People ask me if Hedy ever gets to be “just a dog.” They have the idea she is always in harness with that solemn, I’m-Attending-To-Business look on her face. I think they wonder if she is ever out of harness, even to sleep!
Here’s a video I took of Hedy having her nails trimmed by one of her favorite people, Cathy Silva, from down the street. In the past, it took three people to hold Hedy while she was getting her nails cut. She changed from a well-trained guide dog to a Tasmanian Devil. But Cathy has a way with dogs, and she is able to clip those nails without trauma. Here’s a look at how Hedy is at home. Yes, she does this even when she’s not getting her nails done. No, she doesn’t wear her harness at home. In fact, most of the time she’s au naturel, and spends a great deal of her day snoozing, which is one of her favorite things.
By the way, long, long ago, I asked if anyone knew what to do for Hedy’s excessive scratching. People sent ideas, but nothing changed the problem. Many said they had the same mystifying issue with their dogs. Hedy has been itchy since the day I was handed her leash, November 9, 2008. I have tried many things, including fish oil and krill oil, but the answer seems to be she has food sensitivities. Early on, we guessed wheat and corn, but we did not suspect chicken. I suspect some of the trouble comes with the way mass-produced chickens are raised and killed. But Hedy’s inability to tolerate chicken also extends to free-range chicken of the highest quality. It’s not just antibiotics, growth hormones, or abysmal living conditions, it’s chicken itself.
Recently, Dan did extensive research on dog food and read that many owners have linked chicken to their dog’s itchy skin. He also found that almost all dog foods contain chicken. After three hours of reading late into the night, Dan found Horizon Legacy Salmon Dry Dog Food; with no Grains, GMO’s, Growth Hormones, Steroids, By-products or Chemical Preservatives. Hedy has just started transitioning to the new food and her stools are already better.
If your dog has a strong smell, lumps and bumps, or scratches a lot, you might check to see if the culprit is chicken. As in your own food choices, it’s a good idea to read the labels. Many ingredients that aren’t good for humans aren’t good for dogs either.
Hedy will be ten in a few months. Right now, she’s in great shape, perky and silly when off-duty, and a willing guide when it’s time to work. We have eight years of partnership together, and I want her to stay as healthy and energetic as she can be for as long as possible, even after she retires. I think a major key is her food, just as it is for us humans.