Image for post
Image for post
Dexter chilling in his bed

After Connie, our Sun Conure, died we were devastated. It was sudden. And the hole she left in our lives remains. But we knew another parrot, save an older bird, was irresponsible. They live for long decades. They are bright and attach to their flock…er, humans.

From intelligence studies, we know they are actually brighter than dogs (science, it is what it is.) No birds do not just mimic human speech. They are quite good at using it in context. They are also much easier to feed…far less restriction.

So we have been looking for a small dog, and we adopted Dexter out of the city shelter. He is a tad older than we wanted, but came house trained, crate trained and all that. He also loves going on walks, but as a good chihuahua he is always cold.

He is bigger than the breed standard and heavier, about double in fact. His vet did not say a thing about his weight, though recommended a diet that while commercial is more like homemade. I am still confused about this. Dogs co-evolved with humans and were fed table scraps for the last seventy thousand years. Yet, vets are dead set against what dogs have been eating for most of their co-evolution with humans.

But this guy came with some dermatitis issues, and probably it is allergic in nature. So…will do what needs doing. The same kinds of allergies are also growing with humans…so there is that. I got his frozen food in gluten-free recipes, they have some with it, because of me. I am deadly allergic to it.

He is a gentle boy that likes cuddles. He also likes laps, though I am way too lumpy due to my weight loss, I suspect. He is a walking companion, and we shall see how he does with rain later today. The breed is well known for hating things like weather.

Because Chihuahua we got him winter clothes…and a tiny doggie sized raincoat. Because of his dermatitis, we got him doggie t-shirts. Some of them say insulting things, but they fit the dog and he feels comfortable. So I am fine with that.

It is an industry. I am aware of this. At the shelter, he wore a human-sized t-shirt, because of skin. So in a way, it’s not a luxury in his case. I am hoping it resolves soon. He gets a bath three times a week and a change in t-shirts. The bath is on doctors' orders with a specialty shampoo. Because of me, we use hypoallergenic soap…in the clothes washer. So that is a bonus for the dog.

Because of how we have bred dogs he has the normal issues of small breeds. Yes, his pet mother is seeing a dentist, so is Dexter. One thing we did on the way out of the shelter was to get him health insurance. Why? It is not just human health care that is exploding out of sight. So is pet care.

We never did with the parrots, and fortunately, they had the normal costs, as in annual check. But my sister adopted a dog years ago that developed cancer. It was thousands of dollars to take care of the dog. So we thought it was the right thing to do. Even if it helps defray some of the costs right now, if he develops a serious health issue in the future it’s a good idea.

My sister in law also had a dog that developed cancer. So there is that. And that was before those existed. It was still a lot of money.

We hear more of these diseases. And then there is the obesity epidemic that is also affecting our pets. You may think it’s crazy, but we are weighing Dexter now. Why? It will make sure I don’t overfeed the dog. They need few calories compared to us. In his case 250 to 280. I need to clarify that with the vet depending on his activity and all that. And while he is active, we do not want the dog to develop these diseases that are closely related to obesity. Diabetes is not fun, neither is heart disease, or joint issues.

We are new at taking care of a dog. And this little guy came with a few issues. But we are looking forward to some years of walks, jumps, and a loving pet. We know how long they should live. So we will give him a good life. For the moment he already took over my sofa and my blankets. So the blankets will enter a wash rotation with his.

Connie used to do that too. But she was smaller, and she shared. And when really cold, snuck under my shirt. I am sure Dexter would if he could.

And no, he is not getting any from the table. As I wrote, he has that skin issue. And I like onions…which are not good for dogs. In that sense, parrots are easier. Connie would enjoy some Cornish hen, squash, and yam, no problem. She also liked onions, and nuts…and she learned to eat grapes at the vet during birdie camp. Dog over here can’t. The nuts, onions, grapes, are not good for the dog. They are downright toxic.

Written by

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store