I took a few photos of Mr Dog, he isn’t used to posing for them. I seldom have my camera with me when there are good shots so here are the best two. You can see his spotted tongue in the jumping photo.
Mr Dog is a superstar here in our neighborhood. Little children see him and get awestruck, they think that he looks like a giant pelucho (a pelucho is a stuffed animal). They are really thrilled because he has such soft and woolly hair nothing like the dogs here. When his hair is long he resembles nothing more than a Old English Sheepdog, not a common breed, especially here. His popularity is such that the first things out of my mouth to his adult admirer is that he is a mutt, is neutered (this is really important, dogs often get “borrowed” to use as studs), and not only is epileptic but is highly allergic and eats special expensive and imported French dog food. I stress that if he is feed regular dog food all his hair falls out and that is medicine is very,very expensive and requires an RX.
While he is far from the best trained dog that I have ever had he is remarkably well trained for a dog in Mexico.He is trained to heel,sit and lay down. He is not allowed to jump on people and he loves to fetch a ball. I don’t see a lot dogs on being walked on leashes and most of those are straining, huffing and puffing. Mr Dog is calm and well mannered.
After 4 years he deals with the heat remarkably well. In the morning he goes out and checks the roof and all the likely iguana hiding places. He likes to rest his head on the cement steps. In the house he has his favorite caves, in the kitchen we keep a corner empty for him.
Our grooming routine is that during the winter months we let his hair grow. Then as it gets progressively warmer we watch him. If he gets more and more lethargic,we know it’s time to get a coat reduction, as the temperature goes up his coat gets progressively shorter. The groomers here are very good, you can have any cut you want as long as it’s a poodle cut or a schnauzer cut. I have never seen much variety in the poodle cuts, no Continentals or playboy cuts mostly they have what I would call a puppy cut or a lamb cut.
What Mr Dog really had a hard time with here was traffic. In the Centro Historico we have some sidewalks that date back to horse and carriage days, narrow and high. When buses roar by, Mr Dog would cringe. That wasn’t a foolish reaction, I’ll never forget walking home and feeling the backwash from a bus and thinking “gee,I am closer to the gutter than I thought” and realizing that the bus was driving on the people filled sidewalk. There was a big crack down on irresponsible bus driving, so they do drive a little better now. The Mexican driver’s apathy to hitting dogs and cats on the street is already well documented and I don’t want to write about it.
Now he isn’t as nervous.
Veternary care is inexpensive and plentiful here. The vets that I have talked to love the gringo dogs and cats. Mr Dog seems to be prone to little bumps, from allergies. After performing the minor surgery, the vet commented that if Mr Dog had been a Mexican dog the owner would have waited until he had a huge tumor before even noticing it. The bill for the surgery $100 mxp, yup ten bucks! I could not even see my vet for less than $35 usd and I cannot imagine what the surgery would have cost. Also if you need or want the vet will do house calls in addition to picking up and delivering. I don’t care for the dog transport, a cage in the back of an enclosed small pick up, that our dog vet uses, but there may be others that use other transportation.
What is expensive here is imported dog food,if available. Recently, Costco has started carrying a lamb and rice that he can eat for about 30% of the cost of the Royal Canine he was eating. I admit that the Royal Canine Mobile support is probably better but at almost $90 a bag it was a strain on the budget and anything imported cannot be counted on. If worse goes to worse I might end up making dog food, but that really isn’t something that I want to get into.
Another very expensive thing is dog toys. Kongs are at least twice or more than nob. Chicafeliz was looking for cat toys when she first came here, she said that the pet shop girl looked at her like she was wanting a toy for a pet cockroach. A toy for a cat? You have a pet cat? Now there are more things available.
A little more on Mr Dog’s background. We adopted him, he was approximately 3 years old. He was found matted and lost in a field. Luckily for him, he never was observed having a seizure at the pound or he would have been deemed un-adoptable. He had a grand mal in front of me, which I recognized. Our vet was able to put him on phenobarbitol which after playing with the dosage controlled his seizures. He has not had one since. Because of his condition we drove down, we couldn’t stand the idea of putting him in a cage in the cargo hold of plane. I wrote a little about driving down with Mr Dog in the post labeled “Anything but no“, which incidentally has a nice photo of him.
Last January, on the advice of his vet, we have weaned Mr Dog off the meds. His vet had read that new studies that showed that if a dog can go 6 months or more with out seizing, it is likely that their brain will “re-set” and they will no longer be epileptic. As he pointed out, if Mr Dog does seize, we know how to control it. Mr Dog has been seizure free for many years now. The main difference we noticed is that Mr Dog has more energy now and is more interesting in his surroundings.
I can’t think of much more to say,but Mr. Dog loves his retirement in Mexico, really,really likes the dog park but misses the hiking trails and the creek walk.