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January 17th, 2013

Another Couch Day!

Posted by GerrysMom in Uncategorized    

My mom and I wish you all a very happy Couch Day on this January the 18th!  It is only Couch Day Eve as I type this (or rather, dictate this to Mom, heh heh), but the big day is only hours away!!

“Couch Day?!” you say?  For the history of Couch Day, see Gerry’s 2011 entry:

Here are this year’s Couch Day pictures, compiled from the past year (2012) or so:

Shev and Ger

See the Tripawds pillow???  : )

Curled up on couch

Out the window

Are those my Couch Day party guests I hear outside?  What do you mean you didn’t invite Couch Day guests, Mom???

Scrunched on Couch

Bashful on the couch

Doh!  I should have made a  thread in the FORUMS so you all can post Couch Day pictures for me to see!  Did I not already think of that in years past?  I’ll have to look into that tomorrow…

Hoppy Howliday!

September 16th, 2012

Dead ‘n Berried

Posted by GerrysMom in Uncategorized    

Hi all,

Gerrysmom here, because I’m pretty sure ol’ Ger still doesn’t get the seriousness of this issue, so he can’t be trusted to blog about it. 🙂  I believe it was Rene I stole the title for this blog from – thanks!

I’m going to show you some pictures now and want you to stop and think to yourself EVIL for each one, ‘k?  Alright, here we go:

Apologies – not all would focus as well as I wanted, but using some of them anyway because they show the hole in the middle of the berry-like structure that holds the seed inside.


Alright, so what you’ve been looking at are my former yew bushes from my yard.  Not sure if they were the Japanese or Canadian variety.  Used to have them at the house I grew up in too, but never knew what they were called.  I had a vague memory of either my mother or my grandmother telling me those berries were for birds only and would be poisonous to me.  My brother and I had our GI Joes collect them for food instead.  A couple weeks ago, I realized I had better try to find out what kind of bushes they were, when I caught Gerry pluck a “berry” (it’s not technically a berry, but since I’m not a botanist, I shall keep calling them that) off one and swallow it.

It seems obvious in retrospect that I should have worried about him doing something like that.  I don’t call him Gerry Berry just cause it rhymes.  He’s been snatching other sorts berry-like fruits off the sidewalk in my neighborhood since I brought him home.  I discourage it as much as possible and fortunately whatever he managed to get never made him sick.  (I really should look them up now that we’re between catastrophes though).  He never seemed interested in the yew bushes in the almost three years I’ve had him though, except for hunting the chipmunks that tried to hide among them.

So googling a description of a plant and trying to find them that way, not so easy, so it took me a couple days.  Once I had the right name, the ASPCA website is the place to go for quick answers!  Or for really quick help, I expect you can call their emergency poison hotline too, but by the time I knew I found the right type plant, it was pretty certain that we had dodged a bullet.  (This is the number for the hotline: 1-888-426-4435).

How did we dodge a bullet, when according to one website usually the first symptom of yew poisoning is “sudden death”?  Well, from what I’ve read, every part of the bush is poisonous, even when they’re dried up and dead, except for the red fleshy part of the berry.  Inside the berry though, the seed is still deadly as hell.  But if the seed remains in tact (is not chewed), it will generally pass through undigested and then no harm done.  So, as with most things, pretty sure Ger just sucked it down.  Phew!

Now, Gerry had a freaky disturbing two days over Memorial Day weekend, which you maybe saw me post about a while back.  He had 4-6 bizarre episodes and that looked to me like he was having terrifying hallucinations.  And they seemed to scare him more each time they happened.  Maybe if I had them test for toxins right after the first episodes they would have seen something, but instead they checked him over, told me it really sounded like more of a behavioral event than a physical one, and so I don’t think we did any blood tests or anything that visit.  Then the incidents continued and when the same thing occurred 60 miles away out of the blue (but at the same time of day as his first episodes) I figured calling this something behavioral (that something external was scaring him) was ridiculous and then they did the works as far as testing (blood test, MRI, abdominal ultrasound, chest x-rays, etc) and found nothing.

Then, they never came back.  Which has been great, but also very unsettling to not know what they were.  When I came across this description of symptoms of yew poisoning (the ones that can occur if the eater doesn’t just straight up and die), I thought, “Oh my God, this is it”:

Signs: “Found dead” is the typical presenting sign. Very rarely dogs will show signs up to 2 days later: trembling, slow heart rate, respiratory difficulty, stomach upset and diarrhea. Yew is exceptionally toxic, with one mouthful able to kill a horse or cow within 5 minutes. Dogs may be poisoned accidentally when yew trimmings are thrown into the yard or when yew is planted as an ornamental within their reach. There are infrequent reports of stomach upset, diarrhea, seizures and aggressive behavior occurring after dogs chew the leaves.

( )

BUT I probably won’t ever actually know for sure.  I was pretty confident for a time that exposure to my housemate’s dog Vectra 3D had caused Gerry to have those weird seizures.  However, while I saw a lot of disturbing claims about Vectra 3D, it took a lot of digging to find any that sounded close to what happened with Gerry.  This sounds closer.  And while I don’t think the bush had any berries at that time, the bushes had recently been pruned.  If he had picked up and carried a branch around (he loves to carry things, though not often branches) – I’m sure I wouldn’t have thought anything of it.  And apparently, that could have been enough.

So, hopefully all your pups love only the thigns you give them, but if any of them are munchers and grazers like Gerry take a little timeout for a botany lesson and figure out what plants you have around.  Got those yew bushes dug out.  I’m still a little paranoid that there could be a stray berry or branch somewhere that Ger will stumble upon.  Sure don’t want to test our luck any further!  When I stop and think about it, I can hardly believe I didn’t lose my Gerry Berry to those bushes.

Gerry here!  Enough obsessing, Mom.  Give the people what they really want – my birthday pictures!  I allegedly turned 5 over Labor Day weekend.  My presents were a new stuffed beehive with squeaky bees inside – from my Auntie Jen in Virginia – and a walk through this really cool woodsy trail mom found not very far from our house:

That yew berry was tasty by the way… uh oh, think I just lost my Internet privileges for a month…  I take it back!  Yew berries are yucky!!  Yew = Ewwww!



July 29th, 2012

What a Summer…

Posted by GerrysMom in Uncategorized    

Hey all,

Well, I – we – have had a rough summer so far.  If you missed it, Mom’s posts about it is here:

I’ve been tested for giardia, salmonella (and other bacteria), more coccidia – all negative, but I keep getting mucusy diarrhea when Mom has tried to switch me back to my old food.  And no one can tell her why for sure.  One of the vets she’s talked to thought that if I had irritable bowel syndrome, which was suspected a couple years ago when I was having food trouble too, that we should have seen something on my ultrasound back in early June, but didn’t.  I’ve had my two rounds of Panacur, a general dewormer, in case I had more parasites than the tapeworm that weren’t showing up in the stool tests.  Haven’t tried switching foods since the second dose yet though – maybe that’ll do the trick.  The vets thought I should have been good to switch after the first round though.  Maybe that will have made a difference this time though.

I don’t get diarrhea when she cooks for me though – a recipe of yams, chicken and mixed veggies that an Eastern medicine vet (trained in nutrition too) recommended.  Also getting some chinese herbs for diarrhea.  Mom doesn’t think she’s up for cooking for me forever.  Takes a long time to make and doesn’t last long.  I’d rather she be spending time with me too.  It tastes good – but not so good that I don’t mind it keeping her so busy.  Also, it makes my regular vet very anxious and she really doesn’t want Mom to stick with cooking.  Thinks I’ll get anemic.  (I am supposed to go on calcium supplements and a multivitamin, if it were to be permanent and I think we’d get other recipes to try fro time to time to be more balanced).  The regular vet would like me on a prescription low residue diet.  That worked for me two years ago until Mom found a store food that would worked for me.  But after the mast cell tumor I just had, Mom reeeeeallly reeeeeally doesn’t try that except as a last resort, because it’s like the opposite of grain free.  Mom found me a canned food though that’s grain free and as close to my cooked diet’s recipe as she could possibly find (chicken, peas, yams and carrots are the main ingredients).  Phew!  I just started with a spoonful mixed into my meals yesterday.  A little more tomorrow today and so forth.  Paws crossed!!!

Happier news though is that me and Mom were heroes once again – got a another loose dog off the street.  In fact, it was because Mom was out researching foods and supplements at a new pet store that we were in the right neighborhood at the right time.  We got to the store too early – it wasn’t open yet, so we took a walk around the neighborhood.  All of a sudden, she sensed something behind her.  It was a black lab with a good nose.  Mom had her pack with treats and stuff around her waist.  Mom thought maybe the owner was close by – cause we unfortunately have a few neighbors where we live who seem to think leashes are optional in the city.  (Maybe if I didn’t get around so beautifully, people would think to be more careful with their pups after seeing me).  But no one seemed to be her person.  And then she ran across the busy street we were walking along!  Fortunately, a car did stop in time, and she made it across.  Mom whipped out her cell phone, called the non-emergency number (though it seemed like an emergency to me!) and Animal Services (formerly Animal Control) were dispatched.  Meantime though, Mom was worried the lab was going to leave the area and be hard to find, or worse, venture into the street again, so we prepared to cross.  Mom was going to sacrifice my treats to keep the lab in one place, if she could.  But the lab saw us preparing to cross and dashed to the corner like she was going to come to meet us!  Mom called out “Stay!” and put her hand out like one of the Supremes and – it worked!!  Thank goodness she was well-trained.  She had to hold that stay a long time, until we saw a break in traffic.  Mom wondered what the drivers must have thought of her standing there like that, haha.

Finally we got over there and Mom pulled out my treats and had the black lab lay down, who was panting pretty heavily (it was a fairly hot morning and she’d been running around).  She wouldn’t take any water though – only my treats.  Grrr.  I found this a bit rude, so I attempted to mount her a couple times, but Mom wouldn’t let me.  At least she then started giving us both treats (pieces of boiled chicken, carrot and green beans – cause we know my tummy is ok with those).  But between the two of us eating, we ran out quick!  Then mom remembered – DUH!  She actually had an extra leash in her waist bag.  Just a few minutes before Animal Services arrived, she looped it around the lab’s neck and clipped it.

Mom’s going to try to carry an extra leash and treats always from now on!  And her cell phone with the non-emergency number in it.

Get this – when the Animal Services guy arrived, he looked at me and started to say, “Oh, this must be the one -“, but then he caught himself, seeing that I had an actual collar and the other dog didn’t.  (Mom had also told Dispatch it was a black lab, so you’d think he’d have gotten that info from them).

The lab and I didn’t get into personal details as we were waiting for Animal Services.  We were eating after all, and when we did talk, it was mostly me telling her that running loose is not all it’s cracked up to be and bad stuff can happen by accident or on purpose.  Still, it looked like she normally wore a collar (must have slipped it) and she knew her commands, so Mom and I were confident she had people who would be looking for her and would find her through Animal Services and/or the Humane Society.

I got two rewards for my assistance:










In other news, our former housemates came to visit recently.  We fell into our old routines pretty easily, as you can see in this pic of Biggie:









That’s my summer so far. Not all bad.  🙂

June 6th, 2012

So long, Roomie!

Posted by GerrysMom in Uncategorized    

What a lousy week.  My buddy Biggie will be leaving for a new home far away and our governor won’t be.  Since Biggie and I bonded over the fight for workers’ rights in Wisconsin









Mom put together the following tribute to wish him farewell:



And since there’s not that much of me in that one… here’s another:



January 18th, 2012

Couch Day!

Posted by GerrysMom in Uncategorized    

Annual Couch Day means – pictures of me on the couch!!!

And for anyone still wondering, see last year’s post for the history of Couch Day:  (Also features more pictures of me on the couch!)
































































































January 16th, 2012

Been Adopted Two Years!

Posted by GerrysMom in Uncategorized    

I still have a gazillion toys from my ampuversary and Christmas…













So, my Adoption Day present was a trip to the park…



January 14th, 2012

Year in Review Video!

Posted by GerrysMom in Uncategorized    

Hey all!  My adoption anniversary is coming up this Monday.  That must be why it’s a holiday weekend.  Anyway, Mom put together a video of my last year (though a Gerry year goes from November to the following October, so that’s a little different, haha).

Here’s this year’s video:

This was last year’s:


Nothing else to report at the moment, but Couch day is coming soon too!  Here’s last year’s entry on the history of Couch Day:  It’s not nationally recognized yet, but one day…

December 31st, 2011

Happy Howlidays

Posted by GerrysMom in Uncategorized    
Happy Howlidays!
I hope Santa was as good to all of you as he was to me.  I got the exact toy I showed Mom in the pet store.  It was wrapped in plastic, but I could tell it was full of squeaky squirrels!  Six of them in a stuffed tree trunk.  Best toy ever!
But the howlidays are also a time to think about dogs less fortunate.  And we’ve got a homeless tripawd at our local shelter!  Mom and I can’t take this guy in, as much as we’d like to.  But Mom posted about him in her “Adoptable Wisconsin Tripawds!!!” thread.  Here’s the link:  If you’re a Wisconsinite who might ever be looking for an addition to your family keep an eye on that thread.  We’ll post about whoever we hear about.  And if you hear about any adoptable Wisconsin tripawds, post about them there too!
Paws crossed for all three-leggers in need in 2012.
November 7th, 2011

Puppy playdate

Posted by GerrysMom in Uncategorized    

Wow – making new friends is exhausting…

October 31st, 2011

New Sheriff In Town

Posted by GerrysMom in Uncategorized    

Not much of an update.  Just wanted to share Halloween pics!

Mom used to say that she’d never dress me up for Halloween unless she stumbled across a really cool pirate costume by accident.  Mom’s roommate though is really into dressing up her dog and she sold Mom on borrowing this awesome Sheriff’s costume:






























I’m not a fan of the hat, but I like putting on the rest of it.  It reminds me of putting on my harness, and, like my harness, most of the time when I put it on, I got to go somewhere.

Anyway, Happy Halloween!

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