Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Milo Update

Fourth of July weekend, Jeff and I headed to the beach for Tucker's annual drunken party. We took Milo and I was so proud of him! We were around a LOT of people..it was loud, chaotic and busy..and he didn't flinch. There were kids carrying him around everywhere and he was ok with it. There were fireworks and he didn't react at all. We walked on the beach and he didn't like the water, but he LOVED running with Jeff in the sand. He's such a great and sociable little dog!

Then..it got weird. I was sleeping one day while Jeff was off running errands and he peed on me! In bed!! That makes the 4th time he's peed on me. The other 3 times were on my foot. I had to completely strip the bed and wash everything..even the pillow top cover. Sigh. No idea why he did it. We haven't had an issue since..at least not dominance peeing. He's still being housebroken, so I expected some peeing..but not ON me. Hmm. Don't know how I'm going to address that. I need to find a reason before I can correct it. I took him on a walk and he totally ignored me but listened to Jeff. The next day, he did exactly as he was told and I had no problems. Before Jeff got home from his 2 week trip, I had no issues...it was only after he got home that he started trying to claim me.

This past weekend, our neighbors had a fish fry. They'd just gotten back from Alaska and had some fresh salmon and haddock. It was awesome! There were a LOT of people and other dogs and Milo did fantastic. There was still loud music, fireworks and a lot of chaos..but he played with the other dogs, let everyone pet him and behaved like he was supposed to. So proud of him!

We've decided to schedule his surgery for week after next, after we get back from vacation. I am concerned about him though because tonight he tried to get in Faith's bowl while she was still eating and she snapped at him. He has a scratch next to his good eye and the white part above the eye is reallllllly red! His eye still responds to light and he can still see..but I'm worried he may lose his vision. Jeff says it'll be fine..that it's just bruised. I'd still rather take him to the vet and have him checked out, just to be sure. I don't know that I have it in me to be a seeing eye person. That's a serious challenge.

Since the incident, he's been extremely submissive. To the point of submissive peeing. He was laying on his blanket and peed while laying there...and then just laid in it. I put him in my lap and while laying there..peed. I went in the laundry room and he followed me in..and peed. Then he walked away with his head down and his tail tucked. He did it again in the kitchen..twice. Then in the bathroom, then at the water bowl and then in the living room. It's not like he's being defiant and going to go pee. He doesn't even take a "pee" stance. He'll just sit there and pee or lay there and pee. We put him in his crate and he just laid there. Didn't yelp, whine or bark. We even put him in another room and turned off the light..not a sound from him. It's like he lost all confidence and personality. We left him in the crate for a bit while he napped then we took him outside. I tried playing with him for a bit, but his heart wasn't in it. I gave him a piece of rawhide, then tried playing with him again. He seemed to be snapping out of it by bedtime, but I'm still worried. More about his eye than about his personality. I can work with him on getting his confidence back..but once he's blind, that's it.

I am worried that his run in with Faith with either make him afraid of other dogs or aggressive towards other dogs. I'm not angry with her..she was just claiming her food and putting him in his place. She didn't mean to hurt him and even came over to check on him when he went crying to Jeff. She acted genuinely upset that he was upset. He cowered in Jeff's lap for awhile. He had been showing some dominance and needed to be taken down a peg or two..but not like this. Jeff and I don't have children. That's a road we've been down for years and we always come back empty handed, so our animals are our children. As a parent, you try to protect them and prevent anything bad from happening to them. You don't want them to have any bad experiences that will scar them. You don't want them to know pain. I know you can't stop the world and can't prevent life from happening, but I still feel like I failed somehow. I didn't protect him. I was in bed when it happened. Jeff fed them and went back to work but he couldn't have prevented it any more than I could. No one's to blame..so why do I feel bad. Feel guilty? I'll call the vet today and set up an appointment to have his eye checked. Jeff will have to go because I have to work..but I hope he's ok.

I also did some research into Chiweenie's. The vet says there's another breed in there somewhere..that he had certain features that didn't fit chihuahua or dachshund. So, I ended up finding a picture of a Feist...and it fits. Almost exactly. Coloring, legs, feet, build, everything suits him. I'm sure he's still a mix..but that's the breed that we were missing. The eyes are chihuahua for sure..and he's long like a dachshund, but the rest is feist for sure. Jeff wants to have a blood DNA test done later on to determine his heritage, and while it would be interesting to know..it's not a great use of our money. We have other pressing matters. So, anyhow..that's my update for now. The sun is coming up which means it's time for bed. Yawn. If you pray, please pray for Milo and both his eyes. Pray that his good eye is ok and he'll keep his vision. Also pray that his eye surgery goes well in a few weeks. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Pet Overpopulation

I thought saving Milo would give me a sense of satisfaction..to know I'd saved a life but instead, I was filled with guilt over not being able to save them all. Half the ones I saw that day are now dead. This week, 3 owner surrender's were put down. One was dropped off b/c the owner was moving. Another was dropped off b/c he didn't want to care for her anymore. She was 9 and he'd had her since she was a puppy. She probably sat in that cage wondering what she'd done wrong and then had to die in a gas chamber with other dogs, afraid and lost. Her name was Shelby. It just breaks my heart. I've never seen a dog look so sad as her. I just want to clarify that NCAF is NOT the shelter. It's a separate group trying to save pets from the shelter. There was another senior dog who had a rescue, but they were trying to arrange transport and short term foster..but the shelter killed him because they didn't listen to their phone messages. It's senseless death. Horrendous. There's so many groups trying to ban gas chambers and promote non-kill shelters..both of which I'm for..but for now, I think their efforts are misguided.

I think the effort should be put into spay/neuter programs so that there's no overpopulation in the first place. There need to be programs in place to prevent backyard breeders, to require all shelter pets to be spayed/neutered, to develop low cost spay/neuter programs. More would be fixed if vets didn't charge so much for it. One place I called was going to charge $260 for a neuter. Seriously?? The mobile spay/neuter clinic SNAP is $100 and I've used them for 4 of my pets. At the time, it was only $60, but still, $100 isn't bad and it includes rabies, parvo/distempter and pain meds. There's also POP and they charge $95. There are places that offer $20 spay/neuter if you're income is under a certain amount or you're on Medicare/Medicaid.

If the population were under control, there would be no need for gas chambers. Once it's under control, THEN we can worry about the best way to euthanize. Focus on the cause of the problem..not the symptoms. Ok..I'll get off my soapbox for now. I just had to get that off my chest!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Milo's surgery

I know I'm missing a blog to explain who Milo is..but it won't post..and I don't know why. I lost half the blog because it wouldn't save and now I have to rewrite it.

Anyhow, in short, Milo is a Chiweenie puppy we took in 2 weeks ago from a kill shelter. He has secondary glaucoma due to a detached retina and needs the eye removed. It'll cost around $700..plus he needs to be neutered..so $800. I started a Chip-In so people who want to help save Milo from any pain can donate. Please go here to donate or click on the red box to the right. Even $1 can help us! I realize we're all affected by today's economy and you may not be able to afford to donate, but please pass this information along to someone who may be in the position to help. We have other animals that we've rescued and can use any help available.

See, isn't he cute?!? Don't you want to help him and prevent any future pain?

Friday, July 01, 2011

I'm late? Oh, I must be on Summer time!

The post from 6/30/11 that wouldn't post.
So much has happened since my last post! I've been to Switzerland and France, got a new puppy and had a LOT of training at work. Since so much has happened, I'll do my best do keep this a summary and then do detailed posts on everything another time.

First: Switzerland. It was amazing. The food is almost always a mixture of meat, potatoes and cheese in some form. My wine glass was rarely empty and my camera was always on. The air smelled of flowers, food or cows depending on where you were. They had self-cleaning toilets, took their dogs EVERYWHERE and it was remarkably clean. No litter or trash anywhere. We walked a LOT and visited Luzern, Schilthorn in the Alps, Interlaken, Lake Thun, Murren, Pilatus and stayed in Basel. The Marketplatz was very neat there. Because it sits in the corner of Switzerland that borders France and Germany, you'd be in one store where they spoke German and then go next door and they'd speak French.

Their version of Wal-mart had the best cart system ever. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who're too lazy to put their cart back and just leave it in a parking space. There, you have to pay to use a cart..and when you put it back, you get your money back. Brilliant! We also went to a futbol game between Basel and Thun where Basel won 5-0. Lucien and his girlfriend Katka were very accommodating and generous. They tended to our every want or need! I'd love to go back! One week just isn't long enough!

Since returning from Switzerland, I've had 48 hours of training at work for in-service. Half was online, the other was 3 days of class. Before Switzerland, we had another 12 hours of training through FEMA. I tell you, I'm trained out. Shew! It's so hard to take the online classes when you're at work and trying to do them between your other job duties. You keep getting interrupted. Eh, ok..that's enough about that.

Two and a half weeks ago, I happened to be looking on the Nash County Animal Friends (NCAF) Facebook page and re-posting the available pets for adoption. I've been doing a lot of that lately because there are so many who need homes. I had no intentions of getting another pet since we already have 7, but there he was..this cute little 3 month old chihuahua/dachshund mix with an injured eye. Nash County is a very high kill shelter because they're so small...and they use a gas chamber. They called him Pete and I knew by looking at his picture that his eye was going to need to come out. I thought, who's going to adopt a one eyed chiweenie pup?? No one will want the expense of having the eye removed and he was just too cute to risk letting him die. So, I kept watching for new posts about him since he wasn't going to be available for adoption for 72 hours. I contemplated my options and decided I was going to go save him. I got off work at 6am, got up at 10:30, left by 11 to be there by 1..which is when they opened. He wouldn't be available until 1:30..so I took the time to play with him. He's only 6 lbs and was basically bouncing off the walls. My actual plan was to be an independent foster and find him a home.

As luck would have it, another couple showed up interested in taking him, so I told them to go ahead and take him since I already had 7 animals. They changed their mind, even when I agreed to pay the adoption fee. Their thinking was that if I took Pete..they could save another one..but they left empty handed. Maybe they got one from another shelter. So, I scooped him up and brought him home. Jeff, who "hates" little dogs just loves him! We renamed him Milo and took him to the vet who referred us to an eye specialist. After seeing the specialist, it was determined that Milo has a detached retina which caused secondary glaucoma..so yeah, the eye has to come out... preferably before it becomes painful but after his skull has developed more to reduce deformity of it. They have no way of determining if it was an injury or if he was born with it. Both chihuahuas and dachshunds have a history of retinal dysplasia, but the good news is that his other eye is perfectly normal.

We've had him for 2 weeks and he's a cuddly little love bug. Potty training has been difficult, but he learned to sit within 15 minutes and hadn't even been home for an hour, so I think he belonged to someone and had wandered off. He did hike his leg and pee on my foot..twice. Today he also got so excited over dinner that when I told him to sit, he started peeing. It shot out in a stream across the floor from between his front 2 legs. I couldn't help but laugh! I'm still working on stay, come, heel, go potty and out. His eye drops every night are a pain in the butt though. I thought I could sneak up on the blind eye, but he can still see light/dark. I've tried different strategies. Some nights holding him down works, other nights I have to wait until he falls asleep and then open that eye and drop it in before he knows what happened. He never tries to bite though..he just wriggles around and I'm afraid of poking him in the eye.

The other dogs don't know what to think. I still don't trust Jazz to be left alone with him since she's been so snarly. Patches lets him climb all over her and she tries to play, but she just can't keep up. Despite my best intentions of trying to re-home him..I think we're going to keep him. He's well socialized, travels well, energetic but mellow and was a dream with the eye dr. and the vet. Jeff has this idea of taking him around on his motorcycle with him. A one eyed chiweenie on a motorcycle. Oh..yeah..Jeff got a motorcycle several weeks ago after taking a class for his license. He looks great on it!

Anyway, Milo is curled up in my lap sleeping as I type this and also despite my great attempts to keep him in a crate at night, it didn't work..he cried for HOURS. It's not like I gave up too easily..but 4 hours of crying when I had to get sleep was too much. I got up thinking he needed to go outside, but he cried for 2 more hours, so I let him in bed where he burrowed under the sheets and curled up by my feet. Since then, no issues. He runs through the yard with the other dogs, fetches and gallops through the house. The cats are warming up to him..but they're bigger than he is and have smacked him a few times. I do have a fear they'll scratch his good eye and blind him completely. I don't know that I have it in me to be a seeing eye person. I'm trying to schedule his eye removal and neuter the week we'll be in Fontana. That way, he can be boarded through his recovery and watched after. Jeff wants to take him with us, but since we're sharing a cabin with another couple, I think it would be rude. Plus, I go on vacation to get away from responsibility and he'd be in my lap in a Miata for 7 hours. It would be a great chance to socialize him more though. Eh, we'll see. We still have a few weeks to decide. Besides, I need to find a vet willing to do both surgeries and board that week.

Well, I think that's all the updates for now. I'll get into more detail about Switzerland later. There's just too much to write about to try to smoosh all this into one blog!


So, I've been trying to post a blog for a few days now..but Blogger wouldn't save it..or post it. Despite my many attempts, it has not posted and half of what I wrote is gone leaving me in a position of trying to re-remember what I wrote. Why am I writing this? To let my sole follower know that a blog IS coming. You WILL have your update. I just don't know when. It contains musings on a new puppy, the wonders of Switzerland and the atrocity that is in-service training. Soon, my dear reader..you will have your update.