The other day, I told my wife how this blog generated a lot of hits.  I wondered if the phenomenon is quite common to all dogs.  This article would somehow end up as one of the TOP POSTS almost every week.

https://compassionateconsiderations.wordpress.com/2008/07/22/lessons-from-the-swollen-discomfort-of-sgt-beans/

The article though was not about the medical help – but the processing of thoughts after the whole experience.

I thought I would share some more helpful things now for the dog owners.

So if your dog (in my case, Sgt Beans, my black lab) is having swelling on its private parts – maybe you can consider what I have learned from my research and from what the vet had told me.

1. I did not take action right away because I thought it was just one of those things that will go away anyway.  SO WHEN YOU notice something that is not right, INSPECT. LOOK and ASK questions.

2. I did my research when the swelling was a lot greater. I could have saved Sgt Beans from more pain had I acted right away.

3. I researched through the internet – and GOT SCARED BECAUSE diagnosis is more important. I was inundated with WHAT IF questions.  One vet student mentioned a virus that could infect humans. I researched that and got afraid because it said, it is dangerous when it comes in contact with human skin.

4. Yes it is going to be costly.  But PETS like children are costly anyway.  I tell myself that is ok because “Sgt Beans won’t have to go to college anyways..”

5. If your vet is like a good friend, maybe you can work out a reasonable payment plan.

6. Sgt Beans was injected twice on that visit. Then I was told to give him antibiotics (the same antibiotics we take as people).

7. The antibiotic cream helped a lot too.

8. CARE FOR THE DOG:  Sgt Beans likes water a lot.  I just have a tub that we fill up for his needs esp when the temperature outside is really high.  MAKE SURE THAT THE WATER IS CLEAN. THROW the water after one using.  I thought I could save more by reusing it for BEANS. BUT NO.  The bacteria may have already infested that water – and do not allow your dog to lie down on the tub using the old and already dirtied water.

9.  SGT Beans would always mark certain areas (pee certain areas)… and sometimes these areas are places he considers his haven as well esp when the sun is OUT.  Under the bushes, next to a tree etc.  When the vet said that he may have been lying down on his urine, I vehemently said NO because Beans has a house and the house is somewhat elevated.  A couple of days later, I realized that there are at least 2 areas where Beans would mark most of the time. He would also lie down on those areas.  It had been raining and the mud, mixed with what used to have been dried urine, have stuck on his soft testicle skin covering. In time, the bacteria had eaten away the soft covering.

10. Maybe you could pour hot water on those areas where your dog marks the most. Lessen the bacteria from cultivating.

11. Every time Beans has his bath, or his play in the tub – I always make sure that his balls are wiped dry with a clean towel.  CLEAN TOWEL.  When it rains and he plays outside, I make sure I dry that part of his body before sending him back to his house.

12. Carefully apply the antibiotics that the vet will prescribe. Make it as pleasant as possible.

13. Give positive reinforcements before, during and after placing the medications.

14. It was easier to apply the medications when Beans are slightly pressed against the wall (on all fours)…

I hope these things are helpful.  It took less than a week for me to see major improvement on his privates.  Up to now, I still reinforce the command “raise leg…” and he would give me access to check, to wipe , inspect and to just make sure that he is okay down there.

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Today was a very hot day. Sweltering heat. If we humans are really complaining about it, I could only imagine what the thick coated furry friends are saying these days.

We live in a small house and much as we would like to, we cannot let our Black labrador stay inside most of the time. He has a small house built for him – but when the temperature is really high like what we had today, we would usually allow him inside OR, as the vet told me, let him cool off in his tub full of water.

Enjoying the water

Enjoying the water

Sgt Beans was given to me as a birthday present almost 3 years ago. I grew up having dogs around the house so I thought it was almost a no brainer. Growing up, our 6 mongrels were relatively easy to take care of. But when we got Beans, my wife and I had to learn ( I think I did most of the learning) a lot of things so we could really understand the dog’s nature and its needs.

Profile of a contentedly wet Labrador

Profile of a contentedly wet Labrador

I had never seen a gentler disposition and spirit. I always tell my wife that we should have gotten a labrador early on in our marriage. We have taken him to your youth camps ( along with our 2 other dogs) and Beans would become a friendly – receptionist by day, but once we closed the door and bid him goodnight outside our small cottage, he becomes a faithful guardian.

Of course there are no bad days with a labrador. Everyday is a good day to play, to walk or to swim. Amazing how he loves to fetch – but the tennis ball is really a labrador’s bestfriend.

The look of contentment

I just closed his house door for the night so he could sleep peacefully. A neighbor initially thought that it was cruel to put the dog in his house for the night. But dogs also need a place where it could be comfortable and where they could safely sleep at night.

It has been 3 years since Sgt Beans came into our lives. We look forward to having him for more years of awesome friendship and unsurpassed loyalty.

Love is in the eyes

I picked her up yesterday. If I could only tell her the trouble my wife and I went through to make the arrangements! We have 3 dogs (labrador, mini-pin and a mongrel) so whenever we would need to go on trips, it would take a lot of planning so that the dogs would all be taken care of in our absence. We have already nailed it to an art form, as a matter of fact….

The black lab named Beans and the mongrel named Toepy stayed at home while Peanut was taken to a friend who also used to have a mini-pin (which died early this year….). We arranged for Joseph, my nephew to house sit and dog-sit for us in our absence. Leaving a 15-year old young man house- sit is another blog in itself….

Anyways, yesterday, after dropping by at the office to sign some papers, I took Joseph home. Then I went back to the office to wait for an officemate who took care of Peanut over the weekend. She was telling me during the drive to her condo unit that Peanut hardly played with them. She displayed some moments of playfulness after she was wiped off with a moist towel. I told her that my wife would usually play with her right after Peanut’s bath.

When she opened the door, Peanut scurried away and rounded the table. I squatted down and called her name. She did not eagerly come but made her way slowly to my hand. Once she smelled me and heard my voice and recognized me, she went (as my young people, back in the day would say,) BALLISTIC! She was all over me. Jumping and asking to be carried. Once I carried her, she was still all over me… she could not contain herself…

My friend and her sister was really amused to see this going on. It is as if our Peanut came alive! I carried her to the car where she patiently waited for us to leave. She could hardly wait to come home. It took awhile for her to find her most comfortable spot.

After an hour of driving, we finally reached our village. She woke up and sensed the familiar location. And once she was home, she displayed the same BALLISTIC behaviors, especially when she saw my wife. Mini-pins are notoriously known as a one-person dog. And to her, the most important person is my wife. I think I come in second.

While Peanut was asleep on our way home, these thoughts came to my mind:

Wouldn’t it be funny and stupid, if Peanut acted to gather all her materials and showed them to me to tell me how much they are worth?

And wouldn’t it be foolish for her to say “hey, dont forget my blankie, my toys, my things… as I carried her to the car?

When she saw me – her happiness was simply un-bridled. She was the happiest mini-pin at the moment. She could care less for her bed, her blankie, her toys…. they were all nothing. What mattered to her was that I was there… and she was coming with me no matter what.

I guess it would also look stupid if I acted differently should my Lord and Master come to pick me up. It would look foolish for me to show him all the toys I had gathered in my lifetime. To show him all the places i visited and all the important things I had achieve in this lifetime. It would be very foolish of me to get more excited about the things and the place where I was left for awhile than the arrival of my Master.

I pray that I would also be in a state of un-bridled joy every time I encounter Jesus. That He will be the only one I would care for at that moment. That all things would be dwarfed into nothingness as I could hardly wait to go where He is.

I pray that I will be very excited to be in His heavenly presence than to stay here on earth where I was left off for awhile… Peanut, no matter how comfortable the place where we left her off, knew that she does not belong there.

I pray that I will always remember that lesson. No matter how comfortable it gets here… I belong to where He is. That I will never forget where and to whom I belong…