It’s Mil-ler Time!

No,  I’m not talking about the ‘champagne of bottled beer‘ or Beer Thirty…I’m talking about the invasion of Miller Moths otherwise known as army cutworms.

Bastard bug (Miller Moth)
Bastard bug (Miller Moth)

After a wet and cold May, these little flying bastards moths have hit the Front Range like a stealthy Kamikaze air battalion. Usually they congregate by an entrance, ready to swoop in all Ninja-like but so far I hadn’t noticed them so much. They don’t bite, don’t carry disease or eat clothing but man…they are n.a.s.t.y. and g.r.o.s.s.

Sam can get twitter-patted about the strangest things. Like he’ll be casually walking across the living room as if he were going to get a drink of water or a few bites of kibbles and then suddenly coming across one of his elk antler pieces and then…BAM! First comes the crashing pounce and then a haphazard toss of an antler being flung across the room. Like most moms, I’ll confess to ignoring that kind of white noise the ‘fur-kid’ makes. I just presume he’s ‘being good’ (more like goofy) until a certain strange noise reaches that “danger center” deep in my brain and then I fly to the scene of the crime like Superman or when that dead quiet lack of sound suddenly triggers the mom radar. Since Sam frequently entertains himself with antler tossing and then pounces on them for a good old-fashioned “dog flossing” I really didn’t pay close attention to him until I saw something small and darkish flit past him and head straight over to a nearby lamp. Moths are naturally drawn to light and drapes I’m afraid, constantly leaving funky brown splotches of that dusty gunk that covers their bodies like flour covering a miller’s apron-hence the nickname. As soon as I looked up and investigated closer, it hit me, no, I mean it literally hit me, right square on my forehead.

Ok, picture this for your entertainment since I can’t seem to easily find an non-copyrighted image.  My arms are flailing about like a mad person as if I just walked into a gigantic spider web, all the while trying like crazy to keep that nasty bastard from getting between my glasses and touching my skin. Now hear the dialogue of a drunken sailor being spewed by yours truly upon realizing I’m being bombarded by one of those notorious villains. I HATE those dang beasts and because I’m dealing with a rather dimwit of a dog, got worried that they might be toxic should he actually catch one and try to nosh on it (a photo of him tasting a bug could be priceless with his eyes all wide, the tongue extended and his lips smacking with a certain WTH was that foul, nasty tasting thing look on his face but I digress). Googling the topic, I was grateful to learn they are not, though I’m still going with the presumption they aren’t good for Señor Doofas and gave the “leave it” command.

If you read about my level of success with certain commands recently then you’ll appreciate the reaction I got from Sam. He just looked at me, gave me that double blink (proving he’s a complete idiot and doesn’t understand English at all) and then he strolled over toward his bed, circled around and then flopped down and gave out the biggest unhappy sigh I’ve heard in a long while. While I was sort of pleased at the success for him actually leaving it, I felt like I was some kind of ogre judging by that not-pleased look he gave me. Not the reaction I had hoped for but I’ll take it.  Who am I kidding? I was crestfallen he was miffed and called Sam over for a friendly “let’s make up and be BFF’s again” ear scratch. Thankfully that dog cannot hold a grudge and happily pounced up on top of my lap for the promised affection. Well, at least he wasn’t pouting anymore. I just need to figure out how to turn on that button that distinguishes commands like ‘come here’ with ‘jump up and pounce on me.’ Sigh. Baby steps, grasshopper, baby steps. 🙂

Live, live, bark! <3

Keep those pearly whites…white

Psst, Sam here, don’t tell Mom but I hijacked the blog to tell you all about an important topic because the lawyers are keeping her too busy lately with closings and since I had nothing to do but buff my nails and look pawsome laying around the house…I thought I would do a public service announcement and help her out. Yes, I am a good doggie (mostly). 🙂

So here’s my bloggy contribution: The American Veterinary Medical Association and a number of veterinary groups are sponsoring awareness of pet dental health and designated February as National Pet Dental Health Month! Yup, that’s right, and if you’ve caught a whiff of your pup or kitty’s bad breath lately, it’s even more important to take care of it N.O.W. Not only can poor dental health cause bad breath, it may signify any number of serious health risks including potential for periodontal disease or even worse, damage to internal organs. Yikes!

I don’t know of any dog or cat that enjoys having their ‘paw-rent’ stick their chubby little fingers in their mouth for teeth brushing, I know I gag like I just swallowed a live toad. Mom tried toothbrushes (nope that ain’t gonna happen, my jaw clamps down like I’m a snapping turtle waiting for sundown) but then she found some finger brushes that while not great if you’re on the receiving end, are a whole lot better than toothbrushes. Gag, gag, gag. But I do like the liver flavored toothpaste.

Periodontal disease is the most common condition that pets suffer from even though it’s completely preventable. You floss YOUR teeth, don’t ya? Well, all that bacteria in a dog’s mouth combined with saliva (also known as dog kisses) and food bits can form plaque. When plaque accumulates, tartar can form. As more and more plaque combines with bacteria on top of the tartar and mineralization forms calculus. If plaque is soft, it can be brushed away, if it’s hardened into tartar and calculus, it has to be scraped away which means an expensive trip to the vet. I don’t know about you, but that’s not my idea of a fun afternoon outing.

When tartar and calculus trap bacteria around the gum line and if left untreated, can lead to irritation of the gum tissue (gingivitis) and then progress to full on periodontal disease. This can result in illness of the supporting tissues of the teeth, ligaments that attach gum to tooth and jaw bone. The American Veterinary Dental Society has estimated that 85% of cats and dogs have periodontal disease by age four. 85% people!!

Signs of periodontal disease may include bad breath (the first obvious sign there’s bad stuff a foot), excessive salivation, refusing to eat or dropping food, rubbing or pawing at face, loose or broken teeth and inflamed gums. Often times, bad breath will be the only symptom that shows up.

Beware, periodontal disease can lead to systemic problems with bacterial infection spreading from mouth to heart and heart valves, kidney and liver.

So do yourself, your pocketbook and your pet a big favor. Brush their choppers regularly. Giving your pet special treats can help scale some of that junk off.  Mom spoils me with elk antlers and boy I tell you, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE ’em and check out my smile. They last a long time without getting all gummy and smelly like some treats do and I haven’t grown bored with them either (win-win). Oral rinses or water additives can help too, but there’s just no substitute for regularly brushing and regular checks by your vet.

_MG_4671-(ZF-2552-28389-2-003)  So remember, February is National Pet Dental Month. Let’s flash those pearly whites around town and dispense with bad breath and ancillary health problems.

You know, this bloggy thing is kind of cool. Maybe I can sneak in a post or two again soon but don’t tell Mom. She’s a bit of a control freak and will totally wig out. 😉

Live, love, bark! <3