If you were to take a peek into my teenage diary, you would find about 360 pages of "Dear diary, Nothing new happened today." The other 5 pages might read what I got for Christmas or a grade on a test and talk about how wildly unfair the teacher was. Sadly, my teenage writer's block was profoundly more prolific than my adult writer's block. At least it had four words. Six if you count "dear diary."
Writer's block is no excuse to keep the cracker and the criminal's fan base waiting for their daily episodes of crime and punishment. With a Siberian husky and a German Shepherd, it's a regular Law and Order scene in our house. But I digress. The truth is, writer's block is just a cover for a new job that I've taken.
The other day, while sitting at the bank to have some documents notarized, I noticed the representative's name plate said "Relationship Manager." Huh. That's an interesting title. Especially since the only relationship anyone at a bank manages is the relationship they have with your money. Still, it gave me pause to consider my new job and exactly what that title would be. You see, I am a manager of two factories. My job is to fuel the factories, monitor, inspect and analyze the product the factories put out every day and adjust the quality of the fuel accordingly. Basically, my title is "Poop Factory Product Manager." And while my phone was literally covered in hundreds of poop photos, at the time, I couldn't inflict that kind of trauma on Wild Dingo's faithful readers and opted to leave the un-pleasantries to myself.
Here's a re-cap of the first quarter at my new job.
In January, Juno came down with a stomach bug and Loki caught it within a day. The past year, I've been struggling with Loki's GI. Having had knee surgery in 2016, then a tapeworm in 2017, Loki then developed regular GI issues. My theory is that it began with surgery (the anti-inflammatory gave him bloody stool within a day which we stopped), which then, despite stopping the med and giving him probiotics, seemed to have weakened his GI enough for a tapeworm to get a hold. I know that parasites like tapeworm can take a hold of even the most healthy human or animal but I've been feeding raw diet for 10 years now and I can honestly say both Loki and Juno's GI has been healthy up until now. Loki's always had a few gas related issues and couldn't digest gassy foods like beans or raw veggies easily. Still, his GI was really healthy. And though I'm certain the worm came from a very wet winter/standing water and not a raw diet, I'm not sure it would have been a big issue for him had his GI been in better shape. Plus, he was able to live with the tapeworm for better than 6 months--because by that time it had grown 18 inches and he was able to poop it out showing me he's pretty good at getting rid of parasites if I'm too stupid to recognize that he had them in the first place. So after the tapeworm meds, his GI weakened even more, giving him multiple incidents from late fall until mid December. By then, his poop was perfect. But when Juicy caught a bug in January, he caught it too and he was back to square one with his GI. For a few months, while they were both medicated for their GI, I cooked them chicken and rice along (invested in an InstantPot pressure cooker to cook meats quickly without much fuss) rotating it with a canned diet for sensitive GI. No more raw during this healing time.
Here's a point in the story where readers, you may have to look away. While I said I couldn't inflict poop trauma during their poor-producing quarter, here are some examples of quality Loki product. If you want to understand the product line and any issues addressing the end product of your own poop factories, you gotta put the time in to inspect the end products when the product is perfect and when the product is no good.
Loki is a “high pooper” which means he prefers to place his logs as high up on bushes and stumps as possible. I've even seen him balance on one paw just to get his apple bottom high enough over a bush without the rest of his feet getting pricked from the sticks and stones surrounding it. So, when Loki starts pooping quickly in the middle of a walking path or low to the ground and looks his product like a blob of soft mucous, then I know something is off in his GI. Just take a look at Loki’s perfect product line on this tree stump: a solid, full-bodied poop, somewhat dry, with an oaky aroma, firm tannins and a soft finish.
Here you can see that Loki will even produces a product line that fits the holiday season. This one was made right around the Christmas holiday, next to a famous Christmas Tree farm. You gotta give the boy props for being timely with his Christmas Tree shaped product line.
I won't bother showing you Juno's perfect bombs. She's always had solid, firm-bodied rope-shaped poop, a fruity aroma and a firm finish. And besides, filming her poop would be copyright infringement on my part. Juno's has a solid NDA contract when it comes to her perfect products. Non-disclosure is a Siberian thing. If nobody talks, no crime has taken place or if a crime has taken place, nobody can point a finger or paw at the Siberian.
Unfortunately, when Loki is sickie his anxiety goes through the roof every night and he paces all night long. This of course led to a very sleep deprived family. All four of of us were logging barely a few hours per night. Loki didn't give a shit though, as he was fine catching up on his sleep all day long. Sigh. Damn dogs. Meanwhile, the only way I could get him to sleep was turning on the huge BioMat every single night and narc'ing him with a dose of Tramadol. Oy vay, this dog will send me to my grave. If I didn't have such deep empathy for his anxiety and neurosis, I'd have dropped an anvil on his head then my own just to get some damn sleep. But I know better. Not only does that dog actually have neurosis like being afraid of his bed or food dish, but once he gets his way by acting neurotic he knows how to work his neurosis when he's perfectly healthy so he can get what he wants, which is typically on the bed or sofa, touching me. Of course, I wouldn't mind that one bit except Juno has Hip Dysplasia and she's on a strict "no jump" lifestyle. She only goes on the bed to be competitive with Loki and most of the time will jump down because she actually prefers the floor to a comfy bed. Of course she'd never tell you that. What's Loki's is hers and what's her's is her's. And that's just the way it rolls in our house. Loki doesn't mind any of this one bit. He loves his sisfur and wouldn't do a thing to hurt her. But it does cause a conundrum when Loki is neurotic and wants to be touching me and all I want to do is sleep through the night. I can't exactly sleep through the night when Juno's on the bed because I have to be half awake if she decides to jump down so I can help her down. Hence, my "No Dogs on Beds or Sofa" rule. And while sleeping with him on the biomat worked for a few times, I eventually had to cave. I may or may not have broken that "no-bed" rule a few times over the past few months especially when MWD was traveling and there was more room in the bed making it 90% more likely Juno would stay on the bed through the night.
Eventually, Juno's GI popped back to normal quickly and she began to act like a puppy again. Of course I have her back on acupuncture and adequan shots now as well, which I had stopped over the fall/winter in favor of PT exercises. Sometimes it's hard to know if her pain indicators of panting are from her hip pain or if she had/has a stomach bug. Either way, fixing her GI and back on adquan/acupuncture seemed to really perk her up and she acts like a regular puppy again. And after about 6 weeks of medications, herbs to calm the gut and special cooked diet, Loki is also back to 95% normal with me still making adjustments to his fuel to get his product up to 100%. Because let's face it, bad poop product is just not pleasant for anyone, the factory producer or the inspector/manager.
So basically, this first quarter was spent as a sleep deprived Poop Factory Product Manager and it was very unexciting time. Had I kept up with Wild Dingo adventures in blog form it would have been very much: "Dear Diary, no changes in their poop today. no sleep for me. It's hell on earth." And nobody wants to read Debbie Downer's Daily Poop Digest.
I'd always envisioned myself at in a management position at an exciting company. I guess dreams really do come true.
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"Your project is guaranteed to meet superior Siberian standards or I will fatally masticate it. You have my "woo" on that!"
"I keep your project safe from crows, coyotes, and flies. I prefer to be paid in salmon treats and tennis balls."
"I manage the treat jar & the staff's daily payroll of cookies and bones. The staff is excellent at math and let me know when I come up short."