Sunday, January 3, 2010

What Baron teaches me

Baron is my 12 year old, epileptic schipperke. He almost died about 3 years ago from liver failure brought on by taking phenobarbital for his seizures. Now, he is recovering, happy, energetic and a PIA, just like healthy schipperkes.

Getting to this point was not easy for him, or for us. We spent thousands of dollars on medicine and doctors visits. With the help of our wonderful vet, Dr. Raab, we came up with a regimen that seems to keep our dog happy and healthy.

He gets fresh, home cooked meals twice a day: free range chicken, sweet potatoes, white potato, peas with a little shredded cheddar cheese and vitamins all mashed and heated up for him. My husband makes his fresh food about three times a week. He also gets organic, low fat dog food that the "Whole Dog Journal" recommended. He doesn't get any treats, except maybe extra chicken or a piece of his dog food. He takes human Keppra now for his seizures and SAM-E, a human liver medication.

What have I learned from caring for Baron? First and most important: patience. He tries my patience every day. He is food centric, always snuffling around for more chow. He drinks my coffee and paces around the house licking ?? off the carpet.

I learned conservative medicine, and natural remedies sometimes work as well as expensive surgery and meds. Baron tore both ACL's a while back and we opted to conservatively manage it (no surgery: he wouldn't have tolerated it with his liver issues).

He makes me laugh. He keeps me warm at night. Simple things amuse him: leaves blowing off the windshield, chasing an airplane across the sky.

I know all of you with a beloved pet can add to these thoughts. I just wanted to put them down on paper, while he is staring at me from across the room. I know what he is thinking: "When are we going for a walk?"

Patience, Baron, patience.


  1. Baron is a lucky dog indeed to have such loving caretakers. What a sweet face! I cook homemade dog food too; typically ground turkey and brown rice.

    Julie Magers Soulen Photography
    Blog of Note

  2. Oh, I'm smiling. How lucky we are to share our lives with such plucky creatures.