Dr Smolkin’s AHA Moment-Car Safety with Dogs

Dr Smolkin’s Winter AHA Moment- Car Safety with Dogs

I must admit, I do at times practice “do as I say not as I do”.  I own Sleepypod seat belts for both my dogs which I use religiously when my daughter is in the car.

When she isn’t?  Well, that’s another story.  The extra time, literally less than a minute I feel I can’t spare.  So this morning, running a little late, my daughter had a rough night so lack of sleep and up again at 3 am.  We have one of our doctors out sick so I knew I was in for a 12+ hour day and balancing with my husband’s schedule (who was also supposed to put in a long day at work today, however needs to sacrifice once again for our family) and of course like you all know dinner needed to be prepped and put into the slow cooker.   “Yikes, Honey please pack-up Robyn’s bag for daycare.”  We make a great team!

So this is where my “AHA” moment happened, we had quite a snowfall overnight and I still rushed Kenzie and Nacho into the car and didn’t take the extra time to secure them into the seatbelts.  We took off into the wintery weather. As we were driving along, we skidded.  We skidded a lot. My poor dogs were loose in the back seat and shifting about as I needed to focus on my defensive winter driving skills turning my wheel to regain control.  WE were lucky! My dogs are OK, I am OK….. we stopped a foot shy of the car in front of us.

I know better, I researched what seatbelts to buy my dogs.  We carry them at Guelph Animal Hospital as they have the best crash testing rating.  I use them to protect my daughter because I know that a crash or even a sudden stop could result in her injury when the dogs are in the car.  BUT what about them? Kenzie just turned 12 this week and I hope to keep her aging body around for a few more if I can.  What about me??  Through all my interactions with people over the years, I have seen first-hand the devastating effects a concussion can have.  What would happen to me, my brain, and therefore my career and mothering ability if a dog flew from the back seat and hit me in the back of the head?

On the CBC last week, I was listening to a story about reactions of people when seat belts became mandatory for people, you know the “good old days”! How did we ever survive.  That is in our lifetime and I personally remember being very young, in the front seat, maybe or maybe not clicked in.  Now, we would all think it careless for someone not to do up their own seat belt the moment they enter a car.

Needless to say, my dogs will have their Sleepypod seat belts on EVERY trip in the car from now on. Even in good weather, an accident can happen in the blink of an eye.  I want to know that I have done everything possible to keep my furry kids safe and maybe take better care of myself as well. 

Written by:  Dr Ilana Smolkin


Maui’s New Year’s Resolution

My name is Maui, and I am overweight.

Maui posedI haven’t always been this way. I used to be a thin, strapping, scrapping cat, toughing it out on the mean streets of Hamilton.  And then that car came out of nowhere……and that’s when my life changed forever.
My mom happened to be working at the hospital that night, and she saved my life. Literally. I heard her talking to the Animal Control agent, saying that she wanted to save me, even though he said I should be ‘put down’, whatever that means.  I was pretty scared.  But she gave me some great drugs and a nice cuddle, and a few weeks (and two surgeries later) I was feeling much better.

You can read about my story here:  http://guelphvet.ca/blog/2012/05/07/mauis-lucky-day/

Since she rescued me, I’ve been living the life of luxury, and quite honestly I’ve simply let myself go.  The food she gives’ me is so good I usually eat my portion and everyone else’s as well.  Sometimes, if I’m feeling ambitious, I can climb up and wiggle the lid off the food bin and crawl right in.  Mmmmmm.  Food coma. Maui relaxingI know I’ve been on diets before, but this time I’m gonna take it seriously.  No more overeating. No more food bin diving.  No more fruit loops that baby Asher drops on the floor. Fruit Loop MauiI’m going to get my body back, and I’m going to be more healthy.  When I crawl through the cat door to the food room, I have to squish through because my body makes contact on all sides.  I want to be able to make it up the stairs without taking a break halfway. And I really want to be able to run fast when the baby is crawling my way. He’s cute but he likes to pull my tail.

So join me as I begin my weight loss journey. 2016 is my year.

Stay tuned for more information and stories from Maui’s weight loss journey!