It’s been a month since my last post but to be honest we’ve just been plodding along and I don’t have anything new to report. Bert’s still on the Bionic Biotic and his poo is definitely better – no more pale yellow slop, all his poops are a good brown colour, and he’s only doing 2-3 per day. The first couple are definitely harder than the last one, but none are overly-loose or covered in slime. I’m also only feeding Bert the Lamb & Rice variety of Wainwrights wet food as it’s the one he seems to do best on, although to be fair he also does well on the Salmon & Potato – I just can’t stand his beard smelling like Billingsgate market 😉
He still has dandruff though, which is a huge disappointment as this supplement is supposed to do wonders for dog’s coats. I’ll persevere for another month, but am fairly sure he’ll have to go back on the Coatex oil even though the Biotic already contains omega 3 and 6.
His beard is also still orange and I have to admit I’m gutted. The Biotic has both pre and pro biotics, so in theory should do the same job to his gut acidity as the yoghurt did, but so far it doesn’t seem to be working that way. Again, I’ll give it some more time but I can’t say I’m all that hopeful. I can’t put him back on the yoghurt, as it made his poop all slimey, so I may just have to live with him and his manky belisha beacon mush.
Having a dog can become stupidly expensive. I spend about £70 ($108) per month just on food, insurance and supplements, and if I include dog walking fees this jumps to a massive £150 ($232)! Taking on a dog, and looking after it properly, is a huge committment.
Speaking of which, my dog walker, who is brilliant with Bertie, decided to get a puppy recently. She has 2 young children and spent months discussing the pros and cons of whether having a dog was the right thing to do and which breed to go for, so didn’t take the decision lightly. Their last dog was a Border Collie and, although they knew the exercise needs of a Collie, still felt that it was the best choice for them and chose a puppy rather than an older rescue so that it would integrate with their family and they’d be able to train and socialize it properly. She asked if, eventually, she could walk it with Bertie when she takes him out in the morning and I said that would be fine, providing Bert took to it OK (they chose a bitch, as we knew for a fact Bert wouldn’t tolerate a dog).
Unfortunately, however, it just didn’t work out for them as a family. Theoretically discussing the needs of a puppy, and actually living with the reality, are two very different things and having 2 children and a dog was just too much. She was heartbroken about it, and cried for a week over her decision to return the pup to the breeder, and I really felt for her. I came within an inch of returning Bertie after having him for a month as the stress and needs of a rescue dog made me physically ill, so I had absolutely no judgement about her taking the pup back so that it could be given to a more suitable home. All the planning in the world simply doesn’t prepare you for the reality of having a dog, which is much harder physically, mentally and emotionally than anyone ever imagines.
After missing two ticks on Bertie, and finding one crawling up my arm in bed, I’ve reverted back to doing a spot-on monthly treatment (I use Prac-tic). The ticks still attach, and I still do a tick check after our walks and remove those I find, but any I miss are poisoned as they feed and at least if they drop off they’re dead. I still can’t bring myself to use the Bravecto, which still seems like one chemical too far.
The weather has warmed up in the past week, and we’ve made the most of our walks being as though it’s reverting back to 11C on Sunday (what the hell, doesn’t it know it’s June?!). I’ll leave you with some photos of the Bertster having fun in the sun.