Category Archives: Gryff

Canine keratitis sicca

I thought I would take a turn from the usual blog post and share something about our beloved four-legged fur kid, Gryff.

Mostly because he’s a big part of our lives, but also because we are going on vacation in a few weeks and I started to get worried about boarding him. I always do. Call me the paranoid pet owner, but in a second, you’ll understand why I’m nervous about boarding him.

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About a year and a half ago, Gryff was diagnosed with keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or keratitis sicca. To you and me it’s better known as “doggie dry eye”. If not treated it could lead to blindness! :(

When we noticed

It started about 2 1/2 years ago when we noticed that every spring Gryff would have a discharge in his eyes – eye boogs we would call them. We would take him to our vet and they would do their routine check for ulcers in the eye, scratched corneas, and whatever else, but everything would come back clean. So they gave us a drop and send us home. While the drop did work and cleared up the gunk, we noticed it kept coming back.

After months and months of going through this cycle, our vet finally told us they were stumped and referred us to an animal ophthalmologist about an hour from our house near Lansing (the capital). One trip there and the doc said he had this condition.

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So what exactly is it?

It’s extreme dryness of the eye, to the point where Gryff’s tear ducts don’t produce tears. Or enough tears to help moisturize the eye. If not treated, the simple act of blinking can scratch the cornea and could result in blindness. Scary!

How is it caused?

We don’t really know. The most we can find online and after conversations with Dr. Ramsey is that it can just happen and it might hereditary or genetic. He actually told us only one place in the whole world would be able to not only find out what caused it, but also completely treat it – and that’s a vet hospital in Oxford, England.

So how do you treat it?

Dr. Ramsey prescribed several eye drops and medications for Gryff to use. Now he’s on 5 different medications, which he gets 3 times a day. It seems like a lot, but if it means he can see clearly, we’re all for it. He’s given his meds once in the morning (around 6:30/7 a.m.), then again at 4:30/5 p.m., and lastly at 11 p.m. Each medication is given to Gryff 5 minutes apart.

The medications

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  • Alpha Interferon – A refrigerated drop that cancer patients actually use when on chemotherapy to help keep moisture in the eyes and tear ducts. One drop in each eye 3 times a day.
  • Pilocarpine – A pill also used by some cancer patients undergoing chemo, which helps create saliva and moisture in the salivary glands. The salivary glands are hooked into your eye glands actually! Half a pill given before each meal (he eats twice a day, so one pill, total, a day)
  • Tobramycin Ophthalmic – A drop that helps prevent bacterial infections of the eye. One drop in each eye, once a day (we do it during his morning round of meds)
  • Tacrolimis – An anti-inflammatory eye drop to help stimulate the tear glands and prevent further decrease of  tissue. It’s a super oily drop, but it’s the one we notice seems to work almost immediately! One drop in each eye, 3 times a day.
  • Genteal Eye Gel – An eye gel for humans, found in the eye care aisle at any drug store or supermarket. One squeeze in each eye, throughout the day as needed.

So you can see my nervousness of the Petsmart Pet Hotel being able to do this for us. I assume they will do fine since I’m sure they get all kinds of dogs with medical problems coming in there, but I really do worry if they will do the meds on time. If they mess up or skip anything once, he could be a squinty pup for a while, which also hurts his eyes :(

The kind of bad news

Gryff will be on these drops for the rest of his life. He’s 4 1/2 now, so he’s got a lot of years and a lot of eye meds ahead of him. These drops and pills are also not cheap. The pilocarpine pill, since it is a human pill we get at the pharmacy, costs $50 for one month dosage or $150 for 3 months. His other drops range from $20-$40 each whenever a refill is needed. The Genteal which we get in the eye care aisle is $10-12 and we try to buy in bulk since we give that to him the most throughout the day.

The good news

Dr. Ramsey said Gryff is making great progress. The meds are clearly working and he’s even starting to see some tear production. It’s still not enough to warrant going off the drops, but it’s still great news. We used to have to take Gryff up to see him twice a year and now we just see him once a year to ensure no new developments have occurred.

Gryff will go on living a normal, healthy live as a happy pup. He doesn’t even care about the drops. I know some dogs would hate it, but I think he knows it helps him, so he never bites or fidgets when we are giving him the meds – a huge help if you ask me ;)

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Conclusion

Get your pet checked every year for their routine visit. If you are noticing the symptoms we noticed with Gryff, ask your vet if keratitis is a possibility. They should know what it is and can start testing for that, or refer you to a vet who can.

It’s scary to find out something is wrong with a family member, especially a pet. But the important thing is to stay calm and see about treatment. I am forever grateful to Dr. Ramsey and the fact that animal eyes are his specialty. My big fear, still, is that Gryff will go blind before he’s too old. He’s such a happy little dog and he didn’t ask for his, which is why REB and I are always very conscious of getting home on time if we’re out, in order to give him his meds.

He’s a big part of our lives, and we want him around for as long as time will allow!

I hope this was helpful and informative for dog owners and other corgi owners!

 

 

 

Gryff Turns Three!

My little puppyman turns three years old today! It’s so hard to believe this little 25-pound pile of cute is three years old. Seems like only yesterday we were picking him up from the airport and now he’s grown up into the most handsome, regal and loyal dog.

While we were at Whole Foods earlier tonight, we went to the butcher counter to buy some steak tips for him. The butcher asked us what we were deciding on and if he could help, so we told him we wanted to treat our dog to something yummy for his birthday. Instead, he went into the back and came back with a huge soup bone that still had marrow in it! No doubt Gryff will love this!

But when I got home, I decided to bake him some organic dog cookies. I found this recipe from Dog Treat Kitchen and it was seriously an idiot-proof recipe.

Here’s what you need:
•2 cups whole wheat flour (or any kind of flour your dog is OK to have)
•1 cup rolled oats
•1/3 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy. We used organic, crunchy pb because Gryff likes the crunchy peanuts!)
•1 1/4 cup hot water

Start by preheating your oven to 350°F
Then mix your dry ingredients in a bowl. Then add in the peanut butter and hot water. You might need to add more flour if it gets sticky. Honestly though, the dough came together quite nicely and was super easy to work with.

Roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. You can use a tiny bit of flour on your counter or board before you roll out the dough. Then cut out shapes! We used the bone cookie cutter we got from Sam and Finn from the Corgi Exchange this year!

Place the cut-out cookies onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 40 minutes or until hard. You really want to make sure these cook all the way through!

We only made one round of cut outs and then put the rest of the dough in the freezer. These cookies will keep fresh in an air tight container for a week, or you can freeze them for up to 6 months! I think he knew we were baking him some treats because he kept pacing around the living room wiggling his nose in the air.

I have never made any homemade treats for Gryff but these were relatively healthy and organic. He seemed to really enjoy them too. Happy birthday buddy! We love you!

Have you ever made homemade treats for your pet? Do you have a fool-proof recipe you rely on? Please share below if you do!

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A Gryff Christmas Story

Once again we participated in the Corgi Bloggers Gift Exchange! Thank you so much to Sam and Finn for the lovely gifts. Both Gryff and I love them! We had to open the gifts early since we were going to be gone during Christmas, but Gryff loved it all the same. Have a look!

Hooray!

 

A gift for me?! Too considerate. Looks like Gryff is getting some cute-looking treats for his birthday in January!

 

Wonder what it could be..??

 

Beautiful card! Thank you Sam and Finn!

 

He wasn't feeling it at first...

 

Then he realized they were yummy bones to chew on...

 

We swear it's a bone. To help your teeth!

 

Still not 100%...

 

"...I'll allow it..."

 

He also got this adorable slingshot-piggy-type toy. It's so cute! It's been near his bed in our bedroom since he saw it ;)

Thank you again to Sam and Finn!! We are so grateful for the gifts and appreciate it so much! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and you all have a wonderful new year!!

A Present for Gryff

Gryff received a present a few days ago from the lovely Kelly and Gibson over at Corgi Butts. She had a giveaway a week or so ago and I was lucky enough to be one of the winners! Gryff was one of six lucky winners to receive three 5-pound bags of Omega organic dog food!

There were three bags of flavor: lamb, chicken and salmon. Gryff instantly knew this package was for him because he wouldn’t leave its side. I think he could smell the delicious kibble.

I told Gryff all about his new food. How it’s all organic, 100% grain free, and even the bag is Eco-friendly!

Believe me, he’s more excited than he looks. I don’t think he cared too much for all the facts and would have preferred to just eat the stuff. We’ll be able to mix it in his with current food to see how he likes it! But it’s food. And it’s meat flavored. So I’m going to assume there won’t be any problems ;)

I know he’ll love it! And his parents love the fact that both his food and the bag it came in help him and the planet. Thanks again Kelly and Gibson!

A Very Corgi Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

This year, I became an avid follower of Corgi Butts, a site administered by the lovely Kelly and her Corgi, Gibson. Naturally, I love the site and Gibson! Corgis are cute and I was very happy to find other people out there who loved their Corgis as much as we love Gryff.

Kelly started a secret Santa gift exchange through Elfster and I decided to take part in it! Something I hope we can do every year, or ever other year or something.

We got the package a few days and since it’s Christmas, we let the four legged one open his gift a little after midnight.

We tried to get Gryff to come sniff the card and the packages inside the box, but he was kind of skeptical of the whole thing and kept his distance.

YAY! Thank you Emily and Wrigley! By the way, this card was so gorgeous! <3 <3 Gryff sniffed at it and seemed to approve too ;)

SUCCESS!! He was super curious and excited to open his gifts!!


…Or maybe not…

WOW!! Thank you SO much, Emily and Wrigley!! Doggles and a Nylabone. Perfect!!

Of course as soon as it was out of the packaging, Gryff got super interested…


Wait! Come back! You have to try on the Doggles!

Can I just say how awesome our dog looks? Because he looks like the coolest dog ever! A lot of people think Doggles are silly, but it’s actually a safe way for dogs to have their heads out the window in a car and not get doggy pink eye ;) The more you knoooow!!! Gryff is prone to allergies in his eyes every Spring and getting dust in his eyes when he sticks his little nose out the window of the car on our way to the dog park. He also likes to swim in the river, and well, this way his eyes are protected. Best. gift. ever!

He. Is. SO. Cool!

He wasn’t a fan at first, but I think they grew on him. He started chasing the laser pointer around the house with them on. He’s special :)

Thank you so much Emily and Wrigley. You guys are the best! I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Corgifest 2010

This past weekend was awesome. First off, I love weekends. I love when we have absolutely no plans and laze around all weekend, but I also love when we get to see our friends and have fun.

This past weekend was just like that. After sleeping in (ah, glorious sleep) on Saturday and then watching our football games (GO GREEN!), our friends invited us downtown to enjoy Homegrown Fest. It’s basically a festival downtown where local farmers and restaurants share their food (veggies, fruits, sandwiches, coffee, pastries, etc.). There was live music, wine tasting and a beer tent, too. I absolutely love living here! It’s especially more fun in the company of good friends who hear about these types of events since they live within walking distance to downtown (a perk, for sure!).

Sunday was the probably the cutest though. My friend brought her Corgi down so she could play with Gryff. She got her Corgi a few months ago and we’ve been trying to set up a day for them to play since Gryff loves playing with other dogs (listen to us, we’re like parents with our kids :P). It just didn’t work out with our hectic schedules. We finally worked it out this weekend and I got to meet Mayhem, who is the cutest, littlest, most fluffy little girl ever! She and Gryff became fast friends and they looked so cute together.

She’s so teeny and cute!

Can you tell which is which? Fact: there were times we couldn’t, especially when we were at the dog park with them. Whoops.

All in all, a very fun weekend. I live for weekends! Why can’t they last longer…??

Memory Lane


This is Humphrey the Hippo. He was Gryff’s very first toy (aside from his puppy Kong).

Humphrey is more than a friend to him though. He was Gryff’s companion, compadre, his bestie.

We decided to see what it would be like if Humphrey and Gryff were reunited after months of separation.


Gryff was pretty stoked to his pal back in his life. After taking this picture, something happened.

I started to cry. Well, almost. OK, I was tearing up and didn’t want REB to see, so I hid it.


I know I shouldn’t be upset that he’s grown up into the best dog ever (seriously), but I always think of him as that little bean we got over a year ago.

if you observe on the left, Gryff used to be the size of Humphrey. He couldn’t even pick him up. All he could really do was gnaw on his tail with his puppy teeth. On the right, is today. Over a year later.

sniff sniff…as he’s all…sniff…grown up…sob..

Humphrey has seen some better days. To be real honest, I think he was used more as a teething toy than a companion.


It’s so dirty and chewed up! It’s pretty gross to think his mouth was kind of gross and made things dirty. Yuck!


He not only nommed all over Humphrey, but he also pulled out the stuffing. I think that’s the reason he got put back into the Gryffy toy box. Not joking.


Another reason why we probably put Humphrey BACK into his toy box was because of how filthy he is… This can’t be sanitary. o_O

I don’t want to get rid of the hippo. Like Mr. Bear to me, I want Gryff to always have the first toy he ever had. This toy used to spend many nights with him in his crate, helping him through his first night away from his birth mommy -tear-, helping him cope with spending a few hours alone each day while REB and I were at work, and helping him teeth comfortably. He’s an important part of his life!

Who am I kidding? He’s part our of lives too. Call that lame, but whatever.


They’ve both mellowed out over the months, but they’ll always be best friends. That much is true.

Together, these two can conquer the world! …or the living room at least.