Thursday, February 26, 2009

Probert Visits the Hospital

Hello dog (and human) friends! Sorry for the lack of updates, but we have been in crisis mode over here! On Monday night Probert started barfing and did not stop. I woke up a few times during the night to clean him up (boy was he stinky) and pet his sweet head while we waited for the vet to open in the morning.

By morning, he was still barfing and refusing to eat, so I took him to the local vet hospital (decided to cut out the middle man of our regular vet because I decided he would just refer us there anyway). His doctor there determined that he was having some kind of GI problem and was severely dehydrated and required hospitalization. They kept him to give fluids and for xrays and blood tests to determine what the problem could be.

I kept in touch with the doctor throughout the day and it was determined that Probert had some kind of Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis, but they still could not determine the cause. Before bed I called and the man working overnight (it is a 24 hour vet hospital) said that Probert was afraid of him, but otherwise very sweet. I told him that Probert had an issue with strange men and the man told me that made since since he was a very strange man. :)

Wednesday morning I called to talk to Probert's vet and she told me that a radiologist had looked at Probert's xrays and saw a potential blockage in his intestine. It could not be properly diagnosed, so we made plans to come check Probert out of the hospital and transfer him to Aurora, about an hour away, for an ultrasound and potentially a surgical consult. Shawn called out of school and I called out of work and we picked up the little man (who about flew into Shawn's arms when they brought him out) and headed to Aurora (the home of Wayne and Garth!).

We waited a very long time for the ultrasound and it was over in 10 minutes when his new doctor came out and said that there was "good news!" and no blockage was found! All they saw was a lot of gas and fluid. I asked if Probert needed to return to the hospital for further fluid therapy and his doctor brought out a bowl of water and half a can of bland prescription dog food which Probert happily wolfed out of her hand. With that, he was free to go! (Party time! Excellent!)

We drove home where Probert happily (with a little help!!!) pooped out about 2 feet of fabric that he must have torn off of his blanket at some point. I think we found the cause of his GI distress!

Anyway, we are ecstatic to have him back home (and also pretty ecstatic that no surgery was necessary). Probert now has only blankets that he cannot rip chunks off of and he is on a bland diet until Friday when he can return back to his regular diet.

The moral of the story for dogs: Do not eat your blankies!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009


So, Maizy ended her month of rest on Tuesday. Or rather, she was scheduled to end it. The Brown Dog Dad and I have decided that she is walking much better, but that we will continue her rest for another week or two to be sure that she is okay. It would be awful to go through all of that for her to reinjure herself, so we are being careful. I do not think we will go back to the vet if we think she is okay (he told me at our last appointment to evaluate how she was walking after the rest and to bring her back only if she wasn't better). So, this is very good news.

Maizy is clearly full of a lot of pent up energy, so it will make me happy when I can see her run again. I am thinking about taking her on a trip to the dog bakery as a treat tonight. I suspect that we will have to go on a lot of outings before she gets back into her "Therapy Dog" gig, as her excitement at leaving the house might cause her to explode at this point.

Wrigley is doing well. His mealtime treat has graduated from a feet-chewed-off old Cuz toy to a fancy huge-sized black kong. He hasn't quite figured out how to pick it up (and turn in many circles before laying down to eat it) without all of the food falling out, but maybe I will have to add some peanut butter to help that. :)

It has officially been determined that I have never seen Probert walk anywhere of his own free will. His primary methods of transportation are running and leaping, exclusively. I will have to make a video sometime. He is either standing still or he is moving at the speed of light. It can be troublesome!

Anyway, hopefully the warm weather will arrive soon and we can all come out of hibernation. It would sure help as far as having things to write about! Every day feels the same lately, but I guess that is how it always is at the end of winter.

Take care, friends!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Fighting Against Dogfighting

You may have previously seen the story of Oogie, the Dogo Argentino rescued from a hellish life as a bait dog in a dog fighting ring.

Well, now millions have heard Oogie's story, as he was a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show! You can read all about it here (click "next" to read the whole story).

Also, for those in the Chicago area, you can check out Chicagoland Bully Breed Rescue's 2nd Annual Love Me Don't Fight me fundraiser event tonight at Exit. Make a donation for me, if you're there! I don't stay out that late. :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Foster Dog is Beautiful...

My Foster Dog is Beautiful...

My foster dog stinks to high heaven.
I don't know for sure what breed he is.
His eyes are blank and hard.
He won't let me pet him, and growls when I reach for him.
He has ragged scars and crusty sores on his skin.
His nails are long and his teeth, which he showed me, are stained.
I sigh.
I drove two hours for this.
I carefully maneuver him so that I can stuff him in the crate.
Then I lift the crate and put it in the car.
I am going home with my new foster dog.

At home I leave him in the crate till all the other dogs are in the yard.
I get him out of the crate and ask him if he wants 'outside.'
As I lead him to the door he hikes his leg on the wall and shows me his stained teeth again.
When we come in he goes to the crate, because that's the only safe place he sees.
I offer him food, but he won't eat it if I look at him; so, I turn my back.
When I come back the food is gone.
I ask again about 'outside.'
When we come back, I pat him before I let him in the crate; he jerks away and
runs into the crate to show me his teeth.

The next day I decide I can't stand the stink any longer.
I lead him into the bath with cheese in my hand.
His fear of me is not quite overcome by his wish for the cheese.
And well he should fear me, for I will give him a bath.
After an attempt or two to bail out, he is defeated and stands there.
I have bathed four-legged bath squirters for more dog years than he has been alive.
His only defense was a show of his stained teeth that did not hold up to a face full of water.
As I wash him it is almost as if I wash not only the stink and dirt away, but also some of his hardness.
His eyes look full of sadness now.
And he looks completely pitiful as only a soap-covered dog can.
I tell him that he will feel better when he is cleaned.
After the soap, the towels are not too bad; so, he lets me rub him dry.
I take him outside.
He runs for joy: the joy of not being in the tub and the joy of being clean.
I, the bath giver, am allowed to share the joy.
He comes to me and lets me pet him.

One week later I have a vet bill.
His skin is healing.
He likes for me to pet him.
I think I know what color he will be when his hair grows in.
I have found out he is terrified of other dogs.
So I carefully introduce him to my mildest four legged brat.
It doesn't go well.
Two weeks later there is a new vet bill for an infection that was missed on the first visit.
He plays with the other dogs.

Three weeks later he asks to be petted.
He chewed up part of the rug.

Eight weeks later his coat shines, and he has gained weight.
He shows his clean teeth when his tongue lolls out after he plays chase in the
yard with the gang.
His eyes are soft and filled with life.
He loves hugs and likes to show off his tricks, if you have the cheese.

Someone called today and asked about him; they saw the picture I took the first week.
They asked about his personality, his history, his breed.
They asked if he was pretty.
I asked them lots of questions.
I checked up on them.
I prayed.
I said yes.
When they saw him the first time, they said he was the most beautiful dog
they had ever seen.

Six months later I got a call from his new family.
He is wonderful, smart, well-behaved and very loving.
How could someone not want him?
I told them I didn't know.
He is beautiful.
They all are.

Written by: Martha O'Connor

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Very Maizy Update

I really need to update on how everyone is doing, but I guess that Maizy is the most interesting right now. We are now into our third week of resting Maizy and I think she is starting to get used to her new routine. She isn't always happy about being told to stop bouncing or having to be leashed anytime she is out of her crate, but she is adapting. I have had to cancel her therapy dog visits for the month of February as she a) should be resting and b) is all pent up and not on her best behavior as a result of all this rest.

"Is she healing?" is a question that I'm not sure about. Sometimes I look at her and I think she is walking much better, but sometimes I don't think I can tell. We are only halfway through right now, so I am content with waiting to see what happens. She is taking her medicine twice a day like a champ and generally being a good girl despite her obvious desire to run free and sproing everywhere.