A Story of Faith …

Today’s submission comes from Sue Seaton, our long-time volunteer in Centennial, Colorado.  If you’ve had a home visit done in the metro Denver area, you’ve most likely met Sue and her husband, Roy!  We’re ever grateful to them for covering the Denver area all these years. 

Roy and Carmen

Several years ago, my sister’s family put their family dog down at an old age.  She had been a great dog.  My sister Karen was very sad and quickly realized she needed another dog.  She began searching on line, all over the country for the “right dog”, a dog that needed her as much as she needed her.  

My sister lives in Michigan and found a dog in a rescue in Kentucky. She had been rescued from a breeding facility that was really just a dirty old barn. She spoke to the foster mom and was convinced this was the right dog, that they needed each other.    Two days later they made the long trip to Kentucky.  When they met “Carmen”, it was love at first sight.  They brought her home immediately and Carmen became a princess.  She traveled everywhere with them.  She never met a stranger and was a wonderful dog.  She was loved at the seniors’ home where my mom resides.  As much as the ladies loved her, she loved them. 

On February 1st, she was diagnosed with cancer and within a few days it was confirmed as Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.  There is little to no treatment for this horrible disease in dogs. Karen was devastated.  Carmen was her pet and her friend.  She was terrified at the thought of being without a dog for any length of time.  She began searching on line for a dog.   She searched multiple times per day looking for a dog that needed her and would love to have a new home.  She spoke with many rescue facilities but many of the dogs that seemed suitable would disappear before she could even investigate.   Carmen had no symptoms other than swollen glands.  As luck and timing would have it, we have a cruise planned from 3/7 through 3/18.  We were all worried that Carmen would become gravely ill while we were gone, possibly leaving my niece to euthanize her and spend a great deal of time alone as well.  The family got her ice cream and burgers to eat, took her everywhere in the car and generally spoiled her all they could.  

Carmen stayed relatively fine until two days ago.  She developed a large ulcer in her mouth and stopped eating.   On Wednesday, Karen received a call from a rescue in Kentucky.  They had a dog that they thought would be perfect for her.  We didn’t know what to do. It seemed that Carmen might be waiting so her family would not be alone.  On Thursday morning, Carmen stopped eating and declared that she was ready.  Although the timing may seem strange to you, it didn’t to me.  I knew that it was God.  He had answered my prayers that Carmen would not suffer, that my sister could begin giving her love to a new dog and that my niece would not be left home alone, to experience solitary grief.  Carmen is pictured above, having fun teasing her Uncle Roy. 

Today, Karen and her family again made the long trip to Kentucky, filled with grief and sadness at the loss of their beloved dog, Carmen.  When they got to Kentucky, they met Lily Bell, pictured below.   She immediately began bonding with the family.  Within a short time, they packed up the car and made the 6 hour drive back home.  Please meet Lily Bell, pictured below.  She is not Carmen, but she just oozes a gentle confidence that could only come from receiving the baton from the one that passed before her. Have faith. 

When a door closes, a window opens.  Embrace it!  Breathe deeply!         ~~ Sue   

 

Lily Bell

Here’s to 2011 …

… and whatever it might bring!  Always nice to get the trappings and rush of the holidays behind us and start with a new slate.  Which generally puts us in the mood to start pitching and cleaning while stuck in the house with the cold and snow.  Ever mindful of April and taxes, we sort into three piles … pitch, donate or keep.  Hopefully most of it is designated pitch or donated!

Taking time for neither taxes or winter, rescue plugs along.  Here’s an update on Bubba to start the New Year!  Now known as “Max,” it sounds like he’s doing very well in his new home …

Wanted you to know that Max went to the ophthalmologist — Dr Nusbaum at VRCC — last week and checked out fine.  She thinks he is about six from his eyes and believes that his condition was caused by his eyelashes turning inward and sweeping over his cornea.  There is scar tissue there now so no discomfort.  She changed his drops and he is a happy camper.  Met Sadie’s doctors and staff and made some new friends!  He was quite a hit!  Dr Nusbaum was upset when she read the initial vets report, she noted that he was homey … I couldn’t tell what that word was so had skipped over it.  She said he definitely is not homely and she wished that the vet could see him now.  Told her we won’t go back to Kansas as he had a bad experience there!
 
He is doing very well, seems like he has been with us forever.  He and Sadie walk around out in the yard on patrol and he watches the cat with a great deal of interest.  We are getting ready for Christmas so he will get some new toys!  Hope to see Neil and Kip over the holidays.   ~~ Cindy
 

The vet that made the “homely” comment was at my clinic.  And, in her defense, Bubba was looking pretty bad that day.  He’d just come off a two-day transport from eastern Kansas — dubbed “the transport from hell” because of vehicle and people problems.  During his overnight stay in Kansas, he’d gotten a haircut with a pair of scissors.  Poor boy had clumps of hair — sticking this way and that — and a totally bare spot on his butt and hindquarters.  Thick, blackened and scaly, the bare skin looked like it belong to an elephant instead of a small dog.  Added to the overall picture was his sad face.  Yup, poor Bubba looked pretty homely.  Just like the frog that turned into a handsome prince, Bubba bloomed with a little TLC, some hair growth, and a professional hair cut.

Elle

Next up is Elle (pronounced “El”) who arrived in rescue the day that Bubba headed home with Cindy.  Found as a stray on the streets of Greeley, it soon became evident that she had some issues with separation anxiety.  Not the destructive type, however.  Elle’s anxiety manifests itself in … howling.  Throw-the-head-back-and-howl-to-the-heavens howl.  With a set routine and someone home a good portion of the day, her behavior has greatly improved while in foster care.  We believe she will continue to improve once she settles into a home where she feels loved and secure.

Elle is a spayed four-year old female.  She is house trained, crate trained and current on vaccinations.  If interested in adoption of this *very* smart little dog, please visit our adoption page for information on our adoption procedures and the application form … Adoption Process.

New Use for a Onesie …

Emmy came through her spay with flying colors … no problems, no issues.  Whew!!  Always worry when the little ones undergo surgery.  Doc Sherry is great  but, I still worry and am always relieved when I get the call letting me know surgery is over and they’re doing well in recovery.

Given that we’ve had lots of experience over the years with dogs and surgery, we’ve added a few tricks to our bag when it comes to keeping them from licking or scratching their incisions.  First up is the Elizabethan collar (e-collar) which is used only in worst-case scenarios.  Looking like an evil cousin to an ugly lampshade, it is cumbersome, uncomfortable, and inhibits mobility, eating and drinking.  Forget the dog sleeping in a crate with one of these as you’ll both end up losing sleep.

A humane alternative to the e-collar is the Bite-Not Collar.  Looking like a short stovepipe, it keeps the dog (or cat) from accessing wound areas on the body.  It is much more “user friendly” and allows full mobility.  On occasion, we’ve had a long-bodied dog that was way too limber and could bend enough to access the incision site.  That’s usually when we do one of two things:  employ the use of a “onesie” or revert back to the e-collar, with the onsie being the preferred method.

Since Emmy didn’t seem to be too interested in irritating her incision, I opted to go for comfort.  She definitely didn’t like the Bite-Not and wasn’t the least bit cooperative when I put it on.  And then couldn’t get comfortable with it in place.  The onsie, however, was perfect.  I put it on “backwards” so the crotch snaps up on the rear and not underneath the belly.  With the right size, one doesn’t even have to make a hole for the tail, just snap it to one side.   This also makes for a quick adjustment with a clothespin to hold the flap up for potty trips outside.

Emmy in her onesie

Thankfully, there are other alternatives to e-collars on the market now, including a soft cone collar, an inflatable collar (the one we purchased leaked from first inflation and was returned), as well as the soft donut-type collars.

Misery from Kansas …

In early August, I was contacted about a stray in Wichita, Kansas.  A three-year old female in bad shape, to be exact.  “Emmy” had wandered up to an office building where one of the workers (Marilyn) took pity on her and attempted to find her home.  Her “owner” — and I use that in the lightest of terms — was located whereupon she promptly advised that she didn’t want the dog, didn’t want it to begin with (it was given to her), and she wasn’t taking the dog back.  She did, however, keep her long enough to sell the litter of puppies Emmy had recently whelped … and then went on to state she didn’t have money to take care of the dog.    

Matted coatMarilyn took poor Emmy to a groomer to see what could be done with the horribly matted coat.  A complete shave was in order, taking the coat off in a pelt.  Based on her condition, it was  highly doubtful she had been ever groomed.  Pretty bad when one realizes that Emmy is three-years old.  Amazingly, she had few skin issues and no fleas.  Oftentimes, severe matting will actually pull chunks of skin out as well as setting the dog up for bacterial skin infections by holding moisture to the skin.   Once the coat came off, it was painfully apparent that Emmy had been on low rations for some time … her bones jutting out from all angles.  Nursing her pups had taken every bit of reserve she had and then some without sufficient or proper nutrition.    

Marilyn contacted me and we began the mad scramble to get Emmy to Colorado on the next C.A.R.E. transport, just days away.  She had to have current vaccinations and a health certificate to be accepted onto the transport.  Arrangements were made to get her vetted, a health certificate issued, and then to the pick-up place and on the van.  Thankfully, Marilyn was quite close and able to accomplish it all with a minimum of trouble.     

Via phone calls and email, we were advised the C.A.R.E. transport vans would be pulling into the Petco in east Aurora around 7:30 p.m.  Unlike the late evening when when we picked Bubba up, the north parking lot was full of people and vehicles, awaiting their new charges.  Some are rescue organizations, others are adoptive families there to pick up dogs coming from other rescues.  I later find out that, on this particular evening, 41 dogs are coming in on two vans … 41 chances for a new life in the West.  Grayhounds, Cockers, Weinie Boogers, Mastiff, Catahoula, assorted Terriers, Labs, Pyrs … it’s like a rainbow of dogdom.    

Emmy
Emmy …

One of the biggest surprises of the evening was pulling up and finding my vet, Doc Sherry, waiting there as well to pull four dogs off the transport … two adults and two puppies.  I’ve used her as my vet for going on a decade now and we have a great working relationship.  Sherry and I stand chatting until the vans arrive; she says she wants to look at Emmy before we head back to Loveland.  Once I get Emmy off the van, gather her paperwork and have a chance to really go over her, I’m appalled at what I find.  She is, literally, starving to death.  With a grassy area close by, we make a potty run as I’m sure it had been quite a while since the last relief stop.  Sherry, who has her dogs watered, pottied and loaded, swings by our vehicle.  She, too, is disturbed by Emmy’s emaciated condition.  Her eyes are infected and we’re hoping that she hasn’t developed dry eye as well.  During the exam, Sherry bends down and whispers in Emmy’s ear, “I’m so glad you are going home with Vickie.”  

Stay tuned for Part II …

News on Bubba …

This past Friday, August 6th, was Bubba’s third vet visit since his arrival on July 1st.  He’s looking fabulous … the hair has grown back in on his rear, legs and tail.  His ears are no longer infected and he’s down to 19.2 pounds.  A complete turn-around from when he first arrived.  A big thank-you to John and Neil who have gotten him to this point!!  Our foster homes are really what makes this national rescue organization work and we certainly couldn’t do it without their help. 

Given the good report on Friday, Bubba is ready to find his forever home … and someone who can appreciate his finer qualities.  He’s crate trained, housetrained (yes, that is correct, housetrained), sleeps quietly through the night, gets along with other dogs and is just an all-around nice dog. 

Bubba does have “KCS” or dry eye and will require daily drops for the rest of his life.  However, he’s a good boy and sits patiently while he’s being tended.  The cost of the ointment is fairly nominal and can be found online. 

Here’s a good before/after collage … he’s the white dog, sharing the buggy with housemate, Ollie …

Bubba -- before & after

If interested in adopting Bubba, please contact me directly at:  ApsoRescue@aol.com

New meaning for “hot dog” …

We’ve all seen it recently … it’s summer, the sun is out and there’s a dog left in a car with the windows cracked.  The Department of Family and Protective Services in Texas developed the chart below as an educational tool for children left in cars.  However, the same temps/times hold true for a dog …

How Long Does It Take For A Car to Get Hot?

Outside Temperature Temperature In Car Time it Takes to Reach
75 100 10 minutes
75 120 30 minutes
85 90 5 minutes
85 100 7-10 minutes
85 120 30 minutes
100 140 15 minutes

If you come across a dog in obvious distress in locked car, please call your local animal control or the police department.  Signs of canine heat stroke include: 

  • Rapid panting
  • Bright red tongue
  • Red or pale gums
  • Thick, sticky saliva
  • Depression
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting – sometimes with blood
  • Diarrhea
  • Shock
  • Coma

More information — and what you should do — can be found at this link … Heatstroke.  If a dog is not in distress, I would probably wait to see how long before the owner comes back and how the dog is faring.  Another reason I carry these printable flyers.

A Hard Day …

… for “the boys.”  Just two days short of nine months old, they were neutered today along with getting caught up on vaccinations, nail trims, microchips and, in the case of Jasper (formerly known as Mo), extraction of five retained baby teeth.  Unfortunately, the teeth were firmly embedded and required stitches afterwards so the poor little guy is hurting on both ends tonight.  While under anesthesia, Dawa had his ears inspected and flushed … he has an infection in both ears requiring medication for a week.  Both were whining when we got them home late this afternoon but that’s settled down.  Hopefully, they will sleep comfortably through the night — which means we will as well!

Upward facing dog ...

Jasper came home with an e-collar … you know, the thing that looks like a lamp shade which they bang on the floor, walls and everything else they come into contact with.  It was quickly replaced with a Bite-not collar.  Dawa started licking on his incision so a fast trip was made to Fort Collins in search of something besides the lampshade.  Couldn’t find a Bite-Not so we’re trying a ProCollar … seems to be working well and Dawa is comfortable enough in it to be snoozing in the floor after working on his yoga. 

During the exam before the neuter, the vet remarked on their slow, steady heartbeats.  A bit unusual as many small dogs are nervous at the vet, which increases their heart rates.  Not these boys … perfectly comfortable and engaging all the techs who came by to assist.  Doc Sherry was very impressed with how nice they are — something I’ve been telling hubby all along.  Good boys despite a very hard start in life.  They’re progressing with crate and house training.  Not perfect, but I have no doubt they’ll get it as we keep working with them.

Shhhhh ... Baby Jasper sleeping
Dawa and his "cigar"