Friday, February 01, 2008

An Unworthy Treat

Hello, this is Teddy's dad and I'm hijacking his blog to share some very VERY important information about some seemingly innocuous people food that is extremely dangerous to dogs. But before you get worried, I should tell you that Teddy is fat, happy and just fine (as far as I know).

Over the summer, I like to keep grapes in the freezer as a cold, sweet snack. One summer afternoon about 18 months ago, I was partaking of my snack and teddy was watching. "Hey, dad, those look good. Can I try one?"

"Do you want a grape?"

"Yes, I want a grape if that's what those things are that you're eating. Can I have one?"

"I don't think you'll like it."

"I don't care."

So, I gave him one. At first, he was a little confused. He walked off with it and dropped it on the floor. He spent several minutes sniffing at it, tasting it and letting it roll around in his mouth before finally eating it and coming back for another one... a request to which I acquiessed (I gave in).

Since that day, I have been feeding him one to three grapes any time I have them. A few months ago, I read somewhere that you shouldn't feed grapes to dogs. There was no explanation, they were just on a list. I've also heard you shouldn't give milk or dairy to a cat but my vet says that if their digestive system tollerates it, dairy products are fine. I thought grapes might be similar with dogs since ther was no specific warning. Boy, was I wrong.

The wife and I were discussing this just the other day. I finally asked, "I wonder what is so bad about grapes?" I turned to Google to answer the question. I was shocked and terrified by the answer I found. Apparently, a sufficient amount of grapes or raisins will cause the dog to experience total renal failure (the kidneys shut down). The stories I read also speak of a slow, painful, unrecoverable decline that ends in death.

Lucky for me and my Teddy Bear, a small amount (1 or 2) does not appear to cause this reaction or we might have found out the hard way. Veterinary toxicologists are not sure why grapes are toxic so there is no way, as yet, to tell exactly what amount could affect your pet.

Here's the short version:


Pet owners whose dogs have ingested large quantities of grapes or raisins, or veterinarians managing such cases, are encouraged to call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435 immediately (round-the-clock assistance).


The following information was obtained from the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center's EMail News Alert:


In response to reports of dogs developing kidney failure after eating large amounts of grapes or raisins, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) conducted a review of all related cases in its database. Veterinary toxicologists found that all of the companion canines developed vomiting within six hours of ingestion; the estimated amounts of grapes or raisins eaten ranged from nine ounces to two pounds. Other commonly reported signs included diarrhea, anorexia, lethargy and abdominal pain, and all of the dogs developed evidence of kidney disfunction. Adds APCC's Charlotte Means, DVM, "Whether the ingested grapes were purchased fresh from grocery stores or grown in private yards didn't seem to matter, nor did the brand eaten." Clinical signs lasted for several days--sometimes even weeks. And after aggressive treatment, which included intravenous fluids and medications, half of the dogs recovered, while the others died or had to be euthanized.

Pet owners whose dogs have ingested large quantities of grapes or raisins, or veterinarians managing such cases, are encouraged to call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435 immediately (round-the-clock assistance).

One of Teddy's other favorite fruity treats is Bananas (similar story as to how he got hooked on those). Apparently,"Bananas are okay," according to Dr. Jill A. Richardson with the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. (Source:


Friday, October 12, 2007

A Conversation With My Dad

"Come here, Teddy Bear, I have something I need to tell you."


"Teddy Bear, JD is very very sick."

"What does that mean?"

"Do you remember when you were little and you had that cough? Do you remember how you felt very tired and all you wanted to do was lie around all day?"

"Yes, I remember. That was icky."

"Yes, well, it's sort-of like that only it's much worse. He's tired like you were but he also hurts a lot when he moves and his tummy is upset so he's not eating very much. In fact, he's not eating enough. Teddy Bear, JD is going to die very soon."

"Does that mean he'll be able to play again?"

"No, Teddy Bear, it means he's going to go away and he'll never be able to come back."

"Never ever?"

"Never ever."

"But, I don't want him to go away."

"Neither do I , Teddy Bear but it's not up to us."

"Why does he have to go away? Doesn't he like us anymore?"

"I'm sure JD loves us as much as we love him but dying is something that happens to everything that lives. At some point, Nikita, me, mommy, and even you are going to die. It's part of the cycle."

"So, if it's going to happen to me anyway, can I just go with JD?"

"No, Teddy Bear, it doesn't work like that. It's not your time. Besides, if you go with JD, you won't be able to see me, or mom, or Anabelle anymore."

"Oh. So, when is he going?"

"I don't know but it's going to be soon. I would very much like to get him home before it happens, though."


"Yes, Teddy Bear, we're going back to Oklahoma. Do you remember the house we lived in before we came here? The one with the big back yard and the deck and all of the birds?"

"Oh, yes! I like that place! Are we going back there?"

"Yes, we're going back there and I don't want to leave JD here. It just wouldn't feel right."

"I agree. I would like him to come home, too. Then maybe we can play in the big back yard again."

"I certainly hope you will get that chance. But I wanted to let you know how sick he was just in case that doesn't happen. And if he dies before we leave, I don't want you to be too sad that he's not there for you anymore."

"I'll try not to be sad but that might be very hard. I don't know what I would do without my big brother."

"I know but just understand that he's not going away because he doesn't love us and it's not because he's mad at us. It's just something that is going to happen and I wanted you to know before it did."

"Okay, dad. Can I go play now?"


Update, October 15, 2007

Tissue Alert!

Jack Daniel passed away last night. We had gone to bed about 10:15 and heard him cry out around 10:30. I rushed to his side but there was nothing I could do. I don't know if he was aware of my presence or not, but I hope he was because it was the only thing I could give him.

There is a 24-hour vet hospital on the far West side of town. We just returned from dropping off his body. We will be bringing his ashes home with us. Had I realized it was a 24/7 clinic, I might have brought him there sooner so it didn't have to be like this. I feel very sad and somewhat guilty right now. We are all very raw from this.

When we returned home, Teddy was whimpering at the door. I knew he wanted his brother back and was upset that he'd been taken away. He went toward the back door but only stayed out a few seconds to confirm that JD was not in the back yard. He made a search of the house and kept coming back to me as if to ask where I had hidden him. He made a big effort of sniffing the blanket JD had been on. I was sad that I could not bring his brother back to him.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Guess What I Can Do!?

Daddy has been throwing treats at me ever since I came to live with him. I thought he was bouncing them off my nose for the fun of it. The other day, he dropped one right over my head. I wanted that treat so bad, I caught it before it hit the ground.

Daddy was so happy with me that he dropped another treat so I could do it again. Who knew he wanted me catch them like JD does? Now, I can catch them whenever I want.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Teddybear

Playing with JD in the snow.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I'm Ready for My Closeup

Dad's been doing a bunch of work on his web sites this week and has some new pictures of me. He says if you click on the words below, you can see them.

Pictures of Me

He says you can also see the newest pictures of that yorkie who claims to be the cutest dog in the world here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Dad got a new lens and was testing it out. Here's a nice action shot of me frolicking in the yard.

It's a big, long zoom lens.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Breed All About It

Much debate has occurred as to what kind of dog I am. My mother looked like a shepherd of some sort but I'm one of the only ones of my brothers and sisters who has any black fur. Then there's the issue of height. I have very short legs. The pictures don't show it well, but I do. My sister, Samantha, has longer legs but my brother, Bently, has really long legs. Some people say I'm built like a corgy but that's not quite right, either. I'm too long.

My aunt Mary came over this weekend to say hello. I like her - she's funny. She said I was made up of spare parts.

Dad says I'm an under dog. I sleep under the bed, I lie under the coffee table, I walk under the chairs... I think his guess is the closest.