Posted by: bree1972 | April 15, 2012

Journal Day 4/16/2012

On Friday morning I asked Ted if he could think of anything we had planned for the weekend.

“Not that I know of,” he said.  “Why?”

We’ve been back to perfect weather the last few days – temps in the low 70’s, unheard-of low humidity – the kind of days when you’re just itching to attack weeds, prune a few bushes that have already bloomed, and get dirt under your fingernails. 

“No reason,” I answered Ted.  “I’m just thinking about getting out in the yard and weeding a few flower beds.”

“Huh,” was Ted’s answer, knowing full well that said weeds would be left in little piles all over the yard for him to wheelbarrow to the trash. 

We had dinner out with friends Friday night.  I had to laugh half-way through the pizza when Ed said, “Do you realize we just spent 10 minutes talking about people in Michigan who only two of us at this table have ever met,” he asked, meaning Dawn and Stevie, who have visited us on the Island.

It was true.  Talk had turned to us having just four weeks left in Georgia, and then topics changed to Jill at the bookstore, Mary and my god-horse Teddie, Brian and his family from the Chippewa, and several others.  And even though most of our Georgia friends have never met these folks, they know them from hearing us talk about them and from Facebook – where everyone is connected.  Of course, in Michigan, we talk about Georgia folks.  As Ed said, “It’s like we’re all friends, even though we don’t really know each other.”  I find that exceptionally fun!

On Saturday morning, after a long coffee-on-the-porch session, I donned an old pair of shorts and a t-shirt I could afford to throw out if it got too stained during the day.  I retrieved my gardening gloves out of the shed, along with a spade, pruning shears, and a little garden seat that allows me to sit and work in the dirt instead of bending over at the waist and trashing my back for the next month.  I trimmed, I pulled weeds, I dug up vines by the roots.  I went inside for lunch, then hurried back outside to chase Maddie away from rummaging through the little piles of weeds, looking for something to eat.  I swept the piles back into piles. I trimmed, pulled, and dug some more.  I watered potted geraniums, and I found an old plant stand in the shed and added it to the deck. I spent the last 30 minutes of the afternoon sitting in a deck chair watching Maddie chase a lime-green lizard around the railings.  I had a blast . . . right up until I put everything away, took a bath, sat down to read for about an hour, and then, wanting a glass of water, got up to discover my left knee did not want to work right.  But hey – my back is A-OK!

Today (Sunday) I planned to rest my knee – to sit out on the porch with my leg propped up and start a new book.  I envisioned a couple of chapters, a couple of naps, and watching birds eat through another pound or two of feed.

“Baby?” Ted called from the hall.

“Yes?” I answered tentatively, knowing full-well that “Baby” was going to be followed by “Did you know . . . .”, and whatever it was I “didn’t know” would mean getting up so I could find out.

“Did you know (see, told you) Bear’s been rolling in something, and under his ear is all yucky?”

I got up.

It turned out that Bear had not been rolling in something but instead had a horrific hot spot under his right ear that was spreading as I watched (for you readers who aren’t dog folks, a hot spot is a skin irritation that can spread like wildfire unless treated right away).  Bear’s was already the size of a half-dollar, bleeding where he’d scratched it, moist, and yes, very yucky.

I scrabbled through my dog pharmacy cabinet for hot spot treatment meds (his last one was two years ago) and everything I had was out of date.  Looking at the clock, I saw it was 11 a.m.  I called the vet’s emergency number where I was informed by the answering service person that if the vet had to meet me at the clinic on a Sunday, there would be a $150 emergency fee before Bear was even seen.  I said, “Please have her call me, and we’ll go from there.” (If you’re thinking a skin irritation is not an emergency, you have never had a dog with a hot spot).

Within five minutes, the vet on call phoned, and I explained the situation.  Bless her heart, she was at the clinic checking on patients and said, “Bring Bear on in – I won’t charge you the emergency fee (yeah for being a regular customer!).

Forty-five minutes later half the side of Bear’s face was hairless (yes, he’s still beautiful – even if only to me), he’d been scrubbed with blue surgical soap, and sprayed with stuff that is supposed to help dry up the hot spot (and which made him roll his eyes at me with a look that said, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME!  THAT STINGS LIKE . . . . YEAH, IT STINGS!”.  It took three of us to hold him down while she sprayed the wound – can’t wait to do that tonight when it’s just Ted and I.  I also brought home pills I’m hoping won’t cause the same reaction a similar drug did the last time he had a hot spot – namely throwing up on every carpeted floor in the house.  Doggie prayers for fast healing would be appreciated – my sweet Bear is one miserable boy right now.

So – there you go.  A pretty typical, normal weekend at the Hortons.  Sure am glad we didn’t have any plans!

"Oh no, she has the spray again! Help me!"



  1. Ouch! Poor fella! Hope things turn around soon! Sending good thoughts–xxoxoox

  2. Morgaine here Bear. Though we won’t tell them that we know they do these things for our own good, we do in fact, appreciate it. Do you have to wear one of those funny cones?? Maddie, please don’t tease BEar too much. My human and I will include you in our prayers tonight. Be well soon. Xoxoxoxox

    • Hey Morg. No cone because it would rub right against my ow-ee. Mom just called me to “come here”, but she didn’t hide the spray bottle well enough. I’m hiding behind the couch. Don’t tell.

  3. Awwwww, poor Bear! Sounds dreadful. That really was very nice of the vet to come to the rescue. I hope you’re able to treat the sore without too much angst and that it heals quickly.

  4. Hope Bear is better soonest!!!

  5. Poor Bear. One of our dogs has frequent hot spots … at least two or three annually … and I know they can be miserable. I try to keep oral antibiotics and steroids on hand so I can get him started immediately. Hope he’s feeling better soon.

  6. Oh, I feel bad for the sweet boy. Take care of your knee, too. Hoping both of you are better soon!

  7. Poor Bear 😦 I feel so bad for you, but just know that even with that towel on your head, your still beautiful to me! Feel better soon. 🙂

  8. I`m sorry Bear but I just had to laugh out loud when I saw your head wrapped up in a towel. But if it will make you feel any better Petie is in the same predicument you`re in. Itching and scratching all over. Gonna get him seen about tomorrow. So just hang in there Big Boy.

  9. Poor Bear! Be sure and listen to your mom so you can get well real fast.

  10. I am sending out prayers for you Bear. I am so sorry to hear about your ouchie. I know those are bad because in fact when I had my golden, Boomer he had one, which he did not like and we had to do the same thing that your Mom and Dad have to do. Just think, “It will get better, it will get better.”

  11. Ouch poor Bear – what a very nice Vet to help Bear and you out like that. Hope you feel better soon Bear!
    I’m glad you were able to get your weeding done too. Happy Monday!!

  12. Poor baby Bear! Maybe your humans can get you a new bone to chew on to help take your mind off of scratching. . . . Hope everyone is better by the time you read this! It’s too nice out to not feel good.

  13. Owweee! Hot spots are the worst. Hope sweet boy is rapidly recovering and you are at least half way through your book. Yay for vets. I don’t know what I would do without my special guardians of the pack. I love all of them and am so grateful for all the special things they have done for us over the last 35 years. The practice has passed from father to daughter but the standards of excellence have been consistent.

  14. oohhhhhhhh poor Bear….lol he is a pitiful pearl! lol

  15. Brenda,

    Although I can’t do a lot of it anymore, working in the yard and the garden is one of my favorite pastimes, so I was really enjoying your blog. Then the hotspot! Ruined everything! Poor bear. I have never been around a dog who had one, nor even heard of such a thing, for that matter. Get well soon, Bear, so you can be ready to come to Michigan and the Island. It won’t be long now.

    • Hmm . . . Lowell. Maybe they’re not as prevalent up north where the weather is cooler and less humid. They are really bad in the south, especially with long-haired dogs. We’ve been lucky that this is only our third one with Bear. He’s been pretty much in another world today on meds (antihistamines for the itch). The hot spot had spread from half-dollar size when I discovered it to about a 4″ x 3″ area by last night. Hoping we’ve got the spreading stopped, but it still looks horrible.

  16. Yowza-glad you caught it when you did. Hot Spots are horrible….We’ve been lucky (knocking on my desk) that each dog has only had one or two. I’m a fanatic about checking them over for ticks and stuff so I found them before they got too bad.

  17. We think Bear is beautiful wrapped in his towel. Anna wanted to jump into the photo and give him a smooch right on the nose. It was good you caught his hot spot when you did … they can quickly get nasty. We’ve had to go to the emergency vet one or two times with hot spots because I was afraid to wait.

  18. Even your everyday life is informational. I never have heard of hot spots. I googled this and saw some awful pictures. My Bear turned 7 on Apr 15th. Yep, he is a tax day puppy. We celebrated his birthday with our employees by having donuts and Bear got his own donut. Not exactly a nutritional snack but it only comes once a year!

    • Well, Yvonne, take one of those pics and imagine it under Bear’s right ear, and you’ve pretty much got the situation. On top of that he’s reacting to the meds. Not a good day or night. Hot spots are terrible.

  19. Happy Jack had a hot spot last year. We thought it was healing up when we went to Venice to visit Jeff’s mom. In the middle of the night he scratched it, shook his head, bled all over her new carpet and splatted blood all over the wall, furniture, books, etc. Emergency vet visit in a strange town – $150, carpet cleaning – $75, embarrassment – priceless.

  20. Poor little Bear, hope you feel better soon!

  21. Oh…poor baby! Hope you get better real soon!

  22. Oh baby Bear! Been there, done that. Tip: If you crawl under the bed when you see the bottle come out they can’t get you. Ha Ha. Well at least till they get sneaky on you and start putting the stuff in a drawer next to their big comfy chair so that when you jump up for a snuggle they grab your collar and then pull that nasty stuff out of the drawer. I better put this ipad thingy away before my mom Donna catches me. She does get mad when I chew on her expensice plastic toys. Whaterver! Love and kisses Sugar.

    • Dear Sugar, Wow – good tips! Only one problem, I won’t fit under the beds. But I’m also too big to climb in their laps, so they can’t pull THAT trick. I think mom is going to let me write about my experiences this week with the big OW-IE on her blog Friday. I wish she’d get a bigger keyboard thingy – it sure is hard to hit the right leters – letters – with my big feet. Your pal, Bear

  23. Poor wittle Bear! Get well soon! If it makes him feel any better, he looks super cute in his towel!

  24. Hoping Bear will be better soon. I love that big, beautiful dog even with hair loss. LOL

    • Thanks, Betty. He’s having a really hard time. Without the steroids, which he can’t tolerate, he’s miserable with itching. Bad night again.

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