By: Revanche

Pupdate: A 3-year anniversary with Seamus

September 21, 2016

3 year pupdate: rescuing dogs is one of the most rewarding things we do We dubbed him Seamus in the first, rough, weeks of his homecoming, a play on “Shamey-y”.

I can’t be more grateful that we weathered those days, welcoming him even when he broke almost every rule trying to learn the ropes, even when we had a baby on the way and weren’t sure how it would all happen.

From the moment he met JuggerBaby, the squirmy little bundle of noise and mess, with interest and hope, he’s been a trooper, the saintly dog you’d always hope for in just such a circumstance.

Life with DOG!

JuggerBaby and Seamus have a curious sibling relationship. You’d think they didn’t care whether the other existed, until you made the mistake of raising your voice or provoking screeches (which, to be fair, is really easy to do for a toddler of JuggerBaby’s age). Seamus would quietly insert himself into the room and check on everyone, clearly concerned that ze would survive the day, and leave just as quietly when it was clear no one was a casualty.

Likewise, you’d think JuggerBaby was kind of a jerk the way ze petted him like he was a first class drum set, until you notice that zir carefully leaning in to give him Mmmmwah! kisses, before and after overenthusiastic pets. And woe betide you if he looks bored and ze knows where the Chuck-its are hidden. Like an extension of Seamus’s will, ze unearths the toys, presents it to you with a demand: BA!! and points at zir brother. Throw that thing, parent, and do it now! He’s bored! And soon after, carrots! Ze pulls them out and points insistently, EY! Give him treats!

As part of my weekly grocery shop, I prep packs of carrot sticks for Seamus. They sit sit together on the floor, box of carrot sticks clutched in JuggerBaby’s still chubby fist, staring at me for permission to hand them over, one by one. Once in a while JB’s enthusiasm brims over and ze offers him the entire container. He’s no fool, he looks at me for the nod. Even when ze dumps the entire box on the floor in front of him, he waits for the nod before reaching for any.

We do bedtime together, he lays at our feet while we read bedtime stories and sing bedtime songs, then he and I decamp to the living room for his care: brushing teeth, pedicure, cream for his itchy and raw skin. He lays his head on my knee and naps for a while, before his last nighttime stroll with PiC.

Medical woes

His weight has stabilized, he’s lost much of that sympathy pregnancy weight, but he has had a rough road.

He’s had an ulcerated eye, twice.

JuggerBaby nearly poisoned him (maybe).

His skin looks worlds better than it did when he first came home but he still breaks out into hot spots so I’m always on alert for any new trouble areas. Twice a year it gets bad enough for the heavy hitting meds. They’re effective but we don’t want him on steroids more than 20 days a year, they aren’t great for his organs, so I aggressively treat all flare-ups to keep them from progressing past hot spots.

He’s had an endless stream of infections. They crop up when he gets scraped up playing too enthusiastically and sometimes just because it’s fun to make me jump. I’m his on-call emergency medic, always carrying a full kit of topical antibiotics, ointments, bandages and gauze.

We make it through each one because he’s generally an astoundingly good patient, for a dog who surely doesn’t understand why I’m making him lay still while I poke and prod his painful parts, and our vet is good about working with me in filling the appropriate medications when we need them instead of making me bring him in for an exam every time. This saves us anywhere from $200-500 a year.  

3 year pupdate: Some days are harder than others but happy dogs = happy days

A Dog and Our Money

I’ve been using the saved proceeds from the blog to pay for his numerous medical needs. Unfortunately, since this isn’t a cash cow, we’ll need another way to fund his care soon. 

We can cashflow his food, supplements, the occasional toy, and any other gear a good pup needs out of our regular income.

I do most routine maintenance at home for the cost of materials: war cleaning, nail clipping, pilling, first aid. These could all add to the price tag but luckily I enjoy animal husbandry. 

We’d love a companion pup for him, he does best when he has appropriate canine company, but I’m not sure we can take on Number Three any time soon. It’s nearly as much work as a kid in a lot of ways and the costs pile up quickly if you’re not careful. 

And another pup would make travel even more expensive. When we go on vacation, so does he. Turns out all the dog sitting I did as a favor to friends back in the day, because I knew I’d appreciate it if I needed the same? Well, there is no dogsitting karma. Nor is there babysitting karma. 

Please, keep reminding me of that, because I might still lose my head and adopt another senior dog one day. 

:: Are you a dog / cat / other animal person? What makes them great?

7 Responses to “Pupdate: A 3-year anniversary with Seamus”

  1. SP says:

    <3 Seamus!

    I love my dog and like dogs generally, but also would have been happy continuing on without being the caretaker of one. The first year was especially expensive (various medical issues), I expect the senior years look similar as far as medical goes. This year has been not bad. The vacation/boarding/dog sitting is an issue, since he's so high energy – I wouldn't subject him to most people, even those that love dogs! We found a few good options for him through our dog community, and while none are free, I can at least rest easy knowing that he has a place to stay this Christmas with people who understand him (and he loves it because he gets to hang with their older dogs nonstop).

    They are great because they make us laugh and are so eager to please and just be part of the family.
    SP recently posted…Home ownership, 2 years inMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      It’s pretty unpredictable, I think. One of my old guys rarely ever needed veterinary care, even well into his teens.

      I’ve come to appreciate the very good quality care given by a paid sitter for Seamus because he actually needs close attention in a way he never used to. So glad that Ol has a safe and secure place for Christmas. If we ever get a yard, though, he’s going to be invited for a stay.

  2. We’re dog people. In the past, Mr. Sandwich has had cats and loved them, but their dander does not love him.

    And it turns out that we are senior dog people. Wicket literally followed Mr. Sandwich home, and we are forever grateful that her original owner never came for her. She was an incredible dog–gentle, thoughtful, patient, devoted. From her, we learned that we always want a dog, and we are most likely to get an older dog.

    http://www.tragicsandwich.com/wicket/

    So when we lost her, we knew we needed to get another dog. It turns out we needed to get two. Butch and Sundance aren’t Wicket, and Baguette hasn’t warmed up to them yet (she is fine with them, but she truly loved Wicket), but they are awesome dogs in their own right.

    http://www.tragicsandwich.com/butch-and-sundance/

    They’re also much better looking now that they’re groomed. And thankfully our groomer also does dogsitting. It’s an extra travel expense, but cheaper than most alternatives, and we don’t worry about them when they’re with her.
    Tragic Sandwich recently posted…Role-PlayingMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Wicket sounded like such an amazing dog. And I turned into a senior dog person too. Butch and Sundance are adorable, they’ll set up shop in your hearts in their own special way, I am sure. It’s awesome that your groomer is a sitter option!

  3. Desirae says:

    Oh goodness, Seamus sounds like just the loveliest dog ever, and thank you for sharing these moments between Seamus and JuggerBaby with us! Your storytelling abilities are unrivalled, this is just beautiful. I’m so sorry to hear about all the health issues, but I’m happy for Seamus that he found such a loving, caring home to help with all this care. Not every dog owner would do the same, which makes my blood boil, but such is life – and Seamus has a great one thanks to you!

    Also, as a fellow dog human, who is routinely reminded by other people that a second dog would be expensive and time consuming, here is me paying it forward: another dog would be expensive and time consuming. Even though nothing fills me with more joy than seeing my dog play with the other dogs at the dog park, I remind myself (often) that I like my ability to reach my financial goals, and sit on the couch, and have time to read. Plus, see aforementioned weekly trips to the dog park, and also his many, many neighbourhood dog friends. Stay strong!

    (Alternatively I’ve brokered a deal that when we move to a bigger house we can foster dogs in need as temporary friends and playmates. This seems like a VERY slippery slope – like, the most slippery one ever – but oh well.)
    Desirae recently posted…How Much It Cost To Run a Blog For a YearMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Thank you for the assist – I appreciate it!!

      What we really need to do is be located near each other so we can host doggy dates and doggy-loans and that should help, right?

  4. Linda says:

    Are those real photos of Seamus? ‘Cause if they are he seems like an adorable ham for the camera, too!

    Dogs are just so awesome. I’ve had a couple cats, too, but I’m truly a dog person. Vet bills will usually increase as they age, but they are worth it! Now that I have a house and big yard, I think about fostering dogs, but Hannah dog really would not like another dog around all the time and I want her final years to not be so stressful.
    Linda recently posted…RecoveryMy Profile

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