On Things I’m (Not?) Supposed To Do

By Lynn –

I know I’m not supposed to do certain things. Like give Z treats, chewies that aren’t Nylabones, or any supplements in his food. But I started doing them anyway.

I brought home some Geneflora the other day to see what it would be able to do for his sometimes-still-loose stools and allergies. He’s already on Wellness Venison & Rice (single protein and single carb formula), so I know he’s getting some good food that’s meant for allergies/sensitive tummies, but Mom claimed that she could see his feet turning a bit pink again, so I talked to my manager. She not only was on the equestrian team, but is also an animal science major and works part-time at a vet’s office, and while she’s not totally 100% holistic and natural (she knows when to draw the line between trying something different versus going with what’s proven), she’s had a lot of success with some alternative remedies that I’d never even heard of before I started working there. One such remedy is Geneflora, a powder that’s basically dry Yorhund (dog yogurt), chock-full of all the good bugs and whatnot that’ll make it through the acid pit of the stomach and into the intestines where they’re supposed to live. So far he’s been on it 1 whole day, mostly due to my…erm…sneakiness at getting it into his food during the morning since he now sleeps in my room. Dinner’s a little bit harder, but I managed last night. It’ll be interesting to see how much improvement, if any, it gets him with his allergies, stools, gas, and whatever else.

The store recently got some free treat boxes for those loyal customers who buy 30-lb bags of Wellness brand dog food (I’m seriously not doing a plug for them here, just the brand that’s mixed up in all this), no charge to us and free to select customers. We were also told that they’re free for us too, provided we took them under cover of darkness. One such treat is a Yogurt, Apple & Banana Wellbar, which I figured&Z is fed yogurt and bananas and apples when they’re in season, and the treats are meat-free so there’s no poultry protein for him to react to&so I spirited out a box of that one night. Wow, he loved it and when I told my parents about it (and THEY made sure he liked the treats too!), they told me that this might be something we could give him on the rare regular occasion and to spirit out a few more boxes. No problemo!

I’ve also been hearing customers (and other staff) raving about the bully sticks. Now, Z’s never been much of a chewer, he doesn’t really touch the Nylabones we give him and he’s never shown interest in shoes, utensils, furniture, etc…so I wasn’t sure about this. Every customer who talked to me about bully sticks just kept saying how hard their dog chewed, if they didn’t have these then they’d be out a few sets of furniture, no shoes on their feet, etc. Either way, Z still likes to chew on his toys, not destructive chew, but just manipulate them and exercise his jaws. I figured it was worth a shot, even at US$5.99 per stick (not counting tax and discount). He didn’t even know what to do with it! I let him sniff it, take it in his mouth…and then it was like “Well, OK…do what now?” and spit it out. I held it up to his mouth and let him lick it, then he started to sort of test-chew it and I praised him! He just really started to get it this morning; we went back to my room after breakfast and had some bully-stick time before I had to run off to the barn to work Mystique. I put it away before I left and when I came back, we had some more bully-stick time before my shower&and now he’s really getting into the whole “Hey, this is something I can chew and it tastes good!” thing.

I’d have some pics of Mystique (my palomino Quarter horse mare that I’m working with for this equine breaking/training class), but the library unfortunately has Photobucket blocked, so I’ll probably post one under the Member Gallery.