Dogs and the Outdoors

Dr. Arnold I love living in Colorado. I especially love to enjoy all of the outdoor adventures our beautiful landscape offers with my furry companions. Many dogs (and cats) share the active Colorado lifestyle of their human companions and I am so proud to be a part of that community. I am constantly impressed with Carter, our running/hiking/swimming/biking/climbing/camping companion. My wife and I have had the honor of Carter’s presence in our family for over 12 years now. Carter grew up with Marley, our Chocolate Labrador who will always be known in our family as “The Best Dog Ever” (no disrespect to Carter, he’s awesome but Marley had that title nailed down before Carter ever came to us). Marley was our running/hiking/swimming/biking/climbing/camping partner for 14 spectacular years. He was an exceptional athlete with unmatched enthusiasm and perseverance.

Dogs in the Outdoors

Carter is the same way, but Carter is an English Bulldog; I’d seen them skateboard on YouTube but not swim! My wife and I remember vividly the first time we found out Carter could swim, by accident of course. We were at Pine Ridge Reservoir taking our rescued new Bulldog friend for a walk and to “watch” Marley (the Michael Phelps of swimming labradors) swim after his beloved neon pink and green frisbee (and of course then proceed to shower us with every predictable, yet somehow unavoidable, shake upon each return). The first frisbee toss into the water seemed to leave Carter a bit confused, as he cocked his head sideways with erect ears and wide perplexed eyes. The second toss saw Marley launch into the water as per usual, but this time there was a second large splash and kerrrplunk sound similar to someone doing a cannonball off of a diving board, then…silence. I looked around; no Carter! My heart sank as I realized Carter was the kerrrplunk and there was no sight of him at the surface. I tried to jump into the water to find him but ended up tripping in the mud and faceplanting in the water (more evidence of our dogs being the most athletic
members of our family).

Dogs in the Outdoors

When I pulled my face out of the water and wiped the mud from my eyes, I saw Carter’s head emerge from the surface followed by a thunderously splashy doggy paddle (which he would later perfect over the years). He followed Marley back to shore with his head above water, shook vigorously in unison with Marley and looked up as if to say, “Well, what are you waiting for, throw it again!” We’ve shared countless adventures since. I’d love to hear about some of the adventures you’ve had with your furry family members! Please feel free to share on our blog. ***Disclaimer: Please use caution in the outdoors with your pets, especially smooshy-faced breeds! Be safe out there. John Arnold, DVM

Toenails: They are very important.

howardIt is very important to maintain a dog’s toenails at the proper length. Rarely does a week go by that we do not see at least one dog that has broken its toenail near the base. This is painful and leads to a risk of serious infection.  Toenails grow from a unique tissue on the bone of each digit called the ungual crest. When the nail breaks back far enough that it bleeds, bacteria can gain a foothold. In some cases the infection can follow the nail and become established in the bone. This is called osteomyelitis and is very difficult to resolve. It can lead to the necessity to amputate the toe! Because of this we take broken toenails in dogs seriously. Sedation may be required to cut the nail back behind the break and antibiotics prescribed to prevent infection. In most cases pain relief is indicated. A major reason that dogs break their nails is that the nails get too long. I like to keep dogs’ nails short enough that I can’t hear the dog walking on a wood floor. Our groomer Karla or our nursing team would be very happy to show you ways to trim your dog’s nails or just do it for you. Call us at (970)482-1987 and look for us at and Facebook. Howard Robinson, DVM

What’s your favorite dog story?

Rabies, veterinary, vet clinic, prevention

Dr. Robinson

What is the greatest dog story or movie of all time? Most often a book is far better than a movie and of course good books often are made into movies. For me, Where the Red Fern Grows is one of the best. Old Yeller is up there on the list too although (spoiler alert!) these both have sad elements. Recently, Marley and Me has been popular. Dog lovers looking for a good movie might go back a few years for My Dog Skip.  Lassie Come Home, made in 1943, may be my all time favorite, especially living with my own Collie, Cassie (my children wouldn’t agree to the name Lassie). Who doesn’t tear up a little when Lassie limps up to Joe’s school and Joe sees her? There are some great adventure stories, for instance, Iron Will, White Fang, and Incredible Journey. For comedy Homeward Bound, the remake of Incredible Journey, is a good one, or the unique Milo and Otis.  There are some classic cartoon dog movies too; Lady and the Tramp and 101 Dalmatians come to mind although I prefer real dog stories myself. What is your favorite dog story? Please let me know.     Howard T. Robinson, DVM