puppy has been living here since early June.

I wanted to get a puppy instead of an adult dog because there are four cats in the household: three indoor, one outside. Any dog that lives here has to learn to live peaceably with the cats, and a puppy seemed safest. The indoor cats, ages 9, 11 and 12, have been around dogs all their lives, so they’d know the drill, right?

Are you laughing at me yet? In my defense, I haven't had a puppy in ten years.

A realization that struck me about two weeks in was that I’d never had a puppy without an adult dog on the premises to do some of the heavy lifting. In fact, when I went to vet school, I took a brand new German Shepherd puppy with me. She learned everything just by watching the older Shepherd/Malamute mix. I didn’t have to teach her to sit, stay or heel, she just did it. Easy as pie!

Now I’m older, smarter, I’ve trained dogs before, and I’m getting the hang of this “behavior” thing, so I should be well-equipped to deal with a puppy, even one with some scary life experiences before she came here. Sounds good; let’s do this!

All things considered, it was going pretty well until yesterday when I realized that control truly is an illusion. I was feeling pretty crummy and sick, and the puppy needed to burn off some pent-up energy, so I took her and my laptop outside. Shiloh ran around the yard, dug a little bit in her “I’m going to the center of the earth some day” hole, bounded joyfully up to the barn to say hi to Mikey the horse, chased butterflies and grasshoppers . . . you know, puppy stuff. When she finally wound down and grabbed her big rawhide stick to gnaw on beside me, I decided I was miserable enough to lie down for a nap. I figured she’d settle in for her afternoon snooze and give me a chance to close my eyes. We went back into the house.

Nap indeed.

Upon entry, I was met with that smell that cat owners everywhere know means that something has gone terribly wrong in the litterbox department. A quick body check revealed the the Boulder had experienced some, uh, soft stool, and as a long-haired cat, he had brought it with him into the living room, thankfully onto a chair that I keep covered with an old pillowcase. Thank goodness for small favors.

First things first. I had to head off the puppy, who was following her sniffer toward the scene of the crime. I closed the laundry room door to keep her out of the litterbox and went back to inspect the cat. Yep, gross. He needed a butt bath. I scooped him up and headed back for the laundry room, where there’s a deep sink and a convenient bottle of pet shampoo. I closed the door so the puppy couldn’t interrupt and did a quick washdown on the old guy. Thank goodness he’s not inclined to protest much, other than trying to get out of the sink. Once he was out and towel-dried, I shooed him out of the laundry room so he wouldn’t wander back into the litterbox while wet. It's yucky to get wet clay litter all over the back end of a cat. Not today, thanks very much.

At that point I turned my attention to the litterbox itself. You don’t need the details, but likely you can imagine that cleanup was less than pleasant. That took a few minutes. When I finally exited the laundry room, I discovered that the puppy apparently hadn’t fully emptied her bladder when we were outside and had piddled a little bit on the rug just outside the door. In hindsight, I should have put the little monster in her crate.

Starting to wonder how long the comedy of errors would continue, I hauled the rug outside, hung it over a gate and started hosing it off. Do you know what puppies do when water starts spraying from a hose on a warm summer day? Woo hoo, playtime! So now I was trying to spray off a rug while a wide-awake and excited puppy was busy getting soaked trying to catch the stream of water. Shiloh was pretty disappointed when I turned off the stream and left the rug hanging to dry, but then another butterfly flittered past so off she went. Life is good when you’re a puppy.

We went back inside to find the damp cat sitting on a table in the living room. Normal? Acceptable? Yes, usually. But that particular table has some as-yet-unframed family photographs sitting on it, and a damp cat butt is not really something that photographs tolerate well. I spent the next couple of minutes waving those around, propping them up to dry, then collected the aforementioned pillowcase that Mr. Poopy-Butt had been curled upon to throw it into the washer.

At this point I was starting to feel pretty sorry for my miserable, headachey self. I had a wet cat, a wet rug, a wet puppy, and I just wanted a nap. I tethered the puppy beside the couch, gave her something to chew on, then crashed out. Mr. Wet Butt decided he wanted to lie down on me, so I grabbed a blanket and threw it over my legs for him. At least I knew he was clean.

I finally drifted off to sleep thinking about how this series of events reminded me of tales told by parents with multiple small children. I could almost hear the whimsical soundtrack playing as one misfortune piled upon another in our private comedy skit.

In the end, we all slept peacefully for a solid two hours. THAT was truly a gift.

15 Comments


Katherine S Kelley
August 28, 2020

When my older Yorkie was about 3 or 4 I came across a little white lump on her head.  Over the years it grew like crazy and was at least 1/2" in diameter.  It bothered her like crazy...alway rubbing it along the side of the fence or ground.  It got "bumpy" and would bleed.  She went under for a dental and I decided to take it off at the same time.  Best decision I have every made.


Toni
July 11, 2012

I have a 10 yrs. old Chihuahua. She has 4-5 small wart-like growth at various locations. I noticed them several years ago & brought them to the attention of my Vet who measured and chatted them, but was pretty unconcerned. Over the years two of them started growing and became more raised from the skin. Wart remover had not affect on them.  One day, one of them appeared to be scanned over. The scab fell off as I thought she had scraped it. Then it grew another scab and the Vet decided to take it off. These things look like warts, but they don’t act like warts. Now another one is starting the scabbing  process. Anyone familiar with these warts that don’t seem to be warts. Again, she’s had them for years and years.


Nancy Schumacher
July 10, 2012

I'm a groomer and used Super Clot on a bleeding wart with the owners permission.  I keep it on hand on the rare occasion I get a bleeding nail.I bought it at a pet store, but I'm sure you can find it on line.  It can be used for minor wounds. I've even used it on my kids.


Linda Steiner
June 24, 2020

My friend has a Bishon that’s only about 6 yrs old with warts that break open and bleed. Her last Bishon had this condition so bad she put him to sleep- he was covered with them. Yesterday she was fussing about a sore looking one on the dog’s back and I told her to try putting some Medihoney on it. Today, a big hard brown pellet (looks like a pencil eraser, only brown and not quite that big) and a whitish lump of weird looking skin came out of the wart. It bled afterwards.?. We’re going to put more on it tonight with a bandage and if nothing else comes out we’ll pack it with neosporin and bandage it and see what happens.


Adam
June 17, 2020

Interesting coming across this article. Deep sigh...I have a 14 yr old yorkie still full of life and energy, but had this wart that appeared on top his head near 4 yrs ago. It kinda big now, but never was an issue of bleeding, until last year his habit on hanging underneath the bed, when coming from under bed, last year, he must have hit it hard, he was in my mothers room, typical he would be there, and come to my room near bedtime. I totally panicked seen blood streaming, washed him, good thing always been one to carry lots bandages, ..I cleaned him and where he hit wart and bandage it up. I have blocked him from going underneath the beds. But now and then he scratches or runs it. Sometimes weeks and weeks past no bleeding, but then it comes back. I have tried some of the so called natural stuff. This thing called Naturasil, small bottle, near 30.00  , did not a damn thing, but irritated his skin. Someone told me try castor oil, but...deep sigh..iam at point to just continue what I been doing, washing it everyday and covering with bandaid. Some of these so called safe, painless treatments, only seem to make matters worse. And I wish I did more thorough research on Thuja oil before messing with it.


Jerry Sinard
May 26, 2020

My Bichon Harry had a large marble size one on his back, luckily not reachable for licking or scratching. I read somewhere, mix baking soda with apple cider vinegar into a paste. Careful it bubbles and takes a lot of soda. I put it on daily. Within probably 14-20 days, it dried up and was gone.  He has a new one we started early. That said, giving him a haircut, he’s got a few BB size ones here and there. Just about to turn 12. Taking him and his partner Sophie who has about 3 one large one we thought was something under the skin, as she’s had it for 3-4 years, to their Doc for checking them then set up their teeth cleaning and wart removal.  We hate it as we know they will be in a little pain for a couple days but better that than an oozing bloody one like Harry had on his back.  Don’t put it off. Have them removed as necessary.


Hope
April 29, 2020

We have been struggling with this recently with our 16 year old dog.  A small bump that she started scratching 6-8 months ago has grown.  Now she is blind, deaf,  has seizures, and has a large bump between her eye that she won't leave alone. She's also pretty obese and cranky.  That's how I'll probably be, too. We don't know what to do with her and the local vet wouldn't even give us a diagnosis and then confused her with another dog when they finally called back.  She is happy most of the time and we don't know if we are holding on for our own sake or hers.  We are pretty rural and I don't know where to go with her that I can trust. Her former vet retired and we are still hoping to find someone we trust.  Clean it and stop it from bleeding.  That's all we've been doing.


Dr Tony Johnson
April 17, 2020

The peroxide might be a little irritating - I'd consider skipping, or diluting way down :)


Dana
April 17, 2020

Thank you so much! I’ve been using a cotton ball with warm water mixed with peroxide to clean it and neosporin as well.  The halo sure helps but she still manages to bump her head every once in a while.


Dr Tony Johnson
April 17, 2020

I think you are doing what you can. Keeping it clean and treating any superficial infection with something like Neosporin are helpful. Preventing self-trauma is a must.  You can also put some topical cortisone cream on it if it look red and inflamed. Just make sure anything topical isn't licked off. Good luck:)


Dana
April 16, 2020

Do you have recommendations for daily treatments for these?  My poo is almost 18 but still has a spark for life.  We just sprinted - on leash of course - in the park today.  She wears a halo during the day to protect her head which is where her bloody wart resides.  I'm trying to keep up with the cleaning daily.  She can go a number of days without bleeding but one little tap on a sofa it will form a crusty blood layer.  As per your article, if I leave it, it's fine, but then it start to REEK and puss a tad.  I also had the quality of life, mine and my pooch with the vet a few weeks ago, but we aren't there yet.


Rita
March 15, 2020

My Scruffy party poodle is going through the same thing.  I fear the end is near. He’s deaf, going blind, can’t eat hard food, and bleeds slowly from the many warts on his body.


Kathy
January 23, 2020

Similar situation here with an aged poodle chihuahua. This morning I started seriously thinking of putting an end to her misery. She's a lively, bleeding-warty, arthritic, half blind, demented sixteen year old.


Pam
January 21, 2020

Great post. At times I was laughing out loud. We're dealing with a 16-year old, half-blind, half-deaf, half-senile dog who has now begun chattering, as well as chewing on her ever growing collection of warts. We're not there yet, but it sure would be nice if a The End sign would drop from the sky to tell us the right moment. Thanks for this.


Cam
May 11, 2019

I love this article so much. Thanks for making me smile as I think about my senior dog's future. I just adopted her and she's currently chewing on a skin tag that never got removed, and I'm wondering how I can "diy" it. *Sigh*



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