Saturday, March 13, 2010

Old Friends / New Friends

Today we had to say goodbye to a friend.

Java, a sweet, gentle Chocolate Lab became old and tired. Life was no longer fun, but was becoming difficult and painful. Running and playing with his friend Lilly was too hard, so his Mom and Dad took him to the vet, held him close and whispered familiar words to him as he crossed the bridge. Tonight their house will seem much too quiet, even with the rest of his pack and the puppies. Lilly, especially will miss her big friend. The photo above broke my heart this morning when I first saw it. Drop by and leave them some words to let them know we all understand how they're feeling.

When one friend leaves, another enters your life. Look who came running up our front steps to see me today. I don't know her name, so I call her Twerp. She doesn't mind. She belongs to our next door neighbors and they told us when they first brought her home a few months ago that she was a Pitt Bull. Maybe, a few generations ago a Pitt Bull lent her some genes, but not recently. She weighs about twelve pounds.

She's a little doll, but there's a problem. We know she's neglected and we suspect she may be abused. I doubt she's ever had any veterinary care. Are you seeing the problem? What do we do about her?

The neighbors let her run so one of three fates await her. She'll be hit by a car, she'll be stolen or she'll get sick. I think she's adorable, but I don't want her hanging around our house and yard. I don't want her bringing fleas or worms into our yard. Samba has a compromised immune system and I don't want her exposed to any sick animals. The neighbors are the unapproachable type who seem to settle their domestic disputes with violence. What would you do?

Speaking of Samba, last week she had her monthly checkup and we had bloodwork done. Her checkup was good. Although she's convinced that I'm starving her and she's taken to stealing food whenever possible, she's maintaining a good weight. Her coat is patchy and her tail is hairless, but she has about 90% use of her jaw and about a third of the muscle remains.

This morning I sat down with Dr B and we went over Samba's lab report. As we expected it was out of kilter from the disease and from the steroids she's been taking. He gave me a lesson in neutrophils, eosinophils and lymphocytes. One thing that stood out was that her thyroid was low. This is actually good news as it can explain a lot of the other things that showed up. We have changed her prednisone dosage to 25 mg on odd days and 10 mg on even days. We'll leave her at that for two months as long as there are no signs of recurrence. Our goal is 15 mg every other day, but it will be several more months before we get there. We have started her on thyroid medication and among other things we're hoping it helps her coat grow in.

So far she's doing well and that's all I can ask. It's a gloomy, rainy day here and my mood is melancholy. Saying goodbye is never easy and when you have a sick dog at home, it becomes even harder.


The OP Pack said...

When we heard the news about Java, we were very sad. Tough to say good bye to one so loved. We have lit a candle for the family tonight.

We hope Samba continues to be OK. Very dreary wet cold damp day here too, no day to have a young puppy in the house.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

The Rocky Creek Scotties said...

Sue and the Porties,

Thank you for your sweet post. It was a sad day for us here today - and it's as if heaven was crying for us as it rained off and on.

That Twerp is a cutie, but I think I would have to call animal control on her - you don't say and may not know if she's been fixed or not, but it would be a tragedy for her to get pregnant.

I'm glad to hear that Samba is doing some better. The thyroid medicine will probably help with with the hair issues. But on the other hand, since I've been diagnosed with it, I never have to shave my legs - there are upsides.

Hugs to all of you.
The Rocky Creek Scotties

Persephone and Buster said...

hi porteees!, we are sorry to hear of your for the twerp... that's also sad. i can understand not wanting her there because of the samba, when our humomm read your post she said ...thyroid..and then read was the patchy hair thing, we all hope the thyroid meds help balance things out for yous guys.. hope we brought a bit o'sunshine on the dreary day..
theBUSTER, MS.Blue & Ms. Persephone

Sam said...

Really sorry to hear about your friend, Java. It sounds like letting him go was the best decision his owners could have made.

And, a shame about that cute little dog, Twerp. I wish people wouldn't get dogs and then neglect them. They require a lot from us, and a lot of people don't realize that.

Stella said...

I'm sad for your little neighbor guy. I wish someone loved him, or her. This dog deserves love and care. Who could take her? A rescue group maybe? I know with Samba and the funky neighbors you will have to do something.

I wish you the best, but I just don't know!


gaylen said...

I don't have an answer for you about Twerp. She's very cute, but unless you want to call a rescue organization - I don't see that you have a ton of options.

Good news about Samba. My thyroid is low too - maybe she'll be a good girl and take my medicine? I'm really bad about it.

Sorry to hear about Java. Yea to his parents. I've said it before - I just hope I'm strong enough to do what's right. They were. Makes a body proud.

Finally - Ab had a follow up at the vet today. Lifetime Rimadyl for what appears to be arthritis in her knee. I'm so glad it isn't something worse. :)

Hope you are well friend - miss and love you. g

Mango said...

We were sorry to see Java go too.


MurphyDog said...

Your friend Java was a beautiful boy...and a lucky boy to have such wonderful humans to give him that final gift of love.

As for Twerp, she sure is cute. Think you could mail her to Sandy Eggo, California? :)

Mom thinks you should do what our neighbor did when there was another family in the neighborhood with a doggie who used to get out and roam free all the time. Take the dog away. To a rescue, to the shelter, to a far away friend who wants a new doggie. When she's out running loose, she's considered a stray and could use all the help she could get.

wags, wiggles & slobbers

Channon said...

It always rips a delicate scab off my heart when a dear pet crosses the bridge.

Twerp needs an intervention, and clearly, a simple, peaceful one can't be had with her owners. I don't have any real advice, but I see others have had some.

Samba, Sissy would like to start a STARVED club with you. She's taken to carrying BOTH metal food bowls into our bedroom or the crate at odd times.

Paws crossed that Samba is able to come down off the prednisone.

Nichole said...

Java was a very handsome boy... we hope he is happily romping over that rainbow bridge....

soulbrush said...

swwet little java. as far twerp 9what a great name0 you have to say something to someone and not compromise your own family.

Marjie said...

Samba's a trooper, and I'm glad she's continuing to improve. Twerp is cute, but she is a problem with all of the dogs you have; the last thing you need is to import problems.

silfert said...

Is there a "Keep 'em till they get a home" place near you? Bundle Twerp there under cover of darkness...

Poor Java. I'm glad his parents were there to tell him it was okay to go.

Maggie and Mitch said...

Twerp is such a cutie but we understand your concerns with your own pack.
We were so sad to hear that Java crossed too.

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Dianne said...

I feel for Java's family. The days when I had to make those decisions have been the worst of my life. As far as Twerp, I think he needs to be "stolen". Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. You obviously can't keep him, or the nasty neighbor would see him. Is there anyone else who could receive stolen goods, but lives far enough away from nasty neighbor?