Dogs as Pets

Just like having a baby, getting a dog entails responsibilities, big time. A belief is that when one is a grandparent, one enjoys the grandchildren without the headaches. Having a dog is never being a grandparent, it is being a parent to the end.

No, Ringo did not pass away, but thus far, we’ve lost two dogs – a Dalmatian and a beagle – to kidney stones.

Losing them was heartbreaking but the vet said getting pure bred raises the chances of ailments like the two had. So after Chubby and Benjamin had multiple babies I was assured that as they weren’t pure bred, my dog worries would be down to a minimum.

But I got Ringo, a mixed Golden Retriever and labrador. I guess that qualifies him a bit as not pure bred but with a difference — he has strains of being pure bred? I am guessing.

A few days ago, HHA said Ringo was peeing minimally or not at all. Having had and lost Dale and Benjamin after similar symptoms, HHA told me immediately.

And so RIngo was brought to the vet who gave him a blood test and urinalysis. AN x-ray was prescribed except that the UP Vet clinic closes at 3pm. Impossible that night and the following day, husband couldn’t skip work as he went on a field trip, son had an interview.

I prayed things would work out. I called a former driver who said his license was in Iloilo, he was cooking food to sell besides as his wife was sick. I took comfort in prayer.

By late morning, the vet called to say Ringo had to have surgery – stones were detected in the urinalysis and blood test. She wanted to do it that afternoon, asked if he’d eaten in the morning. I said yes, Ringo had had breakfast.

He said to feed him at 6 pm latest, no other intake past that. As our household is anything but a controlled environment, I asked if RIngo could be brought to the clinic that night. She concurred.

When son came home, he brought Ringo to the room so I could pat Ringo and stroke him. When husband arrived, they brought him on two leashes to the vet.

Yesterday at 11 a.m. the surgery began; it ended 2.5 hours later. Package for surgery, confinement and some meds – P15k. And the prescribed food for Ringo from hereon in: Royal Canin Urinary SO that sells at P980/2k or P3100/7k.

Oh the expense – I felt like crying until I crunched numbers.

PRior to his surgery, Ringo and his 7 cohorts (We have 8 dogs, Ringo the biggest) consume 20k of dog food over 14 days. Of this, RIngo accounts for 4 cups a day, the rest 2 cups per day. I usually buy what’s less than a thousand pesos in Rustan’s or True Value. OF late, TV has been my source as Rustan’s doesn’t have the 20kg bags. The dogs don’t like what I got them from S&R. They prefer local? I guess.

If my computation of Ringo’s consumption is correct, he’ll finish 7k in ~29 days – wishful thinking? Reality, I hope. Vet said to just give him 3c a day. HHA was told that previously but she said he was to lean at that rate. She wants everyone obese. So some of our dogs have been described as pigs.

In the search for RIngo’s food, I called a few clinics – ANimal House (P3.1k for 7k of RC Urinary), Pet Express (P3.2plus k for 7k) and finally, Marikina Veterinary CLinic – P980 for 2k. I got from the latter as it is closest to the house and HHA knows how to get to it, ergo I need not ask the husband to do so. When I called Marikina Vet Clinic, a nice, reassuring voice answered me – Dr. Jessica. I discovered said clinic through this blog post.

Dr. Jessica was reassuring. She told me commercially sold dog food has a lot of salt, ergo avoid. She suggested cooking food like for humans minus the salt. That will save us some amount, I guess. Previously, Dale’s doctor also suggested that we could mix the dog food with some rice to lessen the financial burden. I’m grateful for such vets who don’t make me feel so heartless if I decry the expense of special dog food.

As far as I am able, I will buy only RC for Ringo but when push comes to shove, some rice will be added. Hopefully, HHA will now obey the doctor’s orders not to add salt. She can be so wilful sometimes.

We hope Ringo stays healthy for a long time because he’s precious to us.

And perhaps is “breed” makes him a sturdy dog in the sense that unlike Dale and Benjamin before him, even when he could hardly pee, he was still running around and his feet didn’t swell. Maybe too, his condition was not as bad.

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