As the long summer days roll on and families squeeze in last-minute vacations, yours portly is resorting to an old chestnut with an extremely niche audience: Bull Terrier Tuesday.
If you want to know about my dog, the nine-year old bull terrier Murphy, keep reading. If you’d rather not know about my adorable, stubborn old girl, feel free to read some of my other posts to tide you over until the real substantive content returns.
I’ve had Murphy for just slightly over a year now. When I first got her, she had quite a few ailments, though she was generally in good shape—no heartworms (praise the Lord!) or anything like that. But the old girl had a bad rash, fleas, and some other issues that must have been irritating for her.
We got all of that sorted, and Murphy has done pretty well, though she’s packed on seventeen (!) pounds sine I got her. Currently, Murphy is weighing in at around seventy-seven pounds, and should be at an even seventy, maximum. She is a very muscular dog, but I’ve overindulged her with treats and table scraps. Fortunately, as I’ve been dropping some weight, that means she’s likely to drop some; since I’m not eating as much, she’s not eating as much.
Regardless, Murphy had her big annual vet visit a couple of weeks ago, and got updated on all of her shots and vaccinations. Murphy hates to have her nails cut—I even offered a $20 bonus tip to the groomer once if she could manage to cut them (she failed, but I gave her the $20 anyway)—and so I had to resort to having her put under with laughing gas to clip them.
After that visit, the vet told me that an analysis of Murphy’s steaming poop revealed she had picked up hookworms or roundworms. That honestly explains some things: Murph has been eating grass lately, which apparently is something dogs will do if they have worms of some kind.
As gross as that sounds, the fix was easy: two big ol’ pills, which I smashed into a banana and fed to the old girl. She’s still got a taste for grass, but I’m to take in another rich, loamy stool sample in a couple of weeks for further analysis. Hopefully those two pills knocked out the worms, or is in the process of doing so.
This is kind of nasty, but the only thing I can figure is that Murphy picked them because she is bad about eating poop. My dog eats anything (which is why the grass eating didn’t alarm me too much initially, and she does look like a Holstein), and seems to relish the leavings of other animals. I generally try to stop her from doing so, but she’s stubborn and strong (I mean, I’m stronger, but I’m also a pushover), and a part of me figured, “Well, hey, she’s cleaning up the neighborhood.”
I now see the error in that approach. Murphy is now a strict, poop-free diet until the worm menace is eradicated.
So far, she doesn’t seem to mind. She’s getting lots of head scratches, belly rubs, and rawhides, as well as some time lounging in the sun. The heat seems to be having the same effect on her as it me: she doesn’t want to be out in it any longer than necessary.
For the most part, it’s life as usual. Murph has been alone a bit more lately than usual, as I’ve been spending a bit more time with a new lady friend, as well as gearing back up with lessons, but overall she’s doing well. I just shower her with love and affection, and she generally does the same.