Author Topic: Can Fluffy Get A Job, Too?  (Read 1437 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Can Fluffy Get A Job, Too?
« on: January 18, 2018, 09:16:14 AM »
I’ve always had a dog my entire adult life. Since the day I turned 18, I adopted from a local shelter, the most adorable approximately 3 year brown sack of useless fluff and our relationship is over a decade strong. And I wouldn't trade him for the world. 

Say hello to Buddy AKA "Butters"...Yet for a 15 year old dog, he still refuses to get a job and lives comfortably the FIRE’d life.

Biggest free loader in the household to date. We’ve even failed therapy school twice (Nursing homes/ Children). Hilarity entails the SO and I rock-paper-scissors who becomes the Heathen’s on-call shit-picker-upper of the day when it’s -5 degrees outside and blowing winter hell.

I work as a Specialty Veterinary Technician (Emergency and Critical Care) and have for years. Now, I’m  part-time working while attending Nursing School full time, but my responsibilities still come despite my meager income and Pants-on-Fire Crisis. With working within the career comes discounted 50%  perks. Here’s my geriatric dog’s most recent expenditures.

Exam – Free (original $162)
Senior Blood Work / Thyroid / Heartworm Screening / Urinalysis - $285 (discounted to $142.5)
Radiographs (Chest and Abdomen) - $300 (Discounted to $150)
Cardiology Consult for a weird cough – FREE (saved $587)
Nail Trim – Free (saved $28)
Antibiotics - $87 (Discounted to $35)
Total Vet Bill: Without Savings: $1450.  Paid:$327
Health status: Healthy with Low grade laryngeal paralysis (common in labs)

New Bag of Food - $35 for 18 lbs Dry every 3-4 weeks (ordered discounted from Doesn't include homecooked treats.
Bath every 4-6 weeks - Free ( I do it myself )
Doesn’t play with toys, chew furniture. Winning
Walks Daily 2-6 miles weather pending. Keeps healthy. Time cost.

New company bought out our Hospital. So my discounts as a parttime employee have decreased to only 20% with an increase in prices.  I’ll have a new challenge in the future.

Share a picture and let me know how much is your fluff (cat / dog / rat / turtle, etc)  costing you? How are you saving expenses to care for your pets?


Note: Picture on beach:  14 years old.
         Picture climbing a mountain: 14.5 years old.
         Age is just a number.

« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 09:21:16 AM by Nurse_Nash »


  • Bristles
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Re: Can Fluffy Get A Job, Too?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2018, 09:09:31 AM »
I now have 4 old basenjis (11,12,13,14) and when they die of old age, they have been going at 16-17. 40 years ago I was a vet tech when I could just be grandfathered in without a degree. Until my car accident 10 years ago, I was a breeder, attended dog shows, and spent time educating those interested in adding a basenji to their lives – mostly talking them out of it.

I got basenjis because TheHusbandHalf said he didn’t care what kind of dog we got, but could I not get a sissy dog?  The basenji was perfect, small, active, and I raised basenjis, who were hunting dogs in Africa, who could survive if I threw them out in the woods. They do not bark, (though sometimes I wish they would just bark!) and they have no doggy odor – they smell like a wet wool blanket when wet.

Mostly because they are a challenge. A basenjis life motto is “What’s in it for me?”
So, when I placed puppies I told people that I do not place pups with dumb people, sometimes you just have to outsmart them and be willing to let some things just go.

They are called ‘the dog for people who like cats.’ They are very independent and aloof and I love them for that.  I may have been a basenji in a prior life!


When I was showing/breeding, maybe $7000 a year. I went to shows in the states surrounding Ohio, and once a year went to the BCOA’s (basenji club) national specialty. If they were farther away (most of the time) often TheHusbandHalf would come with me and we’d make a vacation out of it. We drove from Ohio, out to San Francisco, and up to the show in Protland. Then we took a leisurely trip back home. We went with 5 dogs and came home with 6!

I did many many health tests, in fact a few that were not customary for the breed and spent time educating puppy buyers on what they should look for in a breeder. I was involved in the BCOA getting a DNA test for the breed’s big problem, at the time – fanconi. The scientists told us to hang on to our money until they were ready, and when they were, it turned out to be a simple recessive, definitely something that could be bred out, but still keep the gene pool for the most part.
I do not know what developed from it (because of the accident), but there were human doctors that contacted the BCOA inquiring about the fanconi test. We had been keeping pedigrees with affected and non affected dogs marked for 40 years (It was estimated 20% of basenjis had fanconi). At that time they said there were 300 children WORLDWIDE with this type of fanconi, so there was no way they had the history we had of our dogs. To even think what we did helped them to come even a smidgeon closer to helping children, makes my time and money spent on the dogs, seem worth it.

No puppy left here without being microchipped, and without a signed contract that stated, among other things, that the dog would come back to me if the owners could not keep it FOR ANY REASON, at any age. I did the chipping before they left so they would be chip registered in my name. It also stated that I would return $300 of the purchase price if I was given proof of spay/neuter. In the early litters I returned the whole thing if the dog got fanconi (this was before we had any test that could prevent it through breeding) I did my best to breed away from it, with only pedigree records, but I felt this was a disease that none of us should profit from.

Then, I had a car accident in 2008. I had what they called a ‘brain shear’ doctors were amazed at my recovery, but I felt I could continue raising the dogs, and if everything went at planned, I’d be fine. However, any slight problem, there would be a potential disaster and I decided I would never subject the dogs to that. I had 12 dogs waiting for me while I was in rehab for a couple of months, and luckily, people who had gotten a dog from me in the past, wanted another, and welcomed 7 of them into their homes. I remember I used to do extensive checks on puppy buyers, felt I couldn’t do that after the accident, so most of these people got their second dog from me, free. I didn’t want money, just the knowledge that the dogs went to people I already approved, and would be happy.

I still get emails, letters, photos, and phone calls from people who got pups/dogs from me.

Today, I have 4 old dogs. It’s said one shouldn’t breed/show a breed they don’t love, so we absolutely enjoy our dogs.
We probably spend $2000/yr on food
$3-4000 health related costs
The licenses cost $80/yr

And for years we’ve been losing about $300 through damage! (Sometimes we just have to let things go – it’s easier when we think of WHY they do something, and since we’ve had basenjis for 25 years, and sort of KNOW why things happen, now it’s our fault for not preventing the damage) Any toy with a squeaker is destroyed until they can get access to the squaker, they love to chew anything plastcic – deck chairs, snow shovels, tupperware-like containers. Funny story- I was walking a dog at a show grounds to get her to potty before the ring. She went – followed by a Barbie hand!

I had a dog climb a Christmas tree to get the ornament made out of a Milk Bone.

We had a pet that was 1” over the standard height. He used that 1”. He used to jump up so his head, with his mouth open, could grab what ever his mouth touched. The other dogs sat at his feet, just waiting for what he pulled down!
He got bored one day and discovered it was great fun to pull at the lowest piece of vinyl siding on our house, on the deck. When he pulled that one, he discovered he could pull the one next higher up. He went on until he pulled all the pieces as high as his extra 1” could reach – with jumping that’s pretty high! We ended up adding a wire fence around the house where the deck was.
Not destructive, but one year I caught him climbing a 25 foot spruce tree, to get the robins nest about 4 ft from the top. A few hours later there were blue chips in his poop.
One year I had what I considered a pretty shallow pot on the deck with geraniums.  He decided to get rid of the flowers/dirt and claim the pot as his bed.
He was just purchased as a pet from a gal that used a male out in Seattle. When he was 4-5 I met his owner and the first thing she asked “Is he smart?”  He is so smart that I bred my dear girl to him. I now have one of those daughters, and boy is she smart, in ways that makes one think “That is why they survived as long as they did!”

To us, those were things that proved I was breeding without getting rid of what the breed needed to survive on its own since the times of the ancient Egyptians. Like I said, my goal was to breed a dog that could survive if I threw them out in the woods.

I keep the costs down by feeding a food that this breed does well with, I give heatworm preventive with an off label product (costs less that $40/yr), I do preventive medicine, I have a fenced 1 acre yard, I try to keep the dogs happy (cut down on boredom). If they do have what I suspect is a health problem I take care of it at the onset.

I’m going to try and add some pics, but I have to stop now. It’s obvious I could go on for days because I absolutely LOVE this breed. (BRAT, the basenji rescue, is even in my will)


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Can Fluffy Get A Job, Too?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2018, 11:08:48 PM »
The cat is a freeloading bastard. He does a regular rat and mouse patrol, and they've not been a problem at all since he's been on the case despite a walnut and many fruit trees. He keeps the chickens company. He dispenses cat cuddles from time to time. Basically, he's a freeloader.