Sunday, May 29, 2011

$452.00 [The Dentist]

Really, Betelgeuse?  Anesthesia and extraction of two broken teeth after only two short years on the planet. Apparently Betelgeuse has "weak teeth." That's an official diagnosis. Or she's been chewing on rocks. That's a speculation.

$382.00 for the teeth extraction (and accompanying anesthesia, antibiotics, catheter and IV fluids). And another $70.00 on top of that for a leptosporosis vaccine and bordetella injection booster because -- might as well -- she was due for them and already knocked out.

And can you believe I didn't even get to keep the teeth?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

$29.00 [Wiggles Wags & Whiskers Harness]

Wiggles Wags & Whiskers Freedom No Pull Training Harness.

After a year and a half in pink and grey, Betelgeuse is on her second Wiggles Wags & Whiskers harness in orange and brown. Her first harness didn't break or wear out, it just got a little ratty, and (duh) I love buying presents for the animals.  [Update:  I re-gifted Beeb's old harness to Cheska.]

This is the best harness around. It's got two options for attaching the leash, a top ring and a front ring. When Betel is being a good little walker, we use the top ring. When she's pulling us toward to dog park to play fetch, we use the front ring. (If she pulls on the front ring, she ends up turned around facing us. Mwahahah.) It has a velvet strap on the underside, which prevents rubbing or irritation under her legs. And it comes in tons of colors.

Betelgeuse is too fluffy to see her harness when she's wearing it, but this dog is wearing it well:

Only downside is that Lulu is too small for even the smallest size. But I'm in the market for a reflective harness for her anyway since we almost lost her in the dark when we were camping.

$29.00 for a cute and long-lasting harness that keeps pulling at bay. More expensive than some other harnesses on the market, but totally worth it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

$0.00 [Cardboard Box]

Free with any online purchase: A Cardboard Box, which just so happens to be one of Lola's favorite things in the whole world.

Jump in and out. Scratch the bottom. Sleep in it. Stalk Kitty from it. Scare Betelgeuse just by having it around. Pee in it when you're done.  

$0.00 for a happy cat, which is priceless.

$14.99 [Chicken Feet]

Only slightly more awkward than feeding your pet a dehydrated bull penis, I present to you Aunt Jeni's Chicken Feet, 20 of them in fact, and dehydrated to perfection. Even Kitty enjoys crunching on the toes.

Also enjoyed in the past: frozen chicken feet. It really is so funny to me (and sort of terrifying to my boyfriend) to find one of those thawing in the bed or next to your magic mouse.

I love feeding my pets gnarly animal parts -- we have not even discussed tendons, tracheas, or hooves yet, but we'll get there. I was vegetarian for 16 years until approximately one year ago. Because I now eat the animals' meat, I appreciate that my pets will eat their bones, feet, snouts, ears, tendons, organs, etc. -- all parts that might otherwise go to waste. And really, if I was truly grossed out by animal parts, I shouldn't be eating animals.

$14.99 for hours of chewing fun for dogs and cats, creeping out your friends, and, most importantly, "using the whole buffalo."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

$27.29 [New Grass]

Dogs do a lot of damage to a small backyard. And when I say dogs, I mean Kira, who we often dog sit, with a small amount of help from Betelgeuse and Lulu. For more information, watch this video:

The solution? Scotts 3 lbs. "Pure Premium" High Traffic grass seed mixture:

We hand-tilled the dirt pit of a backyard featured in the above video and planted the grass seed in early April. We got a lot of rain this spring and only one or two visits from Kira. (Note that we did not put down straw or enforce a stay-off rule, which were both recommended by most grass-growing resources.) A month or so later, we have a seriously lush grass-filled backyard. I have not taken a photo, so you will just have to imagine it for now. $27.29 (which includes shipping) for shiny, thick dog-proof grass! Amazing!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

$64.55 [Fountain]

This stainless steel Drinkwell 360 Pet Fountain was a very generous birthday gift from my brother, straight off my wishlist. A replacement for my Drinkwell Original Pet Fountain, which does not get a link or my endorsement because it's a nasty loud eyesore that needs constant refilling. My stainless steel Drinkwell 360 Pet Fountain, however, gets a link, an endorsement, and a photo:

Oh yes, this fountain. It is shiny and beautiful, blending in perfectly amongst the stainless steel refrigerator and sink with which it shares the kitchen. It has five interchangeable spout rings depending on how many streams your animal companions prefer, and you can easily adjust the flow. (Lola prefers a steady stream to splash with her paws, and Kitty doesn't care. About anything.) The pump is virtually silent. It holds one gallon of water, which is perfect since I have four animals drinking from it. Strike that -- only three.

Which brings me to my only complaint about this fountain, which is really a complaint about my dog: Betelgeuse is terrified of the stainless steel Drinkwell 360 Pet Fountain. You should see her even try to walk by the thing -- it's pathetic -- so she drinks from a glass bowl sitting close, but not too close, to the majestic fountain. Should we do the math? $63.55 to have a small unsightly dish of water on the floor anyways? Nope, not okay. I will spend an additional dollar on the delicious hot dog that I'm going to put in the fountain; her love of hot dogs will conquer all her fears. Either that, or my brother and I have together spent $64.55 to watch a soggy weiner float in a beautiful pet fountain.

Update:  Betelgeuse now drinks from the fountain!  All is well in water world.

$24.24 [Balls]

Betelgeuse's favorite past-time is fetch. You don't even have to command "fetch," just throw a ball, frisbee, or toy, or even shoot a dart from a Nerf gun, and she will bring it back to you. That is not to say that she doesn't have favorite items to fetch, including a favorite Frisbee (because she does -- a 10" Aerobie Superdisc -- the subject of a future post) and favorite types of balls. This particular post is about balls.

Kong Small Squeakers

Two in particular:
(1) Kong Squeaker Balls, size small (2" diameter), which are soft tennis balls with a squeaker inside. These are her ultimate favorites -- great for catching (bet you didn't know Betelgeuse could catch a 2" ball!), playing fetch inside, or even just for hanging out and squeaking; and
(2) Chuckit! Ultra Balls, size small (2" diameter), which is a hard rubber, high bounce ball. These are great for playing fetch in the open expanses of grass in McGolrick and McCarren Parks because they bounce and keep traveling and don't get waterlogged like the Kong Squeakers.

Today, $24.24 to expand the second category of the Betelgeuse ball arsenal with two goals in mind: (A) preventing ball loss when playing in the parks after nightfall (we've had many a casualty) and (B) throwing the ball even farther with less effort.  In two days (thx, Amazon Prime), Betelgeuse will get her mind blown upon the arrival of two new Chuckit! Max Glow Balls, two new Chuckit! Whistler Balls, and her very own Chuckit! Mini Launcher! I'm not sure which ball choice will result in fewer lost balls: the glow-in-the-dark ball, which she can presumably see, or the whistler ball, which she can hear. Maybe neither because I will be launching them so far that they will land outside of the park and bounce away.

In any event, this will not be the last of my dollars spent on balls -- at least as long as the ball-stealing dogs are alive and well (Roxy, I'm looking at you on this one) and we haven't solved the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle of balls that is the couch's dark underbelly.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

$267.99 [Hypothyrodism]

Vet appointment for Kitty, who has been exceedingly grumpy and peeing on the floor as of late. I scheduled the appointment for Kitty's 13th birthday on Friday the 13th because I was expecting bad news and wanted to blame the calendar and not myself. Turns out that Kitty's hyperthyrodism medicine resulted in a case of hypothyrodism. How very American of us: $195.00 to treat good ol' fashioned Western overmedication, plus $72.99 for the new transdermal medication in the correct dosage.

Let there be no question, though: Kitty is worth every penny. I'm just happy to have her around. But I hope that we can get her thyroid levels to stabilize so that she feels better, stops being so grumpy, and starts using the litter box again, which are all symptoms of hypothyrodism. Unfortunately, these are also symptoms of feline senility -- which would not be an entirely surprising development but I pray is not the case for our dear tripod of a Kitty.