I need to start this story by telling you all that I am a dog LOVER + even that seems like an understatement. The number of “pet” names (pun maybe intended) for Vivian seems to increase by the hour + get more bizarre by the day. In fact, Maison recently pointed out that I call our dog “Smoocher Poocher” more than I call her Vivian. I am obsessed with this little bundle of joy!
You should also know that since being married we are trying to track + budget all of our expenses. Now, we knew that the first couple of months we would have to tweak our numbers a bit until we reached our target, but I never thought that we would go so far in the red in one particular category. We figured that since she is so small (+ using her average vet bills from last year), it was safe to budget $75 a month for “Vivian Engel”. She has proven us wrong so far.
Rewind about a month + cue first problem. For a while now, Maison + I have thought that Vivian has allergies because she will incessantly scratch or drag her face on the ground. It got so bad that she scratched her ear until it bled resulting in an infection. Expense #1.
Shortly after this we purchased the biggest bag of dog food they make for a #10lb dog, large bag of treats, large bag of dental chews, large package of bully sticks, toothpaste, + some other miscellaneous treats. Expense #2.
The next week, Maison + Vivian were on a run when Maison noticed that Vivian’s foot seemed to be bleeding pretty bad. After a rushed trip to the vet, we found out poor baby cracked her dewclaw + had to have it removed. Expense #3.
Now comes the boring budgeted expense: the yearly checkup. However, since we had noticed that her itching hasn’t gotten any better, we decided to bring it up to the vet. She started telling us our options + that the best way to start treating the allergies is by ruling out a food allergy. Hypoallergenic dog food. This is no ordinary hypoallergenic dog food, though. This is the Cadillac of all dog foods (or it dang well better be!!). Science Diet. Only available by prescription. Lesser Hypoallergenic dog foods are packaged on the same lines as regular dog food so they are introduced to cross contamination. Science Diet is a special formula + is made in a facility that strictly produces + packages hypoallergenic dog food. On top of the new dog food, we found out that small dogs are prone to gingivitis + that we were really going to have to start cracking down on the tooth brushing (we thought we were doing an awesome job with this!! Apparently not!). But now that Vivian is on a strict hypoallergenic food diet, we need to get toothpaste that is made at the vet hospital specially for dogs with food allergies. Expense #4.
Poor Vivian has been through, + put our wallets through, so much this month + we feel like horrible parents. Ear infection, cracked dewclaw, gingivitis, allergies, + to top it off, the poor dog can only eat dry + wet hypoallergenic dog food. I’m sure next month will be a better month for us, + that eventually Vivian will be able to eat the rest of the regular dog food + treats we bought for her. But for now, we will just have to feel guilty every time we eat knowing we can’t give her a treat for sitting in the other room like a good girl + hope that this is in some way a valuable lesson in parenting.