Saturday, February 17, 2007


I got a dog! What a change from the felines I've always had. I still have my cat but for my birthday my husband decided to surprise me with a dog - he remembered that I said I wanted a Yorkshire Terrier so he decide I needed a surprise. I DID NOT need this surprise! I've had many dogs but never anything this small all my other dogs were Doberman Pinschers, quite the other end of the scale in terms of size and temperament. Also Dobermans are NOT terriers and terriers have a very specific personality: The terrier is a group of dog breeds initially bred for hunting and killing vermin. While usually small, these dogs are brave and tough, and have a lively, energetic, and almost hyperactive personality.

The Yorkshire Terrier, though a toy breed, still retains much of its terrier ancestry in terms of personality. Though personalities differ from dog to dog, they are generally intelligent, independent and gutsy. Yorkies, especially males, are very territorial and are known for their disregard for the limitations of their own size. They will often attack much larger dogs despite their extreme size disadvantage. Because of their pugnaciousness and tendency to pounce and "hunt" they can nip and are not suitable for homes with very young children. Their small size also puts them at risk of being injured inadvertently by children. Small children should be carefully watched around Yorkies. Generally speaking, yorkies should not be homed with families with small children. Yorkies typically get along well with other dogs and love to play together with them. However, they are terriers, and even an old, sedentary lap dog may eagerly hunt rodents. Yorkshire Terriers tend to be more difficult to train than some of their canine cousins; however, this difficulty is considered to be a result of the breed’s characteristic prey drive rather than any major deficiency of intelligence as they were bred to work without human intervention.

All that said Robert Bruce, aka Bob is adorable, loving, smart and generally willing to please us. The downside is that Bob has some major health issues and is spending time in and out of Pennsylvania Veterinary Medicine: The Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital. Within one week of Bob coming home it was obvious that he had some major respiratory problems - coughing, wheezing, and general respiratory distress. My husband and I have had a major disagreement about how Bob was acquired, my husband bought him at a pet store and I know it was because Bob was suppose to be my surprise birthday present but god pet stores are a disaster in terms of acquiring animals. The agreement my husband signed at the pet store said we could return to dog for a full refund if there were health problems within the first ten days of ownership but this is NOT an appliance, how the hell do you take a very sick animal back knowing you are condemning it to certain death? Returning Bob was just never a consideration. But please if anyone reads this post please remember and also tell everyone you know - DO NOT BUY ANIMALS AT PET STORES!

Bob's diagnosis is: Bordetella bronchiseptica pneumonia - which is also the infection that causes kennel cough but in this case it infected the lungs and is extremely serious, actually life-threatening. Bob spent a week in ICU at Penn and the doctors and staff were wonderful. They have these great visiting rooms where they let you spend time with your pet. Now Bob is home and takes oral antibiotics everyday and returns to Penn every two weeks for X-rays of his lungs. They are telling us that often this pneumonia gets so advanced in a lung lobe that the infected lobe has to be surgically removed. I hope he won't need surgery!