Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Allergies: Part I

Mom wants me to write about my allergies because she hopes that our readers will leave comments to help her find other treatment options for me.

Two summers ago I started having some unusual symptoms. The first time we were suspicious I got taken to the vet because of an eye problem. I had rubbed off all the fur around my eyes by rubbing my face on the rug. I also had some scabs under my chin from scratching too hard with my untrimmed toe nails. And I constantly scratched and dug at my ears. We went the usual route, steroids to settle down my itching, but those made me sick. Mom had been giving me over the counter Benadryl and Claritin. The vet said that was fine but told us to think about taking a blood test to determine what I was allergic to and having a vaccine made. The vet said that other patients have been successful using it. So mom continued the OTC treatment but during the winter she decided to have me tested for environmental allergies before spring brought the itchies. When the vet called with the results she was so sure I wasn't allergic to anything that she was shocked to learned I had scored off the charts with 32 out of 40 allergens. Then the vet and her had to decide which 16 they should put in the dose. When the GREER allergy immunotherapy came in mom and dad took me to the vet. The vet spent a lot of time with us going over everything, then mom got to practice shots on an orange and then me. She did really well for someone who can't even watch herself get injected with a needed. So we started the injections keeping a record of the dosage, date, and symtoms.

I have to say that I did really well with the shots. I didn't mind them much at all. Mom and dad put me on the couch between them for cuddles and I wouldn't even know I was getting it. First there was the series to build an immunity to the allergens. I did pretty good, if I got too itchy mom would give me OTC meds. Once we completed those I started a full dose on a regular schedule. Towards the end of that dose it was time for me to see the vet for my regular checkup. The big concern were my ears. They were still red, itchy and gunky. I really hated getting those drops put in my ears! But the vet threw a big bump in my treatment. He was sure, and this vet has TONS of experience, that the ear symptoms were due to food allergies. He had seen it numerous times. So we were given instructions on what to do about changing my food. The problem is that there isn't a test for food allergies, you can only practice by eliminating certain foods.

After this mom got overwhelmed with my symtoms, she just couldn't tell if was the shots, food, whatever. So when the dose was finished, we were heading into winter, she decided to stop giving me the shots and concentrate on getting my food right. If any readers know of natural allergy treatments for environmental allergies we would love to hear from you. Spring is just around the corner and bringing with it the itchies! Stay tuned for Part II to see what Mom and I went through finding the right food for me.

Love Dolly

Sunday, February 17, 2013

B&W Sunday: Happy President's Day!

Last October I got to go on vacation to Washington, DC with Mom and Dad! Here I am showing my respects to some of our early leaders! If you would like to see these pictures in color, which they are much better I apologize, please visit my Dolly Goes to Washington DC series.

Me in front of Washington Monument.

At WWII Memorial with Lincoln Memorial in background.
Inside Lincoln Memorial (no dogs allowed, oops!).

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Black and White Sunday: Riding Shotgun

When I go on long rides in the car I have the whole back seat to myself! Although I have to wear a harness and leash, I have just enough length to stand on the armrest between the drivers to keep an eye on things!

Who let the dogs out Mom?

No its not a skateboard I am just practicing my stance!

Mom thought she knew all about Tillman the Skateboarding Bulldog and the TV show "Who Let the Dogs Out." That was until she watched the show so she could enter Blog Paws' contest to win a free registration and hotel stay to Blog Paws 2013.

Of course mom loved the show, she remembers Dick Van Patten and his son Vince from TV and tennis. But best of all I eat Natural Balance dog food now! I have food allergies and it took three kinds of food to find one I like and didn't have an allergic reaction to. So we are huge Natural Balance fans! Unfortunately for me, mom learned how to start brushing my teeth so she is going to start doing that now. I wonder if Natural Balance makes toothpaste? Overall mom thought the show had a lot of good information on health and training for dogs and is lots of fun.

Mom got really excited to see the segment on the Blog Paws conference in Salt Lake City. She is registered for the next conference in May and she is very nervous about going because she is a new blogger and it will be her first one. But seeing the conference on TV she realized that she has tons in common with everyone there and can't wait to meet them face-to-face. And she is bringing me!

Even though mom has been unemployed for a few years, she decided to register for Blog Paws when she started having so much fun with our blog. She was meeting lots of people, electronically, and learning so much! By going to the conference she hopes to learn how to make her blog stand out among the crowd, maybe by finding advertisers, sponsors and products to review. Not to mention meeting the blogging community and leaving with tons of information and new friends. Mom has been saying since I was a puppy that I changed her life. Blogging is doing this with its endless possibilities and Blog Paws 2013.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Team Dogventurers: Idita-Walk 2013 Challenge

I am sure you all know what the Iditarod Sled Dog Race is between Anchorage and Nome, Alaska. Well, Team Dogventurers is a group of dog bloggers who are taking the Idita-Walk 2013 Challenge. We are all pledging to walk 1049 minutes, not MILES, between now and March 31st. Mom and I are joining the challenge because we have started to get lazy the last few weeks, mainly due to the weather. I want to sleep in and she is tired of putting on three layers of clothes, plus a dog coat on me, then musher's wax on my feet, only to make it a few blocks. The early morning walks with my park pack have almost stopped and in the afternoon, I am lucky to get one good walk in. Please follow our exercise ticker on the right side of our blog to follow our progress.

We learned about Idita-Walk 2013 from fellow Doxie blogger You Did What With Your Weiner. To participate in the challenge mom paid $10 to register for the walk. All proceeds go to Camp Bronson maintenance, scholarships, and Nome youth-related programs in Alaska and all paid registrants receive a collectible Idita-Walk 2013 lapel pin.

We are supporting a good cause, having fun with blogger pals and getting exercise all at the same time! That is a win-win situation! Love Dolly

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Black & White Sunday: My Week in Weather

It has been a week of crazy weather! First we had an ice storm followed by lots of rain. Which means it warmed up which means I got a bath.

Then it got cold again and I woke up to 4 inches of new snow on Groundhog's Day! It was fun to play in the snow!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My First Blizzard!

Checking out the just shoveled path!

Happy Groundhog's Day! In keeping with Chicago tradition of big storms occurring on holidays (Valentine's Day), our last big storm happened on Feb. 2, 2010. I was little, only 8 months old, and the snow was way over my head! Over 20 inches, the third largest snowfall in our history. The first priority was to shovel a path for me to do my business, after that it was all play. I loved to climb the drifts that are really high. Then play time with the neighbor dogs.

See how deep the snow is!

Playtime with the neighbors Blackie and Alba in the alley!

My business area.

I always have snow on my nose!

Well, we had a couple of inches of snow again on Groundhog's Day! Not as much as two years ago but the most we have had all winter. I can't wait to go to the park and play today! I will probably have to wear a coat though, sigh.  Love Dolly