Posted by: My Personal Vet | June 28, 2010

Homecoming King

Raising a puppy is no small task, but done the right way, all of the hard work pays off, resulting in a loyal and loving companion.

Now, I’m no expert, that’s for sure…but I happen to be employed by one! So I want to take you along for the ride (bumps in the road and all) as I raise my puppy from the perspective of a first-time puppy owner, a veterinary practice manager, and a Member of My Personal Vet. You will witness the ups and downs, tears and laughter, an occasional icky poop story, and tips and tricks from Dr. Sharp.

Meet Dexter.

Dexter Osiris Lubarsky, born March 12, 2010, came into our lives and our home on his 7 week birthday. He’s a Catahoula Leopard Dog (aka Catahoula Hog Dog, Catahoula Cur), reigning from the Catahoula Parish in Louisiana. For us, he’s a perfect breed: full of energy, likes to be busy, very short hair to keep Lance’s allergies under control, very loyal, great with families, loves water…did I mention likes to be busy? But for some families, he would have been a nightmare! As easy as this cute face makes it look…choosing the right dog for your home and family is a difficult thing!

Impulse Shopping…

Great for shoes, power tools, and ice cream…not so good for animals! Getting swept up in the moment when choosing a dog (or cat) can result in big problems down the road for you and your new-found friend. Each breed of dog and cat has its own distinct temperament, needs for attention and activity, and tendency towards different health problems. Doing your research and thinking ahead will help you make more practical decisions when choosing your new best friend — not emotional ones. Once you’ve decided that you want to bring a new dog into your home, be sure to ask yourself these important questions first:

  • How active are you?
  • How long are you away from home on an average day?
  • Do you travel? How often?
  • Do you have any small children? How many? How old?
  • Are you sensitive to dog hair/dander?
  • Have you ever owned a dog before?
  • Do you have other animals in your household?
  • Do you have an enclosed outdoor area?

CLICK HERE for a Great Survey from IAMS to help you decide!

Lemon Check

As much as we were already set on this seemingly-perfect puppy, we needed to make sure that the was healthy enough for his homecoming. Dr. Sharp came to the house of the original Mom and Dad to take a look and a listen to make sure that everything was in good working order. This initial exam answered important general health questions:

  • Do his heart and lungs sound healthy?
  • Does he have a cleft palette?
  • Is his umbilical cord healing properly?
  • Have both of his testicles descended?

It also gave Dr. Sharp the opportunity to check for breed-specific issues. Being a blue-eyed Catahoula (aka Glass Eye), the chance that Dexter had been born deaf was higher than that of his brown-eyed siblings and of other breeds. A thorough check of his sight and hearing was certainly in order.

Most importantly, Dr. Sharp was able to give her unbiased opinion about whether or not Dexter would truly be a good fit for Lance and me by watching him interact with us, his mom and dad, and his siblings.

After two very long weeks of research and preparation, the seal of approval was stamped: Dexter was our Homecoming King.

Know How to Get Your Home Ready for a New Pet? Tune in Next Week!


About the Author: Joanna Doubleday

Joanna came on board with My Personal Vet as Practice Manager in August of 2009. She brings with her a crazy Tonkinese cat named Bella, her Catahoula puppy Dexter, and over 10 years of     experience in customer service and business management.  She has worked in a variety of settings including several years in both healthcare and hospitality.

Born and raised in Santa Cruz, she’s passionate about giving back to her community. She has done work on My Personal Vet’s behalf for Second Harvest Food Bank and the Santa Cruz Chamber   of Commerce since joining our team.  She is also continuing her education at Cabrillo College in pursuit of a degree in business and health services.

Have something you’d like her to write about? You can email her at


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Joanna Doubleday, Dr. Evelyn Sharp,DVM. Dr. Evelyn Sharp,DVM said: Homecoming King: […]

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