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Tap and Ballet

Well, the pack has grown by a couple of Shelties. Actually, this happened last weekend, but things have been too crazy for me to blog about it until now.

Three or four years ago, a woman contacted us with a request that we take one of her two Shelties into our program. She woman’s health was deteriorating somewhat and she wasn’t sure that she would be able to take care of both her dogs. Two or three times, she brought her dog over to us to relinquish him for adoption, then just couldn’t bring herself to sign the forms. We felt really badly for her, because it was clear that she loved her dogs very much, but that she was having real difficulty doing all that needed to be done.

After going back and forth for a while, we set up an arrangement with her in which we would accept one of her dogs, Tap, for long-term puppy-sitting here at Camp Sheltie while she and her other dog temporarily moved to another state. That worked reasonably well, because Tap’s a really nice boy and was pleasant to have around, we made some money for Sheltie Rescue, and the woman got a bit of relief from her overload.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, we got a call from the woman saying that her health was really going downhill and there was no way she could continue to care for either of her beloved Shelties. So she relinquished both Tap and Ballet to us. Yes, they are named after dance forms! They are both lovely guys. Ballet is a very pretty blue merle girl, about 8 or 9 years old, while Tap is a handsome tri-color boy about 6 or so. Actually, Tap might be better described as a color-headed white, because his body is more than 50% white, and he’s pretty striking in appearance.

Unfortunately, they are both badly over weight. Ballet is truly obese, and has one of those terrible butt-overhangs (such as the one that Shelbee had when she first got here). The really bad thing for Ballet is that it was far too easy for her bottom to get very dirty and covered in dried poop, and her tail had gotten some sores on it. We’ve since figured out that the sores on her tail were cause no only by her bottom getting soiled, but by the fact that she cannot sit without tucking her tail far underneath her! Poor baby. She needs to lose at least 15 or 20 pounds, and Tap needs to lose at least 10.

A couple of days ago, Ballet started throwing up, and we couldn’t figure out why. Barbara took her to the vet today after yet another bout of barfing. She has several things going one. First, she’s got a urinary tract infection, which is probably the reason why she’s throwing up; so she’s been given an anti-nausea medication. The vet thinks that she has Cushings, so we’ve got blood work in progress.

She has a couple of masses beneath her tail, which has contributed to those sores I mentioned. And she has a very large internal mass that’s pressing on her intestines, which they initially thought was her kidney, but happily turned out not to be. These masses are simple fatty tumors, not cancerous, but some of them may end up having to be removed.

They’re both dealing pretty well with having lost their home. Existing pack members aren’t giving them a hard time, which is a relief, but they want a lot of TLC. Ballet tends to spend a lot of time near my desk or close to me when I’m watching telly, while Tap prefers to hide out under the dining table where nobody will step on him.

We’ll get some weight off them, get Ballet’s health problems under control, and then start trying to find a home for them. It would be preferable if they could go together, but that might not be absolutely necessary. As usual…Tap,

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7 comments to Tap and Ballet

  • Never a dull moment at your house!

    So, if Ballet does have Cushings, would the Anipryl be a possible treatment? I think that was what I was reading was one of the main disorders that they are prescribing it for at this point. I had a friend that had a Pomeranian with Cushings, but honestly, even though the attempted to treat it, I didn’t think that he ever looked very healthy. Medications have come a long way since then though.

  • Harleysmom

    Do you guys want to run Ballet over to the groomery and I can shave her up under her tail so she can stay a bit cleaner? Remember the lady that Barbara met with the really obese sheltie? “Sultan”? He still has a big butt overhang but it makes a world of difference to her to keep him shaved up under that tail and he has had less clingon’s and symptoms which are problematic to that overhang going on. Let me know how I can help there ok?

  • She’s 20 pounds overweight? That’s pretty hard to imagine… must be half her body weight!!

  • Marie, a couple of days ago, Barbara told me about Ballet’s blood work, and the good news is…she does not have Cushings! On the other hand, she’s got loads of fatty tumors (which aren’t malignant), plus an internal mass that unfortunately is pushing her intestines to the side. As a result (possibly from that), she’s pretty tender on her belly and likes only the gentlest of tummy rubs.

  • Tap and Ballet is a good choice of name. It is very interesting! I am sure you enjoy spending time with them.

  • bathroom suite

    Nice names!!!! very unusual

    em x

  • ha love these names. bet you get funny looks when you shout them in the park

    saz xxx

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