Archive for ‘Pets’

April 30, 2019

“Paw-blem” Solving

HollysBoots

Holly is still with us, despite her diagnosis in December 2017.

Unlike the boys, Harley and Murphy, Holly is more high maintenance, which is understandable, given her rough beginning. “Just like her ‘mamma’,” says my husband! (RA tends to make one high maintenance, but that’s a post for another day.)

She has an inexplicable skin condition, which is extremely itchy. Her nerves are impacted because of the location of the tumour. As a result, she doesn’t feel when she has the urge to poop. The solution is to put a diaper on her when she is in the house.

She drags her feet when we go on walks, which has worn down her nails so much, that several of them bleed. Whenever we go out, we now have to put boots on her. It’s like getting a toddler ready to go out to play in below zero weather. It takes us about 10 minutes just to get out the door. It is what it is, though.

It’s a challenge to find something that is suitable for both of us. With my loss of hand strength and dexterity, it is difficult to tighten the straps enough so that the boots stay on during our walks. It helps if the straps are long enough so that I can get a good grip on them.

Here are some of boots we’ve bought (and returned):

  • Jawz for Paws Dog Boots  – Impossible for me to stretch the boot enough to get it onto the  “Jawz” – the device that is supposed to make it easy to put on.
  • Puppy Socks – I liked these, but they wore out in 1 week. It says that the toe is covered in rubber. If that were the case, I’m sure that they would have lasted longer.
  • North Fetch Silicone Dog Boots  – I brought XXXL home from the pet store. Couldn’t even get it on her foot. Even if they were a proper size, they’re not tall enough, so you couldn’t tie the boots on tight enough.
  • Waterproof Mesh Dog Boots – My husband uses these. I find that the velcro is not long enough for me to pinch and give a good tightening tug.

Since I couldn’t find any boots that worked, I decided to get some made for Holly. (I’d do it myself, but I don’t have a heavy-duty sewing machine.) We had an old boot that belonged to Harley, which worked pretty well, until she wore a hole in it.

I stopped at the shoemaker to ask him to sew a pair for Holly from a pattern I had traced from Harley’s boot. He told me that he didn’t have any appropriate material from which to make it.

Undaunted, I stopped a thrift store, where I found a pair of men’s heavy duty work gloves that would work. I brought them and my pattern back to the shoemaker. To prolong the life of the boots, I asked him to sew leather over the toes. They were ready in a couple of hours.

DogBoots

To keep them on, I wrap a strip of velcro around the boot and off we go. If they do fall off, which isn’t often, when I can get the velcro pulled tight enough, the bright orange boots are easy to spot.

“Pawblem”solved!

December 18, 2018

#560 – Even More Gift Ideas

More posts mean more gift ideas. Rather than sending you back to #493 More Gift Ideas for Loved Ones Who Have Arthritis, I’ve updated the list with even more gift ideas for loved ones with arthritis or mobility issues. There are suggestions here to suit every budget.

Apparel

  1. Elastic or curly shoe laces.
  2. Bracelet Helper.
  3. If you’re buying clothing, consider the weight of the garments. Also, the ease of opening and closing buttons or using zippers.
  4. Shoes, such as these from L. L. Bean.
  5. Light-weight purse or wallet.
  6. bathing suit from L.L.Bean.
  7. Spray-On pantyhose.
  8. Dry-cleaning or laundry service vouchers.
  9. Three piece pajama set – a hot flash helper. As I discovered, a post-surgery helper, too.
  10. A multi tool – jewellry, zippers and button helper.
  11. wristlet to carry your essentials.
  12. Here’s another wallet option.
  13. This wallet converts into a fanny pack.
  14. Travel with a silver lining – a light-weight purse.
  15. Use this to make putting on necklaces a snap – a click!
  16. Sore feet? How about some orthotics?

Auto

  1. Adhesive side view mirrors.
  2. Interior rear view mirror.
  3. A key bumper.

Garden

  1. Kitchen and garden tools that are light-weight and have large easy-to-grip handles, such at this Bypass Pruner from Fiskars.
  2. Telescoping trowel.
  3. Hose connector.
  4. Watering Can.

Exercise and Hobbies

  1. Drawing From the Right Side of the Brain.
  2. Hula hoop.
  3. Rolling back pack for exercise gear.
  4. Uplifting reading materials, such as From Chopin and Beyond – Part 1 and Part 2.
  5. Light-weight books or an e-reader.
  6. Gel pens.
  7. Battery-operated eraser.
  8. Magazine subscription.
  9. Movie gift certificate.
  10. Prepare and freeze some meals or goodies to be used on those days when energy is waning.
  11. Exercise DVD, such as When You Hurt All Over.
  12. Exercise balls.
  13. Books, and more books.
  14. Meet a character with RA in And the Mountains Echoed.
  15. Mesh bag for toiletries.
  16. For the beach-goer: water shoes with velcro.

Home

  1. Heavy non-slip floor mat.
  2. Small tray.
  3. FootstoolLaundry HelperFootstool.
  4. Pillows: Feathering My Nest – Part 2Not Only for a King.
  5. Purchase and install grab bars for the shower or tub area.
  6. Rubber bath mat.
  7. Install a handicapped toilet.
  8. Battery-powered scrubber.
  9. Telephone headset.
  10. Dictation software.
  11. Office chair.
  12. Fiskars Paper Trimmer.
  13. Shower curtain.
  14. Vacuum.
  15. Basket.
  16. A firm, supportive recliner: Nodding OffMy Perch.
  17. Zip-it Opener for Blister Packs and Clam Shells.
  18. My readers offered up some great suggestions to help put an end to duvet wrestling.

Kitchen

  1. China mugChina MugsHow it’s Handled Makes a Difference.
  2. Food processor.
  3. Pressure Cooker.
  4. Vegetable Peeler, such as this one from Starfrit.
  5. Jar Opener: Starfrit Mightigrip Jar OpenerThe Boa Constrictor Strap Wrench.
  6. Electric Potato Peeler from Starfrit.
  7. A Starfrit electric Salt and Pepper Mill.
  8. Electric juicer.
  9. Egg Slicer.
  10. Apple Wedger.
  11. Electric can opener or an electric jar opener.
  12. Light-weight dishes.
  13. Knives.
  14. Clothes pins.
  15. Scrub brush.
  16. Folding Stool.
  17. This piece of rubber makes peeling garlic easy.
  18. Jar of dry ingredients and recipe for baked goods.
  19. The right kind of pastry blender to do more than make pastry.
  20. An electric jar opener.

Miscellaneous

  1. Nutcracker.
  2. Have wheels – Double Duty LuggageRoll In, Roll Out,
  3. Shopping bag carriers.
  4. Travel mug.
  5. Consider contracting a service that can make light of difficult chores. For example, a housekeeping service such as Capital House Cleaning, a gardening service or car cleaning service.
  6. Prepare and freeze some meals or goodies to be used on those days when energy is waning.
  7. A copy of Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis by Lene Andersen.
  8. A gift of your time to help with whatever needs doing – laundry, clean the windows, vacuum, wash the floors or tidy up.
  9. Arrange an outing. You do the driving.
  10. Do you have an idea for a unique tool? Consider talking over your idea with Maarten Meerman to see if he could make it for you.
  11. emWave ® Personal Stress Reliever : My Givens and a Giveaway. I have these in stock. Please email me at info@auntiestress.ca for further information. (*emWave and Personal Stress Reliever are registered trademarks of Quantum Intech, Inc.)
  12. Tea to help quell those sweet cravings, or to soothe your senses.
  13. Collapsible water bottle.
  14. Gift card to a flotation tank. *Check first that they are able to get onto the floor, or into a tub.
  15. Chronic Christmas by Lene Andersen.

Personal Care

  1. Long-handled shoe horn.
  2. Dental floss wand.
  3. Easy-to-use shower curtain.
  4. Scalp massage/shampoo tool.
  5. If the person is travelling to The Big Island of Hawai’i, a session with Sarah-Lynn Joy.
  6. Stool/Cane.
  7. Dosettes: Large and Small.
  8. Anti-Swan Neck Deformity ring.
  9. Neck Brace.
  10. Hot packs or ice packs.
  11. Small Flashlight: Light the NightRoll Away Flashlight
  12. Portable John and Jane.
  13. Portable toilet seat.
  14. Massage Tools.
  15. Tennis Balls.
  16. Scalp Scrubber.
  17. Shoe Grips.
  18. Heel Care Cream.
  19. Toe Nail Clipper.
  20. Gloves: WorkSurgical.
  21. Reacher.
  22. Self-care can be difficult – manicure, pedicure or a massage gift certificates, such as one from The Body Mechanics Massage Therapy.
  23. Rolling backpack.
  24. Walker.
  25. The right kind of tweezers.
  26. When you don’t have access to an ice-pack.
  27. These cleaning wipes for glasses would make a great stocking stuffer.
  28. Support for that aching back.
  29. Use this device to squeeze out toothpaste or any product that comes in a tube.
  30. Physicool helps to cool those hot joints.
  31. Lens CPR.
  32. Even buttons and zippers can present a challenge in the midst of a flare-up. Help is on the way!
  33. Put together a foot soak pampering kit.
  34. Helichrysum essential oil for bruises.
  35. Headache Relief Serum.
  36. Long-handled lotion applicator.
  37. Stress coaching. (I have many options available. Email me to find the just-right one.)

Pets

  1. A raised food and water bowl set.
  2. Ball Launcher.
  3. Nail clippers for the dog.

Work

  1. Folding Stool.
  2. Telephone headset.
  3. Dictation software.
  4. A second mouse.
  5. Office chair.
  6. Fiskars Paper Trimmer.
  7. Gel pens.
  8. Battery-operated eraser.
May 10, 2018

Boo-Boos, Helichrysum Essential Oil and Epsom Salts

Boo-boos – we all get them. Big ones and small ones. Nor are our four-legged friends immune from them! I first witnessed the miracle of Helichrysum essential oil when I used it on the hematoma in Holly’s ear. Imagine half a ping pong ball in your ear. No wonder poor Holly was constantly shaking her head.

HollyEar

The vet told us that it would take a couple of months before the blood in the hematoma would be reabsorbed and her ear would return to normal.

I didn’t want her to suffer that long, though. I had learned about the wonders of Helichrysum essential oil from an aromatherapist. I wanted a superior product, so I ordered some Helichrysum from Purify Skin Therapy. It worked like magic! Within a week of daily applications of a few diluted drops, Holly’s ear had almost returned to normal. I was sold!

Last week, I stumbled on a step. Fortunately, I didn’t break anything, but I did hurt myself in several places. I had bad bruising and swelling in my left ring finger, as well my left ankle and toes.

finger

When I awoke the next morning, I was concerned that I would have to get my rings cut off as my finger looked like a sausage. Not a breakfast one, neither, but more like a Bratwurst. (Yes, a wee bit of exaggeration!) Then, I remembered that I had some Helichrysum essential oil. I prepared a dilution and applied it to my finger and foot. By the evening, my finger had returned to an almost normal size, even though it was still bruised. My toes and ankle are taking longer, especially since they weren’t in great shape to begin with. In addition to using Helichrysum essential oil, I’ve been soaking in Epsom salts, which has helped to reduce the pain. Oh, that magnesium! By the way, it is not uncommon for RA patients to be deficient in magnesium.

Note to self: If I ever injure my ring finger again, remember to remove my rings while the removin’ is still good!

 

About essential oils:

You want a trusted source. You pay more for this precious oil. A good quality (and effective) Helichrysum oil is very expensive, but when you learn about the harvest, you’ll understand why.

Helichrysum

Holly Draper, who owns Purify Skin Therapy, is a certified clinical aromatherapist. She cares about her products and she cares about you! If you have questions, she’ll take the time to answer them. (Like whether it is safe to use her Peppermint oil in baking? “Yes, experiment with it, ours is ingestible, being USDA certified organic. But use only very small amounts. It’s really strong.”)

Besides Helichrysum essential oil and epsom salts, what else do you have in your first aid kit?

In my next post, learn about the one trick I taught Holly that every dog should know in case of a medical emergency.

 

Related posts:

March 23, 2017

#521- Scissors – Making Them Work

A while back, my thumb was “misbehaving”. I wanted to sew a new jacket for Holly, as she had manged to chew through her old one. The poor girl had an itch she just had to scratch, and the only way to do so was to get rid of her jacket.

I had trouble cutting the fabric because of my sore thumb. It occurred to me to apply one of the same principles I use when trying to solve other problems, which is to look at it from another vantage point. In this case, it was simple. Turn the scissors upside down and put my other fingers in the hole normally reserved for the thumb. This allowed the force required to cut through the fabric to come from my other fingers, rather than from my sore thumb.

Fabric – cut. Jacket – sewn. Holly – warm!

 

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