1 At 13-weeks old, it was time for my Chow Chow puppy, Peluche, to see her veterinarian for a check up. My executive administrator, Susan Carmichael, accompanied her and my two beautiful kitties, Bartok, and Princess Peony, to the vet's office.
2 They went to visit Dr. Marty Goldstein at Smith Ridge Veterinary Center in nearby South Salem, New York. Dr. Marty, who practices integrative veterinary medicine, was on my television show several times, and had a pet show on my radio channel. http://www.smithridge.com/
3 Peluche was a big hit the moment she walked into the center - everyone loved her. Integrative veterinary medicine combines both conventional and alternative therapies - it's a "best of both worlds" approach to animal wellness.
4 The first thing Peluche had to do was hop on the scale to get weighed. It takes a few seconds for the scale to adjust, but she was not bothered by the step-on scale at all. It was a good experience for my puppy.
5 She was nearly 12 and a half pounds - she's growing fast! Full grown, a female Chow Chow could weigh anywhere between 45 and 60 pounds. That's a big range, but it all depends on the dog's build. On a dog at its ideal weight, the ribs should be palpable without a lot of excess fat covering the body.
6 The veterinary technicians all came by to say hello to Peluche - this is a critical age for dogs to be socialized. They should meet as many people as possible, and be exposed to lots of positive sights, sounds and experiences.
7 Inside the examining room, Peluche was calm and well-behaved as she waited for her doctor. What a good girl!
8 And, Dr. Marty loved Peluche from the moment he met her.
9 While she was relaxed, Dr. Marty gave Peluche a brief exam - checked her coat, listened to her heart, etc. Peluche is a very healthy dog, so there was not much she needed during this introductory visit.
10 Peluche didn't mind Dr. Marty examining her, and it was a good exercise to get her used to being handled by the veterinarian.
11 Dr. Marty asked questions about Peluche's health and diet since she arrived at the farm, and discussed plans for the next visit. Just like humans, pets are scheduled for a series of doctor appointments during the first year.
12 Dr. Marty watched her on the floor to assess her movement, and behavior. The first appointment for any pet should be as positive an experience as possible.
13 Dr. Marty observed how alert she was, and how curious she was about her surroundings.
14 He also noticed how calm and stable she was for such a young dog.
15 Peluche was very aware of all the sounds she heard, and all the scents she picked up. Dogs possess up to 300-million olfactory receptors in their noses, and their sense of smell is at least 40-times greater than ours.
16 Peluche smelled this cute puppy in the hallway - Dr. Marty's newest dog. She is about nine months old, and named Tilly.
17 The American Kennel Club classifies the Chow Chow as a member of the Non-Sporting Group - a varied group of breeds when it comes to appearances and personalities. The Chow Chow is a sturdy, serious-minded, bright and dignified breed.
18 Peluche was ready for a change of scenery, but waited patiently while my cats, Princess Peony and Bartok, took their turns with Dr. Marty.
19 Dr. Marty has been caring for my cats and dogs for quite some time. Bartok knows him well, and allowed him to listen to his heart.
20 A good report for my sweet Bartok.
21 Dr. Marty listened to Princess Peony's heart and lungs, and gave her a clean bill of health too.
22 Dr. Marty thanked my Peony for being so good.
23 Peluche wasn't as interested in watching the cats get examined - for her, it was time for a little nap.