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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Sunday, September 7, 2014

A quick dog report

I was going to write tonight with a proper pattern review but it is late and I have to get up early for class.

Instead I will give you a Daisy report.

I have started to dream about her teeth.

This is why.

When I took her to the vet this summer he told us she would need a number of teeth out as a result of her poor care and diet history. Her age was estimated, based on the condition of her teeth, at at least five and the vet wasn't sure how many teeth he could save.

The end of August she went in dental surgery.

To make a long story short after a good cleaning the vet decided to give her a rest from the anesthetic and see her again in October. Then he said he would see exactly what extractions she would need, apparently once the puppy mill crap was off her teeth were not quite as bad as he thought and he upgraded her age to a "young dog."

He told me that if I were very diligent with brushing her teeth a couple of time a day we might actually save many of them and maybe (slim chance) all of them. 

We will see next month.

Now you would get this but I am a committed do-it-yourselfer. 
These are not words I took lightly. In addition to twice daily brushing of those tiny teeth he also suggested I syringe her gum line with water. (Husband suggested he rig up the Water Pic but I nixed that idea).

So twice a day I lie on the kitchen floor like a manic, which in fact I am or was or am now much worse, with a tiny tooth brush, a tube of chicken flavoured toothpaste and something of my own invention I have added in, which is a pair of exfoliating gloves on my hands (that I bought for work on my legs but never got around to) which I use to get at the really back teeth and inside surfaces.

The water syringe idea is a none starter since she sort of chokes on it. The tooth brushing she tolerates, or at least tolerates me, despite the fact I have zero technique unless you count trying to hold a pair of slippery black lips open and stabbing aimlessly at her teeth, or where I think her teeth would be if I could see them.

It is all pretty inept and hopeless but I am devoted to this job. 

Her dental and medical care, and just being in the house for a few months now, has changed things.

The thing is since she had her teeth cleaned up and the bacterial infection fixed she has become a totally new dog.

She is wild. 

She runs up and down the hall and throws toys around. She lunges at me in my sewing chair and runs away with my back neck facings and steals socks. She knocks her bowl around when its time to be fed and barks at loud noises and does flying squirrel imitations off the front steps.

She has gone from a flat and broken soul at the back of a cage in a last chance shelter to a complete nuisance.

She has become a real dog.

Against all odds.

A lesson for all of us.


Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

How cool is this! I know you must be thrilled that you rescued Daisy and how happy she's become!

Alison said...

your description of the doggie toothbrushing had me in stitches... how very happy that Daisy is doing so much better! If she had a lot of tartar and stuff before, that holds infection in the mouth and basically makes dogs, (or people) slightly sick all the time, according to my dentist. Your efforts are helping her be well... you are mighty and so is she

debbie said...

Aww, Daisy teeth problems just brought tears to my eyes. The good kind.

Anonymous said...

I love this story.

When you think about it -- if your teeth hurt, you feel pretty low, right? It stands to reason that a pup would feel the same way.

How wonderful for Daisy that you came into her life. She sounds like a delight. Sorry about the facings, though.

Sheila said...

Daisy's story makes me tear up. Thanks for the difference you made to this little dog.

Graca said...

Love happy endings! She sounds like a great sewing room companion even if she does steal back facing pieces.

freshcityfarm said...

I'm so not a dog person but I absolutely love reading daisy updates...this ones especially wonderful. (I also really enjoy your thoughtful reflections on life!)

AlaskaBerninaGirl said...

My pup steals the tooth brush and runs off so I got another and let him have one to chew on. Figure it can't hurt and possibly helps him brush his own teeth... And when my son got his first cavity the dentist gave us three months to brush it away ourselves and we did! Next check up it was gone so no filling!

Sharon said...

Go Daisy, you are committed and insane but anyone that a loves their dog would do the same.

Judi Pinkham said...

Bless her little heart!!! She's a mighty happy girl now...such a good home...I'm so glad you took her!!!

Anne in Melbourne said...

I am cheering on the nuisance....long distance

ElleC said...

Daisy, you go girl! My dogs are cheering you on!

Linda T said...

Just shows what love and care can do for a relationship! and puppy personality! They love to be wanted!

annie said...

This is not a total fix but. We always feed the doggies dry food. Nothing soft. One of ours is a small (toy) poodle. We've had small poodles for many years and we learned early on that they, and maybe other small breeds, have terrible teeth. We also use something called Greenies. And some brand of rubber toy in which you bury a treat and they chew on the rubber thing to get at the treat. Having said all of that, our vet just told us that our soon-to-be 12 year old poodle needs her teeth cleaned!

Anonymous said...

Another idea for toothbrushing - I use one of those little finger condom toothbrush thingies - it looks kind of like this http://goo.gl/a49NjE but the one I have is soft and flexible. I find it a lot easier to brush dog teeth like this, because I can actually feel whether I'm touching teeth or not. There's still a lot of drool and a lot of licking, but at least I know I'm accomplishing something. ;)

Prudence said...

Amazing what a lot of TLC (and dental care) will do for a pup! Thank goodness you came into Daisy's life.

Donna W said...

You are a wonderful person for rescuing Daisy and now you are rewarded with a wonderful dog?! May you both be blessed.

Mary said...

This is wonderful news...sorry that your facings get stolen, but what the hell. Daisy is far more important.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have a really good vet, too....not just in it for the $ like some I have experienced (through my animals, not personally.....).

Kudos to all concerned!


Anonymous said...

She'll become accustomed to it, and so will you. Your glove idea is a good one. My guys have become accustomed to the little finger condoms with tiny brushes molded into them. The dogs now expect their daily ritual. The now-wacky Daisy is so fortunate to have you and your patience. A facing here...a facing there...

TinaLou said...

Yay for furry nuisances!! Your journey with Daisy inspired me to restart my search for a new dog, and now Tucker (interestingly enough, a mini-schnoodle) has Daisy to thank for his new home ;-) PS - I have used the little finger-brushes too, but sometimes at the beginning even that was too much. My older dog would let me into her mouth with the chicken paste smeared on some damp gauze I'd wrapped around a finger.

Lynn Barnes said...

"Chicken-flavored toothpaste." Words I never expected to see combined together in print. Good for you, and good for Daisy! Glad to know she's ended up in the right home.

Leigh Wheeler said...

We brush teeth at our house. Everyone lines up because they like the taste of the toothpaste.

I HIGHLY recommend a supplement called Plaque Off. It is a dried seaweed meal. I use it on my corgis, and it really helps. I had a rescue boy whose teeth were really crusted over. I brushed his teeth once a day and gave him his little scoop of Plaque Off in his food. After about 10 days I scraped all that crud off his teeth with my fingernail. It softened it up that much and it just chunked off.

It's called ProDen PlaqueOff Animal (there is a human version as well). It is manufactured in Sweden by SweDenCare AB, and while it is expensive, it works a charm. I paid $58 for 6.36 oz. (A jar as big as a baseball. It lasts for months though. The scoop is barely large enough to put the end of your pinky in, and dogs less than 25 lbs only need 1 scoop per day. I'm half done with my jar and two corgis have been dosed our of it for 2 months. So per month it is pretty cheap. Way cheaper than anesthesia at the vet. Dogs that have hyperthyroidism can't have it.

Anyway, I thought I'd pass that along since it worked so well for my little guy. Hugs to Daisy!

Ellen said...

We have had the same experiences-- our older Stella is a new dog after a dental clean up. And similar ongoing wrassles to keep them clean. Border Collies do not like to show pain or discomfort, but she is 12 and acting now like a 5 year old.
And Desi, our rescue from a horrible puppy mill in Texas, who did nothing but stare at the wall for months, ( i can still hardly speak or write about it! ) is now becoming a rascal-- full of fun, running like a hooligan and always coming back for a hug and a tickle. Patience and kindness and the odd hug and belly rub, doggy siblings that show there is nothing to fear, and voila! A new dog. He gives much more than he takes. I bet you feel the same way about Daisy.