Saturday, August 17, 2013

Someone you don't hear about much....

This is Aggie. She's one of our permanent senior fosters through ATDR. Come Labor Day weekend, she will have been with us two years.

You don't hear much about her because, well, she's really rather difficult to live with. Fostering can sometimes be a crap shoot; sometimes you win and sometimes the house wins. The house won in this case.

As you can see, she's not full Dachshund. Best guess is she's a Deagle - a Dachshund/Beagle mix. We're not sure how old she is, because her natural coloring has a lot of white. Her face was white when we got her and her legs had a lot of white on them as well. Her body color had a heavy roaning, so our best guess is she's maybe 14 now.

We're not sure of Aggie's story. She came out of a shelter in Oklahoma to the shelter at Wichita Falls, and we brought her in that fall. Little Aggie is deaf, though we know she can hear some stuff. She's also got a neurological component as well. I jokingly say she was dropped on her head at birth, and that sort of describes how she acts.

She has never really interacted with people. At most, she sees us as food providers and doesn't understand affection. Occasionally she'll react when you pet her, but when she's had enough, she just sort of drifts off. Rather like a cat in some respects if the cat never had much to do with people during its formative years.

Her interactions with the pack can be trying at times, too. I don't think she was ever around other dogs before, and while I know the deafness contributes to some of the behavior, I don't think that's all of it. Fortunately everyone here is pretty laid back and they know she's "different" so they overlook most of her behavior.

Things are a bit more difficult with Aggie now because doggie dementia is setting in. She's on Cholodin and Anapryl, and both of those help a lot. Without them, I'm not sure what we would do. We've had senior dogs with dementia in the past, but Aggie's is particularly challenging because of her hearing loss and people/dog skills.

But she's here. We'll provide a home, love and food for her for as long as she needs it. She's safe, and when she's ready to go to the Bridge will let her go with a hug and a kiss. She's been safe with us for two years, and I know we've given her everything we could.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Poor Buddy

We've rocked along pretty good with really no trouble from Buddy. He's responded beautifully to his heart medicines and you just couldn't ask for a better boy.

Last night around 2:30, Randall got up to take him out for his middle of the night potty break. Completely uneventful. Comes back in and shines the flashlight on Buddy's pallet so he can see to climb on it, and starts screaming "Blood! Blood!"

Now I'm a very sound sleeper normally, but I also wear ear plugs which blocks out most ambient noises, and last night I had a pain pill around midnight, so I was REALLY deeply asleep. And let me tell you, hearing that screamed in the middle of the night is just NOT what you want to have happen.

I got up and Randall had the light turned on and by the time  got my glasses on and got across the room to where Buddy sleeps on his pallet I could see this wasn't just a few drops. Blood had pooled all over one side of his pallet and up the closet door. There were large drops of blood clustered every few feet, and you could see more blood coming out the left side of his mouth.

We got him into the bathroom and I started trying to track down the problem. It looked to be on the left side of his mouth, and the good news was it looked like the flow was lessening. I was able to clean him up and when I looked inside, it did look like whatever had happened had happened in his mouth and this wasn't coming from further down his throat.

Huge relief there.

So I changed the pillow case on his pallet (I have it wrapped in a garbage bag so it's waterproof), and Randall got all the blood cleaned up. Poor Buddy thought he'd done something wrong, so I had to spend some time slobbering over him and reassuring him that we loved him and there was nothing wrong.

Late this morning I got a good look inside his mouth. There was a huge abscess on the cheek on the left side of his mouth. His teeth looked good and there was no inflammation around the gum line. It looked as if what was going on was independent of a tooth, and there had definitely not been any of the visible swelling you get with a problem tooth.

So sweet Buddy is going to be on some antibiotics for the next 14 days. He may need a dental, though with his dicky heart that's problematic. His teeth were in fine shape when he got here, and what I saw last night looks like just a simple cleaning would handle it. I'm going to wait several days and see if I can't brush them. Much of what is on the teeth is simply residue from the canned food he eats. So once the antibiotics have a chance to work, I'll see what I can do.

Meanwhile, he's off is 1/2 a baby aspirin. If he does end up having surgery of some sort, he doesn't need his blood thinned.

I will keep everyone posted on the progress.