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.

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.         

Unsung heros …

… come in many forms.  And our rescue organization couldn’t function as efficiently nor as effectively without their generous help.  This post is to gratefully recognize the contributions of those who make rescue possible in all ways.

Michelle, who adopted Emma and then became a foster home in Northern Colorado.  She is also our Webmistress, taking good care of our website.  We’ll forgive her for moving to Texas.  Sue Seaton in Centennial, covering our home visits in the metro Denver area.   Jackson’s Mom (another of our foster dogs), Linda Gattis, who stepped up and answered a desperate plea to foster an 8-month old puppy (neither house trained or crate trained).  John and Neil who wanted to honor the memory of their Stoli by becoming a foster home.  They’ve worked wonders with their first foster, Bubba, and we’re thankful to have a foster home in the area again.  To those who have opened up your hearts and homes when needed … thank you!

Then there are the folks who have gone above and beyond to get a dog to us … Tom the Trucker, picking Mae-Mae up in Missouri … the wonderful ladies, Linda and Lisa, at C.A.R.E., bringing us Bubba and, just this past Tuesday night, Emmy, from Kansas … Marilyn Whisman from Wichita who cared for and got Emmy to the pick-up place … Pat from Pueblo who made sure little blind Magoo was safe and made his way to Castle Rock for the pick-up … the ladies from Denver who delivered Elvis to us after he’d been wandering a Capitol Hill neighborhood for weeks, a matted mess … Rachel from Sterling who made the trip to Fort Collins with Sterling (hey, it seemed like a good name for a stray!) … Odean, watching over the breed from cyberspace, scouring online shelter listings for Apsos in need and getting the word out to various rescue groups.  Those of you living in the West know that “local” is a relative term.  “Local” meaning 10 miles or 200 miles and it is no small feat to arrange or coordinate some of these transports.  For those who have journeyed on behalf of a dog in need of rescue … thank you!

As a non-profit rescue, we operate solely on adoption fees and donations … funds which are used only for medical treatment on incoming dogs.  To the foster homes who have provided — out of their own pockets — food, toys, treats, bedding, crates and whatever else it takes to successfully integrate a dog into a home … thank you for making sure the needs of your fosters are met in all areas.

Last, but certainly not least, the folks who have so generously made monetary donations or given discounts or goods so we can continue our work … Dr. Sherry, our fabulous vet at NorthShore Animal Hospital … Kathy, who knows our heart, sending donations and words of encouragement … Michelle’s Mom and Uncle Skip, watching our work from Pennsylvania … Trudi, who remembers us on Ka Tu’s “Gotcha” anniversary date … Connie Spears … Vickie Gallagher … our friends at Schering-Plough who donated the folders we use for our adoption packets … Jan Bloomenrader (who also adopted Kersey) and Judy Wendt (who adopted Magoo).  Thank you for remembering this ancient breed in your charitable giving.

Look in the mirror folks and gazing back you’ll see the face of rescue in each and every one of you … thank you!

In closing, this post would not be complete without a humble thank you to the “DogDaddy” … my husband, Alan.  It is with his assistance and blessing that we’ve been able to care for the many fosters over the past decade — and we simply couldn’t do it as well without him.  He’s the self-appointed poop picker … rides along with us on dog runs … cleans up messes — and messy bottoms … scootches over in the recliner, making room for yet another dog … and no longer rolls his eyes when I tell him we have another foster coming in.

Hair of the Dog …

After what’s been termed the “transport from hell” due to problems with vehicles and people, Bubba from rural Kansas finally arrived Thursday at 10:30 p.m.   We met him at I-70 and Tower Road (affectionately known as “Saudi Aurora”) …  waaay east of Denver proper and at least an hour from our place in north Loveland.  Suffice it to say it was well after 1:00 a.m. by the time we got home, pottied dogs, played musical crates, and had the dogs settled in for the night with the thunderstorms rolling low in the distance.  Note to self:  order a Thundershirt for Frankers.

While waiting for the vet to come in and do the rescue exam the following morning, I finally got a really good look at Bubba.  Both eyes are badly infected and with hyperpigmentation of the eyes and the skin around the eyes.  I first suspected something amiss while watching him around the yard that morning … he moved like my Dad’s blind Tzu, cueing on sounds.  Flip the ear leathers back and it’s obvious he’s got yeast and/or bacteria going on with abundant ear hair … hot, red, tender to the touch and inflamed.

Bubba’s lower back, rear and upper hind legs are almost devoid of hair and covered in what ‘s termed “elephant skin” … black, wrinkled, hairless and with edema present.  While I’m familiar with the term, this is the first time I’ve actually seen it on one of my dogs.  The tail is the worst with raw, scaly skin and I surmise he’s been gnawing at it.  During the transport, he received a haircut with a pair of scissors and his new ‘do is the embodiment of pitiful.  As a friend would say, “He’s got a whole lot of ugly going on.”

During exam of his mouth, I note the front lower incisors cannot be seen.  Probing reveals a wad of hair completely covering the teeth.  I manage  to pull it off and up pop five very white incisors, indicative of a young dog.  My guess, less than two years of age.  I’m betting the chewing at his tail/rear is where he picked up the hair in his teeth and it’s been there a while based on the odor.  More surprising, however, is his bite — or lack thereof.  His jaws are mismatched and he has an underbite of at least 1-1/4 inch.  So much so that the top incisors rest on the lower jaw instead of meeting up with the upper incisors.  While Apso are supposed to have an underbite, this is utterly obscene — and especially so knowing that someone is breeding these malformed dogs for a profit.

The vet walks in and immediately starts laughing, all the while apologizing.  Po’ Bubba … he’s a damn pitiful sight with a story and a haircut to match.  I have to wonder if there wasn’t some message with the tying him to a fence post.  Unlike many of the breed, Bubba is exceptional during the exam, sitting or standing quietly while he’s poked and prodded.  Final diagnosis:  eyes and ears are infected, a bit of demodex (causing the skin issues), and dermatitis.  We’re loaded up with antibiotics, eye drops, ear ointment, and Advantage Multi to get the demodex in check.  While there, he’s wormed and a microchip implanted.  Instructions are given to return in three weeks for follow-up; the eyes are a bit worrisome as it could be KCS or “dry eye,” requiring a life time of daily eye drops.  The vet is hopeful that once the eye infection is cleared up along with the skin issues, the eyes will start producing tears normally again. He’s not contagious as his problems stem from a compromised immune system so he’s fine to interact with the other dogs in the home.  Ongoing treatment, high-quality food and lots of rest should get him back on his feet.  A good haircut with a pair of clippers should help with the “ugly.”  But, then again, maybe not.  This after he got a good bath and we took him down to less than a quarter inch to even his haircut up.  Awwww, Bubba … you need some hair!

What Bubba lacks in beauty, he more than makes up for with his sweet temperament and ability to get along with the other dogs in the house.  Surprisingly, he arrived crate trained, sleeps through the night quietly, and is house trained.  Innately adaptable, he’s doing quite well after being moved to his foster home and is enjoying his walks around Lake Estes every morning.  When he tires out, he gets to share the stroller with little Ollie, who has bad hips.

Here’s to a new life in the West!

This isn’t Kansas anymore, Toto …

 … that’s what “Bubba” from Columbus, Kansas will be saying late this afternoon when his transport crosses over into Colorado!!  This is the not-so-little guy that was abandoned and tied to a fence in rural Kansas. He was taken to a vet, who contacted us for a possible transfer. We found a transport and he’s headed to a new life in the Rockies!

And what’s *really* sweet is this transport makes regular runs from MO, KS, AR, NM, NE and OK to Colorado, moving pets from rural areas to rescues and already-approved adopters for a small donation.

Now all we need are some more foster homes in the northern Colorado area …

Update:   Poor Bubba … like the wicked witch of the East, he got waylaid in Kansas.  Luckily it wasn’t a falling house, however.  Seems the air-conditioned van he was traveling in was pulling a trailer of household goods (the drivers were in the midst of a move) and the trailer had a flat tire.  In Kansas.  In 100 degree temps.  They ran through a half a tank of gas keeping the dogs cool while the tire was being changed.  Given the late hour and the distances involved, the decision was made to stay the night and bunk up, giving everyone a much needed rest.  Hopefully, we’ll get to meet Bubba tomorrow.

Healing thoughts …

Image007 (2)… needed for one of our former fosters.  I always knew this day would come … a day wherein a phone call is received concerning one of the dogs we’ve placed.  Knew it would be difficult for the owners who opened their hearts and home to a rescue years long past to make this call.

BooBoo was our first out-of-state transport into rescue.  Originally from Oklahoma City, he caught a ride to Colorado with a gal that was headed home to the Springs after a lure-coursing trial.  We met at a truck stop in Limon, Colorado … a fair piece from my home, especially so when the meet /greet was set for 11:00 p.m.  Hubby, bless his heart, insisted that I wasn’t driving it alone.  I’m glad he was there as it was 2:00 a.m. when we pulled into our driveway.   Despite the late hour, it was a beautiful drive home across the southeastern plains under a brilliant full moon. 

BooBoo is a charmer.  We had friends over for dinner in July 2003 … BooBoo found an accommodating lap and proceeded to insist on sitting in it for most of the evening.  Boo went home with them that night and never looked back.

A CT scan is scheduled at CSU on Wednesday morning as well as a biopsy to examine a growth on the roof of his mouth.  At the moment, it can be one of three things:  a foreign object that entered through the nose and lodged in the palate/sinuses with resultant infection, a fungal infection of the sinuses, or a tumor which can be benign or cancerous.   We’re hoping an infection caused by a foreign object is the diagnosis as a fungal infection will require a 5- to 6-hour surgery to scrape the sinuses out.  A cancer diagnosis brings its own set of problems.

Please keep this little one and his family in your thoughts and prayers …’

UPDATE:   Boo did not undergo the CT scan this morning as his symptoms subsided on Saturday and haven’t returned.  The vets at CSU recommended a “wait/see” treatment program.  It’s entirely possible he got something up his nose and it is now gone.   Woohooo!! 

Angels …

angel statue… come in many forms.  For one little dog, her angel came in the guise of a cross-country trucker.  This particular angel has a name.  “Tom” to be exact.  He’s based in Colorado and makes regular runs to/from the East coast — which means a lot if you’re trying to coordinate getting a dog from back east transported to Colorado.  While one can find many a transport in the mid-west and eastern states, same can not be said of Colorado.  Having Tom out there and willing to go the extra mile to get a dog where it needs to be is a blessing.  His motto … “If it fits, it gits!”

Our deepest thanks to Tom for providing this service!