Tag Archives: Rescue Dog

Poor Annie

Annie’s had a rough go lately.

It started about 4 weeks ago, she suddenly was reluctant to go up and down the stairs.  A couple of nights she refused altogether and one night she chose to make her way upstairs in the dark well after we had all gone to sleep.  We found her curled up outside our bedroom door the next morning and it broke my heart.

She wasn’t showing signs of joint pain so my best guess was that her nails were too long and the stairs felt slippery, and/or her vision was getting worse. It had been a while since her last nail trim because she had been so nervous at her last vet visit I decided to cancel her nail trim.  We both braved another vet visit, got her vision checked (she probably does see shadows in her peripheral vision) and her nails trimmed and that seemed to help even though she was still anxious and would attempt the stairs 4 or 5 times before finally charging all the way up.

About a week later, she woke me up with her usual nudge and bark.  When I turned on the light she looked like she had a ping-pong ball tucked into her jowl.  Shit.  I have always worried about her teeth and it appeared she had an abscess, so off to the vet we went.  Again, she was incredibly stressed and I had to coax her along as we navigated several stops and starts before I could get her in the exam room.

Sure enough, she needed to have two teeth surgically removed.  Her surgery day was the third trip to the vet in 3 weeks and she was not happy about it.  She completely put on the brakes and would NOT go through the door leading to the procedure rooms.   She’s 115 lbs. and when she decides she’s not going somewhere she means it! I had to lift her back-end and straddle her as we made our way into the hospital area.  I don’t usually go back there but the tech that came out to assist us was a male and I just said flat-out, “this is going to make it worse”. Everyone there knows her well and he quickly retreated so that Annie wouldn’t see him as I got her where she needed to be and her regular tech ran forward to greet us and take over for me. She just knew that something big was about to happen.

After her surgery, which took longer that expected–each tooth had 4 roots rather than 3, she refused to go to the recovery room which is further back in the hospital.  She would only go forward, towards the exit door. There is an office right there so they set up a bed and that’s where she recovered, getting lots of one on one attention from all of the doctors when they were in between patients.  Thank goodness she has doctors that are willing to make special accommodations!

Once I got her back home, she slowly started to show improvement.  It took a couple of days for her recover from the anesthesia, and she was on painkillers for few more days but her overall mood was so much better.

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Annie’s home!

In the middle of all of this, I’ve been helping my mom move into her new condo and have moved several furniture pieces that don’t fit in her place into my house.  One piece is a steamer trunk that we placed in the front hall by the stairs until we figured out where to put it.  A few days ago I pushed it further away from the stairs and that night Annie went upstairs with no hesitation. OMG, I should have known!  Annie doesn’t like narrow spaces or new doorways.  I had just created a narrow space where there wasn’t one and that was the reason she suddenly wouldn’t go upstairs.  Ugh, I feel terrible.

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The trunk that caused Annie to rethink going upstairs.

Over the past several days, she’s had trouble keeping her food down.  She has a two week post surgery follow-up scheduled and I really don’t want traumatize her again by dragging her in for another appointment in addition to that.  She has no other symptoms of distress.  Her mood is better than ever, her energy level is back to normal, she is drinking water and her stool is fine.  I stopped her painkillers, started feeding her 4 times a day with small meals of Prescription Digestive Care food (still softened as directed for her post oral surgery care), added probiotics because she was also on high powered antibiotics.  I consulted with her dr. and she agreed with my treatment and also suggested an antacid to add to her food. If anything changes or gets worse she wants to see us immediately. This regimen seems to be helping, each day her food goes down a little easier so I am hopeful that she will be completely better in a few more days.

Poor Annie, she’s fragile but she’s such a trooper and once again she has shown me that she’s not going to let this get her down.  She just would like it if we never went back to the vet again!

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Annie is feeling much better, eager for a treat!

 

 

 

National Black Dog Day

Yesterday, October 1st was National Black Dog Day.

This holiday was created to bring awareness to the plight of black dogs in shelters and Black Dog Syndrome.

Black dogs can take up to 4 times longer to get adopted than lighter color dogs.  There are several reasons for this starting with the impression that black dogs are perceived as more aggressive than other colors.  Any dog lover can tell you that hair color does not determine personality!

Black dogs are harder to photograph, so when shelters post pictures of black dogs it can be harder to see their facial features and people searching online will pass them by.  Black dogs also don’t show up as well in the shelters, they blend in with the shadows and if they are shy or scared they may stay in the back of their kennel and are less visible and once again it can be harder to see their facial features.

Personally, I love black dogs and my world wouldn’t be the same without them!  I have a lot of black in my wardrobe, and black hair blends in far better than light hair on my dark-colored pants.

We have had two black rescue dogs, Charlie and Annie and would like to give a shout out to some of our favorite black rescue dog friends.  We are so glad your forever families didn’t give a hoot about Black Dog Syndrome and took you home to give you your wonderful lives!

 

We love you Precious, Sammy Davis, Lance, Elsa, Eivor, Mona, Sugar, Rosie, Anna, Geordie, Luna, Barley and so many more!

 

 

 

Oh happy day!

Annie and I had a big day today.  A day that changes everything!

It was time for her rabies shot so our big date was a trip to the vet.  Annie and I have made many of these trips over the last year and 1/2, but this time was very different.

When Annie was surrendered to rescue, the only document that came with her was her 2014 rabies certificate.  By the time she came home with us a year later, the rabies tag was long gone and the certificate we received was in pretty rough shape but the story it told was clear to me.

It’s a copy of a fax and is crooked and faded. On multiple occasions I’ve had to pull it out of her file when asked to show proof of vaccination.  Each time I pull it out, the anger bubbles up because it is a reminder in black and white of her life before us.

The owner’s name and address belongs to the man that operated the kennel/puppy mill.  It’s easy for me to say that even though I’ve never met him, I hate him.  Her name is listed as Anne, but “Paris” is written next to it. Why does she have two names? I don’t know.  Her age is listed as 7, although she had just had a birthday and was actually 8. Her weight is listed as 00. Record keeping was obviously not a priority with these dogs.  There are other notes that are hard to read, but are the vaccinations that she received after she was rescued. At the top are the words Annie Paris, blaze and orange collar.  The final glaring bit of information is the list of vaccinations done which only includes 2 things, the one she received that day and another rabies shot she received May 23, 2008!

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(Names and addresses have been edited)

These are all broad strokes that paint a picture of neglect.  After 6 years, what compelled him to seek out a vet to administer a 3 year rabies vaccination? Who knows, but what really bothers me concerns the veterinarian.  There is no way he could have examined her and thought that she or any of the other dogs from that kennel were receiving proper care.  The conditions they were forced to live in were unsanitary and disgusting.  Knowing Annie as I do, they would have had to drag her to him, with her trembling and cowering.

So now, here’s the good news.  Annie came to us with a broken spirit on the mend thanks to her rescuers and now she is a completely different dog.  She’s happy and loving, she has a spring in her step and a twinkle in her eye. She regularly approaches me and nudges my hand for a scratch behind the ear. She walks on leash beautifully and loves our neighborhood patrols.  She comes running when she hears the scoop in the dog food or the word “treat”.  She doesn’t hide in her crate anymore but instead sprawls out all over the house, moving around, finding a comfy spot on the cool tile or under my feet or on the rug in the next room. She’s quick to come when I’m having training time with Winn and she will do her two tricks, sit and down, with precision so she can also get treats. She joins me in the kitchen when I’m cooking, confident that she will get a nibble now and then.  At the end of every day, we climb the stairs together, I give her her eye drops and then she collapses on her Big Barker bed and lets out a sigh of contentment.

So this time going to the vet was different. Yes, she trembled as we were waiting, it took a lot of gentle coaxing to get her into the room and she wasn’t overly enthused about the attention she was getting but we both eagerly left with a treasure in my hands.  I now have a proper certificate with both of our names in print.  It is signed by a Dr. who lovingly cares for her and is genuinely invested in her well being. The final reminder of her previous life can go in the trash. We belong to each other, and we have no reason to ever look back again!IMG_3205 (1)

 

 

Back to the vet we go…

Last week we celebrated Annie’s 11th birthday, which is a big marker but was a bit tempered because right after dinner she started coughing.

I’ve written about her “old man noises” before.  She starts out with 2 or 3 gasps and then expels this horrific, loud noise. I was pretty sure it was her way of coughing because I’ve never heard her cough in a different way.  She has done this sporadically since we’ve had her, maybe once every 3 or 4 months but on her birthday she started and couldn’t seem to stop. After 5 or 6 episodes, she was tired and my nerves were rattled.

I couldn’t help but think that she had made it to her birthday and now she was taking a turn for the worse.  My heart was aching during her celebration but I know this day will be coming at some point, I’m just not ready yet.

She had a few more episodes and on Friday I took her to the vet.  After a thorough examination we sat there talking about what it could be and we both had the sense that it might be some sort of lung disease. Her lungs and heart sounded good when her doctor listened to her chest but we agreed that an x-ray was needed to try to find the answer. It couldn’t be done that day, her doctor wanted to have more people available to help her since Annie is so big so it had to wait until Monday.

Over the weekend, Annie did seem to be coughing less frequently and by Monday it had subsided but I was still bracing myself for bad news.  Poor Annie was trembling as soon as we sat down and when the tech came to take her back she did not want to leave me.  I walked her back as far as I could go and that seemed to help.

As I sat there waiting, I had rushes of so many different memories.  The first time we took her here was very traumatic.  She has changed so much and seems so happy with her life.  Whenever I get up from the couch or a chair, she is at my feet and I have to stretch over her.  We love our walks and she trots out to the car when I say “car ride”.  She loves food but she has curtailed her scavenger ways and hasn’t found anything to get into in quite a while, thank goodness.  She is still very nervous around strangers, especially men, and isn’t yet comfortable with my son but hopefully by the end of the summer they will reach an understanding.  It has been such a joy to have her with us and I am so honored that she has chosen to trust me to take care of her and keep her safe.

After what seemed like hours but was really only about 30 minutes I was able to join Annie in one of the exam rooms.  Her x-ray was done, we needed to wait while her doctor looked at all of the pictures.  Her doctor came through the door with a big smile which instantly put me at ease.  Everything looked great! No masses, no white spots and no foreign objects.  There was one tiny spot in her stomach and she went over it with an ultrasound and concluded it was a particle of a stick, stone or leaf that hadn’t digested, all probable since Annie frequently chews sticks when she is lounging in the grass. She looked at her lungs, heart, liver, spleen and trachea and all looked to be just fine.  The only concern was evidence of arthritis in her spine, something we both assumed but now was confirmed.  Her conclusion was “old man lung” which isn’t something that is treated. When lungs get old they get a little more sensitive. Heat and allergies could have triggered her coughing and it has been hot and she takes medication for allergies.

Since we’ve been home, she hasn’t coughed again.  Her energy level, appetite and breathing have all been normal.  She’s sleeping by my feet, moaning every now and then as she stretches and seems to be completely content.  Once again, she rang my alarm bell and ended up being just fine. She’s an aging dog, and with that comes a variety of health concerns but for now I am relieved.IMG_1508

 

Annie turns 11!

Wow! Another year has gone by and we are celebrating Annie’s birthday. This birthday is a big deal, she’s 11 and is still in really good health.  Last year before her party, we had just come from the vet.  She had her stitches removed from the removal of a cancerous lump as well as an EKG to evaluate an irregular heartbeat that appeared while she was in surgery.  Not only did she have a clear pathology report, her heart rate was normal which was a huge relief.

Since then, she has had a couple of ear infections but nothing else major and she continues to let her personality shine.  She has also responded so well to Winn.  She’s actually more lively and playful with Winn around, and she seems so happy.

We invited one of the neighbor dogs to join us, I baked pup cakes using the same recipe I used last year for her cake, got pictures of everyone in party hats and had a very fun party with lots of laughs.

It’s no surprise, Winn was not a fan of the party wear.

She was excited about the pup cakes, but then saw Maisie’s hat, snatched it off her head and played keep away.

Annie LOVED her treats and kept coming back for more.  She even started pawing at the plate in an effort to bring them closer so she could grab them!

Our guest wasn’t sure what to think about it all, but she seemed to have a good time and got a pup cake to take home and enjoy without being stared at by other dogs.IMG_1927