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Homeward Bound Veterinary Services

Homeward Bound Veterinary Services Veterinary Care by House-Call

Operating as usual

Long day!  Home about 7, and who was waiting at the door saying ”we want to go for a walk”?Yep, the two most favored cre...
04/21/2022

Long day! Home about 7, and who was waiting at the door saying ”we want to go for a walk”?
Yep, the two most favored creatures in the world, in my book! These two do so much for me, including getting me on a walk after a long day, encouraging me to cook, and tolerating all my idiosyncrasies!
So they are a bit bored waiting for doggy dinner to cook, but while I was getting it going Taffy opened me a beer! She says although she came here from South Tucson her Family roots are Baja, and her ancestors were guard dogs at the brewery. I learn something every day. I asked her “why Tecate when there is Longboard and Stella in the fridge?”
She said “Tecate tastes like classical adjunct lager, all the way, and that's not really a bad thing. It's crisp and has hints of corny sweetness, being fairly neutral overall, with “husky” notes of grain and a a rounded mouthfeel.”
Wow, that is better than I ever did in “reasons” in judging livestock. She is an amazing dog!

And just in case anyone forgot about the most amazing Pima Animal Care Center Alumnus….
04/20/2022

And just in case anyone forgot about the most amazing Pima Animal Care Center Alumnus….

A client I saw today In Green Valley lived in eastern Massachusetts for a while and mentioned he used to run a lot.  My ...
04/20/2022

A client I saw today In Green Valley lived in eastern Massachusetts for a while and mentioned he used to run a lot. My interest was piqued, as I used to run a bit back there going to many races there with my Dad, where he competed in some series. I threw some names out of some memorably beautiful courses (town of Harvard) and some fun races that ended with beer for the runners (Leominster and Fitchburg), and he was familiar with them. We talked of some bad weather races and I mentioned the Hyannis Marathon (run in the beginning of February and canceled 1994 for a blizzard) and he had run that too. Turns out this guy was the “Real Deal!” As we talked he mentioned running a race in the Sierra Nevada and I thought “he couldn’t be talking about the ‘Western States,’ could he?” Well, he was!
That race is like the Furnace Creek 508 in running!
He showed me the award (you get a belt buckle for finishing) and was entertained by my wanting to take a picture of him!
You just never know what you might find when you talk to people!

I awoke to soft singing by Hoppy (to the tune of ”Here Comes Peter Cottontail”)“Here comes Hoppy Shar Pei tail, hopping ...
04/17/2022

I awoke to soft singing by Hoppy (to the tune of ”Here Comes Peter Cottontail”)
“Here comes Hoppy Shar Pei tail, hopping up Javelina trail, Hippity Hoppity Easter’s on its waaaaaayyyyy.”
Taffy said “creo que se identifica como un conejo”
That is ok Taffy. She is not hurting us or herself with it.
Me and Taff identified with lazy older beings and took a bit of time and coffee to get up, but we made it for the Easter Hike early. Hoppy was pleased to see a fluffle of Easter Bunnies in the wash on our way to the trailhead.
“No Taffy! Those are not Easter Eggs!”
Dogs can be such a high life form, yet they will eat anything! “But El Jefe, they are shaped a bit like eggs.”
Anyway, greatest day with the girls, Taffy is saying she she will be ready for Birch Lake and do the Grizzly Watch while me and Hoppy fish!
After getting home Hoppy learned Bunnies do not get meat in their breakfast so she she feels more “dog” now.

It’s Easter evening and all through the house not a creature was stirring, except Hoppy licking her feet………We have to ge...
04/17/2022

It’s Easter evening and all through the house not a creature was stirring, except Hoppy licking her feet………
We have to get up early- our goal is to be at the trailhead at “civil twilight!” That is 5:27 at our latitude! And the girls know we need a cup of coffee before we go!
So we wish you a merry Easter, we wish you a merry Easter, we wish you…..oh I think that was taken for Christmas too.
Anyway, it promises to be a beautiful day in Tucson with a nice cool start. The girls are thinking Easter Pancakes might be a good idea!
Alexa, set that alarm!

If you open the Easter Story below it is cute, but tell the reader to stop getting on the old couple for being Round!

Ssshhhhh!  Don’t tell the rest of the world how nice an April morning in Tucson can be!   Our Good Friday walk was at 50...
04/15/2022

Ssshhhhh! Don’t tell the rest of the world how nice an April morning in Tucson can be!
Our Good Friday walk was at 50 F! Daylight could have got me out by 530, but I was lollygagging with coffee and out at 6.
A little brushing (Taffy is shedding like a mountain goat on Mount Aneas) then breakfast- “Taffy, how would you like your carrots and collard greens?”
Cooked with some ground beef El Jefe! I need the flavor!”
Hoppy adds “Re Roo!”

This is a nice text to get!   “Do you want a blond?”  Sent from my friend Laurie from the U of A lab.   Of Course i do! ...
04/15/2022

This is a nice text to get! “Do you want a blond?” Sent from my friend Laurie from the U of A lab. Of Course i do! In fact I want another after the first one!
We are talking Barrio Blonde beer!
What were you readers thinking? I have a Brindle girl at home and a red / tan girl. No room at the moment for another!
It was a nice bit of relaxation with new Army vet Lorimay! Freshly graduating from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine! Good job!
She learned how to handle big guns in vet school. The only shooting I did in vet school was a skin stapler!
The nicest thing was Lorimay said she would not have applied without encouragement, when she was working at the U of A lab and I was dropping off samples. She said she was not going to apply to The OSU, because she was not confident, and I said ”what’s the worst thing that could happen, give it a go.”
So Baxter Black’s essay Words seems appropriate here. I gave a link in a prior fb post. If you have a minute look it up. By the way, I have heard Dr Black’s health is failing, and he is still in Benson. Among my favorite vet memories was pulling cactus spines out of Hattie the Border Collie- probably my most written about patient! No rocket science but she was a good patient and Baxter was nice to visit with!

Just saw this on Facebook Re: icecream at MacDonalds.   I don’t know if it is true, but not worth the chance!Get us real...
04/14/2022

Just saw this on Facebook Re: icecream at MacDonalds. I don’t know if it is true, but not worth the chance!
Get us real icecream! Taffy and Hop

Saw on Snopes this was a false claim, but Taffy says still not worth the chance, she wants Ben and Jerry’s unless she is in the NW, then she wants Umqua!

4/15/22: got a notice from Mark (Zuckerberg) that I put false information here! Nooooooo, I said i saw it on Facebook and did not know if it was true, but not worth the chance, AND I referenced the Snopes eval. Come on Mark- give a call first! Or better yet hire me!

So much better to read with morning coffee (compared to “news”)
04/14/2022
The strange race to track down a missing billion years

So much better to read with morning coffee (compared to “news”)

A billion years have vanished from the geological record – and over 152 years after this was first discovered, scientists can't agree on why.

Highlights of my day on this Holy Wednesday:Being awakened by Hoppy to tell me it was time for attention, brushing, a wa...
04/14/2022

Highlights of my day on this Holy Wednesday:
Being awakened by Hoppy to tell me it was time for attention, brushing, a walk and breakfast- but maybe not in that order!
Mile and a half walk with the girls on a nice cool Tucson Spring morning.
Seeing a client and I hope friend, Wink, who enlightened me on Billy Graham’s concept of pets belonging in heaven. That comforts me that someone of such influence to many would say that. Even though my guy is Pope Francis, kudos to the memory and influence of Rev Graham!
Seeing an extremely high character quality client in Picture Rocks. I hope her dog is doing well.
Noticing the brilliant blooms of the Palo Verde.
Seeing parachutists at the Marana Airport. While i have no desire to do it, it is fun to think of.
Helping a nice couple in Saddlebrooke have a peaceful goodbye to their beloved bird dog, who was a great pet even though he never excelled as a bird dog!
Hearing pet owners in Saddlebrook say they are setting time table to look for a rescue Aussie, after recent losses of their dog and cat.
Visiting with Claire at cafe, and Bertie, Monty and I briefly saw Kevin. And Thanks for lunch Marnie. A nice treat! You should consider staying up late April 23. Tell me if you reconsider. Even if too late for you send Larry!
Visiting with Bunkii and seeing her happy and making great progress on her little house she is building! I like Bunkii because I can envision her as a dog!
Seeing Ruthie and her rancher friend Langdon. I hope Langdon does follow up on texting me to show me the setup in Winkleman. And Ruthie promised to take a few hours off and relax and chat. Now I have to do the same!
Seeing a nice older couple who love their elderly cat dearly, yet the presumed diagnosis is cancer.
Being called an angel for helping a dog with metastatic cancer and in labored breathing, relax and pass quietly.
Getting home to two excited and happy canines who wanted nothing more than to repeat their mile and a half morning walk.
Seeing taffy finish her vegetables- they are good for you Taffy.
Looking back on the day and having appreciation for it.

Postscript re: GracieGracie’s mom’s son texted me today that Gracie’s Mom passed.  He mentioned that he had heard people...
04/13/2022

Postscript re: Gracie
Gracie’s mom’s son texted me today that Gracie’s Mom passed. He mentioned that he had heard people may be reunited with their pets in afterlife and he was comforted in that thought. Me too and probably all of the readers too.
He sent a picture of his own dogs which I thought was a real special gesture. He seems like a thoughtful and respectful person who was in a situation with no desirable way out of.
So Gracie’s mom passed 4 days after Gracie. I remember a Greek mythology story (any readers who know the name or my inaccuracies in telling it let me know) about a Greek God who came to earth and was treated well by an old couple despite that they did not know he was a God. Afterwards the God identified himself and as a reward for their giving, offered any wish. The couples wish was to die within the hour of each other. It was a story of selflessness- good to keep in mind in what often seems as a culture of selfishness.
In Gracie’s case, I am glad she was not at the care facility without her Mom, even for a minute.
With all that said my girls need a walk on this cool Tucson evening!

It is Palm Sunday, really Passion Sunday, and this Lapsed Catholic is remaining lapsed.  I really believe it is self-ser...
04/10/2022

It is Palm Sunday, really Passion Sunday, and this Lapsed Catholic is remaining lapsed. I really believe it is self-serving rationalization for the majority of times I hear people say that they may celebrate their religion in their own way. That can happen, but it would require focus and committment that is not often evident in those professed cases.
So, this Lapsed Catholic ( other names Cultural Catholic, Convenient Catholic, CASE- Christmas and sometimes Easter Catholic, and my favorite- Submarine Catholic, no Station Wagon Catholic?) spent the morning with the nearest and dearest to me, Hop and Taff. We did reflect a bit, some on our trouble with the strictest teachings, and wondered if our beliefs in autonomy constitute the “notorious defection” associated with us Submarine Catholics (though I just think Station wagon Catholic sounds more entertaining). I only feel conflicted (I think) because of the positive experience it was to go to a Jesuit College and learn from and be close to some very special humans. But that was a long time ago…
The girls got me up and while I started to make excuses they overcame the inertia and we were there! We are looking at it as a bit of training for Taffy for our much anticipated overnight to Birch Lake this summer. It is in Jewel Basin, not far from the house in Bigfork.
She worked hard and did a great hike, 4 TAs (Taffy Assists- see prior posts!) and we were done before the heat. What do hiking dogs like if they are not at Birch Lake eating freshly caught fish? Pancakes!
Oh yea- and we saw a crested Saguaro I must have passed 50 times and not noticed until today!

Check out Palm Sunday in Latvia :)

Ever since our Sunday walk last weekend Taffy has been talking about Javelina hunting.   “Bears in Montana are great, bu...
04/09/2022

Ever since our Sunday walk last weekend Taffy has been talking about Javelina hunting. “Bears in Montana are great, but we never see evidence of them here, El Jefe, and besides Arizona just has those little bears. Let’s go for Javelina today!”
“Ruts Ro” added Hop.
I know, many readers will object, but our morning walk was to hunt a Javelina. And we had no tag. “What are you going to get it with Taffy?”
“We will trick him or her, El Jefe. We will act like we are not interested and try to lead him to the house. Gradually we will let him think he is part of the pack, then we will tell him it is our every-so-often trip to Amore in Dove mountain for pizza (Dog friendly patio- patronize Amore please) and we will instead go to the butcher!”
Wow, I had no idea how cunning Taffy could be. I guess that is how she survived on the street so long.
Well…no Javelina to be found, and we walked the whole development. We were all a little disappointed in the unsuccessful hunt when Taffy said “I know one more hiding place.” With two paws she opened the door to the garage and was back in minutes with her trophy!
Javelina breakfast for the girls!

We all had dreams last night, I woke up from an odd one, then felt Hoppy kicking and running in place, and this morning ...
04/08/2022

We all had dreams last night, I woke up from an odd one, then felt Hoppy kicking and running in place, and this morning Taffy was yipping.
Mine was of mowing the lawn and rototilling the garden in Bigfork. I had a truckload of compost delivered from the Kalispell Dairy and I guess I am looking forward with great anticipation to the task!:)
I am pretty sure Hoppy was “counting chipmunks,” and maybe some bunnies in-between. I am not sure about Taffy but hope it was a good dream.
Already daylight at 6 AM and cool so we need to get for a walk!

Today I think I learned about Reciprocity.  It was in seeing a pet for the 4th time, a little Shih Tzu.   I saw the owne...
04/08/2022

Today I think I learned about Reciprocity. It was in seeing a pet for the 4th time, a little Shih Tzu. I saw the owner 1 time with interaction and just physically saw her 2 times. I did not even see her this last time.
The first time was at an assisted living facility about 6 months ago. A neighbor in the facility, who’s dogs I treat, told her to call me to see her dog. She seemed a kind and pleasant elderly woman who loved her dog and had concerns about the little dog’s health. She told of how she had difficulty in walking Gracie. The woman who referred us to each other expressed to me the concern that Gracie may be out at too hot a time of day for living in Southern Arizona. Without any mentions of those expressed concerns we talked in general about dog care and the best times to go out and what times to avoid. The owner was agreeable to the suggestions. We decided to do some diagnostic tests including an aspirate of a mass. Follow up was to be with her son, my first indication that all may not be “right” with the owner. Sure enough, I learned 3 months later the owners health had deteriorated. Her son and daughter-in- law live far away and in the time of Covid had especially difficult challenges in finding a more intense care facility, but were able to find one where the woman and her dog could stay together. There was a strong reliance on the staff to make this happen. I saw Gracie in February and a condition with her eyes was worse. She needed regular care I myself may have difficulty with treating in my own dogs considering my work schedule. The reliance on staff was more. Both deteriorated and I saw Gracie a week ago with the owner’s son while he was visiting his Mom who was also in marked decline. Gracie was losing weight, experiencing tremors, and the eyes worse. Her care seemed overwhelming for reliance on “third party’s.”
I spoke with the son over the weekend and the family assessment was that Gracie was suffering and this was a price she should not pay.
The plan was to pick her up discreetly so as to not upset a fragile person. I had the sedation-narcotic ready to give as she was handed to me, but thought for right or wrong she deserved more dignity than ending her life in my van. We went home, she had some icecream with Hop and Taffy along with some treats. They knew she was sick and seemed to know what was happening. Hoppy sat with us while the meds were given and little Gracie passed on her blanket.
The lesson to me was how I want to be treated and how I want my dogs to be treated should I be in a similar situation someday.
While it has been a disturbing thing to consider all day I am glad Gracie did not start her process on the way out a door and into a van. I am glad she had some ice-cream (many of my clients know how my dogs love ice-cream) and took a few dog treats. I do not feel like I knew Gracie well, and know nothing significant about her family, but I am happy I did what I feel was caring and right.
My thoughts today are more about what I read of “burn out” and I sit here with Hop and Taff and think we really need to take a couple weeks together, but need to plan for what might happen to us in future if we lose our ability to decide and act.

Address

6999 W Sauceda Dr
Tucson, AZ
85743

Telephone

(520) 668-1238

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Comments

Hi does your company come in and do home pet euthanasia?
Dear Dr John, Thank you for taking care of my beautiful dog Zeus in his final moments. Your compassion was immeasurable. I miss him terribly.
Thanks to Dr. Heller for helping us with our terminally ill baby Yorkie Joey
Thank you so much for treating" Sexie Dexie" and Kasseri today!!!
John was our Angel of Mercy and was my rock. He made clear to me how serious my Bengal Bill’s condition was and that it was time to help Bill cross the Rainbow Bridge. Compassion, mercy, and gentle strength are John’s gifts. We are so blessed to have him in Tucson.
I was unable to get the entire image on this post. Hope that you are enjoying the Christmas holiday....and thank you so much again for returning Sweetie's collar. Peace, Sharon
When are your shot clinics this month?
My name is Lucky. I was rescued earlier this year. I was a sick pup. I had an uncommon disease that could be fatal if not diagnosed or treated properly. Dr. John cured me and to this day I remain healthy. I am so lucky to have him as my doctor. He is very special. By the way, my parents think I am so cute and they are never wrong. Just look at my picture. Lucky V
Dr. Heller thank you so much for coming on short notice today! We greatly appreciate it and Winston happily ate homemade dinner tonight so hopefully with everything else he is on the mend.
Best vet..very caring and comes right to the house. 5 stars from me.
I live in Picture Rocks like just 2 minutes away from Picture Rocks in Sandario Crossroads I'd like to have two nails are too cat's nails trimmed if you're in the area anytime in the near future my phone number is 682-7887 my name is Joyce I greatly appreciate it thank you