Dogs and Depression

Tiff aka Sealy

If you read my recent post on rescue dogs, you will have met Tiff, the lab/beagle mix. At 7 months old, she was rescued with a squirrel in a cage in Northern Canada.  She is wearing doggles, prescribed for her to help with the pain she feels in her eyes when the sun shines.

Tiff, now l5, was in mourning for her best friend, Sarah’s cat, who died of kidney disease last Christmas.  Sarah was so worried about Tiff’s depression, she set about to find Tiff a new friend, finding the perfect one in a SPCA rescue, Betty White.

Betty White
Betty White

To quote Sarah, “It was great from the get go.” The arrival of Betty White has put the spring back into Tiff’s step. We saw Betty as a kitten, a photo from the SPCA.  Look at how she has grown, definitely interested in the strings of that guitar.

There’s one member of the gang, as Sarah calls them, that is not so thrilled with the new member to the family – Blackie.  No one can be as haughty as a cat who has his nose out of joint, particularly if he considers himself royalty to start with. Sarah calls her boyfriend’s cat The Pharaoh..

Blackie aka The Pharoh
Blackie aka Pharaoh

Time will tell on the two cats’ relationship, but the good news is that Tiff is no longer depressed!

Depression can be a serious problem with some dogs.  The dog goes off his/her food and lies about as though exhausted even before the dog has had its run.

We were very worried at times about our friend Loraine’s dog, Apollo aka Apple.  He was a purebred Golden retriever who was very sensitive.  If someone hurt his feelings, with a sharp word, or refused to toss a ball for him, he disappeared into his bed and ignored dinner.

Whenever Apple went into one of his depressions, refusing to eat or drink, Loraine would call me to come and help. Of course, we took Apple for a walk, hoping to stimulate him with smells and sounds, to no avail.  The dog walked with his head lowered. On our return, he slunk into his bed again. Loraine was very worried about him.

Google Image

One of my daughters, Nicole, came home from college for the weekend.  She was so happy to be home, she did a happy dance and sang.  Loraine had brought Apple to our house to see her.  When Apple saw her dancing and singing, his tail went into a furious wag and he wriggled with joy. Nicole sang to him, calling him Apple Dapple, and we hadn’t seen him so happy for a year.  He ate and drank well that night.  Music, singing and dancing was the magic key to get Apple out of one of his depressions.  Great we found the key, but Loraine couldn’t sing.

People would not buy tickets to hear me sing, but I can carry a tune.  Whenever Apple decided life was a burden, I would drive over to Loraine’s house to sing and dance until Apple’s tail was wagging again and he gobbled his dinner.  We also got him a lab mix friend, Cocoa, and his depressions were less.  Sometimes even Cocoa couldn’t get him up and going, so I had to drive over and go into my vaudeville routine and bring the lovely dog back to us.

There is usually a reason a dog becomes depressed.  Apollo had a big fenced backyard, a family with kids, was taken for long walks and totally adored by all.  I had trained him, which was easy as he was very bright, eager to learn, and was an obedient dog.  I train with a positive hand and with treats. We decided that Apple was just super sensitive. Fortunately, we found the key, through Nicole, to help him out of his depressions, and he lived passed his allotted time.  We all miss that beautiful dog.

We didn’t have a digital photo of Apple, but I found his exact look-a-like on Google Images.  Golden Retrievers all look so much alike, some more golden than others.  We smile when we see an Apple dog trotting along the sidewalk. I have even leaned out of the window of my car on more than one occasion, and told the dog’s owner that he/she has one of the best dogs in the world.  They always grin and agree with me.

If you want to contact me, you can either leave a comment or send me an email.  My email is on About Us, top right of page. Click on About Us and scroll downThe banner of dogs remains for the post, About Us and Reviews.

Acknowledgements of authors who contributed to AstroPups, which I use to write my blog, can also be found in About Us.

Thanks for visiting my blog.  See you soon. 🙂




Dog Update

In a previous post, Yikes, Stairs! I told you about a dog ramp we built for Samantha, our senior Boxer, to enable her to get in and out of the backseat of the car.  I guess we were over-thinking this as she would prefer not to use the ramp.  In fact, since we introduced her to the ramp access, which she barely acknowledged, she jumps in with ease.   Guess she showed us! We know she will have no choice soon, but that’s not now.

In the post, The Dog of my Dreams, I praised the Border collie for its intelligence, skills and for being intuitive.  I said that my niece, Mandy, who lives in England has a Border collie, Nelson, who loves to watch TV.  I was thinking about how Nelson runs to the right and left of the screen following the running dogs on the screen.  Could be he was just running with this pack, or could be he was trying to herd them.  What do you think?

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Nelson, Border Collie mix

Mandy sent me some photos of Nelson.  She is sure he is a Border Collie, but he is definitely a Border Collie/German Shepherd mix, looking more like a German shepherd in this shot. Beautiful dog and no wonder he is so bright with both dogs’ intelligent and intuitive breed traits.

Rescue Dogs

As you know, most of our dogs are rescue dogs.  Trixie was rescued because her foster home had a child who was allergic to her.  Wrigley, yes, we are Cubs fans, was named for Wrigley Field where, for those who do not know, is where the Cubs play home games. Wrigley was a German shepherd/pit mix. She was found homeless and starving in the south side of Chicago. It took a while, and she was always looking for food, unable to shake off those starving weeks,  but what a lovely dog she became.

Our Rescue Dogs
Our Rescue Dogs, Trixie and Wrigley

Yesterday, I was sent a very interesting and happy rescue story from Sarah who lives in Canada.  Her now l5 year old dog is partially blind, is deaf, and never leaves Sarah’s side if she can help it..  Meet Tiff aka Sealy.

Rescued from Northern Canada
Rescue dog, Northern Canada

Tiff is a Labrador/Beagle mix. She was about seven months when she was first spotted running loose, trying to find food on the highway near a First Nations Reserve.  At first they could not capture her, and thought she could be feral as she feared people.  They finally captured the elusive Tiff in a cage along with a companion, a squirrel.  Tiff resisted their efforts to help her and bit the rescuer. At the shelter, she was spayed.  Unfortunately her heart stopped twice during surgery, but Tiff is made of stern stuff.  Now that could be the Beagle in her, as they rarely give up.

At l5, Tiff is very agile and bounds around the yard like a pup.  She is bright, intuitive and very affectionate. However, she is grieving over the loss of her best friend, Sarah’s cat who died last Christmas.  It was time for Sarah to get a new friend for Tiff.

Meet Betty WhiteBettyShe was chosen from the SPCA photo files, but Betty lived at a rescue in Northern Canada.  Sarah lives in the western part of Canada, but she filled out the requisite forms, was approved, and flew to get Tiff’s new friend.

We wish Tiff and Betty White all the best and commend Sarah for her love of animals and the lengths she will go to give them a loving home.

By the way, Sarah recommends bringing a cat or small dog in a soft carrier which can be stowed under the seat.  It is so less traumatic for the pet to travel in the cabin than in the bowels of the plane.

If you want to contact me, please leave a comment or email me. My email is on About Us, top right. Click on About Us and scroll down.  The banner of dogs remains for the post, About Us and Reviews of AstroPups.

Once again, thanks for coming back to my blog.  I hope you enjoyed tips and tails.  🙂