Sunday, October 23, 2016


Sebastian is almost the perfect rectory dog.  He's good with people.  He's protective when he needs to be.  He knows when to offer somebody comfort in a way that I cannot.  He keeps me sane.  He's black so that when he sheds he doesn't show up on my clerics.  But if he has one major design flaw it is this:  There is something in autumn to which he is allergic.  He scratches himself mercilessly day and night.  It not only torments him, it torments the people around him.

A couple of weeks ago a priest buddy of mine and I went on a trip to the "woods" and rented a cabin. He was all excited because the dogs wanted to sleep in his room instead of mine.  But Lo!  Around 3AM my door was unceremoniously opened and my friend announced . . .
And then he slammed the door.  Apparently the joy of having the dogs in his room was too heavy offset by the disgusting grooming noises Sebastian was making.  Fortunately between the fan and my hearing not being what it used to be, I was just fine with him sleeping in my room.

Before you say anything . . . yes.  I've tried that.
The different food.  The vitamins.  The Benadryl.  The right shampoo.  Prayers to Saint Francis.  Wishing on a shooting star.  I've tried everything short of getting another dog.  The thing is - I know it will all come to a screeching end the moment the first snow falls.  Though it may cut down on the intensity, there just doesn't seem to be anything that will make it better until those snow flakes start falling.

Sebastian is a very social dog.  He generally sits in on all of my meetings and does what he can to make people feel comfortable before their pastor.  But in the fall, it is always the reverse.  If it were just the scratching, that would be one thing but there is this awful slurping noise he makes when digging into various contorted areas - disgusting noises that I always forget exist until the fall.  I learn to tune them out but for the uninitiated they can be quite disturbing.
 So I am running low on advice and ideas.  My only hope is that global warming is either a hoax or will soon reverse because the snow cannot come quickly enough.  I'll try anything.


Anonymous said...

Aww, poor Sebastian! I have no advice just sympathy, Father. My two large dogs (including a lab) scratch more in the fall too, but not as bad that. Poor pup! I hope he feels better soon.

Stephen, The Self-Appointed Lay Parochial Deakonia. said...

Dear Father, besides The different food. The vitamins. The Benadryl. The right shampoo. Prayers to Saint Francis. Wishing on a shooting star. You did not mention ACUPUNCTURE. Acupuncture was used on animals long before acupuncture was applied to people. The thinking was, "if acupuncture helped my ass and my ox, maybe it can help me".
If you know a good acupuncturist, Call that acupuncturist.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried playing the snow polka and praying to the snowshoe priest, aka, Bishop Baraga?

Elena LaVictoire said...

My dog gets the same thing, only in July through August. This year, I went to the vet in June and told him that we were about to hit Sophie's itchy season and I wanted to see if there was something I could do to prevent it. The vet gave me a prescription and we started at the first sign of itching - it really helped and we didn't have to put the cone of shame on her even once. It was expensive, but it was worth it. Also make sure Sebastian's flea protection is up to date. We've used the oral flea medication this year and it worked very well.