The Dog Days: Episode Two

Annie In The Car“In a dog’s life, some plaster would fall, some cushions would open, some rugs would shred. Like any relationship, this one had its costs. They were costs we came to accept and balance against the joy and amusement and protection and companionship he gave us.” ― John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog

After our first insanely stressful 24 hours with Annie, our Great Weimar (that’s a Great Dane/ Weimaraner) puppy, we thought that life would settle down a bit. We enjoyed our second “first night” with Annie as she slept soundly on her new bed. With a sigh of relief, we closed our eyes and thanked the Good Lord for our happy little family…

Day Two: Worrying About Worms

Our second day with Annie began as usual: wake up, walk pup, feed pup, feed self, go to work. Things seemed to be going just swimmingly, or so I thought. Around 10:30am I heard my phone buzz indicating that I had received a message. It was from Kyle. As I read the words on the screen, my heart sank. Just when we thought things were on the up-swing, we got knocked down once again. The message read something like this:

“Dude I just took her out for a walk and she had to poop. I looked down at it and there were white-ish colored worms or parasites or something moving in it! I picked up the poop and am probably going to take it to the vet if I can get them on the phone.”

Back to the vet he went with the dog and the bag of what he called “poop-worm delight” so that we could find out what the worms were and how to get rid of them. Like a fancy sports car, my stress level went from zero to sixty in a matter of seconds. What could be wrong with our poor puppy now? I sat at my desk, completely distracted and worried, just waiting for news on the state of Annie affairs. An hour or so later, I received another text message from Kyle. The vet had determined that the worms were tapeworms that Annie had gotten from ingesting infected fleas. Go figure. We had taken care of the flea problem, only to find out that the flea problem had turned into a tapeworm problem. The vet informed us that there was good and bad news to this situation. The good news is that tapeworms are common in dogs that have had fleas. The bad news is that the pills to get rid of the tapeworms cost $60.00. Annie didn’t seem to be in any pain or discomfort from the worms. The only thing that was hurting at the end of the day was our bank account.

What in the world had we gotten ourselves into?

The vet instructed us to give Annie two pills with her meal that evening and then give her the remaining two pills in three weeks. Thanks to Greenie’s Pill Pockets, Annie is a champ at taking pills. We gave her the medicine and settled in for the night, hoping that tomorrow would be a better day—and it was. Wednesday with Annie was as normal as it had ever been and we enjoyed a nice walk with her as sun set that evening. I could get used to this, I thought to myself. Annie is a great puppy. She is eager to please and quick to learn new tricks. She is leash trained, house trained, and doesn’t bark much. Annie is everything we could have ever wanted in a puppy—and more.

Now that we had all of the tests run, shots given, and pills taken, we could begin to live our peaceful, blissful lives again…

Vouchers and Shredded Leashes

Thursday was the first day that I had a chance to get off of work early and take care of business. We decided to see about getting a spay/neuter voucher from Be The Solution, Inc. Since Annie was approximately six months old, it was time to get her spayed to avoid the mess and stress of having a female dog in heat. After doing a bit of research, I found out that we met the qualifications to obtain a voucher. We loaded Annie up in the backseat of the car, rolled the windows down, and headed out to the BTS Storefront which was located across town.

In a feeble attempt to avoid Annie jumping out of the car window like Marley did in “Marley and Me”, we put on her leash. This worked for a while and she eventually settled down. Although we didn’t think much of this at the time, she seemed to be calm and quiet in the backseat.

Lesson #1: When Annie is quiet, she is most likely doing something she shouldn’t be doing.

We pulled up to the BTS Storefront to get our spay/neuter voucher and parked the car. As Kyle gathered our documents needed to get the voucher, he heard a crunching sound coming from the backseat. He turned around to assess the situation and found Annie laying there—leash in mouth. He grabbed the leash away from her but it was too late. She had already chewed through the $20 retractable leash, leaving it hanging on by mere threads. We had only just gotten the leash a couple of days prior and now it was rendered completely useless. Luckily, we had another leash back at home but it wasn’t retractable or as nice as the one Annie had chewed through. We knew that she was a chewer but we didn’t realize she would chew her own leash. All we could do was hope that the leash was the first and only casualty of her chewing.

Annie Chew Pictures

It wasn’t, however, the only thing she chewed. Since chewing her retractable leash, Annie has chewed her bed and the Bible we kept in the seat pocket of our car. I guess she took the scripture literally when it says to “taste and see that The Lord is good.”


After picking up the spay/neuter voucher and returning home with Annie and her ruined retractable leash, we called the North Florida Animal Hospital to get an appointment for her to get spayed. I heard Kyle say, “Ok, great! We will see you then.” When he hung up the phone, he informed me that we had an appointment for Annie to have her surgery the very next day at 7:00am. That was fast, I thought to myself. It seemed like a good idea to go ahead and get it over with, though.

Friday morning at 6:00am came early and it took everything I had to pull myself out of bed. We had to get an early start so we could drop Annie off at the animal hospital for surgery in enough time for me to get back across town to go to work. She had no idea what was happening because we all went together as one little happy family. We arrived at the vet just as they opened their doors and were first in line to check in. The intake went smoothly and they told us that they would call us whenever she was out of surgery to schedule a pick up time between 4:00pm and 6:00pm that evening. Like nervous new parents, we asked the surgeon question after question until he finally told us that they would take good care of her so we didn’t have to worry. We said our goodbyes and left our sweet puppy at the vet to get spayed.


Check back next week for another episode of The Dog Days to find out what happens next! Click HERE to read the first episode of The Dog Days. If you are a pet owner or have ever been a pet owner, feel free to discuss your dog/cat/pet stories in the comments.

Until next time…

J. G. McNease

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2 comments on “The Dog Days: Episode Two

  1. Good episode two. Annie sounds delightful, chewing and all! LOL After all, she’s a puppy, so she will chew up everything, including furniture if you don’t stop her. I really like the imagery of “stress level like a sports car,” and the pill pockets. I use the pill pockets too, but two of my dogs are allergic to lots of things so I use the allergy-sensitive ones. I have a question though: how is your Annie leash trained already? I need some tips! My 2 1/2 yr old Shar-Pei is still not leash trained. She wants to drag me all over the neighborhood. LOL

    • Jennifer,
      When we rescued Annie she was already leash trained. She walks well on a leash except for when she sees a wild rabbit or a frog or a lizard. Otherwise, she is a pretty lazy walker. We recently got a prong collar to use with her which helps a lot. It may look like a torture device but it really is a great tool to train dogs not to pull on the leash. I used it with my family’s boxers growing up and it was truly a life-saver. Some people use the choke collar but it never worked for our big male boxer who was 98lbs. He would just pull and pull until he was literally choking himself. When we got the prong collar, he changed his tune a bit. All that the prong collar does is pinch the neck when the dog pulls. It’s much safer than the choke collar which can apparently damage a dog’s throat. Another thing that we did with my boxers was carry treats around when we went for a walk. It was a great way of distracting them and getting them to calm down when they started to pull too much. I’m no dog trainer but these are the things that I found helpful with big, strong dogs.

      Thank you for the kind words about Annie. She is a delightful dog. Chewing may be a problem but only because she tries to chew anything that her teeth touch. I’ve started calling her “Alligator Mouth” because her teeth are so gosh darn big! When she opens her mouth, it reminds me of an alligator. Best of luck with your Shar-Pei! If you decide to go with the prong collar, you will have to let me know how it works out for you.
      – Jamie

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