Defeat by Da Feet

At our last exciting episode, Max’s extremities were snugly bandaged in purple socks in the hope and expectation that his inflamed feet would quickly heal.

Well, the treatment did not work.Failure

We took him to the Vet’s office where his paws were carefully unwrapped as we stood by like little kids at a birthday celebration, waiting to see what was inside. Instead of four fresh pink paws, we encountered a quartet of red meaty appendages that were painful to look at and no doubt more painful to own.

The Alpha Japanese Female (AJF) was horrified and I could sense her internal volcano preparing to erupt like Pu’u O’o on a hot August night in Hawaii.

Imagine four tiny filet mignons with claws stuck to the ends of white, hairy sticks. No, forget that image. I took some photos but I’ll spare you the gruesomeness.

I must admit I wasn’t 100% surprised because I had been husbanding some doubts about the wisdom of wrapping his paws so thoroughly that fresh air was excluded. I’m a big fan of the sterilizing capabilities of sunshine and good air circulation.

Think Small

We expected days like this. But not everyday.

We talked Max’s case over with the Vet as my wallet started an anticipatory scream. A new plan was hatched that included new medicines, stronger antibiotics, and a more intensive paw-cleaning and maintenance regimen for the next ten days.

We elected not to re-bundle the Malt’s feet like before since that would be, well, stupid.

Instead, the AJF and I decided to put thin cotton socks on him when he was in the house and to overlay the socks with some kind of waterproof cover when he went outside.

So off we trundled to Target’s Infant and Toddler department where we secured some little white socks, for kids aged 6 months or Maltese aged 10 years. These we planned to secure to the Beast with surgical tape. As for the plastic covers for his treks into the backyard, four Glad sandwich bags and rubber bands sounded like the right apparatus.


“Looking good, Max!”………”Feeling good, Dad!”

The new paw regimen takes about 15 minutes to transact and it must be done every 12 hours. First, we clean his feet, then wash with chlorhexadine, dry with a hair dryer paying special attention between the toes, apply the antibacterial ointment, and finally cover with socks and secure. Then we give Max his oral medicine and, of course, a dog cookie if he is a good boy and he’s always a good boy.

We soon learned that Max hate socks. He became adept at removing the front pair very quickly even when well taped. The back pair was not a problem because dogs’ crooked  hind legs provide a convenient place to anchor the socks. What to do?


Max’s new, integrated sock-shirt outfit.

The creative AJF conjured the solution by sewing a pair of socks to the arms of Max’s football jersey thus creating a sort of dog “onesie”. Maybe just a halfsie since his back end was still open to the breeze.

Football shirt

Officially licensed product. The shirt, not the dog, although he has an official Rancho Cucamonga dog license.

Now, we haven’t decided if the Rams are our team of choice this football season or not – we have another option in the new LA Chargers – but as long as the shirt keeps Max’s socks on, we’ll happily advertise the Rams.

Flat out on floor

Here we see the exhausted Malt with freshly medicated paws in Target baby socks.

That left us with the Vet’s ever-mounting bill. Well, the AJF had a plan for that, too. She bought a lottery ticket for each of us. We have high hopes that one of our tickets will win tonight’s $370 million Powerball drawing!


Max’s very own Powerball ticket. If it wins, it automatically becomes my ticket.

Of course, the odds are a bit long at 1 in 292,201,338 but, hey, if you don’t play you can’t win.

If Max wins, you can expect to see a photo of him in diamond encrusted booties. Or maybe that will be me. Either way, we’ll know the Powerball results tonight and the next assessment at the Vet is in ten days.



37 replies

  1. Poor guy! That would be Max, not you, Tom. I will be buying stock in Target since you are gonna need a whole lotta white socks when little cutie (again Max, not Tom) goes outside. Does the vet have any idea what’s going on? I hope this new regimen works for you. Meows for good health from Teemu and Parker.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey! Why you hatin’ on me? I am both poor and cute, too. OK, maybe just poor. The Vet seems perplexed as to why Max’s problem is so persistent but is confident that with enough spending a solution can be found.

      Liked by 1 person

      • haha! That sounds about right. More money=a solution. So sorry for the poor little guy. And for you, too, big guy. Hope this new magic potion works. Max does look adorable in his little socks, though…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks, Lois. We’ll eventually get this thing solved. The small dog is a trooper and remains gentle and friendly throughout his challenge. Maybe he needs to change his team loyalties.


  2. Bless his little Malt heart. I feel awful for him and his li’l filets. You crack me up with your Target talk and your resourceful AJF after volcanic seething. Vets do love themselves some money.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I rant on his Vet but the doggie actually gets good care. But holy smokes, they do love to poke ya with the prices! I thought my days of baby size clothes were in the rear view mirror. I guess if you get old enough everything comes around again.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Poor Max! I hope this new regimen works, but I think he needs some extra chicken treats to help with the stress. After all, this has really been quite an ordeal for him. I mean, all 4 paws! The poor guy. It’s a good thing he has such loving parents willing to blow dry his feet twice a day to help speed his recovery. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trust me, he gets ample treats…ai yai yai! You should see the look I get while blow drying his paws…like I should grateful for the chance to be of service! Not too hot, not too cool…keep a nice temperature, please. Sheesh!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Aw poor little Max! My heart hurts for him. give him extra snuggles from me please and all the treats he wants!
    The photo of him in his onesie is beyond adorable! Respect to AJF for her ingenuity and creativeness.
    I’ll be sending healing vibes all the way across the ocean to my little furry friend xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Shouldn’t that shirt read Cleveland, er, LA, er Saint Louis, er LA Rams? Don’t get attached to that team because not only is the quarterback mobile the front office is also.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, right? Pus they had such a dismal (well-deserved) year last season. It’s hard to work up much enthusiasm but we try to support local everything. The AJF is actually a big Packers fan although for years she thought the name came from “Tuna Packers” which makes sense, I suppose, to a Japanese lady. Your Cardinals are looking pretty good but I suspect it will be another “Tom Brady vs somebody else” kind of NFL season.


    • My old pal Bob Burns said, “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.” Which, of course is dang near incomprehensible to everybody but Helen Devries. The Urban Dictionary translated it as “things often get pretty f’d up.” Anyway, it’s now a new course for the wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie (that’s me) and Max.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So–was it a winning ticket? Poor Max. Am with you in believing in fresh air (and salty sea water). Looking forward to a good report soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup, if he were in Hawaii I would take him to the beach and wash his feet in the sea. We used to do that in the tide pools at Sandys. Over here, well, too far and too questionable and I doubt our hot tub is a good substitute. 😁 The lottery was, for us and a few million others, a bust.


    • We were just talking about you! We were saying how relatively easy it is for one of us to pick up the Malt and slip on the plastic bags so he can go outside and then pick him up to remove and change to socks. But if we had to do this with Clowie we would need a crane (no offense, Clowie, it’s just you are so much, er, taller than Max).

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not offended. I am taller and, I’ll say it, a lot heavier than Max. The female biped can’t pick me up at all. The male biped can lift me, but only in an emergency – and not for long! When they need to do anything to my paws I have to lie down and they get down on their knees. They do sometimes say it would be nice to have a dog they could tuck under one arm! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Buddy the Maltese dog 🐶 & Audrey Tavel wishing you well. We hope you are in good 😊 health & spirits. So sorry to hear that your paw are still bothering you. We must of missed receiving the first letter about the problem with your paws. Did they ever find out what the problem was or where it came from.
    Buddy gets a little paw massage every night with some special welllness cream I got for him. Please keep in touch and stay well we love ❤️ you Max.
    Buddy the Maltese Dog 🐶
    Audrey Tavel

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so happy to hear from you Audrey and Buddy! Hope your summer has been a good one. Thank you for offering your wellness cream and I’ll definitely ask for some if Max’s paws don’t heal. The vet thinks it’s an infection; cause unknown. So Buddy gets a nightly massage? I think I’ll ask for one one from the AJF.😉 Stay well Audrey and give Buddy some scratches and goodies.


    • He could use a bath so, yeah, I guess he does indeed reek. I don’t know if it’s his lang or his lum or maybe just an accumulation of Malt mung. 🙂 His next check up is Thursday and maybe we’ll get new insights into whatever it is that afflicts his paws. There’s been some improvement but not nearly what we expected. We may be in the market for a second opinion.


  8. I love the calm manner in which you face the vets bills. However buying just one lottery ticket might not be enough, have you thought of ordering a years supply?
    Poor dog must be going through agonies yet appears calm enough.
    I hope this treatment works.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind wishes. There’s another huge lottery jackpot tonight – $700 million US$ but the AJF feels slighted that her ticket was not among those chosen last week and has therefore prohibited Max and I from investing 4 bucks for a pair of tickets. You might think that is not a logical position to hold and I would invite you to discuss that directly with her and leave me and my dog ( wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beasties that we are) out of the discussion.


  9. So sorry to hear Max’s paws are still suffering. Has the vet identified a cause? Does skin scrapings? Perhaps, he’s eating something which is setting him off? Has the vet considered putting him on prednisone? Ours put Bilbo on it a few times. He had a flea allergy and went on antibiotics and pred for that. I’d question whether the hairdryer was too strong and is drying his paws out too much. Fish is another option. Give Max my best wishes and hope he gets better soon!
    xx Ro


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