Friday, April 29, 2005

The Beer Guzzling Dog

I sure enjoy my nightcap...a dish of beer! I've tried several kinds now: Guinness, something real cheap that came in a big silver can, and Miller. I'm not particular -- I like them all! And I sleep great now, no whining. I just wake up once, usually around 2am. Mom gets up and takes me out to do my duty, then I have another little dish of beer and a snack. Wow, life is pretty good here at my house.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Recovery from Onion Eating

You can all breathe easier again...looks like I'm going to be OK despite eating half of a big onion 2 days ago. Although the toxic effects of onions take place a few days after ingestion, my vet says I didn't eat enough to get sick. According to a friend of Mom's, I would have to eat two big onions to get really sick. Since the only cure is a blood transfusion I'm trying to stay off onions in the future. I do have to have my blood tested for anemia next Monday. I don't worry about the future though!

Had a great walk tonight with the other 3 doggies. Jeff came along to help Mom manage all of us. I peed twice but I didn't poop. (Hey, this is what dogs blog about!) You don't even want to know what I sniffed!

Article in the San Francisco Chronicle about onion toxicity in dogs:
Onions a little-known threat
Sophia Yin, DVM
Saturday, December 21, 2002

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Onion-eating and Beer-drinking Dog: WARNING ONIONS ARE TOXIC TO DOGS

*** WARNING ***

Update Monday 8pm PT

Mom is looking into this right now. I ate the onion yesterday; about 26 hours ago. Thanks to China for alerting Mom to this problem!

Mom just called the animal poison hotline at 888 232-8870 and spoke with Dr. Meadows. The vet says I ate .5 of my body weight (6 ounces of onion and I weigh about 80lbs) which is at the very bottom of a dangerous amount. Dr. Meadows told Mom to watch my gums to make sure they don't go pale, and if they do to take me to the vet where I might need a blood transfusion. Apparently the bad effect of onions doesn't show up for a couple days to a week or more so Mom is now going to worry about me for days. Tomorrow she will take me in for a little blood test to make sure I am not anemic, which is the bad thing that happens when a dog eats an onion.

Gosh I sure am a lot of trouble.


More on onion toxicity in dogs

Update Monday 9pm PT

The local emergency room vet called and said she was not worried about a 80lb GSD eating an onion. Mom looks relieved. I'm wondering if maybe I could have another one!

Mom is now drinking the beer she bought for me!

Update Friday 10am PT

Article in the San Francisco Chronicle about onion toxicity in dogs:
Onions a little-known threat
Sophia Yin, DVM
Saturday, December 21, 2002

Yesterday's post before I knew onions were bad for me.

Wow, today I had two great treats.


First, a whole onion! I got a hold of this onion outside. Mom had just put me into my wheels and I spied the onion, with the cute little sprout coming out of the top, over in the garden. Apparently Mom decided this market-bought onion was going to have a new life in as a decorative edible in the front yard, but I changed all that. I made a mad dash for the onion and got the whole thing in my jaws. Mom tried to get it away from me because she was afraid I would choke on it but no way I was going to let go. Mom kept trying to pry my powerful jaws open but of course she was not successful. I bit the onion in half and swallowed it. Yummy!



Second, a pint of beer! Mom's friend Jackie says her doggy, Sioleiligh, also was a champion night whiner and a "pint of Guinness with dinner worked wonders". So now I'm a beer-guzzling canine. Mmmmm...delicious. Mom just hopes this helps me sleep thru the night rather than pee thru the night.

Last night I woke up at 11pm, 1am, and 5am. I whine and make little barks until Mom gives me a snack. I don't know what the big deal is but Mom says this is ruining her sleep. Oh, since I can't walk Mom also has to put on my muzzle, leash and harness and take me outside to do my duty. Poor Mom. I'm a lot of trouble.

Well, perhaps tonight I will sleep away in a drunken stupor. I hope so!

Friday, April 22, 2005

The Blogging Break

I'm so sorry, dear readers of my blog, that I haven't made a post for over a week.

It's not my fault. My mom is hogging the computer! On the weekends she's been busy with her plant list at, and during the week she's working on her new company, DonationPal. The good news is that DonationPal is going to be a tool for me to use on my blog to raise money for my favorite causes -- treats for me, Sammy. Oops, just kidding, I mean cash for Tan the doggy tsunami survivor in Thailand and the San Francisco Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue group who pulled me from the shelter at the last minute. I'm a generous doggy not selfish like you-know-who (just in case you don't know, I'm talking about Elsa the meanie).

Mom promised that this weekend she will take photos of me the beautiful all-black German Shepherd dog out in our wonderful native plant garden. So, stay tuned, more good stuff coming.

Oh, Mom had a long talk with my neurologist, Dr. Pedroia, and now I am on Prozac. More on this later.

I'm a happy, happy dog. Mom says I am annoyingly cheerful, especially at 1am when I demand my after midnight snack!

Monday, April 11, 2005

The SNIFnet - Social Networking for Dogs

I want to join SNIF - the real (not virtual) social network for dogs. In this brilliant implementation your canine social network is not who you say you know, but who you actually sniff.

Their diagram at SNIF is silly though because they have the dogs sniffing each other on the head! That's not where dogs sniff; we sniff...oops Mom says I can't type that or my blog will be censored.

Collar Cultivates Canine Cliques
By Lakshmi Sandhana
02:00 AM Apr. 11, 2005 PT

"If you've ever longed for a way to monitor your dog's social life, map out its buddy network and sense who its true friends really are, you might have been waiting for SNIF. The Social Networking in Fur, or SNIF, project is a wearable computer system for dogs that allows their owners to monitor the animals' behavior and capture their social networks."
for the rest of the article follow the link above...

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Garden Tour April 17th

I wanted to blog about how great I feel since I started taking the new medicine, and about my scooting around the house like a banshee annoying Mom, how I play with Pumpkin and Buffy (but not the big meanie Elsa), how I wake Mom up in the morning with little barks of joy in anticipation of breakfast, all about my walk in the neighborhood today using my wheels and my close encounter with that gorgeous all-white standard poodle that lives up the street, but nnnnoooooo, Mom insists I blog about her garden instead.

So, OK, I will do whatever it takes to make Mom happy.

Mom's California Native Plant garden is going to be on the Going Native Garden Tour on April 17th, next Sunday (Silicon Valley, CA). All of you are welcome to stop by! The tour is full already, but there is always room here for one of my gadzillions of fans. Just whisper the word "Sammy" in Mom's ear and she will introduce you to me! Anyway, information about the garden tour can be found at and Mom's plant list is at You can even read about Bob the valley carpenter bee in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

You can send me an email at and I will give you our address.

Ceanothus cuneatus in our California native plant gareden

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Dog Named Como

Great story in the SF Chronicle about Como, a cute little mutt who escaped from his house, got hit by a car, was rescued by his human, underwent surgery and is now in recovery.

Articles are by Como's pet guardian:
Steven Winn, Chronicle Staff Writer

Part 1: Pursuit takes tragic turn
Part 2: Family on tenterhooks as injured dog recovers

Lasts year's article about Como:
Man and beast, a year later Como has let our writer inch his way out of the doghouse of his affections

The author had to persevere to bond with his family's new pet. Chronicle photo, 2004, by Liz Hafalia


Monday, April 04, 2005

The Conversation with the Neurologist

Apparently Mom sent this email to my my neurologist and then talked to him on the phone. I know all this because I troll Mom's computer when she goes out and I pick up the phone extension when she talks on the phone. I'm actually an undercover agent for the Free Dog Nation. But that's another story.

Anyway, Mom sent this email to Dr. Pedroia.

Dr. Pedroia,

I thought it would be easiest if I wrote down a few notes about Sam so we can discuss on the phone.

  • What are the results of the MRI?
  • What are the results of the spinal fluid test?
  • What about the loss of 90% of his bark (you will have to listen to it on the phone). His bark is now a squeak.
  • Given those results what is the most likely prognosis?
  • What can we do to help Sam?

I want to treat him if there is any possibility at all for improvement. He is very hard to handle because he is so big. Additionally, he appears to be in pain or in some discomfort. The issues with caring for him are as follows:

  • He is hard to manage because of his size.
  • A muzzle absolutely must be placed on him anytime he is moved or asked to move. He bit me lightly a month ago.
  • Is it pain that is causing him to bite? I think that it is. What can we do for him? His vet gave him some pain medication (torbutrol) which caused him to became terribly drowsy and rock his head back and forth. Perhaps the dose was too high? Shall I try this again at a smaller dose?
  • His peeing is not a problem right now. If I take him out 4 times/day with the harness, there aren’t any accidents in the house.
  • He may or may not poop in the house. He tries to get outside but he can’t make it. The poops are solid though, no diarrhea, so this is bearable. I believe if he was going for daily walks, the poops would come out then naturally.
  • He has trouble sitting up and eating. When he kneels down for the food he tends to fall into it. I bought a raised food and water dish for him and he seems much more comfortable.
  • A few months ago, when he first stopped walking, my other GSD (Elsa, age 14) jumped on him, twice. She has jumped on other dogs, she is very dominant, but she has never bit another dog or hurt them in any way…she just pushes them to the ground. In Sam’s case, she jumped him when he first stopped walking on two different occasions. She didn’t hurt him at all, but he bit her each time. Not undeservedly of course. This means though that I cannot leave them together unsupervised. I’ve solved this by putting Elsa in the crate when I go out.
  • Sam wakes and whines and cries during the night. I brought a bed into the family room and I slept next to him for several weeks He will stop whining if I comfort him but he may start up again later. This is a terrible disruption of my sleep unfortunately. I left him alone in the family room last night (not really alone, Elsa my other GSD sleeps in there too), and he woke up and whined twice. I petted him and gave him some food and eventually he stopped. Another person with a DM dog told me he gives his dog melatonin and this helps the dog sleep.
  • Sam seems happy when he is eating, getting a treat, barking at the cats, in his cart. The rest of the time I am not so sure.

Sam was an outdoor dog for the first 10 ½ years of his life, then thrown away by the family when he became an inconvenience (they started to remodel their house and moved to an apartment). I’ve had Sam for 7 months. He loves being an indoor dog. My hope is to given him one more summer as a beloved pet.

Please help us.

Thanks very much.

Cynthia Typaldos
Pet Guardian of Sam the beautiful all-black German Shepherd Dog
(Sam’s blog includes pictures of you and Sam)


When Mom talked to Dr. Pedroia on the phone he said that the tests came back normal. That sounds good but Mom didn't seem happy. I guess that means I have degenerative myelopathy or DM, whatever that is. Dr. Pedroia said is is kind of like multiple sclerosis in people.

But Dr. Pedroia said it was unusual for me to get better on steroids which I did a few months ago. So he wants to try steroids again, this time prednisone.

He listened to my squeaky bark over the phone and thought it was kind of weird. No obvious explanation.

Of course I just listen to these conversations and the words go in one ear and out the other. I don't process any of it because I am only a dog. And I know that Mom will take care of me!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Bagel Shop

I got to go to the bagel shop this morning with Mom. Just the two of us. The other doggies had to stay at home. We took the car since I can't walk anymore and the bagel shop is on a main street so Mom doesn't want me using my wheels. The only problem was when I got into the car, in the back on the floor, I decided to turn around and got myself all twisted into a pretzel. I started whining and Mom tried to help me but my legs were stuck under the seat. Finally Mom got me out of the car and we did it over again, this time I went straight forward and lay down. My reward for causing so much trouble was my own tri-seed bagel. Yummy.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Migrating Butterflies

There were butterflies everywhere in our yard yesterday, and all over the neighborhood. Mom was really excited but us doggies didn't care at all. Migrating cats would have been a lot more interesting!

Ron Sullivan, Mom's favorite nature writer, wrote a wonderful article about the butterflies in the San Francisco Chronicle:
Blooms that will nourish and welcome our burgeoning tortoiseshell butterflies
Ron Sullivan
Saturday, April 16, 2005

Hmmm...or are these the Painted Lady butterflies?
Heavy rains produce crop of migrating butterflies Bay Area decorated by painted ladies on journey north
Glen Martin, Chronicle Environment Writer
Saturday, April 9, 2005

California Tortoiseshell Butterfly