Magic of the Everyday, Nature, Personal Life, the dog

Of Pindo Palms and Golden Dogs

Pindo Palm
Ripening fruits

There are two pindo palms in my yard. They are also known as “jelly palms” because in the past folks made jelly from the pectin-rich yellow-orange fruits. These palms bear lots of fruit on a flowering  inflorescence, and because I have two of them, and because I like making jelly, I’m giving pindo palm jelly a go (using the recipe on that second link).

(If you are here looking for info about toxicity to dogs, don’t fear: these fruit aren’t poisonous. They may cause an upset stomach in some people, and in some dogs, and too many will certainly give a dog an upset stomach. The pits are large, so they might be harder for smaller dogs to pass–use your best judgement on that. But I feed my little guy [26 lbs] the pitted fruit often. Also, red belly cooter turtles love the fruit.)

Today I pitted and cooked about 2.5 cups of pindo fruit in water to make juice. There will be more fruit ripening soon, and I’ll wait until then to cook a batch of jelly from it. Once I do, I’ll post pictures and let you know how it goes. With luck, it will taste “like the tropics,” as one site claimed.

Dasher’s medical concerns are still a big thing. He blew out his second surgery when 2 separate aggressive dogs charged him in three days, and he retreated from both in a big hurry. sigh. Instead of us charging into Surgery #3, I requested physical therapy for him, to increase his atrophied muscles, and wow, has that ever been successful! His muscles are noticeably larger, and he’s starting to bear weight on his “bad” back leg. And, even better, his patella is moving up and into position as the muscles and tendons tighten and strengthen. We may just avoid another patella surgery after all!

The face of the Golden Dog?
The face of the Golden Dog?

Part of his “at home” exercise has been swimming, which he absolutely loves. I never thought he’d be a “jump into the deep water like a Labrador” kind of dog, but he totally is now. He even dives in head-first to get those toys below the surface!

Then he slipped on the wet concrete, and landed on his shoulder. Of course, he bruised his muscles and limped a few days, but seemed to be getting better. When we returned from our trip, however, his limp had increased.

At first, the vets thought it was simply a case of his walking funny to accommodate his injured rear leg for so long, which was straining his shoulder. Once his rear leg healed, his shoulder injury would go away too. What a relief.

Now, however, the theory is that he just might have shoulder dysplasia. That’s like hip dysplasia–where the hip bone is deteriorating–but in his front shoulders. Both of them. If so, it would eventually require–you guessed it–surgery.

See that pile over there? That’s me in a quivering mass of denial and mental anguish at just the thought of more surgeries on this poor, poor dog!

This got me thinking that, besides being a medical mess, poor Dasher is the dog literally worth his weight in gold. But is he? Well, I tallied it up yesterday, and he’s (fortunately) falling short, for now. I’m not sure what the total of his bills is, but to be worth his weight in gold as of yesterday, we’d have to had spent $540,560 on him. We are nowhere near that, thank all that’s good.

We are, though, extremely thankful for the pet insurance we got with him, and that we continued paying into once it became apparent he’d need surgery (during our free month’s trial). Trupanion has paid 90% of his seizure expenses (after initial deductible), and 90% of his two surgeries for his patella to date (after that deductible). This is quite a chunk of cash, let me tell you! And they will continue to do so for the rest of his life.

I kind of laughed at the thought of pet insurance when we got Dasher. After all, he’s a dog–a puppy, even! But it was free for the first month, so I shrugged and signed up. And now, wow. My dog, unfortunately, is the poster child for why you should really do this if you can. We did, and I am so glad.

I get that not everyone can afford pet insurance. I also understand that for a healthy dog, it might not pay off in the long run. I sure hope that our next dog doesn’t ever come close to covering his/her monthly co-payments. But I am going to get it if I can, that’s for sure.

That’s it in a nutshell here. Dog and palms and carrying on with life as we know it. As the Queen would say, Keep Calm and Write On.