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All Calm on the Western Front

Thankfully, it’s been pretty quiet today, letting me focus on my day job. (Yes, it does seem like I work 24×7!)

The big news, I think, is that Olivia is coming out of her shell a bit more. What? We haven’t told you about Olivia? Oops…maybe I should do that first.

A few weeks ago, we got this incredibly frail little Sheltie turned over to us from this nice couple who had adopted her from somebody who had advertised her on KSL. The couple were both undergoing some medical treatments and decided that they simply couldn’t manage Olivia’s problems, and they relinquished her to us. None of Olivia’s problems, to the best of our knowledge, were in any way caused by that couple, and we’re not blaming them in any way!

Olivia came to us barely able to stand, and it wasn’t really clear what the problems were. She clearly has bad arthritic issues, her teeth were in pretty poor condition, her tummy was chronically upset (with the accompanying diarhhea, of course), and so forth. She spent some time at the vet’s, of course, but the good news was that her blood work was very good! That told us that there was hope for her, and we didn’t need to send her to the Bridge right away.

Well, because of her digestive problems, we confined her to a bathroom on the main floor of our house, adjacent to the office in which we work and to the family room where we veg out if and when we have time. It took a while, but she eventually started eating her food, and by now she has a very healthy appetite. Plus, her digestive problems have calmed down quite a lot.

But for a long time, she was not showing tons of awareness of us or the other dogs. We suspected (and suspect) some sort of neurological impairment, especially because her gait is clumsy in a way that doesn’t seem to be explained satisfactorially by arthritis. It didn’t help that she’s clearly got restricted vision and hearing, but she seems to have more of both than we initially thought.

Well, in the last few days, we’ve been letting her stay out of her bathroom more and more, properly supervised, of course. And she’s been showing signs of wanting to be close to us and more a part of the pack. Not that she’s in any danger of starting to run around and play with Abby or anything, but still… Well, this morning, she wobbled into the kitchen while I was fixing my usual bowl of cereal for breakfast and set herself up right with the other 8 or 10 dogs who know damned well that I’m going to give them a taste of my cereal if they’re onl patient. And she was thrilled when I gave her a little piece, just like I did the other kids! I mentioned this to Barbara and she told me that Olivia has just recently started walking up and bumping Barbara’s leg to ask for some attention!

We can’t tell now what the future is going to hold for Olivia, but she’s so vastly improved compared to her arrival state that we have hopes she might be able to have some months, perhaps a couple of years, of happiness and joy. Who knows? Maybe we’ll even get to solicit a retirement home for her some day fairly soon!

On this day..

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