This Thanksgiving, as I’m gathered around the table with my family getting ready to eat myself silly, we will all go around the table and say what we are thankful for.
It will be the usual stuff.
We are thankful for our family and friends.
For our health.
And to all be together.
We are blessed.
I know that and you know that but what worries me at this time of the year is that some people overlook how blessed they are.
The holidays can be a very lonely and stressful time for some and I can totally understand why but I wish for all you to at some point in time to find peace and love in the holiday season, even if its only for a brief moment.
If you’re reading this and dreading the holidays and feel lonely, know that you are not alone. We’re here.
A few weeks ago I was contacted by Quaker Pet Group to see if I would be interested in featuring some of their products in holiday gift guide.
I’m a big fan of the Quaker Pet Group since they are the master minds behind our all time favorite dog toy, the goDog Furballz, so I jumped at the chance to try out some of their newer products that are available just in time for the holidays.
Besides their adorable collection of holiday goDog toys, (the dinosaur is my personal favorite) and their very awesome new line of Hear Doggy toys, which you’ll hear more about in a few days, I was super excited to try out their new line of goDog Bedzz.
Sherman and Leroy normally aren’t dog bed kind of dogs.
Leroy has a bed that he has never, ever sat on but since he’s been sick I’ve been trying to get him to lay on it and I haven’t had any luck.
He has no problem laying on my couch or my bed but a dog bed apparently is out of the question. Even when I put the bed in his cage, and you would think he wouldn’t have any other choice but to lay on it, he pushes off to the side and lays on the cold, rough tray of the cage which drives me crazy since he is technically suppose to be laying on soft surfaces to help with his pressure sores.
I’m thinking he doesn’t like the bed because it’s thick…….. and to be honest, it’s not very soft.
So yes, I was excited to see how the goDog BedZzz would fair with him and I was also curious to see if their XXL bed was really…… an XXL bed.
You giant breed dog owners know what I mean.
Some dog products say that it’s a XXL but then you get it and you’re like….’um… yeah….my dog’s head can barely fit on that.
Pressure sores, hygromas or decubital ulcers are wounds that are caused when the bony part of the body such as the elbows, hocks or hips rest for an extended amount of time on a hard surface which restricts blood flow to that area resulting in dead tissue and/or calluses. Often this happens to dog who are seriously ill or injured and are confined for long periods of time.
Pressure sores can be seen in any breed of dog but large and giant dogs seem to be more at risk for developing them.
Pressure sores can often be difficult to treat and can lead to infection if they become deep and are not treated properly. The most common form of treatment is to relieve the pressure from the sore and provide the dog with a soft surface to lay on, such as a padded dog bed or blankets. Pressure sores should be kept clean and in some cases may need to have an antibiotic ointment applied. Pressure sores that form on a dog’s elbow or hock may need to be wrapped with a non-stick bandage to prevent infection and provide a cushion.
Leroy developed pressure sores when he was hospitalized for 4 days. They got worse when he came home because he was pushing off his hocks in order to stand to up.
With guidance from our veterinarian we’ve been able to get the pressure sore on his right hock to almost heal with applying triple antibiotic ointment and wrapping the area with vet wrap.
Keeping the pressure sores covered are a pain in the butt because they are located by a joint that bends constantly. Sometimes I get a good wrap to stay in position and sometimes I don’t.
Even though we’ve been doing the same treatment on the pressure sore on the left hock, it is not being as cooperative.
**GROSS ALERT PHOTO BELOW**
The snow came before I had a chance to put the patio furniture away last week and an unfortunate chair took on a little bit of the white stuff.
After a few days all the snow melted in the yard expect for the snow on the chair and Sherman and Leroy decided they would eat the remaining remnants.
I watched from the window as they were doing it and then this happened……
Leroy decided he could get more snow if he stuck his head under the arm of the chair.
I muttered from the window that I didn’t think that was a good idea and shook my head because I knew his head wasn’t going to come out as easy as it went in.
And I was right.
Besides being the obvious Newfoundland dog, Sherman is also so much more to all of us.
We go way back me and him and these are some of the things that Sherman is to me and some things you might have missed over the years.
Sherman is a loyal friend and protector
A study partner
Depending on who you ask or what guidelines you go by, Sherman has been a senior for at least a year now. Typically, most dogs are considered a senior when they hit age 7 by veterinarian professionals.
Giant breeds tend to be considered seniors a little younger than that.
I considered Sherman a senior when he turned 6 which is when we put him in the program for senior dogs.
Don’t worry. It’s not a nursing home.
It’s just some extra steps we take to make sure Sherman is staying happy and healthy… like taking him for bi-annual exams at the vet.
Did you know that it’s recommended that senior dogs have bloodwork done once a year?
It is by many veterinarian professionals.
Besides bloodwork, Sherman’s senior wellness exam also consists of a full physical exam, blood pressure and a urinalysis.
Last week the kids and Sherman and I headed to my parents house to help them clean up some leaves.
When Sherman realized that he was going for a ride in the car he was a little excited, as he always is.
Sherman has his routine when he gets in the car.
He waits for me to open up the back, puts his front legs up and waits for me to hoist his lower half in.
He’s had this routine since he was 3.
So imagine my surprise when I went to hoist him up last week and before I could get in position he jumped right into the back.
Actually, it wasn’t even a jump.
He basically just walked in without any hesitation.
Welcome to Sherman Week!
It’s kind of like Shark Week but cuter and fluffier!
This week this blog and all of our social media sites will be solely devoted to Sherman because on Friday Mr. Sherman turns 8!
It’s a big birthday for my big boy and since my birthday post for him last year was totally lame I decided I needed to make it up to him and devote a whole week gushing over him.
I don’t know if it’s just me or if every Newfie owner takes a deep breath when their Newf turns 8.
I’ve taken my deep breath and I’m ready to move on and start enjoying senior life with Sherman.
He’s got a little bit of grey on his muzzle, a small limp and he sometimes groans like he’s 125 years old but other than that I’m pretty proud to say that Senior Sherman has a lot of pep left in his step. I would go as far to say that Sherman is actually doing better as he approaches 8 then he was when he was approaching 7.
Today I take Leroy in for another check of his weight, albumin levels and protein levels.
I’m kind of torn on how he’s doing right now.
Everyday he gives me signs that I’m getting the old Leroy back.
Yesterday he jumped in bed to wake me up which is something he hasn’t been strong enough to do in quite a few for months.
Monday we went for our longest walk that we’ve been on for months and while he seemed to walk a little slower I could tell he loved every second of it.
His appetite is awesome and his poops are normal.
Getting my dogs to eat slowly has always been a top priority to me since fast eating can lead to conditions such as bloat and choking.
Both of them have always tried to be super speed eaters and act like they’ve never been fed before.
Because apparently, I starve them.
Here are a few tips that have worked for me to keep my dogs from eating too fast over the years: