Steroids and Henry's Bladder

It has been a good thing that I haven't been working because of Henry and his Steroids.

Steroids make Henry very thirsty and on "steroid days" he has to pee very, very frequently. It is hard for us to be away from the house for more than a couple of hours because we are likely to return home to a giant puddle or two. And just because he is peeing frequently doesn't mean that they are small in volume. I have timed minute long pees only a half-hour after his last pee. However, as we've been able to decrease the steroids this has gotten a bit better.

You can always tell how badly Henry has to pee when we get home by the speed of which he travels from the stairs to the outside door. And if you were gone for a while he has ways of making you feel guilty....

Yesterday, one of my appointments was delayed by over an hour and I ended up being away from the house for a total of seven hours. Immediately upon arriving home I take Henry outside. He almost falls down the stairs he is taking them so fast and he looks like he is tensing every muscle in the rear half of his body as he sprints to the door. I can barely get the door open because he is blocking it with his body in his urgency to get outside. The spot he chooses is with his body hidden between two of our trees but with his head sticking out.  For the duration of his two minute long pee he just stared at me. A constant, unblinking, pained expression that seemed to say, "you did this to me!"

Oh, Henry.

The Farts

Disclaimer: I apologize if the term fart is offensive. When I was a child saying fart was as bad as cussing. It seems that it has become a generally accepted term. My mom even uses it now. I am going to use it because it is a lot easier than writing flatulence AND not as silly as saying "passing gas" or "breaking wind" (the phrases I was told to use as a child).

Henry has always had bad gas. I figure I jinxed myself when I once said that I didn't think anyone had smellier farts than my husband (I've heard he cleared a subway car once). Henry out stinks Jensen any day.

We had a brief hiatus from Henry's farts while he was on the prescription, anti-allergen diet. They didn't go away completely but they didn't take over the room. We did notice that they started smelling different -- plastic-like, odd, and just plain unnatural. When we started reintroducing foods to Henry's diet his farts got worse. They still smell odd but now they take over the room and assault anyone with nostrils. Sometimes being in the same room with him is eye-watering, tolerance-testing, torture.

The farts aren't noisy. The only warning is a brief, subtle, quiet "poof." They are worse at night. One night they were so insanely stinky and frequent that we started attempting to time them -- like contractions. I sleep better with ear plugs but recently have discovered something that I really don't like about earplugs...when I am wearing them I don't hear the warning "poof"that precedes the nasal assault.

We haven't been able to narrow down the culprit. The odd-smell started around the time he started the prescription diet, the insanely expensive antibiotic, and the new anti-yeast/anti-fungal medicine. He is no longer on the prescription diet nor the antibiotic so they are ruled out. We wonder if it could possibly be canned food - quality or not. Unfortunately we need to use canned food as it is the only way to give Henry his various powders and medicines.

Henry's dermatologist, Dr. Mundell, suggested we give Henry activated charcoal. The back of the bottle is heartening, it says: Activated Charcoal is one of the finest natural absorbent agents. Each particle contains many small chambers, and cavities that "capture" or bind-up unwanted materials and gas, which are safely carried out of the digestive system. And thank you Dr Mundell! The farts are now a bit less...pungent. Meaning: they still smell unbelievably bad and take over the room BUT they don't clear the room and one can still manage to breathe.

Henry's response to his farts is really funny as well. When he farts his normal "poof" fart, he will twist around and smell his rear. Occasionally, when he has been sitting/laying on the couch and he "poofs" he will stand up, smell the spot his rear was and then lick the spot (sometimes Henry is really gross). But my favorite is when Henry has the surprising noisy fart. He has two responses to these. If he is sleeping it will startle him awake. When he is awake he will jump up and off the couch (or away from where he was) and across the room and stare back at where the fart occurred. Sometimes he will return to what he was doing right away. Other times he will look offended,  look back and forth between the spot and me, then, keeping his distance, turn his back and settle down.

For a long time it hasn't been easy to have people come over and hang out because of Henry's behavior. Constantly barking and always wanting to be the center of attention -- even if it means climbing on top of people to ensure it. Although, I do have to say that Henry has the magical ability to endear himself to people even when he is bad. I can't tell you how many times people have left our house and I have thought, "they must think that Henry is an annoying, terrible dog and hate being around him. But when I see them next they always ask about Henry and they always respond to my updates and stories with an affectionate "Oh, Henry." His behavior has been improving as he grows up and especially as we have become better at training him. But now we have this new problem...

Would you choose to relax in an environment where you were repeatedly exposed to one of the worst smells ever? If you have the choice of where you can spend time with one of your friends, would you choose the location that contained 'odeur de Henry'?

Oh, Henry!

Henry Update

I don't know how well any body ever reads this blog or pays attention to the changes I make but perhaps, you've noticed the changes under the now accepting donations heading?

Thanks to Dr. Rewers at Ancient Arts holistic vet, Dr. Mundell (animal dermatologist), Lien Animal Clinic and, last but certainly not least, A Dog's Dream Natural Pet Supply, Henry is doing better!

So please knock on wood, cross your fingers, thank lucky stars, or do any other thing designed to keep the luck going and to avoid tempting fate.

I kid you not:

  •  Henry is back to being a white dog. The color pink only makes it's appearance when he is sleepy. In honor of this I am changing the background color to white!
  • He is no longer on the insanely expensive antibiotic. 
  • He takes only 1/4 steroid every other day (occasionally 1/2--when he seems itchier or when he's been exposed to anything that he's sensitive to) 
  • Decreased the hydroxyzine to 1 3x/day (unless he is itchier and then we will give him 2 at the next time)
  • His staph vaccine has decreased to 0.5cc from 1.0cc
  • He only needs 1/2 pain pill every few days (which means he is only limping every few days)
  • We have slowly been successfully reintroducing different foods
  • Henry is less crazy (decreased 'roid rage) and is sometimes downright calm -- although this is so foreign to me that I start worrying that he is sad or depressed
He might actually be a normal dog someday!

Oh, Henry.

Henry & the Kids

Sometimes walking Henry feels like walking a celebrity. I don't know if it is the one eyebrow or the big ears that bounce when he walks but people tend to love Henry. If Henry is behaving well on his walk then we let people pet him when they ask -- with a few rules. The first rule is that Henry has to be sitting and the second is that the person cannot approach on any wheeled devices (skateboards, scooters, bikes, etc). 

Henry has always been very gentle with kids when they pet him. One time a young girl was gently petting his head and telling me a story. As she got excited her hand stopped petting and started patting. As she got even more excited she stopped patting and started hitting Henry on the head. Henry simply looked at me as if to say, "Do you see this? Do you see what I am putting up with? Are you going to do anything to stop this?"

A couple of days ago, Henry was especially popular on our walk. A gentleman asked to pet Henry and he kept saying, "Oh, you are a good boy. I can tell you are such a good boy." We received several more smiles, comments and waves. But don't think that this walk was just heavenly, we did have a small obstacle course of horse poop, barking dogs, and one leash-less, human-less chihuahua that did not like Henry. I did not want to see how Henry felt about this chihuahua so we swung wide and quickly escaped the situation--despite the chihuahua chasing us. But the obstacle course was quickly forgotten.

Two very darling children asked to pet Henry. I had Henry sit and the pet fest commenced. I noticed the children doing some no-nos: pulling on his tail and ears, putting their arms around Henry's neck, teasing him with treats. Henry is pretty tolerant of all of these things but I know that with another dog this could cause a bite. So, I turn into "annoying adult" and give them a little lesson on when it is ok to pet a dog (only with owners permission, no petting stray dogs) and what not to do with a dog (tail pulling, ear tugging, etc). They listen very well and repeat everything back to me after I am done. 

It's not all 'Boring Lecture by Christina.' I show them Henry's bag of tricks (sit, down, bang, up, say hi, speak, ask nice, shake, spin, and twirl). The kids get very excited and start giving the commands and treats. We all end up sitting on the sidewalk. After a couple of minutes sitting, Henry lays down and rests his head on the boy's lap. All three (Henry, the boy and the girl) are very fond of "kisses," which I am trying to discourage because of the run in with the horse poop earlier. After 15 or 20 minutes, I say goodbye. The kids tell me that they love Henry and that they are going to miss him. Henry pulls at the leash, he would rather stay with the kids then continue the walk home, but I insist we go. As we walk away, I hear the little boy say the sweetest thing to his sister:

"I'll never forget Henry!"

Oh, Henry.