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White ring around edge of Aleksandr's nose, February 2011.

White ring around edge of Aleksandr's nose, February 2011.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve toiled away in the Poop Field. I thought about taking a picture, but then decided you might like to be spared the visual.

The Poop Field is the area under our dog’s tie-out. Over the winter, it has gotten away from me, with poop piling up under successive snowfalls, which came close to every other day. Since Aleksandr’s bout with Coccidia, it became a priority to clear the area. With temps in the high 30s during the past week, more and more poop has revealed itself, making it even more of a priority from an aesthetic sense.

I’ve spent an hour and a half on clearing the Poop Field and I’d say I’m only two-thirds done. Oh, joy! I’ve tried raking the poop into a pile and picking it up with a garden spade, however, the most effective method is to excise each piece using a hand-held garden trowel. It helps to wear rubber gloves during the operation. I’ve filled ice cream pail after ice cream pail with poop (try to erase that image from your mind!) and tossed each pail into the lilac bushes at the back of our property. I’m hoping the poop will make a good fertilizer.

In related news, during Aleksandr’s treatment for Coccidia, he started vomiting every meal. We called the vet, who switched his medication from Albon to Doxycycline. A couple of days into the Doxycycline, he developed a faint white ring around his nose, “where the dashboard meets the fur,” as Hubby describes it. That’s what I’ve tried to capture in the photo above. From the blur in the pic, you can tell he wasn’t a cooperative photo subject.

I mention the ring around his nose because there was very little online in the way of answers for what causes it. I found one person questioning the ring after a dog’s treatment for worms. I called our vet and talked to one of the assistants, who had never heard of such a thing. The ring doesn’t seem to be getting any whiter or larger. If anything, it’s becoming more faint. Have any of you dog owners experienced this with your dogs? Do you have an explanation for it?

And, now, you may return to your non-poop-filled activities.

Btw, a book called “Ho! For the Gold Fields” inspired the title of this blog post. As it turns out, I know the son of the author. Bet he and his mother never would have suspected the title would lead to this.