Saturday, March 1, 2014

Living With The Dog Mamma: (Part 8) Females Versus Males

by Jerry Rade

So there we were - Jana, Jasmine, JD, and myself. To females and two males. Many would view that as a balanced family, and I guess that from one respect that was true.

Jana had me to boss around and Jasmine had JD to boss around. 

To Jana and Jasmine it appeared to work out very well. As for JD and myself it wasn’t really optimal, but we kept it to ourselves due to our strong survival instincts.

By this time, Jana and Jasmine were thick as thieves. 

If anything happened to one of them, both were affected.

It was a real bond that had developed between them, which came as a bit of a surprise to me since it wasn’t all that long ago that Jana did not believe in having a dog in the house.

JD was still a young dog, always interested in playing with someone. He would try to encourage Jasmine into a little roughhousing, but she wanted nothing to do with it so she would admonish him often with a growl. When Jana heard that she would run to Jasmine’s aid.

Jana would often say “All he wants to do is eat, sleep, and play”. 

Jana felt that he should also accept some responsibility for what he was doing.

I asked number of the classes that I teach what they thought of this. Every single male saw nothing wrong with this and believed that this is how life should be. The females, on the other hand, would say nothing but give us one of those weathering looks and only a female can deliver. To this day I still think it’s a great plan.

When JD was about 10 months old, Jasmine really started to have serious health issues. 

If started off with the crucial ligament in her rear leg. It was obvious that she was in a great deal of pain.

This was the point in time at which Jana evolved into a true Dog Mamma. 

She started doing a great deal of research, contacting vets, and then doing more research. She spent a great deal of time following every thread of information that would help us to make a good decision towards providing Jasmine with the care that she needed.

One thing that became very obvious to us is that opinions regarding an approach to canine care varied wildly. Up until this point we had always put our faith in the veterinarian that was providing care for our dogs. We never questioned or challenged them. As Jana gathered information she would ask the vet on their thoughts regarding our options.

We finally came to the understanding that not all vets were created equal. 

I guess it would be fair to say that applies for every profession, but we now understood that we would have to be much more knowledgeable about what was needed for our dogs' health and to be active in making the decisions.

So as Jana continued in her quest for sufficient information so that we could make the best decision for Jasmine’s care she ended up talking to the vet that we still use to this day. We were impressed with his honesty and his openness to discussing all facets of the issue and of the number of options that were available.

We were very impressed with the fact that he was willing to spend an hour and a half discussing the problem with someone who was not even his client.

Jana continued to research relentlessly and discussed all options with our new vet. When I came home from work, Jana would update me on the days progress and we would discuss the thoughts in detail. We made the decision on the type of operation to be done to correct Jasmine’s problem and agreed that we would also use stem cell therapy.

When Jasmine was sedated to have x-rays taken, the vet found another problem - a lump in her belly. 

I won’t get into the details of everything that followed, Jana is already done so on her blog, but I am going to share some of the things she has not written about.

With this new problem coming to light we needed more information. 

We were now at a point where we needed to have much more information before moving forward with any decisions. In other words, we needed to understand what exactly was going on and what can be done about it.

Well, I say we, but what I really mean is Jana. 

Don’t forget I’m just a male, if I do is I’m told all is good.

Jana put a tremendous effort into learning everything. When I came home from work, Jana was always kind enough to spend hours telling me about all of the things she has learned. Repeatedly.

Whenever I brought Jasmine into the vet we would discuss questions Jana had sent to him via email. I would jokingly say that he was very lucky in that he only got five or six emails a day from her. I got five or six hours.

All kidding aside, I have been very impressed with the passion Jana has displayed in learning more to provide for her dogs as best possible.

She really is a Dog Mamma.

Articles by Jerry Rade:
The Ups And Downs Of Dog Ramps
Living With The Dog Mamma: (Part 1) The Rest of the Story
Living With The Dog Mamma: (Part 2) A Dog In The House  
Living With The Dog Mamma: (Part 3) Maybe Having A Dog In The House Isn't Such A Bad Idea After All  
Living With The Dog Mamma: (Part 4) The New Puppy
Living With The Dog Mamma: (Part 5) Big B
Living With The Dog Mamma: (Part 6) JD 
Living With The Dog Mamma: (Part 7) It's A Male Thing  


  1. All vets were not created equally, that's for sure. I'm sure you've come across your fair share of vets that don't seem like they have the time to fully discuss all the different options. If the vet seems rushed or unwilling to answer a lot of questions, that's a red flag for me.

    I also wanted to say happy birthday to Cookie! So now does she boss JD around or is it the other way around?

    1. We came across all kinds of vets. Some incompetent, some too full of themselves, some with wrong priorities ...

      Cookie actually doesn't boss anybody around, she's just happy to be there. Though she can pester for play and attention. JD doesn't boss Cookie either. Firstly, he's used to being hen pecked and secondly, I wouldn't allow that :-)

  2. Very heart-warming and inspiring story. Makes us all want to become better pet parents, doesn't it?

    Just to add my two cents about the vets... Sometimes I wish that all vets would realize that to some of us, our pets are our children, and as they would do anything to help their own children, so do we. And that's why they need to handle each 'patient' as if it's the most important living being in the parent's life.

    Thanks for sharing!