Archive for October, 2013

As a parent I take a pretty laid back, no nonsense approach to raising my kids.  After all I was brought up in an era where mumps and measles were a right of passage, allergies simply did not exist, you were sent outside to play from dawn to dusk with nothing more than a skipping rope and a tennis ball for entertainment, “why?” was responded to with, “because I said so” and the sooner you learned that life wasn’t fair the better.

Why is it then, that I find myself dealing with the world’s most high maintenance dog?  And it’s not just the time and effort, but the cost too.  We adopted our scruffy looking mutt from the shelter and Mo delighted in telling us how advantageous this was, since ‘mixed breeds’ were so much healthier.  Pah!

It all started with the food allergies. First get a dog, then pick up a 100lb bag of generic brand food for next to nothing, right?  Wrong!  Seems Muttster is allergic to pretty much every grain, protein, diary and everything in between, except for venison and sweet potato.  Seriously, when was the last time you ate venison on a regular basis?  And what do most kids do when eating?  Drop crumbs!  And what do dogs do with those crumbs?  Hoover them up!  So lets add in the cost of poop bags, lots and lots of poop bags.

Next, following on from a couple of raging ear infections we found out that Muttster has seasonal allergies.  Now remind me, where do dogs originate?  Ah yes from wolves, living out in the wild.  So what serious flaw in the evolutionary process turns them into something that requires a daily dose of antihistamine?

And so onto the last of my precious pooch’s issues.  He’s always been a little on the high energy, crazy side, which is why he goes to doggy day care a couple of times a week (seriously who comes up with this shit?), to work out all that doggy energy.  But lately this craziness has developed into something where, well to put it bluntly he’s mental!  Highly-strung and nervous, he has started to have deranged, flip out episodes involving crazy eyes, excessive barking and much showing of scary teeth, mainly aimed at unfortunate strangers who enter our home.  With his family, he is the sweetest, softest dog you can imagine.  You should see the torment that Flo puts him through and he has never once flinched, but the time had come to seek professional advice in the form of a dog trainer.  After working with her for just a couple of weeks, she finally decided that whilst behavior adjustment would help, maybe Muttster needed a little something extra.   So, to the final installment in what feels like a punked version of pet ownership, Muttster is now taking what can only be described as doggy Prozac.  Let’s just hope 2 years down the line I’m not putting him in rehab for his drug addiction problem.

Footnote: I have chosen to hide the true identity of our dog by giving him a false name.  This is just in case his doggy friends find out about his issues and treat him differently at day care!


This summer was an equal parts lazy, busy, too short, super fun antidote to a year of hard work at school.  But with it came a challenge.  Not a new one, but an old one that resurfaced its ugly head and tested both my sanity and patience.  The reappearance of bed wetting.

I am a very analytical person, something that has left me with a whole heap of frustration as a mother, since logic doesn’t always come into it!  However as this is something we haven’t had to deal with in such a long time, I figured if I could simply locate the root of the problem and fix that, all would be good.

At first I assumed that a switch to more physical activities coupled with later nights was the culprit, she was clearly too exhausted to wake up.  So we took it down a notch and went back to school night bedtimes.  Uh uh!

Perhaps fluids, too much fluids late a night.  So amid the anguished cries of “but I’m soooooooo thirsty,” I only allowed a sip or two of water at bedtime and tried to encourage drinking earlier in the day (water for the child, not alcohol for me I have to clarify).  Uh uh!

So as all neurotic and clinically insane mothers do, I took to the Internet for clues, because we all know how reliable that is as a source.  Here I learned that stress could be a factor.  So I inquired as to whether she was worried about something maybe school, the expression on her face read “No, but should I be?” Great !

Flo and I were determined that there would be no return to nighttime diapers, this thing simply had to be beaten and since logic clearly had not worked I went with the, only solution I had left.  The chart and sticker system.  And whilst I hate to count my chickens, so far those crazy colored little gems have worked their magic once again.

I wonder if sticker power could get socks and underwear put in the laundry basket too?

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