Sunday, January 22, 2017

Occupied Inside and Out

I want to start by thanking everyone who visited here last week and left kind thoughts and support for Eva.  Your comments and visits really mean a lot to me.
~The end of the day from my front porch~
This past week, the dogs have really kept me occupied and taken up practically all of my spare time.

I'll admit to still reeling about Eva's diagnosis.  One evening, on my way home from work, I did what many women do when they're down, and that's a little bit of shopping.  It was for Eva. Replaced is her plain black collar she was wearing with a pink-hearted-plaid one.
I made a big deal about the collar which she seemed to like.  But it was hard to tell if she liked the treats I was giving her just a little bit more.

One thing it's not hard to tell is that Todd does like Eva.  Even if she doesn't always see what he does.
They've become pals, and he has been a good mentor - Teaching her that when outside, to look left....
And to look right...  

On the inside, we've been struggling with our newest arrival, Teddy.  Getting him to eat this week has been a real challenge. I've been hoping that with time, rest, and medications maybe Teddy would improve, but I've seen no improvement.  Actually, we've been losing ground with Teddy the last few days.  He's only eating a few bites at mealtime. I've tried everything to entice him, finally settling with green tripe and cheese mixed with kibble, which he seems to like. --What dog wouldn't, right?
Today Teddy, is very quiet, with slowed breathing. He is sleeping most of the time, and will barely look up when we rouse him. Holistic Vet came to see Jake on Friday and did a good thorough exam of Teddy.  She gently and kindly suggested I consider letting him go.  But I'd felt like it wasn't time.  Teddy is not in any pain, and there is a noticeable peace and calm around him. It's how it should be. Tomorrow we see the vet again and will decide then what the next step will be.

I will end on a positive note and say that we have signed and returned the contract, and have officially added Bo as a permanent member of our household. It's how it should be with him as well.
~Teddy and Bo snoozing together~

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Eva's Past, Present and Future

Friday was a particularly long day that began with a lot of hope, and ended with a lot of discouragement.  Exhausted from it all, I went to bed early.

I'll begin this post by telling you the rest of the story about our girl that you know as "Eevah, or Evah."  Because of where she came from, and how I got her, I felt strongly that I needed to protect her from her past. But on Friday, that past caught up with her. And I feel like it's time to share that past with all of you.  Eva (the actual spelling of her name) came from a commercial kennel here in Virginia.  The dogs at this kennel (puppy mill) are kept, bred and are exploited purely for profit.  Students at a nearby college consider it a "fun afternoon" to go there, pay a $5 donation to get to play with the Golden Retriever puppies and walk the parents.  "Commercial Kennel" advertises doing this, and a friend of mine has a daughter who attends this college, and she has gone there many times with her friends.  Eva was even part of their advertising as were her puppies. The $5 donation supposedly goes to "charity" but there is little doubt, at least in my mind, about where that money is actually going.  Commercial Kennel, with their carefully kept records, operates within the law and despite how you or I may feel about it, it's a legal business. Unfortunately.

I don't really want to dwell on Eva's past.  But that past of her having puppies twice a year for about 7 years, now appears to be affecting her future health that we will all agree is of course the top priority.  As you know, I took Eva on Friday for an ultrasound to see if a spay surgery had been done when her last litter of puppies were delivered via c-section in October. The results were that Eva is still able to have puppies. The other not-so-good-news is that there is not going to be anything that we can do to change that.
Tests we've been doing on Eva show a protein loss in her urine and high blood pressure.  Tying it all back to the ultrasound which showed that her kidney's have abnormalities in their appearance.  The diagnosis is Chronic Kidney disease.  Eva being put under anesthetic could cause renal failure, so it makes doing a spay surgery, too risky.

It's possible that her kidney's may have been an issue for awhile, and Commercial Kennel probably never had any kind of blood work done to have known that.  It's also possible that the anesthetic from the c-section that Eva had in October could have been the culprit for the current condition of her kidney's. It's impossible to know for sure.

The plan is to put Eva on medication (enalapril) with the hopes that it will help with the protein loss, and high blood pressure. Eva will be 8 years old in a few weeks. This disease usually affects dogs a few years older than she is and progresses slowly.  So, our goal will be to try and slow it down, with medications and diet.
There are few words to say how sad and disappointed I am that Eva's life is going to be shortened by this disease.  It's a truly helpless feeling.

But if there's anything I have learned in living with dogs, is that they live in the present. They don't drag their history with them into the present moment and they don't project their worries into the future.  They leave that to us!  They're happy doing what they do, wagging their tails and never missing the chance to enjoy life.  As you can see in the video below that I made at the start of the year of Eva, she's no exception.
At times like this, I need to remember and hang onto this lesson. And do it - For Eva.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Reintroductions and Settling In

The week began with me home from work because I wasn't feeling well, yet again.  But we end the week with a spring-like temperatures that would anyone feel better!
Our former-diva-foster, Bella has returned for her visit while her owners are on a cruise. Her reintroduction to our dogs went really well.  There are those that will say that dogs do not remember one another or places.  Others like me, feel like they maybe they do.  Bella sure seemed like she does.  For example, the first meal I gave her after she arrived, she stood in her place where she used to wait for me to bring her bowl of food to her, and she is sleeping in the same place as well.    
~Bella - Does she remember?~
Max's recovery is going pretty well. I added another medication to help with some discomfort that I thought he was having, and he seems much happier and content.
~Max, one week into recovering a 2nd time~ 
Our newest addition, Teddy has adjusted nicely. I was able to get him to the vet and he tested positive for 2 tick borne illnesses, lyme and ehrlichiosis. He is also anemic, that we think has been caused by his intestinal parasites.  We began 2 antibiotics and my hope is that he'll perk up in a few days.  He sleeps a lot of the time, but it's hard to say if it's because of his age, or that he doesn't feel well. Maybe it's both. Time will tell.
Back at the vet on Friday will be Eevah.  She was scheduled to have her spay surgery but that has been postponed because she has high blood pressure.  Until we can get that under control, it will have to wait.  However, there is a question as to if she needs to spayed at all.  You might recall that when she had puppies this past fall, they were delivered via cesarean. Because of her age, it has left a question in all of our minds, including the vets that maybe it was done when her last litter arrived.  It might explain why the "breeder" sold her.  But because we cannot contact anyone connected to her past, and "Retired Lady" who I got her from doesn't know either, we're doing an ultrasound to find out.  So, Friday the 13th will either be a lucky or unlucky day for Eevah - Lucky that she may not need to have another surgery, unlucky in that she may.  
~Eevah, keeping the secret as to if she can have puppies or not~
Eevah is not worried about any of that.  But when I put the monkey hat on her, as she stood there totally still, not knowing what to do, she may have been a little worried about what her life may be coming to.
Todd knew exactly how she felt!!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Teddy Arrives at Golden Pines!

Saturday was a long day that took me right though the heart of horse country.  Despite the snow flurries and the cold, it's a really pretty and scenic part of Virginia in any season.  
Middleburg Virginia has the reputation as the “Nation’s Horse and Hunt Capital,” drawing in distinguished and well-known visitors from all over the U.S.
It's also a charming town with lovely boutiques and shops. and there are beautiful and (big) historic horse farms tucked all around.
But it wasn't a shopping trip today.  I was meeting someone who was bringing me a senior boy named Teddy.

Estimated to be about 13-14 years old, Teddy was found as a stray, walking in circles in someones yard.  The county Animal Control was called, and he was taken to the shelter to "do his time."  As expected, no one came looking for this "lost boy" and he was officially turned over to the rescue.  I'll just add right here that it's always mind-boggling to me that someone could have a dog for so many years, and then not be looking for them.     
~Teddy at his temporary foster home~
Teddy tilts his head, and along with his walking in circles it makes us all quite positive that he has  "old dog vestibular syndrome." He is also very thin, had a terrible ear infection and tested positive for several different kinds of parasites, all of which he has been treated for. Given all of this, maybe this is the reason why no came to claim him at the shelter?      

After our introductions, Teddy got comfy for the drive home.
Soon enough we were back home and it was time for a few more introductions. Because Teddy loses his balance when he walks, I limited his meeting everyone - Meaning he did not meet Todd, who I call the "wild card" one on one.  After some rest, and a full meal, it was lights out until early this morning. We finished the intros...Or he met Todd, and all went well.  Teddy is a very friendly boy and I don't think his tails has stopped wagging since we met. .
~First meeting at the fence - Notice Todd telling him off~
I'm grateful that with the snow and the temperatures below freezing the last couple of days, that this sweet senior boy named Teddy is safe and warm.  And I look forward to getting to know him.