Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Grass is Always Greener...When It's in a Potty Park...

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse...

Zimmy has been bombarded with a full arsenal of medications for roundworms, as you know. He has also completed 15 days of meds for coccidia, and thus I thought we were in the clear. Then another stool sample test revealed something quite annoying...he has GIARDIA!

Noooooo...he didn't eat that Italian TV chef, this is yet ANOTHER parasite. It went like this:

Vet: *calls*

Me: "Hello?" (riveting, I know)

Vet: "Hiiiiii this is Vet Person. I am calling to discuss Zimmel's stool results."


Vet: "Good news! He is clear of roundworms and coccidia, turns out he has giardia"


Vet: "I know! I'm sorry! It's quite common in puppies, and it's hard to diagnose so it didn't show up in the other tests! Really though it's common!"


Vet: "I know you've been through a lot!"

Me: "Is it transmittable to humans?"

Vet: "Yes it can be."


Vet: "I know! It's gonna be ok! Just keep doing what you're doing..."

What I am doing? WHAT I AM DOING? This is what I am doing!!!:

-Laundry: In hot water w/ bleach ALL our clothing! Like at LEAST 2 loads a day! Colored, delicates, EVERYTHING! I figure if it can't stand the brutal washing and bleaching, it's probably too stylish and thus we don't need it.

-Vacuuming: Let me add here that I had to completely clean out my vacuum, as I used it once without realizing there was no bag in it (can you say GAG?). Have you seen the inside of a vacuum that was used to vacuum an entire house, without a bag??? The inside of the lid on mine has more ridiculous, non-functioning compartments than an apothecary! It was torture cleaning it outside, in 90 degree weather...

-Changing bedding: Oprah would sleep in our beds I am changing the sheets so much. Even the dog's bedding. Why? It's part of the hysteria.

-Bleaching everything: Pretty sure my house smells like a swimming pool, but all the little hairs in my nose have been burned off so, not sure I can smell anything...

-Washing hands: Kind of surprised we have any skin left...

-Washing Zimmel: He is now half fish...I mean half dish. Dawn dish soap does that.

This all with homeschooling, trying to shower, cooking, remembering to pay bills, keeping kids in their activities, and scouring the Internet.

You should see my eyebrows! They are out of control!

Anyway. Despite this temporary hell, there are many benefits to having a small dog. Despite the initial purchase price and first 6 months of vet bills, they are much more affordable. Especially short-haired, robust Chihuahuas. They eat less, make less of a mess, and end up being a good family investment because of their overall good-health and long life span. They also create minuscule poo and pee...

This is why Zimmy hasn't peed or pooped outside in 3 days.

Don't freak out. It's me remember???

I got him a litter box. Ohhhhhhhh yeaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh...

Why, you ask?

Let me give you a quick lesson in parasites that affect both humans and dogs. See, these parasites that we have been fighting now for the past month and a half well, they live in EVERYTHING! And, NOTHING KILLS THEM! Except fire. And they can live for YEARS in the soil...or earthworms, birds, livestock, raccoons, squirrels, crickets, etc. And since I can't burn the ground here at the apartment complex without being arrested, I have decided to just eliminate Zimmy's exposure, and expose Z to elimination in a box. I informed Zimmy of the impending change. It went something like this:

Me: "Zimmy! Wake up Zimmy!"

Zimmy: "Hwhaaat eeeez eeeeet?" (give me a break ok? He's originally from Mexico. In my mind, he has an accent. Just like if he were from France, like a Bichon Frise, he would then say, "oui madame, ca va?")

Me: "You're doing such a good job going potty outside!"

Zimmy: *gnaw gnaw gnaw* "Hyesssssss..."

Me: "But now, you're gonna go potty inside the house!"

Zimmy: "Hwhaaaaaaat? Are you loco? Hyou teach me to not go in theee house, now, go in theee house? Hwaaaat?"

Me: "Oh don't worry. It's in a litterbox. Like a cat!"

Zimmy: "Ho no...I am nooooooh caaaaaaaaaaaat!"

So...of course the company, Rascal Dog Litter Box realized pups may not want to pee in something that looks like this:

The bow is even more offensive. So, the grass comes slightly scented, for encouragement, and, if that doesn't work, it comes with a free spray.

The box came and I ripped it open with my bare hands. I assembled the litter box and promptly sprayed some of the spray on a spot. I thought to myself, "gee, this smells like urine!" Then I looked at the back:


But...seeing as it was a STERILE fox...or, the urine is now sterile, I didn't immediately spray on top of the spot with bleach. Or fire. Moving on...

So, if you're still with me (have some grace it's been a hard month) Zimmy uses the litter box with no problem, as long as he is brought over to it. And he needs to actually go. If he doesn't need to go, he

-rips it
-scratches at it
-licks it
-jumps out over the side
-runs in circles and barks

But let me just add that these behaviors, though annoying, are better than,

-trying to stop him from eating crickets, ants, and bird poo in between producing #1 and #2
-trying to stop him from rolling in the dirt
-trying to stop him from eating sticks, leaves, and then gagging on them
-standing outside at 2 am, praying that neither Z or I are attacked by bats.

Here is Zimmy, totally annoyed that I am taking a pic of him using his new potty...

I realize it's gonna take a while, and some treats, to get him to only eliminate in the box, and not destroy it. I plan on buying some Bitter Apple soon, I bet fox urine and Bitter Apple smell just FANTASTIC together!

But seriously! This litter box is amazing! Every small dog that can be carried away by a hawk should use this. It is SO easy to clean! You can even machine wash the grass! Wooohooo!

So, not sure this post was worth reading, but I said I would update you all on the litter box, and on the pup. The vet is pretty confident that Z has no more parasites or problems of any kind, and I am praying that is the case.

If anyone has a great story to share in the comments please do. I would love to co-miserate!!

Oh! And I forgot to mention, I am catching his poo in a bag before it touches the grass, just until the giardia test comes back negative.

Someone HELP meeeeeeeeeeeee!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Great Way to Lose 10 Pounds...Roundworms!

It's been a long month, people...

Have you ever seriously pined for something, but successfully warded off the pining for a long, long time? Then suddenly you give in to the pining, and suddenly, you have a puppy with worms and a controversial diet plan? too...

Here's how it went down.

August 2007-August 13th, 2010: *Sigh* I ("I" being, any of us, at any given time) want a chihuahua soooooooo badly! (don't judge on the breed). Family pines on and off, each experiencing moments of weakness, but some have waves of sanity, staving off a puppy purchase...

August 14th, 2010:

Me to hubby: I really want a dog. Maybe it's the right time?

Hubby: Yeah...I think so...

Me: It wouldn't hurt to check the 'Net...

Hubs: No, it wouldn't

Me: Oh look! So cute! It wouldn't hurt to call...

Hubs: Nope, it would not.

Me: OH! *Blah blah blah about details* Well...should we drive the 1 1/2 hours to see the pups?

Hubs: We're not doing anything else...why not...we don't have to buy one, we can just look...

Me: Of course! Let's just look...

That night...after a haz-mat type cleaning of the pup AND my family (the breeder's home was, well, not too clean)...

Me: I can't believe we got a puppy!

Hubs: He's pretty cute...

Audge: I LOVE him! He's SO cute! He's SO adorable! I am so happy I could cry!

Jake: Ack! He keeps licking me!

*bliss for 48 hours*

August 16th:

Dog won't wake up.

Seriously. Cute as can be, sleeping, but, will.not.wake.up.

Vet appointment soon.

Vet: "He is experiencing extreme hypoglycemia, he could go into a coma and DIE (emphasis mine of course)...we need to keep him for a few hours."

Audge sobs. I try to stay positive. Don't want pup to die!

Finally we get to pick him back up. And OH! By the way...he has coccidia...and roundworms.


Get home. Get on 'Net.


From here it is kind of a blur. I start a cleaning regimen of my home, the outside of my home, the pup, my kids, myself, and anything else I can reach with a vacuum, bottle of bleach, or a flame thrower. OK not really...I also become crazy about potty goal is to NEVER let him poop in the house. Which means I don't leave his side. I don't sleep. I barely eat...


Seriously? Remember, I freak about fleas. Nasty little buggers...they move FAST!

Dawn dishsoap kills them. Pup gets several baths. Several. He smells like clean dishes.

I do nothing but cry, clean, and search the Internet...pup is nearly in a constant sudsy, quarantined state...

August 18th:

Pup manages to sneak a poo in his kennel...and he eats it.

I have a nervous breakdown, and tell hubs I am not sure I can do this anymore. I start concocting a blatant lie plan to explain to kids that the pup they LOVE WITH THEIR ENTIRE BEINGS was only visiting and must go back to his old 11pm at night. In another town. Hubs talks me down from my panic attack...he's good that way.

I get on the scale. I realize I am losing weight, that I couldn't lose with constant diet and exercise, at an almost alarming rate. Oh stress and constant effective it is!

ANOTHER FLEA? FRICK! I vacuum like a madwoman and administer more Dawn dish soap baths. I give in to flea and tick meds, finally understanding the necessity of it all...

August 19th to basically, well, today:

I continually ride a wave of complete insanity, calling any medical person and/or vet I know, trying to figure out how to manage to survive this roundworm infestation without driving my family crazy and dropping under 130 pounds. Kids' arms and hands are starting to crack from all the washing. Neighbors give me weird looks as I bleach and rinse the sidewalk. Pup, all 2 pounds of him, thinks nothing of being put under the bathroom faucet to be washed about 1,354 times a day. I manage not to pass out when I see worms fall off his poo. I demand de-worming meds from the vet office, according to my several Internet searches. He should be cleared of them by now...I am awaiting another stool sample result.

I break down and buy a litter box for him. You'll all hear about it when it arrives on Tuesday...

If you know nothing about dog roundworms, look it up on your own. If you are thinking of getting a puppy. RESEARCH EVERYTHING! And in fact, have a vet appointment set up immediately, and make sure the breeder has PROOF of de-worming and vaccinations.

I haven't weighed this little in quite a while. Roundworms will do that to you.

As you see I have found a moment to share all of this with you. I even had him added to my banner...he's gonna be a hot, hot topic for a long, long time...

So, if you love this craziness, please comment, send some love and support, or names of therapists, my way. It's the only way I will manage to find my way to the computer, between the laundry, dog washing, and panic attacks, to keep you all updated.

Oh and by the way, I looooooooove him...

He is our Zimmy. And through thick and thin (if I stay thin) he's here to stay.

Welcome to the Z Chronicles...

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