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February 21, 2013 - Liz Skoczylas
Ramsay and I have been together since he was about three months old.
My parents own Ramsay's brother, Wailey, who came from the same litter. They also have Carrie, who has the same parents as Ramsay and Wailey, but is a couple years younger than the boys. All three dogs are Yorkshire terrier/ jack russel mixes.
Ramsay is my little problem-dog. He manages to get into so much mischief, but looking at him, you wouldn't believe he is as big of a handful as he is. However, he's so cute, I can't blame him for anything that happens.
Yes, I am a crazy-dog lady.
I knew Ramsay was trouble from the first day I picked him up. I knew I was going to crate-train him, but hadn't picked up a crate yet. Because he was so small, I put blankets in a big box, and put him in it for a few short hours. When I returned, my little escape-artist had managed to jump out of the box and terrorize my parents' basement.
Before Ramsay was even a year old, he developed a cough. After an extensive amount of research, I learned that the dry air in my apartment was getting to Ramsay. I bought him his own humidifier to run during the winter months, and the problem was solved.
When we had Ramsay neutered, he had complications. According to the emergency vet, who Ramsay had to be rushed to, roughly one in 1,000 dogs have problems after this surgery. Ramsay was one of the lucky ones, and his whole belly swelled up and bruised to the point where he could barely walk. This is also when I learned that Ramsay is sneaky about pills, and in order to get him to actually take the pills, I have to be even more sneaky than my dog. He really likes ham, by the way, but if you give him a pill in peanut butter, he will find it.
The following summer, I learned that Ramsay has severe allergies to, well, his life. He is allergic to pollen, dust, grass, you name it. Not only does this little 10-pound dog sneeze, but he itches, too. The vet recommended children's Benadryl for the dog. This is where Ramsay figured out the pills, and refused to take them. Nick and I had to team up to put the poor dog in a headlock and force some liquid down his throat. Then, we wised up and poured the liquid children's Benadryl over wet food for Ramsay. And, we discovered that Ramsay doesn't really care for grape, but cherry seems to be ok.
Next, Ramsay pulled a series of Houdini-inspired acts. I'm not really sure if it's because of his allergies, but we discovered Ramsay doesn't really care too much for camping. Nick's parents go to a campground each summer to enjoy nature. On a long weekend with them and their three yorkies, Ramsay managed to escape three times. They have a large, gated area outside their camper that they put their dogs in, with a five-foot chain link fence surrounding it. Ramsay managed to jump that fence twice, leading half the campground on a Ramsay-hunt. The third time he made his escape, he also managed to hit the latch on the gate, freeing the other three dogs as well. He was much happier when we just let him stay in the camper instead of outside.
Then, Ramsay pulled his final escape last May, when he escaped from his harness. He was on his tie-out outside of my parents house, with Wailey and Carrie. Ramsay managed to somehow back out of his harness and run into the road right when a utility truck was coming by, resulting in his paw becoming de-gloved and yet another emergency trip to the vet. He lost two pads and had an overnight stay in puppy-ICU. This also resulted in several months of wearing a cone-of-shame, as well as having a bandaged paw.
Finally, during Ramsay's next regularly-scheduled vet trip, we were back to the allergies. This time, it was discovered that Ramsay is actually also allergic to his collar, which is causing him to be itchy. The vet recommended taking his collar off when he's not outside, which is most of the time, because this dog is basically allergic to being outside.
I'm writing about all of this, because this is what I'm used to with this goofy dog. In three-and-a-half years, I have experienced it all, because he has the most random problems of any dog I've ever heard of. He looks so innocent, until you hear the problems and allergies and situations this poor dog manages to get himself into.
I also am writing about it, because Nick experienced Ramsay's problems first-hand Tuesday night.
I was sitting in Mayville for one of the many meetings I attend, when my cell phone went off with a text from Nick. He was worried (freaking out, actually) because Ramsay had thrown up several times in the few hours since he had been home. In the text, he described the vomit and was telling me he didn't know what to do. He said he couldn't figure out what was wrong with Ramsay, couldn't find anything that the dog might have accidentally eaten, and was just generally very concerned about the dog. Then, he texted me some key words...
"It sounds like he has a fur ball he is trying to hack up."
I immediately knew it was Ramsay's original problem. Dry air is not his friend. Apparently, our apartment is much too dry for our furry little friend. I told Nick to take our humidifier out of our bedroom and plug it in in our living room. Sure enough, by the time I got home just over an hour later, Ramsay had quit coughing and was happily breathing in our no-longer-dry air.
With all of his adventures, I think Ramsay is trying to keep us on our toes for if and when we eventually have children. He is very cute and cuddly, but when he wants to be outgoing, he definitely keeps us on our toes. The good thing is, Ramsay seems to have grown out of his escape-artist phase, following his run-in with the truck. And, hopefully, we have his allergies under control for now... Until we have to give him his next dose of Benadryl!
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Ramsay is being helpful while I'm trying to exercise.