International Vet of Mystery?

Or International Vet of Fucking Awesome!
A couple months ago I took Maddie in to see the IVoM and we came up with Maddie’s long term plan. David and I worked vigilantly on her feet and her meds and she very very quickly improved.
We know that she cannot take less than 1 prednisone a day. Each time we tried to ease it back her feet would become inflamed and uncomfortable. I am concerned about the long term effects, but I understand and accept them.
When Maddie’s feet were at their worst we could not let her off her leash at the dog park. She was always picking fights with bigger dogs, she was always cranky. Eventually we stopped taking her altogether. The pain and discomfort in her feet was making her cranky and irritable. You’d be pissed if your feet hurt all the time too and you had to way of getting relief.
As her feet got better we started taking her more and more often and we let her off the leash. Amazingly, she was not the aggressive dog she had been. This is not to say she didn’t have her moments there, like the time she totally stared down this giant akita until he submitted. In the dog world, a stare down is pretty much a dog’s way of saying “you are such a stupid pussy! you suck and you are a wiener and also I will say something crude about your mother dog!” (dogs are not so eloquent, even in translation). Also, akitas are not dogs that submit. Imagine me rushing over trying to grab Maddie before she got her ass kicked.
Initially, Maddie’s forays into the dog park pretty much just involved her franticly sniffing and drooling and peeing on everything. She wasn’t really interested in the dogs unless they chased chester or barked too much. She’s become more and more interested as time has gone on.
Today I could have died of happy. Maddie was thrilled to be at the dog park. Today she played with dogs, she ran like a maniac, she spun in circles, she and I jumped around like retards. She’s still not the best at playing, occasionally she’ll be chasing a dog and forget that she’s playing and think “oh my god! I’m chasing this dog! I bet I’m doing it because he’s a pipehole” and try to take him down. But it was good. The dogs played, she was happy.
I wish I had the words to describe her transformation from a crabby dog, one that mostly just walked around the dog park, into this excited and youthful dog. I wish I had the words to express what it means to me that we have found a level of success with Maddie. I’ve had her since 2005 and my only hope for her was to make her happy and comfortable and we far exceeded that.
I wish I had the words to adequately express just how grateful I am to Dr Pierce Fleming, International Vet of Mystery. He didn’t just walk into the exam room, take a look and make a guess. He did research, he tried to find answers. He took time to listen to me and my concerns. He explained things thoroughly and he gave me hope.
Shar Peis tend to bond with one person and that bond is solid and tight. They will protect that person at all costs, they will adore that person at all costs. The things that make Maddie the happiest include me coming home from work, getting to cuddle next to me on the sofa and sleeping near me. She is not an independent dog in any way, she needs me in order to feel secure and content. Sure, she’s happy when David gets home from work, but she is frenzied when I get home. For that love and loyalty she deserves everything I can give her. To do any less would be a grave sin against all that is good in the universe.
And let’s be honest here, I get equal comfort from her. When I am stressed or anxious I need only sit quietly and Maddie will crawl onto my lap and I can feel the tension ease, I can feel the endorphins being released. She is my therapy dog.

Maddie shoving her hippo head into my chest. It’s her way of saying, “My name is Maddie. This is my head. My head is on you. This feels good. Also, my name is Maddie!”

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