Made for Each Other

I‘m a little late to the party here, (not Lassie’s party! More on that below.) but I am loving Meg Daley Olmert’s book, Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond. I’m not all that far along yet, but early on I was asking myself why in heaven’s name this book has been sitting on my bed side table without being picked up. It should be no surprise that I’d love a book that combines research on behavior specific to our relationship with dogs, but the value added kicker is that she’s such a good writer.

In the second chapter she talks a lot about oxytocin and its role in social bonding. This is something I have talked about quite a bit, both in For the Love of a Dog, this blog and in my UW course on Human-Animal Relationships. Still, I learned some new things that I just love knowing (the role of vasopressin for ex), and I wish I could cancel the day and spend it in bed reading this book. I’ll write more about it soon. I’d love to hear from those of you who have read it already.

Meanwhile, back on the farm: Lassie’s birthday party was a heaping dog bowl of fun! Lots of wonderful people came and saturated Lassie with admiration and belly rubs and presents (bad people! all told not to bring presents!). Willie stayed quiet as a mouse in his crate for over an hour as person after person entered the house so that Lassie could get all the attention. He was so polite. . . that made up for at least a week’s worth of cat obsession! (Question…. anyone who has had mice in their house will attest that they aren’t so darned quiet. Where the heck did that expression come from?)

Here are just some of the cookies that Jim made and he and I decorated for Lassie’s party. Everyone went home with some (does the person who took home the “Lassie” cookie have extra good luck in 2010?).

And here are the wonderful health care professionals who have made Lassie’s life so long and rich. I am sure that she wouldn’t be alive, much less happy and healthy, without them.

From left to right, top row: Dr. Jody Bearman of AnShen Veterinary Acupuncture, yours truly, Dr. Mark McCaan (Lassie’s Chiropractor), who she sees at Middleton Veterinary Hospital and Dr. John Dally of Spring Green Animal Hospital.

Bottom row: The Lassie girl herself, looking far less pleased about being taken out in the cold and told to stay still for heaven’s sake. And, of course, Willie boy, who is always happy to get attention.

Last update: The part above about Lassie was written yesterday to get a jump on the post. How quickly things change. I was up much of last night with Lassie, who woke me up by throwing up at 3 am. She also urinated in the house during the afternoon… suspect her bladder infection is back. Cutting this post short to check on her, talk to vet, etc. . . . the beat goes on. You’ve all been there, I know. Huge snow storm is making things extra interesting.


  1. Kerry L. says

    It’s wonderful that so many people who care about Lassie were able to spend time celebrating with her and each other. What a privilege it is to have a loved pet for so long. I hope she recovers quickly from her troubles of last night and today.

  2. Amanda says

    Made For Each Other has been added to my wish list on Amazon. I hope I get a chance to read it over winter break! It sounds fantastic.
    I’m so glad the party was a success!
    Everybody here will be crossing their paws and fingers that Lassie is feeling better soon. My old man is 11, and I am thankful every day that goes by in good health.

  3. Carolyn says

    to say a someone “eats like a bird” SHOULD mean she eats a whole lot!

    we must be on the same wavelength because i was about to ask about any recent book suggestions that you had. i love your reviews (and the books that i subsequently buy). keep ’em coming!

  4. Carolyn says

    most importantly…i hope lassie’s excellent team of doctors can help her feel better soon!

    my furry crew and i will be thinking of y’all.

  5. JJ says

    The cookies look so pretty. Nice.

    I was hoping there would be an opportunity to ask this without being off topic. You gave me the perfect opening with your mouse comment. I have listened to half of your cat video (…Cats have Staff) and gotten much out of it. But one topic I was dying for more info was left unexplored. I think it is in that video anyway. (I’m getting them all confused.) You mentioned fighting a mouse problem in your kitchen once and that you tackled the problem without poisons.

    It seems like I have tried everything under the sun and then some (baring a method that involves death) with a recent (last 6 months) mouse problem–all to no avail. I could write pages about my travails. I won’t bore you. Instead, I’ll just beg for any advice/tips you can give. How on earth did you do it? Those things are smarter than me for sure. And they are definitely not quiet.

  6. Liz F. says

    I’m sorry for the contrast you and Lassie must be experiencing.
    I hope she starts to feel as good as her cookies look!

  7. Debby says

    Get well Lassie so you can celebrate more birthdays. I know you are in good hands.
    I loved your cookies!
    trisha please update us on Lassie’s recovery.

  8. says

    Sending my good wishes that Lassie feels better soon! The cookies look too good to eat. We are celebrating Tai’s 4th birthday tonight! I can’t believe my little man is not a puppy anymore. He got sweet potato and salmon cake for his dinner and a new Ruffians squeaky toy shaped like a chicken. He is happily squeaking right now as the rest of the family is running for a quiet spot in the house. Give Lassie a belly rub for me.

  9. Joanna says

    Good luck to Lassie; I hope she recovers quickly.

    The cookies look delicious! I wish I could have some!

  10. AL says

    I hope Lassie is feeling better now! (And I suspect that “quiet as a mouse” came from the same person who came up with “healthy as a horse.”)

  11. Michelle says

    Hope Lassie is feeling better real soon!! Teddy Tay is sending her love and hugs!

    Had such a nice time at her party, the cookies were wonderful!!!

  12. Carolyn M says

    Gosh, I hope all goes well for Lassie today…!

    Wanted also to compliment the very cute cookies. I’ll bet they tasted good too. I always enjoy your photos. May Lassie have another happy healthy year ahead.

  13. Laura says

    Dear Trisha – I couldn’t wait to hear about Lassie’s party and I always follow her updates. I lost my girl, Jessie 2 years and 28 days ago at 18 years old. She was a corgi, heeler, beagle, whatever-else-was-in-the neigborhood-that-day-mix. I always think of her when I read the trials and tribulations of Lassie’s health and I bust out laughing and I cry.

    One of your stories reminded me of the first time Jessie didn’t respond at all when I came home. I walked in the door and there she was on the couch with her eyes closed. I thought she was dead and immediately started crying. Then I put my hand on her and about scared her and me to death.

    I appreciated what you wote about your guilt with Cool Hand Luke in your October 13 post. Jessie had her regular Western vet, the specialty vets, and a Chinese medicine/holistic vet. She had cancer and had an adrenalectomy at 14 yo. She had high blood pressure, kidney disease, arthritis, hypothyroidism, cataracts, hearing loss, just name to name a few. I believe she developed cognitive dysfunction and she lost her housetraining. But she just kept going! She beat it all. She’d get pancreatitis and I thought this is it. I kept thinking she was going to die and I also thought she never would. One would think I should have been prepared when my 18 year old dog died 4 years after cancer. I can tell you I wasn’t. We beat it all. I know it sounds bad but she was relatively happy until the very end. I still felt like I should have done more and I thank you for that post. I know there wasn’t anything else I could have done.

    The point is, I know it’s hard not to think the worst is going to happen every time they have an issue, especially after losing Luke so young. I hope Lassie makes it to 18 and beyond! I’m here to tell you that some dogs are just like the Energizer Bunny and I sincerly hope Lassie keeps on going for years to come. She certainly shows the inclination.

    Please keep us updated. Best wishes to Lassie and to you!

  14. says

    Hoping for word on Lassie soon, I hope she’s feeling better. My potentially 11 year old cattledog mix spent all day Sunday hospitalized with something they diagnosed as HGE — prior to the weekend, she was given a clean bill of health from her vet.. had bloodwork this month and all! It really sneaks up on us sometimes…thankfully it sounds like Lassie is in some of the best hands possible!

    Sending warm & gentle wags her way! And good boy Willie for being such a superstar this weekend for the birthday party. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>