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It Couldn’t Last

13. Sounds like so long ago. But things happen. Don’t they?

Let’s do the good news first, OK? We got a call this evening from Ralph, who adopted Tippy and Copper just a few days ago. He wanted to report on the kids’ first visit to their new veterinarian. Copper was pronounced in outstanding health, and Tippy’s report was generally good but tempered by what we continue to believe is lupus on her muzzle. Their vet’s working with a nearby university that’s developing some new tests related to lupus and Tippy’s going to participate in the program (at least that’s the impression I got from Ralph). So, everything is going great there!

Better yet, we had another adoption last night!! A woman to whom Barbara had been talking for some time came over to adopt Echo. She had very recently lost (to old age) one of her three Shelties. The other two came over with her to meet Echo. They were elderly (one is 13, the other about 8 or 9 I think), very sweet and gentle, and got along fine with Echo. Echo really seemed to like the woman and didn’t mind the other two Shelties, so we decided this was right. The woman called today to let us know that everything is going OK, but that Echo isn’t eating. Barbara reassured her that Echo didn’t eat when he first came to us, either, but that he would start eating in a day or two. Hooray…another dog off to a forever home!

Tippy and Copper were barely out of the house (and Echo still here), on their way to their new home in Oregon, before we got a call from a couple to whom we adopted a largish Sheltie named Laddy almost exactly two years ago . The economy has taken its toll on them and they had become unable to spend any time with Laddy; I got the impression that they were both working two jobs or something like that. Anyway, they very unhappily needed to return Laddy to us. He’s been here for 3 or 4 days now, and he’s a little bit clingy…wants me to pet him almost continuously. He’s relaxing some, though, and is now sleeping upstairs in the bedroom with us. He’s a great guy. Even though his adoptive daddy told us that Laddy had not completely gotten over his issues (reported in his adoption day story), we haven’t seen any evidence at all of that.

But the real story is what happened today. This morning, Barbara told me that she’d had a call from an animal control facility down in Utah County, about 30 or 45 minutes south of here, about a Sheltie they’d found wandering the streets. Barbara checked the picture they shelter’d put up on the web to confirm that the dog was really a Sheltie and was immediately concerned about the apparent poor condition of the dog. She left the house almost immediately to go retrieve the girl.

When she got back home with "Sage" (which is the name the shelter gave her), I was horrified. I wasn’t positive that this girl would live until I got her upstairs, never mind to the vet’s! She seems to be very old, her eyes were so runny and gunky that we could barely see the eyeballs…and there was little evidence that she could see at all, she was wheezing like she had fluid in her lungs, shivering from the cold and seemingly from pain, and Barbara said that she wasn’t really able to walk, perhaps due to a broken leg. And, of course, her teeth were horrible. Also, she has worse mats on her legs than I have every seen…ever! This girl looked worse than anything we’ve had come into our program in quite a while.

At the moment I’m writing this, Barbara has Sage, as well as Justice, at the vet. She’s been gone for more than 1.5 hours, so I’m very curious to find out what the vet had to say. I’ll be surprised if she lasts the night, although Barbara did give her subcutaneous fluids to rehydrate her some…that might actually have saved her life long enough to get to the vet’s.

We’ll keep you posted on what is going on.

On this day..

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5 comments to It Couldn’t Last

  • Well, if Sage doesn’t survive the night, at least her last hours will be with people that care about her and make her comfortable. Poor baby.

  • I was really worried when I saw the picture they had posted of Sage at the shelter, so I was quite relieved to hear that Barbara already had her at the house when I called to inquire about her. I thought the same thing as Dawn, if this is her last night, at least it won’t be spent alone in a shelter, and she will be more comfortable.

    As for the continuing adoptions…that’s great news!

  • Well, I may have overstated things a bit…not out of carelessness, because Sage really did look as bad as I said.

    In fact, I was wrong that Barbara had taken her to the vet. She had taken Justice, but decided to leave Sage home in the belief that the trip would be too much for her. But Barbara talked to the vet at length about Sage and was given good advice and meds. Among other things, we were given a B-12 shot to be given subcutaneously, as well as some broad spectrum antibiotic also to be administered subcutaneously.

    Barbara also spent a fair amount of time trimming some of the most egregious mats and knots out of Sage’s coat, and found a burr embedded in between the pads on one paw. After the removal of the burr, Sage was able to stand and walk a couple of steps. This morning, I carried her outside and she was able to walk (well, wobble) enough to pee.

    Also, she’s started showing a bit of an appetite and has eaten something like 2 or 2.5 cans of soft dog food (prescription a/d, which is high in nutritional value but extremely gentle on the system). She’s sleeping almost continuously, and it’s still very clear that there is a lot wrong with her (medically speaking), but she’s also aware that she’s being treated gently and caringly and that she’s warm and dry.

    It looks like she will survive, at least for a while. Next week, I’ll be out of town (business), but Barbara may decide to take Sage to the vets for a real workup.

  • Thanks for the update on Sage, Jim. Nice to hear that she’s eating and getting rest. Maybe that will the be the first step to her recovery.

  • Aww poor thing. Very unlikely story a dog could have. I hope Sage will recover further so that she can be healthier than ever.

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