Bedlam Farm Blog Journal by Jon Katz

15 November

Photo Journal, November 25, 2022: Zinnia’s Morning At The Vet

by Jon Katz

Today marked the first time I was permitted into the vet’s office since the Coronavirus. It was a joy to be able to take some photos. This is such a fundamental part of the human-dog experience.

For Zinnia, it was a different story. She almost lost her chill in there. She was poked and pinched within an inch of her life. We went there for a small thing, but it seemed to grow into bigger things.

Zinnia had a rough morning at the vet (it was a $471.oo visit). She jumped into a sordid pool out in the woods a day ago and came home, itching and scratching continuously and intensely.

She injured a nail and was bleeding from it; blood was all over the floor—some good reasons to go to the vet and see what was happening.

And as I held her head during Dr. Roosevelt’s examination (Dr. Fariello was off), I noticed a hot spot, an inflammation or infection she had picked up in the fetid water. They are common for Labs, but untreated can cause a lot of trouble.

Zinnia also needed her anal glands expressed and antihistamines for the itching, ointment for the hot spot, and a steroid shot. We had to ensure the itching wasn’t the result of an infection. That would require antibiotics.

She also needed a new flea and tick color, and we switched her food to a less fatty mix. I’d like her to lose a few pounds, although Dr. Roosevelt said some dogs are just genetically stocky, like Yellow Labs, and her breeder says she’s where she ought to be.

I ended up in the middle; I’d like to see her trim down a bit.

But the tick collar and the big bag of new food sent the bill shooting up. That’s life; I’ve retired from panicking about money; I think I’m close to breaking the spell. We will figure it all out.



Zinnia loves Nichole, but she went a little bonkers when they used an electric razor to cut the fur around the hot spot on her lower neck. She wasn’t crazy about the anal glad work either. (I skipped a photo of that.)

Nicole was unfazed; she knew how to handle dogs. Several times, Zinnia broke free and ran over to hide behind me, but there was no refuge, Nicole and Cassandra, the two vet techs, are more challenging than any dog or ten older men.


They put some medicine on the hot spot and trimmed the rest of her nails.

No antibiotics, new dog food to take home, pills, and a tube of ointment. The itching is quieting, Zinnia is gulping down water (the steroid shot), and the antihistamine pills seem to be working.

Zinnia is exhausted, but it was good we went. We got a lot of things done.

Dr. Roosevelt had no trouble getting down on the floor and into Zinnia’s ear. They don’t seem to put dogs up on tables any longer, they get right down onto the ground with them.

15 November

Attention Army Of Good!: The Mansion Christmas: Meditation, Surprises, And Soon, The Mitten Tree Wish List

by Jon Katz

I had my discussion and Meditation class at the Mansion this morning.

I brought a big bag filled with scarves and jewelry I got at various consignment shops in the area.

(Above, Ellen)

They were a big hit. They love to get presents.

Zinnia was sidelined with some kind of allergic reaction, so they just had me. But we had a vital opening discussion about how the holidays affect people in assisted care.

It’s a hard time for many, especially those who don’t have families nearby or who are estranged from the families they do have.

The holiday season is rough on people who have lost their families in one way or another; we had an essential and meaningful talk about loneliness and disconnection. We’re going to talk about that every week through the holidays. They want to talk about it.

Bonnie and Taryese, the activity directors, liked my idea of a Wish List Mitten Tree, a Christmas custom in many parts of the world.

Staying warm is a continuous challenge for the Mansion residents, and keeping them warm is one of the primary missions of the Army Of Good and me.

(The Mitten Tree)

We’re going to place this tree out in the hallway and hope to have enough mittens, scarves, winter caps, and hats so that every Mansion resident can pick one.

The residents often go outside to sit on the porch, take walks, go to the doctor, go on shopping trips in the van or visit family members.

Hardly any of them have mittens, scarves, and winter caps.



Bonnie loved the idea – so did the residents; it brightened them up immediately.

We figured we’d need about 25-20 of each to cover the residents who need them. I’ll ask for donations if the Wish List doesn’t cover all of them that we need and purchase some myself.


Bonnie is putting the Wish List together tonight and tomorrow. I’ll post it as soon as I can so the caps, mittens, and scarves can get her in time for Christmas.

The Mitten Tree seems a perfect project for the Army Of Good. It should be up by the end of the week.

(Ellen’s Turkey Painting)

The Meditation Class has a wonderful feeling and spirit, and it’s a safe place with openness, emotion, honesty, and many smiles.

We meditated, of course, and had a great discussion about how long each breath and exhalation should be. Their numbers varied wildly, all the way up to a count of 10.

Each resident had her own referred number. Ellen asks how one begins meditation, and I said you just find a quiet safe space and settle in.

15 November

Dog Support Is Live! Check It Out….

by Jon Katz

Dog Support, the newest initiative on my blog, is now live and up and running.

You can access Dog Support anytime by clicking on the green slide button at the bottom of every blog page.

The page’s design is from the wizards at Mannix Marketing, and I thank them once again for their support.

Dog Support is a big step forward for me. I thought about it for a long time.

I can use the knowledge and experience I’ve accumulated about dogs for many years as a dog book author, and I can help people who have problems and worries about their dogs.

I don’t mind getting paid (modestly) for my work. I’m worth it.

I’ve gotten over that.

I’ve already handled more than a dozen cases, so far, so good. The program is helping some dogs and the people who love them, sometimes too much.

I love doing it, and the response has been more than gratifying.

I offer Dog Support three times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard time on Zoom and the phone. It costs $50 per half hour, which will rise to $65 per half hour early next year.

I’ve used the last weeks for a trial and to look for glitches. I’ve found none. I’m ready to go. I am not a veterinarian, a shaman, an animal communicator, or a professional trainer.

I fill the holes in between.

Dogs are more and more important to people than ever before; I’ve written that dogs are now the emotional support of people.

The Zoom and other meetings are confidential unless I ask permission to write about the problems we have taken on, which has to be granted.

I only do this rarely, and if there is something important we have learned to pass on to others.

Even then, I don’t use the dog or human’s name or location; no one is in any way identifiable. And most of the time, I don’t write about the experience.

People without $50 should have a chance to benefit from the advice and solutions.

To apply for this support, click on the button below, which will take you to an information page.

The form asks only for the name, e-mail, an optional photo of the dog, and what it is you want help for.

I’ll get back to you, and we will sort out the rest. The sessions are available on Zoom, a smartphone, or  Facetime. I don’t abandon people; I like to stick with a problem until it’s solved.

Payment is via Paypal or Venmo, or checks, preferably in advance.

This is a calling for me, not a job. I believe I’m capable of this, and I think I can be good at it.

So check out the sign-up page, and please let me know if you need help. Contact  Dog Support or write me at [email protected]

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