All Ears on Sadie



I’m the worst dog owner ever.

I feel terrible today because my puppy, Sadie, has a sore ear and won’t let me touch it. Actually…it hurts her so bad that when I went to go clean it last night…she peed on the carpet before I even touched it.

I suck.

My problem is that the ear has been bothering her a while. Actually, let me back up…she had ear mites about four or five months ago. At that time…I took her to the vet and she actually got a little violent…snarling and snapping at the vet. She had to be muzzled and sedated. Her ears were cleaned and treated and, as I sat with her in darkened room while she trembled and came out of her stuper, I vowed I wouldn’t let her ears get infected again and I definitely wouldn’t make her go through that kind of vet experience again.

I totally suck.

A couple of weeks ago, Sadie and I went home to Biloxi to visit my parents. They have a 3.5-acre lot with a creek. Also visiting were my brother, Ben, and his fiancee, Hattie…who have two lab mixes, Sonny and Belle. Both of these dogs love the water. Normally Sadie won’t get in the water at the creek, but when she plays with Sonny and Belle…she becomes a water dog. And that creek water is not good on her.

So, once again, Sadie’s ears are bothering her…and all I’ve been able to do is scratch them for her and try to clean them. The last time I tried she snapped at me and it broke my heart. Ask any dog owner…all you ever want is for your precious pup to always adore you and wag their tails and drool when they see you. You don’t want them to snap or yelp.

Geesh…I suck.

sadiepics.jpg Sadie came to live with me about a year and eight months ago when she was about eight weeks old. I first saw her when she was six weeks old…in the the picture at right, top. This picture was e-mailed to me by Ben, who had received the photo, along with others of a litter of puppies that had been found in a box on a sidewalk in Memphis. As soon as Ben forwarded me the e-mail I was a goner.

I told him to pick me out a boy dog. I was going to call him Mozart…Mo for short. In the two weeks before I got to take ownership, I did hours and hours of Internet research. What food should I buy? How do I train a dog? Where should he sleep? Do I use a kennel? What medical attention will he need? Etc.

But no amount of reading could have prepared me for the fluffy ball of goodness that came to me (see second picture from top at right). It didn’t prepare me for the long nights…for the scratches and nips…for the licking…for all the mess…for the sweet moments…for the irritating moments…for the well spring of emotion I now feel for this now full-grown beautiful dog (bottom picture at right).

When Ben called me to say he had gotten the dog…he also mentioned that he had picked out a girl. I was a little disappointed, but decided I could still call her Mo. Well, that changed quickly once I took possession of her. Try training a dog to respond to Mo and the most used training word…No. It was futile. So I decided to change my puppy’s name to honor my favorite rag doll from childhood…Sadie Mae. It was a perfect fit…and I can’t imagine having any other dog…by any other name.

Sadie…or as I sometimes call her…Beauty Girl…is my bud, my pal, my friend. She listens to me when others won’t. She hops up in bed with me every night…usually edging me to the extreme right of the mattress by morning. She loves car rides and chicken fingers. She has chased away the moles in my backyard and keeps unwanted (and sometimes wanted) folks from approaching my property. She growls in the middle of the night when something isn’t right, and she licks my face when she’s happy. I love her dearly.

So, this is why I feel I suck as a dog owner…because I don’t want to have to take her to the vet for her ear. She has never gone to the vet with anything less than total, body quaking fear. When we pull up to the building, she freaks out and, in a most amazing and unbelievable fashion, manages to increases her body weight from 50 to 2,000 pounds…to where I cannot pick her up to carry her in…nor can I even drag her by the leash. She absolutely hates the vet.

So, I’m left to try to clean her ears every night. I can usually get away with one good cleaning of one ear each evening before she skulks away and won’t let me get near her. I hope that I can help her to heal…I still have medicine left from the last time the vet had to clean them.

So wish me luck as I work on her ears this week. She got over her initial fear last night and I was able to get to her ear and do some pretty good cleaning without hurting her much at all. And it was good that she didn’t snap at me last night…but she did yelp once. It absolutely broke my heart in two.

Ack…I totally and thoroughly suck.


16 Responses to “All Ears on Sadie”

  1. nolagirl Says:

    This does suck. Can you at least call the vet and tell them what’s up, get any advice over the phone? Or would they tell you to just keep up with the medicine? I just wonder if they are severe enough to where she needs some other meds.

    Bella isn’t *happy* about the vet, but she will go in and sit nicely in the waiting room (thank goodness!). The only thing I can think of to make the whole event of going to the vet less stressful and quicker on both of you is to let the techs deal with her. They should be willing to help you get her out of the car quickly and safely (and they can muzzle her properly if necessary). Bella used to FREAK about getting her nails clipped, and I finally just started letting them take her in the back by herself to do it. I realized that me standing there trying to help and to soothe her did NOTHING, as she was *that* worked up. It just made ME feel horrible.

    Oh, and you don’t suck. You just need to keep doing what’s best for Sadie girl, even if that means going to the vet. She’s not a person – she won’t be thinking “Why in the hell is she doing to me???” (this coming from a person who thinks that come Wed. when it’s time for her to get boarded, Bella will probably be thinking the same damn thing! LOL)

    Keep me posted on your cutie!

  2. TALK! Says:

    Thanks, nola.

    Truth is…other than doing the cleaning…the vet didn’t do much else last time. He gave me the medicine to administer.

    Granted, having the vet clean Sadie’s ears meant they were cleaned quicker and in one day. But I foresee this as an on-going problem. She will be spendig a LOT of time on my parents’ land by herself and with the other dogs. I need to be able to clean her ears routinely without her freaking out.

    I can’t go to the vet after every dip in the creek…I’ll go broke! πŸ˜‰

    I’m going to work on the ears this week and see if things get better.

    Oh…also, I have to take Sadie to the vet to board her in two weeks when I go to Birmingham for the AI concert. The last thing I want to do is take her to the vet now and have her be a nervous ninny and then have her be TERRIFIED when I have to take her again in two weeks.

    I’ll keep you posted.

    Thanks for the advice.

  3. bamaborntxbred Says:

    I have one second to post. Completely crazed at work today!

    1. You do not suck. If not for you, she might not be alive today. You saved her lil doggy life. The person that left her in the box sucks. That person SUCKS.

    2. Think about getting your vet to give you a sedative for Sadie that you give her before she goes to the vet. That will help immensely (prior experience talking).

    3. You can give her a Benadryl (google for correct dosage) an hour or so before you attempt to clean her ears. That will calm her down quite a bit.

    I know it’s heartbreaking (I have two elderly dogs. Many health issues are cropping up) but it’s so wonderful to see them healthy.

    You are a great Mommy. Don’t forget it because I know Sadie won’t.

  4. TALK! Says:

    Thanks, bama.

    My vet gave me some Benadryl and “snacks” to wrap them in last time I was at the office.

    I’ll try that!

    Oh, and my mom also suggested the sedative for before going to vet.

    I’ll definitely ask about that!

    Thanks bama…and Mom. πŸ˜‰

  5. Holeigh Says:

    Aww, Shell, you do NOT suck at all. Like Nola said, all you’re doing is trying to help Sadie the best way possible, which is unfortunately to go to the vet. I know it feels like she hates you for making her go, but she’s only behaving in a natural way…now you’ve just got to convince yourself of that! She’ll heal up and be back to your cute little puppy in no time.

  6. TALK! Says:

    Thanks, Holeigh. πŸ˜‰

  7. nolagirl Says:

    Oooh, good call on the sedative, bama! I forgot about that.

    Oh, and I am almost positive that with Benadryl, it’s one pill per 25 lbs. of dog, so I’d guess Sadie would get two. Double check with your vet though!

    Did your vet have any advice for what to do to her ears right after she swims, so that maybe it won’t be so bad next time?

  8. TALK! Says:

    I’ll be sure to ask about what to do when she swims. I hadn’t thought about that.

    I guess, too, while I’m at it…I can see if there are any preventative drops I can put in her ears on a routine basis.


  9. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Oh, yeah. I totally forgot to tell you that Sadie is such a cute, squishy widdle poopy face. That second pic makes me wanna go get a tiny baby pupper.

    P.S. My dog Jasper had ulcers on his EYEBALL (gross) and had to go to a specialist for an operation to scrape them off (super gross). Well, he was pissed off and was growling and snapping at the vet techs. They decided to put a muzzle on him. Well, to add insult to his injury, b/c he’s a shi-tzu with a tiny little nose, none of the doggy muzzles fit….so they put a kitty one on him. Dude, I’m convinced he knew and was so furious (and embarrassed). They ended up giving him a shot to knock him out. Poor little guy. He’s normally verrrry laid back.

    (BTW-this is the 3rd time I’m trying to “publish” this comment, I keep getting the damn words wrong. So, I hope 3 of these don’t post!)

  10. TALK! Says:

    bamaborntxbred…you just made me snort out loud…I’m now crying ’cause I’m laughing so hard.

    I’m sure I’ll be getting fired for guffawing like a monkey.

    Thanks for that. πŸ˜›

    P.S. Send me a pic of Jasper (great name)…I’m sure he’s a cute, squishy widdle poopy face, too.

  11. Quossum Says:

    Ah, Shelley! Rest assured, *the situation* sucks when one of our animals is sick, but *we* don’t suck! I know you’re beating yourself up because you think you’ve neglected the ears a bit…that’s a common feeling. I get it regularly about my dogs’ nails!

    The others have given good suggestions about sedating the dog before treatments. Also, if you have access to any sort of “Whole Foods” sort of place, there’s some stuff called “Rescue Remedy” that’s supposed to calm dogs down pretty well. Colloidal silver is supposed to be a good ear cleaner / maintainance treatment.

    If Sadie gets these ear infections regularly…have you looked at her diet? I’ve heard that ear infections can be tied to certain grains and food allergies. Now, I’m a raw feeder, so naturally I toot that horn, but even if you don’t want to “go there,” you might want to look into changing her kibble.


  12. TALK! Says:

    Thanks, Q.

    You (and everyone else) have been a well-spring of information.

    I really appreciate it! πŸ™‚

  13. suzi-q Says:

    Sadie Mae is the sweetest little lady I have ever met and all of you sound like the best pet parents I know!!! I can say that from the past to the present, I have never had the compassion and regard for a pet that “Talk” has. Shell, dogs and kids get sick and injured and you are doing all you need to be a great companion to your sidekick. Hopefully you will never have to swab your Sadie’s throat with methiolate, sorry:( also an ice pack is waiting for any bee stings that may occur:)

  14. TALK! Says:

    Awww…Suzi-Q…ju R de best! πŸ˜‰

  15. nolagirl Says:

    I’ve heard many a success story with Rescue Remedy, Shelley! I am so out of touch with my lab board (ahem … nothing to do with Taylor or Idol … cough cough) that I didn’t even think of that.

    Food is another deal altogether. Some dogs are allergic to corn, grain, chicken products, you name it! I hope that’s not what it is b/c that can be a pain to try to narrow down!

    Keep us posted on Sadie girl’s widdle ears!

  16. TALK! Says:

    Thanks, NOLA.

    I’ll be sure to ask the vet about her diet when I take her to be boarded on Aug. 7. πŸ™‚

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