Every now and then, we need some good news. Today a picture showed up on our Facebook wall that we decided needed to be shared.

You may remember our post about a sweet pittie with a broken pelvis who needed a foster. You can find it HERE.

This is one of the pictures we were provided from when she was visited at the shelter:

injured pittie

Stevie Nicks the shelter dog

Here are some pictures her amazing family has taken since they adopted her:

This is what it’s all about.  Enjoy your sweet life, Stevie Nicks the Super Pittie!

Follow Stevie’s adventures on Instagram: @StevieNicksThePit

(Thank you Anna & Sarah for sharing your girl with us!)

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Elderbulls Melt My Heart

November 12, 2013

…and maybe my common sense too!

Saturday night as I was sitting on my sofa, watching a movie and randomly checking in on Facebook, a photo came across my wall that made me stop in my scrolling tracks.

Kemo shelter pic

If that face wasn’t sad enough, the description was the final straw:

Kilo owner surrender because of the landlord?? You have had him 12 years and landlord problems?? He is so sad his info A4651183 please he is a senior, a pit bull and owner surrender Carson shelter.

A 12 yr old pittie was stuck in a shelter, turned in by his owner???  I could not imagine it. Who would do that to a dog that had spent their entire lives with them? Whatever the situation, he needed out – NOW!  I checked the Carson shelter website to see what their adoption policies were. Some shelters have hold times even for owner surrenders. Carson does not. And he was already neutered, so in theory he should be able to go right away. I headed to Carson first thing Sunday morning!

At the shelter, it was clear that the poor guy had some major arthritis going on in his back, hips and rear legs. He also had skin tags all over his belly and a large tumor hanging from his penis.  Large in this case is about cherry tomato size. I could also tell he had a cataract in his left eye and the start of one in his right. He’s a BIG boy – 97.8 lbs! – and carrying all of that weight around had taken its toll on his poor body.  Judging by the scars on his elbows and knees, he had spent a lot of time sleeping on something less than soft.

He also reminded me of Rufus.  In fact, except for the ears, they’re almost identical!  When Rufus passed, I made a promise that I would take in as many compassionate care elderbulls as I could but this is the first chance I’ve had to follow through on that promise. There was no question, seeing him look so sad behind that gate in his kennel, seeing how much he reminded me of Rufus and remembering what an awesome dog Rufie was, this boy was coming home with me!

Once we got on the road, I decided it was time to change his name. His name had been Kilo, but there was no way in the world I was going to keep that name with all of its drug-laden history. Given his age though, I thought it would be best for the new name to sound similar. So as we’re driving down the freeway back to San Diego, I start going through the alphabet: Kibo, Kico, Kido, Kifo… finally I got to Kimo and I thought to myself “Wait, that means something!” Smartphone to the rescue, I was quickly reminded that Kemo Sabe is what Tonto called the Lone Ranger, and it means “Faithful Friend.”  EUREKA! It was perfect for this new sweet boy. So Kemo he became.

First stop for any new dog is the vet for a quick check up. We use a vet that is open 24/7 but evenings are considered emergency hours and rates are higher. We got to the vet after normal hours, so I decided to leave him there overnight so that the doctor(s) could examine him at their leisure. There was a long list of stuff I wanted them to look at, so I wanted to give them ample time to check him out.

Not an hour after leaving, they called me to say they believed he had bloat and needed to examine him right away. They also suggested that I come back so that I could speak with the doctor directly while everything was going on. I told them to go ahead with the xray of his belly that they requested and I was on my way.

The xray showed there was indeed a LOT of air in his stomach, and not much of anything else. The vet had gotten an xray that included part of his back too, and found that he had a collapsed vertebrae in his lower spine. Her best guess was that the pain from his back was causing him to gasp for air and also causing a decrease in his appetite. We needed to make him comfortable on super strong pain meds and administer antacids to reduce the air in his tummy.  She also wanted to run blood work to see if there was anything else going on, like with his liver, kidneys, and adrenals. The estimate she provided was over $1200!! Given his age and his physical condition, I had a really hard time justifying that expense, but he had JUST gotten out of the shelter and hadn’t even started his happy life yet.

kemo at vet

A friend mentioned to me that there were already some donation pledges on Facebook for him to the rescue that pulled him. I didn’t know anything about the pledges and I don’t ever consider them when deciding whether to pull a dog or not. I’m not in this for the money. But if any of that money actually came through, it would be a huge help in offsetting these costs. So I OK’d the treatment and then kept my paws crossed that he would be feeling better by the next day.

While I was at the vet, that same friend was telling people on Facebook about what was going on and everyone was asking for a YouCaring page. I hadn’t set one of these up before; I hadn’t done any major medical fundraising since ChipIn shut down. While Kemo and I were waiting for the results of his blood work, I set up a YouCaring page for him (smartphone to the rescue once again).  If you’re interested, you can find it HERE.

The blood work showed that he had some kidney issues, but the vet thought they were from his not drinking enough water lately. There were no liver problems that she could see. His glucose levels were a little elevated which was strange since he hadn’t eaten anything. The vet wants to recheck him for diabetes once he’s more stable. The results seemed to confirm her thought that this was pain-related, so we proceeded with the treatment plan she had outlined previously.

By the time I got home from the vet, the YouCaring was already up to $440!!!  HOLY COW! I was flabbergasted, truly. I was, and still am, incredibly grateful for every single dollar that has been donated. I thought I would be lucky to raise $500 altogether, but apparently word was really getting around about this sweet elderbull who needed a fighting a chance.

The next day, Monday the 11th, the vet called to say that Kemo was doing great!  The antacids were doing their job; the pain meds were doing their job; he was eating and drinking again; and he had a little spring in his step. I would be able to pick him up that night!

Now that he’s home, Kemo is even more like Rufus than I thought he was before. He gets along GREAT with all the other dogs in the house, regardless of size or temperament. He seems to particularly like Sophie just like Rufus did. He does seem to be housetrained, which is a bonus. He follows me around like a not-so-little shadow. He loves to lay on the sofa and just sleep sleep sleep. He tried to get on the big bed last night but at 98 lbs, I couldn’t help him get up that high so he had to make due on the floor. He has no interest in the dog beds whatsoever. He likes laying outside in the fresh air and sunshine. He’s a little camera shy, but so far I’ve managed to get a few pics of him snoozing away:

Since he takes up the entire sofa, guess who was sitting on the dog bed last night?

Somehow, the donations keep coming!  Kemo will require regular blood work to monitor his kidneys and his glucose levels. He’ll need to be on pain meds the rest of his life. And he requires a special diet because of his excess weight and his kidneys being slightly compromised. His final vet bill was just over $900. Anything donated over that will go towards his aftercare.

Kemo is a very special dog. He’s exactly what you’d expect from an elderbull – sweet, loving, docile, lazy (lol!). I look forward to helping him enjoy his final days, weeks, or months in as much comfort as I can provide him.

A lot of people have asked me why I pulled him. To me, it wasn’t even a question. I went to get him because he needed me to. He will thank me every day for the rest of his life, just by snoring loudly on my sofa every night.

Behind the scenes…

December 2, 2012

We here at Puggles & Pitties generally prefer to work behind the scenes to get stuff done. We’re not good about updating this blog or our Facebook page, because we’re really busy rescuing dogs, or finding a rescue to help a dog we’re not able to help ourselves.

Case in point:  Tyson the Elderbull.  We posted about him a little over a month ago and then again last week.  We really, really, REALLY wanted to help him. We like helping senior pitties, or elderbulls as we call them. They are usually pretty calm dogs, just looking for a place to rest their sweet little heads (OK, big blockheads, but sweet nonetheless).  Yes, they may have some medical issues, as any senior dog will, but generally they have little to no behavioral issues.  They are incredibly grateful to be rescued and will love you more than you can imagine. The love you find you feel for them will take your breath away.

Ever since we had to say good-bye to Rufus, we have been on the lookout for another senior who would be a good candidate for the rescue, and we were sure Tyson was it. So one way or the other, we had to save him.

Well, we are happy to announce that Tyson left the shelter yesterday!! Through a frantic series of texts and emails, his rescue was coordinated last week – finding a foster, arranging the shuffling around of some dogs so that foster could help, finding another foster, arranging the shelter pull, coordinating times for the pull and subsequent hand off…it takes a LOT of work and a LOT of help from wonderful volunteers to make a rescue happen!

But yesterday it all came together for Tyson.  Here he is during his ride from the shelter to his foster home:

Tyson

Free at last!!

His foster mama said his breath was HORRENDOUS and he needed to be seen ASAP. So today she took him to an anesthesia-free dentist who was able to pull one of the teeth that was under that tongue of his. It was so rotted, it just came right out. She also cleaned all his other teeth and said he needed to come back in about 3 months for a check up.  We also discovered that his tongue hangs out because his jaw is malformed. We can’t tell if it was a genetic problem or if it was broken at some point at not treated, but his lower jaw doesn’t align correctly to allow his tongue to stay in his mouth.  Because the salivary glands are located under the tongue, the teeth that are constantly under his tongue are exposed to more saliva than they normally would be, which will lead to excessive decay and tartar on those teeth.  So we need to keep an eye on them to make sure they stay in good shape.

But the BEST news, is that Tyson gets along with his foster brother and sister really well, and the foster mom wants to keep him!!  So in the process of finding a foster for Tyson, we ended up finding his forever home!!  HURRAY for TYSON!!

And that is what we call a happy ending!  Thank you to Sarah, Anna, Yvonne, Chela, Paula, and Cathy for making this happen!!

We got her!!

September 29, 2012

Quick update for everyone who contacted us about Carnation – Yes! We got her this morning!

She is SUCH a sweet girl, just so loving and kissy and playful and amazing.

Here are some pictures of her from her drive back to San Diego.

Ready to hit the road!

Gettin’ sleepy…

She’s now settling in nicely with Nick and Jenn, her foster mom and dad, plus her two foster sisters. They’ve changed her name to Chance and report that as of tonight she’s already fitting in like she’s always been there!

We’ll make an appointment for her this week to see the vet about her leg. The femoral head is broken and clearly has been for a while so we’ll see what Dr Hampel says.

Thank you everyone for your well wishes and prayers for Carnation!  She’s already a success story, and she’s only just arrived!

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