News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Liz Ciancone

November 8, 2010

MS. TAKES: New ways to pamper family's canine

TERRE HAUTE — Just when I think I’m old enough to have heard everything, a nugget of news hits me.

Our escape from election returns this year took us to Brown County. Always ready to read anything about local attractions, I picked up a business directory of Nashville to see what was going on downtown. Imagine my surprise at finding this small town boasts a practitioner billing himself (or herself, initials are unisex) as a “holistic veterinarian.” How a vet gets in touch with the inner animal is anyone’s guess.

I figured I’d heard it all, but then came home to note a sign at a local vet’s office suggesting that I treat my dog to a facial! I’ve never treated myself to a facial.

I recall that Yorkville had a veterinarian, but Dr. Loomis was primarily a large-animal man. I suppose that’s to be expected in a rural community. However, I remember that he treated Lady on two occasions. The first visit he administered an anti-rabies shot so Dad could buy her a dog tag. The second time Dr. Loomis showed up at the door with Lady in his arms. She had been hit over on the highway, he saw the accident and brought her home to treat her there.

Is that holistic medicine? Would it count as a canine facial that Ed and I were fond of rubbing Lady’s ears and “chops” and telling her what a grand dog she was?

Not long ago a local vet suggested to Number Two son that he take “Popeye” to Indianapolis where a “dog opthamologist” might be able to do something about an eye problem. This is the same son, incidentally, who recently sprung for a Serta Posturepedic dog bed — one for Popeye and one for Diedre — because there threatened to be a territorial problem with only one Serta for two dogs.

You have to wonder what’s next. I haven’t been tempted myself, but I understand that Botox does wonders for wrinkles. Maybe a cosmetic surgeon might be able to do something about the wrinkles for a SharPei. My Best Friend wondered about a canine dentist — once the teeth go what’s left in a dog’s life without a good chew bone? And, as long as you are fitting your dog with dentures (if they can and do) why not a gold canine to dazzle a feminine dog friend?

I’m fond of dogs, but I’m no longer sure I could cope with canine play dates or day care for pets.

Liz Ciancone is a retired

Tribune-Star reporter. Send e-mail to

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