D.J. & the passing of his first Mom…

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A guy who worked for my husband had told him his Mother-in-law’s boyfriend had passed away and she was now homeless. Her dog was on his way to the shelter for Thanksgiving. Well we couldn’t let that happen so on Thanksgiving Eve 2011 my husband brought home D.J. a Dachshund/ Rat Terrier mix. D.J. was a mess, tape worms, fleas, behind on shots, not house trained or neutered, counter surfer, trash raider and separation anxiety.

SONY DSCD.J. came with a hand written note from his first Mom which I still have. Although she had alcohol and drug problems I know she loved him dearly. She asked that we make sure he kept his name since he was named after someone special to her who passed away. Of course we kept his name.

Our intentions were to adopt him out but he got attached to my husband and my husband to him. A few months later D.J.’s first Mom did want him back and offered to apply to adopt him. Her daughter and son-in-law both said she couldn’t take of herself much less D.J. which we agreed with. We told her D.J. had been adopted to a wonderful family and was happy.

A couple weeks a go D.J.’s first Mom suffered a aneurysm and went into a coma. We thought of possibly taking D.J. to the hospital [if they would allow it] but decided it would probably just confuse and upset him. Friday they removed her from life support and today she passed away. I hope she found the peace she couldn’t find in this life. I also hope she knows D.J. is very loved and a happy boy.

SONY DSCDeath a friend that alone can bring the peace his treasures cannot purchase, and remove the pain his physicians cannot cure.  ~Mortimer Collins

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Liberty Ann

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Liberty came to us from a puppy mill in Texas. She was but 1 of over 200 Rottweilers kept in inhumane conditions and bred repeatedly for profit. A short video done by the Houston SPCA can be seen here: Video  Also the raid was on a episode of Houston Animal Cops called “Frozen”.

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It was the end of March 2011 before the last group of Rottweilers were transported out to rescues. Liberty was in this group. This is how she looked on the day she arrived after 2 months of regular meals in the Houston SPCA.

 

253686_2160263212444_1422468054_2616172_778428_nI can only imagine how skinny she was before, the abuse and neglect she endured [the teeth on the left side of her mouth in the front are gone] or all the litters of puppies and what their fate was. Liberty had no idea what a toy was or what was expected of her. From day 1 she never gave me a problem and was smart as a whip, learning her basic commands and walking well on and off lead. Baths, dremeling her nails ect. no problem. Although almost perfect Liberty has trust issues with men and is not good with other dogs. After taking his time and gaining her trust she now loves my husband but he is very dog savvy.

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After a year with us Liberty was adopted but only lasted a week in her new home. The adoptive family put her in situations that caused her to fail. Truth be told we were happy she came back since we missed having a rottie girl around! So she is now a permanent member of our family.

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Liberty loves cheese, Milk Bones and just laying her head in your lap. Since she doesn’t want to share her humans with the other dogs she has her own room, private stash of toys, maid service, masseuse and chef.

 

 

IMG_5972Many people feel drawn to advocate for animals because even though they can feel pain and suffer just as we do, they do not have a way to advocate for their own welfare. In fact, animals are viewed by many as nothing more than property to be treated however the owner wishes. This view has created an inhumane situation for billions of animals that share our world.
— Robert Alan Silverstein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Senior Dog

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You see so many senior dogs in shelters who families have dumped them with out a second thought. Do they not realize a shelter is a scary stressful place? That their dog loves them and misses them? That their dog sits waiting for them to come back getting more more depressed and stressed each day? Concrete floors make old arthritic joints hurt even more, blind dogs are especially bombarded with the sounds and smells of fear and death. Most seniors die in these shelters. The majority of people are not looking for a senior dog and  rescues know when they pull them they most likely will not get adopted. Most come down with Kennel Cough and more often than not it progresses to pneumonia while in the shelter. So the old dogs get passed over and either they get a needle in their vein to end their life or a slow and agonizing death in a gas chamber.

There have been 2 senior rottie boys in NYC shelters which we tried to save in the past year. The first was named Winston and we were given 1 hour to get there, impossible since we are at least 7+ hours away. The vet tech said he was suffering and could no longer even get up off the concrete. He also had pneumonia along with his arthritis so his suffering was ended. The second we had a local rescue to pull but they killed him first thing on a Saturday morning before checking voice mail and emails. So when I was tagged on a note on FB for a blind senior rottie that was headed to the NYC shelter since his owner was “going away” I couldn’t let that happen. After a few weeks of trying to get info on him and set up volunteer transport it finally all came together. Once my first driver had him I asked how is he? She replied “Ok, I guess”, which made me wonder if he was a holy terror or just in really bad shape since the pictures I had seen were older. Once he got to me my fears were quickly put to rest.

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Bear on arrival

I arrived early to meet my last driver. Once my driver arrived I met a handsome 120 lb gentle giant. My mom had gone with me and voiced what I was thinking “he looks a lot like Winston”.

SONY DSCMy intention had been to put Bear up for adoption but with in days he was attached to my hip. He is so much like my Winston was….bulletproof with other dogs and humans. He may be almost 10, have arthritis and cataracts but he is a well adjusted happy boy who has won my heart and here he will stay…

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Bear learning to play blind dog fetch

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Bear with Santa

 

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Even a blind dogs eye can see into your soul…

A Blind Dog’s Poem by Sherrill Wardrip
I cannot see you Mommy, when you cuddle me so near. 
And yet I know you love me, it’s in the words I hear. 
I cannot see you Daddy, when you hold me by your side 
But still I know you love me when you tell me so with pride. 

I cannot see to run and play out in the sun so bright 
For here inside my soft furred head it’s always dark as night. 
I cannot see the treats you give when I am extra good 
But I can wag my tail in Thanks just like a good dog should. 

“She cannot see. The dogs no good” is what some folks might say 
“She can’t be trained, she’ll never learn She must be put away.” 
But not you, Mom and Daddy You know that it’s all right 
Because I love you just as much as any dog with sight. 

You took me in, you gave me love and we will never part 
Because I’m blind with just my eyes, I see you in my heart.

Aside

3 Days in September…………………………Part 2

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After a 2 hour drive we arrive at the specialist hospital on Jan 17, 2008. We’re shown to a room and the female vet comes in. She immediately comes in and sits on the floor. Most people do not sit down on the floor with a strange 100 lb. dog, I think I like her. So she looks over the records and x-rays, says my vet did most of the leg work for her. After examining Winston says she doesn’t the think there is any bladder tumor and is pretty sure it will be a type of kidney issue which causes bleeding but is not life threatening. She says she wants to do a ultrasound and calls in the vet which does them. He comes in and too my surprise it is Ed whom I’ve assisted with ultrasounds when I worked at another vet. Since he knows Winston and I know him I’m comfortable leaving Winston for the day. I’m feeling pretty good about what the outcome will be..

Later that evening she calls me. She is in tears and apologizing, Winston has a tumor. This tumor goes from his right kidney to his right adrenal gland and down to his Vena Cava [blood vessel]. She said she feels so bad for misleading me into thinking it wouldn’t be something major but from his outward appearance she would never have imagined it would be this bad. Next step is Radio Graphs w/dye to see how much of the blood vessel is involved and if surgery is an option. Winston will have to stay overnight…Winston has never spent a night away from home without me 😦

The next afternoon the vet calls, over 2 cm of the blood vessel is involved. She has called around to universities and big vet hospitals, no surgeon will operate with more than 2 cm being involved. Even if it was 2 cm or less the mortality rate is 20% during surgery, 50% post op for 48 hrs. She gives Winston 2 months to live…

We started Winston on Piroxicam. Piroxicam is a Nsaid but also a non-selective cyclo-oxygenase (COX) inhibitor with inhibitory effects on both COX-1 and COX-2. Meaning: Piroxicam may increase tumor cell death and negatively impact development of the tumors supportive blood vessels in certain cancers. In layman terms: veterinarians think Piroxicam increases cancer survival times.

Winston and I, you can see his ultrasound cut.

Since Western medicine could do no more we also started seeing a holistic vet. To make a long story short Winston was with us for another 7.5 months.  Knowing is hard but you also get a chance to cherish every moment and them special.

On September 1, 2008 we had a party for LJ’s [our min pin] birthday. This would be the last picture taken of Winston. He enjoyed himself but I knew our time was coming to a end. On the evening of Sept. 2 at 11 pm Winston went out back with me and was laying on the patio. I sat down beside him and buried my face in his neck and told him not to hold on for me any longer…it was ok to go. Winston left sometime between 1 am and 3 am on September 3, 2008.

“Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince, And, flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!”

Author: William Shakespeare

We had a grave side service for Winston including human, canine and feline family members.

“We find a place for what we lose. Although we know that after such a loss the acute stage of mourning will subside, we also know that we shall remain inconsolable and will never find a substitute. No matter what may fill the gap, even if it be filled completely, it nevertheless remains something else”

— Sigmund Freud (1961)

Aside

3 days in September………..part 1

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In September 1996 my brother’s dog Bigfoot passed away. He was devastated and drug me around to animal shelters. He was looking for another “Bigfoot” in the adult dogs so I suggested looking for a puppy. The very next day my vet’s office tells me about a litter of Rottweiler pups they just docked tails/removed dew claws on. I immediately called the lady and went out that day to see the last remaining pup who wasn’t spoken for.

September 30, 1996..that was the first time I held him in my hands. Born September 27, he was only 3 days old and just perfect! I gave the lady a deposit, signed a contract and told her if anyone backed out on any of the others to let me know. When I got home I called my brother and told him about the puppy. He seemed excited but over the coming weeks I kept asking when do you want to go meet your pup?  He kept making excuses and finally said he wasn’t ready for another dog. Secretly this made me extremely happy since from the beginning I wanted that puppy and no one had backed out on another pup for him 🙂

I remember driving home with him in a box on the front seat. He was tiny and just adorable! When we got back home hubby came out and immediately fell in love with him to. Our dogs Timber and Lady took him under their paws and treated him like he was their pup. It took about a week to decide on a name. Hubby wanted to name him Winston Cup [not!] and we ended up deciding on Sir Winston Churchill.

Winston was just about a perfect pup. He house trained quickly but had one vice…buttons on furniture. He would get on our couch and pull the buttons off the tufting. I would put them back on and he’d pull them back off…we got a new furniture set with no buttons 🙂 Several years later I got a antique chaise to recover. It had those buttons and I left the room to get something, came back and Winston is standing there like he was in trouble. Wouldn’t you know one of the buttons had been slobbered on..lol

Winston always loved having his picture taken and he loved riding. He went just about everywhere with me. He always rode up front and would whine if hubby wouldn’t get in the backseat. No matter how well he knew someone if I wasn’t there and you came near the vehicle he would protect it. He was protective of me when he needed to be but was a big teddy bear when it came to kids. My nephews wrestled in the floor with him for hours and then curled together and took a nap. My niece used to say she was going to marry Winston when she grew up…everyone who met him loved him.

Winston loved all animals, he once scooped up a baby Blue Jay to keep it away from the other dogs. He brought it over and dropped it in my husbands hand. Till the jay was weaned he’d go in with me and lay and watch me feed him. When we released the jay for several days after that he would come sit on the fence and talk to Winston.

When Winston was about 7 yrs old I started working at a vet. He loved going on the weekends with me to care for the animals. I remember one time in the cat room as he going around saying hello to each kitty, Shrek this big tuxedo cat smacked him on the nose claws and all. Winston just looked at me with his big brown eyes as if to say “Why doesn’t he like me?”

By 9 years old Winston developed arthritis in his spine and back hips. We started him on Adequan injections. During one of our twice weekly trips to the vet for the initial injections someone put out a puppy in the highway in front of us. I stopped the car, grabbed the puppy and put her in between Winston’s legs. He adored her and eventually we decided he could adopt her 🙂

Winston with Savannah

Around the winter Winston was 10 we noticed his coat was changing colors. It was turning golden with black tips. The vet and a dermatologist could only come up with age it must be age related in some way.

September 27, 2007 Winston turned 11 yrs old. He had party at home complete with a cake.

We also rented a cabin at the beach since Winston loved to swim.

The beginning of December 2007 I noticed his urine had blood in it. The vet took a sample and started him on antibiotics. The sample failed to grow any bacteria in the lab so we went back in for x-rays. The x-rays showed nothing so an appointment was made at the specialist. All through Xmas I worried what they would find wrong with my special boy.

Winston didn’t act sick and had a wonderful time Xmas morning playing with the toys Santa Paws brought. Winston always loved Xmas 🙂

to be continued…………….

An angel gets their wings…

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Miles was pulled from a Ga shelter in 09 by a good friend. In the spring of 2012 he had a seizure. Over the course of a few months he had several more. The vets did blood work and ended up diagnosing him with epilepsy.  Shortly there-after his lymph-nodes swelled in his neck. After a biopsy it was determined he had Lymphoma. The oncologist said most likely his seizures were caused by the lymphoma.

Lymphoma is cancer that can affect every tissue in the body. It is a cancer of the immune system cell called the lymphocyte. Lymphocytes travel all over the body which is why lymph tumors can pop up anywhere in the body. Treatment normally consists of chemo and or prednisone. Some dogs are able to live a good quality of life for many more months with treatment.

Miles was given an aggressive form of chemo but sadly lost his battle last night.

Photo by: Monkey Boy © No unauthorized use permitted

Just me….

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“If you don’t own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.”
― Roger Caras

My first dog was a German Shepherd named Rennie. My Dad brought him home as a pup and placed him in the play pen with me, that started my love of dogs 🙂 During my childhood I also had Saint Bernard’s [Jon & Bernadette], a Chihuahua [Tina], and a whole slew of mixed breeds. Tina [chi] was not your typical ankle biter, she endured being dressed in baby doll clothes and never a nip. The GSD, Saints and the mutts held on to my deepest secrets and wandered the woods with me.

Growing up we had pigs, cats, dogs, goats, roosters and a pony. I do love all animals but dogs hold a special place in my heart and life.

“One of the greatest gifts we receive from dogs is the tenderness they evoke in us. The disappointments of life, the injustices, the battering events that are beyond our control, and the betrayals we endure, from those we befriended and loved, can make us cynical and turn our hearts into flint – on which only the matches of anger and bitterness can be struck into flame. By their delight in being with us, the reliable sunniness of their disposition, the joy they bring to playtime, the curiosity with which they embrace each new experience, dogs can melt cynicism,and sweeten the bitter heart.”
― Dean KoontzA Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog

Currently me and my husband have a rather large pack of dogs. Our rescues come and go [and some stay :)]  We have 2 cats, a snake and a cockatiel, in time you will meet them all…

The Pack Leader