Whalen: Taking a pause on politics – InForum

In May I

wrote about how hard it was to see my Baxter in pain

. He had recently been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that attacks his claws, Lupoid Onychodystrophy.

It’s rare, his clinic told me that they only see one or two cases a year. It is manageable, but it takes several months for healthy claw to grow in.

We dealt with cracked claws and twisted claws. He had to have several claws trimmed way back and had his paws bandaged for a couple of days afterwards.
His bandages couldn’t get wet, so he wore baggies as rain boots. He looked at me like I was crazy when I put baggies on his feet.

We had a couple of weeks where he wore baby socks so he wouldn’t lick his claws. I had to lift him out of the car a few times so he wouldn’t hurt his paws jumping out of the car. It had to be similar to losing a toenail and then having to walk on it.

Since I’ve become a columnist quite a few people have reached out to me, mainly on Facebook. Several have said they saw Baxter on my Facebook page.

I am writing this on Wednesday, Sept. 6, and it is Baxter’s eighth birthday. I realized it was the perfect time to give an update on my Honey B, because who doesn’t love dogs.

Baxter is my love. He’s a Border Collie mix. He definitely got his intelligence from the Border Collie side. He put up with all the crazy things we had to do to get his claws healthy because he knows that I have his best interests at heart. He is totally devoted to me and me to him. Border Collies are known for being deeply attached and devoted to one person. I’m fortunate enough to be Baxter’s person.



Contributed / Colleen Whalen

It’s been a tough summer for both of us, but Baxter now has mostly healthy claw. He takes nine pills a day for his condition. Like all dogs, he doesn’t like his pills. Every time I give him his pills, I tell him it’s not fair that such a good dog has to take so many pills. While we were dealing with the claws, he also developed pancreatitis. That is now under control with a low-fat diet. He gets boiled chicken as a treat, and I think it’s his favorite treat.

Baxter had been going to doggie daycare twice a week before his claws started breaking. Last month his claws were healthy enough for him to go back. He goes to South Bark and absolutely loves it there and all his people friends there. South Bark is the only place Baxter will go without me, so I know they treat him very well. When Baxter was unable to go to daycare for a few months, the manager at South Bark sent me periodic emails asking how Baxter was doing. I’m sure I speak for many when I give a shout out to South Bark. Thank you to everyone at South Bark for giving our dogs a really a great experience and lots of love.

And a shout out to the doctors at West Fargo Animal Hospital and Red River Emergency Hospital for getting my sweetheart back to good health.

Whalen is an insurance professional who lives in Fargo with her beloved dog Baxter.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum’s editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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