I have been "lost" for a good while. I had trouble getting my posts to post and I finally gave up. Truthfully, I can't remember the last time I was here, so I guess I better go back a ways. Sorry if any of this is old news.
First I lost my beautiful golden retreive3r, Honey Aug. 13, 2014. She was at least 13 and up until a coup of weeks before her death she was such a frisky, puppy acting dog people thought she was about 4 or 5. It all started when her tongue turned black. Even my wonderful vet could not figure that one out. It stayed balck about a week, but she was still eating, frisky, wanting her daily walks, etc. Then she started going donw hill.
Blood work showed her liver and kidneys were both starting to fail, and her lymph nodes were enlarged, tho not much. Over the next week she really went down hill and finally reached the point she would not eat her supper, then ignored breakfast the next morning and I would not let her suffer, so we took her in and I sat in front of her, my hand under her chin telling her I loved her. She had gotten very hard of hearing her last year and half ,possibly even deaf. We had taught her a few hand signals. As we sat there, she looked me in the eyes and never took her eyes off mine until she was gone. I don't think her ears heard me telling her I loved her, but I know her heart did. She is the one we adopted Dec. 7, 2002, heart worm positive and was at least a year old.
As I held her after death I told my vet I was never going thru this again. I lost my first dog in Nov. 1956, an English Setter puppy I had gotten for my 11th birthday in June and had lost so very many since. He said "Your heart will decide that"
Three days later I was on the com[pute4r with the nearest Golden Retriever rescue and also a Great Pyrenees rescue. We had always admired pyrs and I had done research on them and decided I would take which I was approved for first. One request, a senior dog of at least 7 or 8 for a pyr, 9 or 10 for a golden. We wanted a senior to have a loving home for the last years of it's life.
Strongly, even tho I had sent a $10 fee to the golden rescue, I didn't hear a word from them. And ironically, I had donated to them for years. Well. within a week the Pyrenees rescue had contact all 3 of my references, my vet and had done a home check and we were approved. Now to chose a pyr. We went thru their pictures and stories and kept coming back to one named Shaggy Dog. He was a 7 year old blind pyr;. God love him. he had had a horrible first 6 years, we think. Forest, he was blind becaue his eye slits were to small. The foster's vet had said had they been operated on when he was a pupp0y he would have had at least some vision, and later my vet said the same thing.
Whoever had had owned him dumped him in the parking lot of a small college campus in East Texas. It so happens this professor (a 24 year old woman who had graduated high school at 15) found him and it so happens she is into rescue, tho it had always been basset hounds. this poor dog was hairless on his tail, backs of his back legs and lower back. Apparently he had never been on a leash. He didn't know how to act, knew no commands
He had poop all over him even his face and ear. She thought he had mange with hair loss, but when she got him to the vet he said it was flea dermatitis. She doubted that. Anyway, she had him for 15 months. She couldn't spend a lot of time with him as she had her own 3 dogs and a cat, plus 4 fosters and an 18 momth old daughter, full time teaching job, and her husband goes out of town on business often. She would keep him in one small room of the house while gone. Now here is the rub. She is vegan and feeds her dogs vegan food. Shaggy was about 30 pounds underweight when she rescued him and in 15 months he only put on 5 pounds on that vegan food. She did use coconut oil in his food and on his skin and his "elephant hide skin" softened up and hair grew back. He had a chronic ear infection. that would just no go away.
Well, that dog got into our hearts and we said we wanted him...even with his health issues. She said she would bring him all the way to us and she did. When he walked in he stank something awful. He had been to the vet the day before and had a bath, but his ears were horrendous. She left the ear drops and the pills the vet had given her the day before and also a bag of vegan dog food. The nest day was Labor Day and my vet was closed, but took Shaggy in the next day.
My vet sais Shag's ears were just to inflamed and sore tp stick that tube down in his ears. Said the pills were the ones he needed, but no drops. Instead he gave him a steroid injection. Said he needed to put on about 25 pounds. His skin was clear, thank goodness. Well, what a dog he was. It took him no time to learn the lay of our yard. He knew where the barrels with rose bushes were, the flower beds, etc. We kept the back door open and there is a fountain by it on the patio. He ken the door was by the fountain and followed the sound to the door, and knew there was a step up or down as he went in and out. He had total freedom. He learned where things were in the house and could get around great. Would come to the sound of our voices. And in a few days his ears had cleared up and he would plop that big head in our laps for ear rubs.
He had NO muscle at all. We, and our vet upon hearing his condition when found, feel that his entire first 6 years (what the vet thought he was when found) had been spent in a crate or small cage. He knew no commands, didn't know how to be on leash, and then mostly hair loss was due to sitting and laying in his own pee and poop. We were taking him for short walks to slowly try to build up his muscles. Also, he was free to go in and out as he wanted and he did his "pyr patrol" going all around our fence to check things out, avoiding the barrels, etc. And he made "friends" with the dogs behind us thru the wood fence. He rarely barked as pyrs are known for, but would stand there with tail wagging.
When he was brought here she said he had slept in a corner in the room he was kept in while she was gone and at night. Felt safe there. Well, he only styed in a "safe place" ONE NIGHT and after that he sprawled out on the floor in the livingroom or dining room. He had even gotten confident enough he would trot around in our yard. Total freedom probably for the first time in his life. I was feeding him grain free food 3 times a day, plsu mking a turkey stew for him (ground turkey, chopped fresh sweet potatoes and apples and frozen green beans. After a week here he was wagging his tail so much we started calling him "Shaggy Waggy."
On Mondi Sept. 22 he was trotting around in the yard, coming to us for ear rubs, eating his meals and his boiled sweet potato treats. Tuesday Sept. 23 he did not get up that morning to go out. He would not touch his breakfast nor sweet potato treat. I knew something was bad wrong. Called my vet and he said get him in. Got there--his gums and tongue were pale, his stomach and under his "arms" was purple...indication of internl bleeding. Ultra sound was done, bleeding from a ruptured tumor on his spleen. Nothing could be done. According to the agreement with the rescue I am suppose to notify them before making a decision to have a dog put down. I came hyome and called both numbers and no answer. I was not going to let him suffer so I left short message explaining that Shaggy had a hemangiosarcoma and nothing could be done and I was not going to let him suffer. I went back and told my vet I wanted to release. Once again, just 1 month and 10 days after I had sat on that very floor holding Honey's head as she was relapsed, I sat and held his hed telling him I loved him as he was released. Later I got call from rescue and they said I had made the right decision. then I got a card from them saying I had given Shaggy Dog the best 3 1/2 weeks of his life....I had kept them informed on how well he was doing here. Also, in that 3 1/2 weeks on GOOD food, he had put on almost 3 pounds, where 15 months on tht vegan stuff, he had only put on 5 pounds.
I now have TWO othe4r dogs, both adopted, but their story will hae to be told later. I have to run and make a dessert to take to our son's for a BBQ tonight., I