Better Pets & Garden

We had Odin neutered last week.

We actually learned quite a lot about this dog after his first surgery. 

  • He's a drama queen, whining for a whole day. And he didn't let me sleep for two days. (Unlike our poor Iko who underwent numerous surgeries after his coyote attack, but still loved on everyone despite his pain.)

  • More importantly, we learned we can't trust Odin when he's semi-conscious.

    Unlike other dogs, our vet gave him a doggie downer at our vehicle. We waited for him to doze off then we carried him into surgery where he was intubated and given anesthetic. She did his surgery first and we came back an hour and a half later while he was still noodle-limp and put him back into the truck.

    I went back inside to pay and get his medication while Greg stayed with Odin. It was then Greg discovered how deep Odin's self-preservation went.

    He tried to adjust Odin's head so he wasn't so scrunched up. Odin, still half asleep, chomped down on Greg's thumb like a vise and would not let go. Greg had to pry his jaws open.

    Odin went back to snoring, oblivious to what had happened, and Greg was left bleeding buckets. As soon as we got home (we live only 1/4 mile from the vet) I drenched the thumb in peroxide and dabbed antibacterial cream on the punctures before bandaging him. Both my boys are fine now.
    Click pic for more info

  • Odin is so energetic we had to get a bottle of tranquilizers to slow him down post surgery. He needs to remain calm for two weeks. Many years ago, we had a bad experience with two Samoyeds who'd been neutered. Their scrotums swelled to the size of baseballs filled with fluid. High activity and/or bad suturing can cause this fluid build up. Because Odin is hyper on his slow days we didn't want to take any chances.

  • The best news was that we opted to buy an inflatable donut collar instead of using the "cone of shame". BEST purchase we ever made for the dogs. If you've had a dog with a cone of shame, you know what it is to have bruised shins, head-banging at doorways, and clearing everything off low-lying tables. Dogs are menaces with those plastic cones.

This inflatable donut was the best! Not only did Odin take to it right away, it didn't trigger any adverse behavior. I was shocked, fully expecting him to go nuts. (He's skitso when things are unfamiliar.) Not only did it keep him from licking his wound, but it didn't drive him crazy like a plastic cone would. An added benefit is that when he did bump into us, it was a soft bounce. Good for both of us.

Highly recommended!


We had several errands to run in the big city last week. One of my stops was to an enormous Korean supermarket called H Mart. I like to buy my fish and hard-to-find seasonings there. It's also where I get to use my favorite gardening trick.

In the past, I've bought unusual types of sweet potato, turmeric, and ginger roots and planted them in the ground. All sprouted and grew to great success. 

This time I bought lemongrass stalks, purple potatoes, and a small bag of soybeans. I didn't have much hope for the lemongrass. It looked pretty dried out. Yet within days it started sprouting shoots. I am going to be a happy camper if I get full plants out of these shoots.

The purple potatoes are pretty fresh but I hope they'll form eyes so I can plant them in the ground.

The soybeans were my surprise success. Soybeans, as you can expect from an Asian market are common and comes in a variety of forms and sizes. I bought the smallest bag of whole beans I could find (1 lb for 89 cents!).

I pulled a few beans out and put them in water. Before I bothered to put them in the ground I wanted to test them to see if they'd sprout. To my joy, they did!

In any Western market, produce would be overly processed, cleaned, heated, or sprayed with anti-sprout chemicals. Not so with Asian markets. This is why I like to buy their produce and turn them into my starter plants.

This is a great way to try new plants and get them way, way cheaper than what you could find in a nursery or through mail order.

If you've not tried an ethnic grocery store, make the trip. You'll find a lot of delightful new smells and tastes--and some unusual ones as well. They're also your best source of produce that's not been overly processed.

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B.E. Sanderson said…
Oh, no! Poor Greg! I hope both he and Odin are healing well. Yay for your new garden yummies! I don't think we have an ethnic store within an easy drive of here, but I'll keep that in mind. Thanks!
Bob Anderson said…
Maria - Another great adventure in life’s rich pageant.

Glad things are looking up.

You and Greg should have a YouTube channel.
Maria Zannini said…
BE: Odin had no idea what he had done. When he finally woke up he was back to his old love-bunny self.

Our ethnic grocery store is far away, but since we had other errands nearby we stocked up. Usually that's only once a year so I try to schedule the big trip in the spring in time for gardening. :)
Maria Zannini said…
Hi Bob!

You know as well as I do, Greg is the only ham in the family. LOL! If he ever wants to go on YouTube I'll be glad to film him.
Greg said…
Sure Bob, I would love to be on You tube trying to pry my thum out of a sleeping Rotties mouth! I can now tell you that the you tube video on bite force is true, the rottie does have a 300 lb. bite!
Dru Ann said…
Poor Greg's finger. Glad all is okay.
Brandy said…
Glad to hear Odin’s surgery went well, but sorry to hear he bit Greg. Ouch. Cats aren’t any better about those cones, so I’ll have to see if I can find an inflatable collar. Best of luck with the new plantings!
Mike Keyton said…
Yes, but will Greg ever play the piano again? ��
Angela Brown said…
While I'm glad Odin took to his non-cone-of-shame, aka airplane neck pillow, no bueno on the bite. Glad to know both pup and furdad are doing okay.

Waking you the best in this planting season!
Maria Zannini said…
Dru: Neither seem none the worse for wear. But I fear we are too old for an energetic 2 year old.
Maria Zannini said…
Brandy: I could swear they had one for cats too. I'd invest in one just to have it handy. I was surprised just how well he took to it--and he's normally fussy about having things on him.
Maria Zannini said…
Mike: Greg is still threatening me that he's going to learn to play violin. I wonder if they need their thumbs for violin...
Maria Zannini said…
Angela: At least we know now to be careful when he's semi-conscious. Conscious or not, you do not want to be in those jaws. Greg said it took all his strength to unclamp his jaws--and he was asleep!
Marianne Arkins said…
I got an inflatable collar for Dorothy, so they absolutely have them for cats, and I agree -- they are the best thing EVER.

RE: too old for an energetic 2 year old... I think about that often, as I'll likely be 60ish the next time we would be considering a new dog for the family (not sending that out into the universe, but just being realistic). Not sure I'm going to be up for another puppy!!

Our local Asian market closed... I'd never thought about doing what you've done, but it's a great idea!
Jenny Schwartz said…
The collar sounds like a miracle! Poor Odin, though, and poor Greg! Hope they both recover fast.
Maria Zannini said…
Marianne: I wish I had had one for Iko. He absolutely hated the plastic cone. The pillow collars are much more comfortable for pets. I'm glad I got it.

re: getting older
What's sad is that we wanted an older pet, but opted for a puppy thinking Nana would accept it easier. She did not. Rotten dog!

Of course, now Odin is way bigger than her and Nana knows it. She grumbles about it, but she doesn't try to bully him.

The next pets (after Nana) will definitely be older and probably smaller.
Maria Zannini said…
Jenny: The inflatable collar was a game changer. I wish I had known about it sooner. It makes life so much more comfortable for the pet--and the owner.