Category Archives for Dog Rant

Dog Attack: 5 Things NOT to Say

At some point, I'll be able to write about how 2 loose / aggressive dogs attacked me and Mr. Stix from behind on our daily, neighborhood walk, without warning or provocation, in November 2021. Suffice it to say that the dog attack was terrible and traumatic. Yes, we were both injured. Yes, charges (or whatever you call them) have been filed. 

In something my personal development coach calls "empathy Tourettes," many people say things that don't help and actually make things much, much worse -- especially when the trauma is still so fresh. The list will likely get longer over time, but here's what I've got so far for things NOT to say after a dog attack. 

Continue reading

The Story is Not My Story

If you follow Champion of My Heart on Facebook, you know that we spent the better part of July helping a family spot and rescue their border collie. She went missing in the huge wildland park near us on July 4. The headline? The family rescued sweet Nellie July 24, and she is recovering from her ordeal really well. I want to talk, though, about storytelling -- especially in public / social media / online settings. Whose place is it to tell stories like this? In this case, not mine. The story is not my story. Here's why.

Continue reading

Canine Genetic Tests Thumbs Up (and Down)

The same day we had Clover spayed, I asked our veterinary hospital to run genetic tests too. My primary goal was to learn Clover’s MDR1 status (multi-drug sensitivity gene). Depending upon the genetic test you choose, you can also find out your dog’s breed heritage and whether or not your dog tests positive for other kinds of possible disease-causing genetic markers. The good news is that Clover is indeed 100% border collie (cute family tree graphic ahead), and she tested NEGATIVE for all 90 genetic markers. The bad news is that the testing company won’t tell me what all 90 of those markers are, which makes me really crabby.

Continue reading

Rant: 3 Reasons This Joke About Adverse Dog Vaccine Reactions Makes Me Livid

Imagine your Canine Soul Mate died from an adverse rabies vaccine reaction a bit more than 18 months ago. You fake it really, really well when you have to, but you’re still a grieving pile of goo on the inside. Now, imagine you’re scrolling through your social media newsfeed and come across a meme (photo with text overlay) that essentially makes fun of adverse dog vaccine reactions. It has been posted in a large community of veterinary emergency hospital professionals, and clearly, many of them find the joke hilarious. Stick with me, kids, I feel a rant coming on …

Continue reading

5 Days of Lethargy, 5 Hours in the Veterinary ER

Thanks to some medicine heroics in response to Lilly’s neurological setback Saturday, October 12, 2013, Lilly did seem to stabilize and improve slightly. Starting Thursday, October 17, however, she seemed exhausted and as if she felt like crud — often hunkering down on her bed, not moving, even if cajoled. Tom decided that she looked like a barnacle on the hull of a ship.

Continue reading

Another (Unwelcome) First – Accidental Chemo Overdose


Honestly. Every time I think Lilly’s medical saga cannot get any worse, something else that’s unexpected / unwelcome happens. On top of the not-good kidney news from earlier this week, on top of figuring out Lilly still has high blood pressure (even though she has been on BP meds since February 2012) … Lilly received an accidental “overdose” of cytarabine (a chemo drug) Wednesday night.

Continue reading

1 2 3 7