It Never Fails …

Tootsie

As my former rescue partner can attest, it never fails that rescue emergencies arise when we’re out of town or getting ready to leave town … my recent trip to San Antonio was no exception.  In day four of the trip, I get an email about an Apso mix in the Canon City shelter who needs to be transported to a rescue NOW or face euthanasia.  A flurry of emails and phone calls ensues; she’s being transported on Thursday to Denver for pick-up at 12:30 p.m.  Great.  My first day back at work and there’s no freakin’ way I can meet the transport at that time.  Recalling Kirby’s family said, “If there’s anything we can do …”, I make a call with fingers crossed.  Kay, ever so gracious, interrupts me pleading my case by saying, “We can go get her!”  Not only did they go get her, but they also set about to get her cleaned up with a bath upon their return home.  And then offered to foster her when it became readily apparent she was a very sweet girl.  What a blessing for both “Tootsie” and rescue!

Tootsie actually arrived with the name of “Stubbie” … she’s missing her left front paw.  Given what I know of anatomy and as confirmed by Doc Sherry, the missing paw is genetic in nature.  In any event, she gets around quite easily and even navigates the doggy door in the foster home.  After much discussion between two vets and two groomers, we’ve come to the conclusion she’s an Apso-Yorkie mix.  From her transfer paperwork and the various emails with the shelter in Canon City, it appears she was a transfer in from a shelter in New Mexico.  Quite the traveled little dog!

She underwent a spay about ten days ago and is healing up quite nicely.  We opted for the laser treatment on the incision — something new at the clinic — which was touted as promoting faster healing.  By all accounts, it is doing just that.  Anything that can help them heal faster is definitely worth the extra $15.

The day after her spay, we got an email saying that one of the other dogs on the transport had come down with parvo.  Definitely not someplace we want to go!  Although Tootsie had a parvo vacc at the shelter in April (probably her first ever in her short life), we scrambled and got her in for a quick booster per Doc Sherry’s recommendation. 

Tootsie is a sweet little dog.  She is very much attached to her foster family and plays with the other dogs in the house.  A quick study, she’s picking up very quickly on the housetraining and sleeps the night through in her crate with nary a peep.  She would probably do best in a home with adults and one other dog.  If interested or would like more information on her, please contact me at:  ApsoRescue@aol.com.

Tootsie is about as loving and low-key as they come … just a great little dog.  In a phone conversation with Kay, she mentioned that while one initially feels sorry for Tootsie and her obvious disability with the missing paw, one quickly realizes that she has known nothing else so her life is “normal” … she gets along just fine, thank you, and does everything that a dog with four paws can.

Our thanks to Kay and Dave for stepping up to the plate to help rescue when Tootsie desperately needed a ride to a new life.  Angels come in many forms …

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 … Part II

C.A.R.E. transport
C.A.R.E. transport

As we pull out of the Petco parking lot with Emmy in the back in a crate, she starts to whine, cry and dig.  Alan and I just look at each other with the silent thought, “I hope that doesn’t continue the entire way home.”  One can only imagine what it must have been like for the transport vans with 20 dogs (+/-) in each one coming across Kansas.  My guess is once the initial miles are laid and the vehicle settles into the hum of the road, the dogs all quiet down.  Sure enough, that’s exactly what Emmy does within ten minutes of our departure.                   

Upon arrival at home, our dogs are run outside, given potty treats and allowed to calm.  Because we have prepared for Emmy’s arrival before we left, getting her into the house and comfortable is a matter of long-established routine.  She’s taken outside on a leash and walked in the yard until I know she’s fully toileted.  I bring her in the house and she goes into a wire crate in the front room that’s covered on three sides with heavy towels.  While I’m getting food and water set up in the crate, the other dogs slowly check her out.  Ali and Frankers are old hands when it comes to integrating fosters into the pack.  As long as the new dog is well socialized with other dogs, there are few problems.  The house turns in for the evening around 10:30 p.m. and Emmy is moved to a crate in our bedroom.  She goes in with no fuss and — to our surprise — sleeps the night through.  That certainly can’t be said of all new fosters!                     

The next morning Emmy is fed along with the rest of the dogs in the kitchen … she’s ravenous and quickly cleans her bowl up.  Not knowing what she’s been fed, how much or what her digestive status is, I start her out slowly.  What I don’t want is to overload her system with quality food, causing a bout of diarrhea.  A call is made and she’s lined up for her rescue exam in two days … exam, heartworm test and dewormed at a very minimum.  I take photos to document her condition.             

Because I was advised Emmy appeared to be housetrained, she is allowed to be off leash (tether) in the house the next couple of days.  Also making the freedom possible is the fact she sticks to me like glue so monitoring her toileting habits is easy.  She’s plumb wore-to-the-bone tired and spends much of her time sleeping.  Between running the streets for who knows how long in Kansas, the malnutrition and a stressful trip across two states, there isn’t much energy left in this little dog.  The second night she disappears from the office where I’m working.  Ever mindful of the ongoing toilet training, I go looking for her and this is what I find … she’s found the best spot in the house.  Imagine the long sigh that surely had to come from her as she settled into the down comforter and slipped into a peaceful sleep.                    

                     

During the rescue exam on Friday, it’s found that both eyes are infected.  Not a surprise given the redness present or the fact she’d not been groomed regularly (if ever at all).  She’s a good girl and patiently endures the poking, prodding and blood draw for a heartworm test.  Our biggest surprise, however, was finding out she’s in heat!!  Alrighty then … will have to let hubby know that under no circumstances are Dante and Emmy to run together.  And if it does happen, then he’d best be getting his hands on one of them pretty damn quick!  Will be interesting to see how Dante — as an intact male — handles himself while she’s in heat.   Because of Emmy’s severely emaciated condition, she can’t be spayed any time soon.  Better that she’s in heat now while we’re fattening her up than in three to four weeks when we go to spay her.                    

All lined up at the cookie bar …

Over the next three weeks, Emmy settles into the household routine.  Within a week, I start seeing sparks of what her personality is … she loves to play with toys, will race around the yard just for the joy of it, and gets along with the rest of the pack.  She really is house trained as well as crate trained so the transition is pretty uneventful.  Since she’s not gaining weight as quickly as I’d like, I end up at the local feed store in search of a high-fat/calorie puppy food.  I hit the jackpot … they’re very generous with their samples packs when I explain what I’m looking for and why.  I begin to see a “softening” of her bones as she starts to fill out and is further substantiated when I pick her up … she’s definitely gaining weight!  I keep telling her she’d better hurry up and grow some hair, too, as winter is on its way.         

Her name …

Mae-Mae
Mae-Mae

… is Mae-Mae.  And she’s a puppy mill survivor from Missouri.  Despite her lack of socialization and handling, she’s an unbelievably sweet little dog.  Living in a puppy mill, she has no household skills and is unfamiliar with even the most basic of sounds.  Like the telephone or the dishwasher.

She had her rescue exam this morning.  The vet’s office was a bit chaotic with ill-behaved and/or loud dogs.  Mae-Mae just sat there, taking it all in.  More than one person commented on how calm she was.  Pretty amazing considering what she’s *not* been exposed to in the past.  As suspected, she has a pretty severe infection in both ears.  They will need to be flushed out while she’s under anesthesia to extract a broken canine tooth.  The spay sutures will be removed as well. 

Image041More to follow on this little one as we update her progress in foster care … and her new life outside the confines of a wire cage and endless breeding.

Update  22 July— I can tell she’s feeling better now that the ear meds are beginning to work.  With the amount of black goo that was coming out during the daily cleanings, I’m pretty certain she was in quite a bit of pain from the infection.

Mae-Mae is already crate trained and sleeps the night through.  She gets along with the resident critters, dogs and cat alike.  She has good canine social skills and respects the corrections that Ali and Frankers issue, modifying her behavior appropriately.  She loves to run in the grass/yard — something she’s never had an opportunity to do before. 

At the moment, we’re trying to impress upon her that the plastic airline crate in the bedroom is the same as the wire crate in the front room.  I’d like her to sleep with the rest of the pack; however, her digging at the door when placed in the airline crate doesn’t work for sleepy humans (makes hubby really grumpy).  Baby steps … she spent a little time there this morning while I was getting ready for work.  Both times when she started to dig and get all twitterpated, a quick “ehh, ehh, no!” stopped the behavior.  She’s a quick study …