Archive for December, 2011

When Louie first came to day-board with me, he looked like a refugee.

 A skinny, 5-year-old Doberman, he had been suffering from chronic diarrhea for reasons nobody could determine. His ribs, backbone and hip bones stuck out so far, it looked like even petting him would hurt him.

 Louie had loving owners, regular vet care and a special, high-priced food. So what was the problem?

 While his owners were at work, he’d been spending weekdays at the home of one of Chicago’s most popular pet sitters. But she often was busy downstairs at her day-boarding facility, so Louie spent a lot of time alone upstairs.

 That seems to have been the problem.

 His desperate owners decided to try leaving him with me during weekdays, where he would enjoy the company of my friendly dog, Brownie, my very dog-experienced cat, Taffy, and of course me.

 Brownie and Taffy took to Louie right away. Brownie shares her toys with him, and he likes to curl up next to her on one of the big dog beds lying around the house. Taffy likes to let Louie sniff her all over with his great big snout, which is attached to a head almost as big as the cat. It must feel like getting lightly vacuumed, just enough to pleasantly ruffle her fur.

 So even when I’m out running errands or tending to other pets, Louie has company.

 After one week, his owners could see a difference. After four weeks, he’d gained enough weight to look normal. His coat regained its sheen and there was almost no sign of the diarrhea that had plagued him.

 Louie seems to be one of those dogs who thrives only when he has steady companionship. His owners might want to consider adding another pet to their household. The result would be one more pet with a good home, and a very happy, healthy Doberman who would welcome the company.

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