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We’re baaaaaack…

Well, we’re finally back from our trip. As planned, we spent two days driving to Louisiana to spend three days with Jim’s mother, who’s 95 years old. We left there on 31 July and drove the remaining 850 miles to Clearwater Beach, FL in one longish day. The next 19 days were spent doing a lot of work on the boat (including scrubbing and sterilizing the fresh water tanks, which were affected by an algal growth so bad that the dogs wouldn’t drink the water!) and several day sails.

And, yes, Abby went sailing with us…three times. On the first sail, she did pretty well, but was a bit anxious (understandable, as this was a completely new experience for her). The second sail, which included Abby and Peyton (who’d travelled with us to Florida to be adopted there), was a bit rough and the dogs were flung about the cabin a bit too much for comfort; needless to say, they didn’t have much fun. The third sail on which Abby joined us was really perfect. There was good wind, calm seas, and it wasn’t terribly, terribly hot. I think she actually enjoyed herself.

Sheltie rescue work didn’t stop while we were gone, however. All sorts of things happened, including new dogs coming in and rescues having medical problems. We mostly thought that everything was under control, but we were seriously wrong!

First, a new rescue named Smokey came into the program from the local humane society exhibiting signs of kennel cough. He was treated (both at the human society and at Cottonwood Animal Clinic) and spent a coupld of days at Julene’s house. Unfortunately (we don’t think, and fervently hope, that it’s unrelated!), one of Julene’s earlier rescues passed away during the night and she was (obviously!) distraught, so Smokey was moved to another foster home. A coupld of days later, the other foster called us to say that Smokey was coughing up blood, so he took the poor boy over to Cottonwood, where they tried diligently to discover what the problem was. As they were preparing to X-ray his lungs, Smokey died!

Then we got the phone call from hell. Our “petsitter” called to say that Jasper (who weighs about 65 pounds!) had falled off the ramp we installed to help the older kids get down to the yard and back into the house and broken his leg! Of course, we said to rush him to Cottonwood immediately. Well, when he got there, they found that he had not, in fact, broken his leg. But that was the only good news. Instead, he was heavily infested with maggots!!! They were crawiling around all under the skin of his left shoulder and leg! He was immediately hospitalized and they operated on him to remove the maggots and “plenty of necrotic tissue”!! And that’s when things started to get really bad. Breathing problems erupted (he was turning cyanotic and had very labored breathing). Eventually, they diagnosed pneumonia, but suspected some additional heart problems that seem to not really be present. So, here we are upon our return to Utah with poor Jasper in the hospital for two weeks (and a vet bill rapidly approaching $5,000!!!!!) with a huge open wound on his left shoulder/leg (from the surgery) that they can’t close up because they don’t think he would survive being anesthetized, a gaping hole in his left elbow from an ulcer that had been allowed to run amock that they can’t close up (same reason), major breathing problems, and almost no ability to stand up because of weakness and grotesque obesity (with which he had originally come to us).

But then we saw our house.

The floors of several rooms (the dog’s food room, the family room, the kitchen and dining area, the office, and the master bedroom) were covered in feces and urine that had been ground into the carpets and wood floors because of people just walking through it without cleaning it up. A large piece of one of our couches (about 8″ by 18″) had been ripped apart and partially eaten (the claim was that Jodee had done it in “just a couple of minutes while I was out of the room”). The oven has cheese baked into most of its surface, the microwave was filthy, the shower was filthy, there were fast-food drink straws all in the bed, … hell, I can’t go on. It’s just too depressing. There’s probably several thousand dollars of damage done to our house and property. And the “petsitter” just didn’t understand why we were upset!

So, the relaxation and pleasure we had from our trip to the boat expired instantly upon our return, and we’ve spent the weekend and today just trying to make the house liveable.


On this day..

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7 comments to We’re baaaaaack…

  • Oh my goodness, that’s beyond aweful news!  I’m so sorry to hear that things have gone so terribly awry while you were gone.  :-(

  • Kim and Dan

       I am sorry to hear that things did not go well at SRU while you were gone, and especially sad to hear about Smokey and Jasper.  I wish I could help SRU, especially when you take time away, but being three states away myself limits what I can do. 
       How did Peyton’s adoption go?
       On an up note Sparky is doing wonderfully!  Barb had worried a little about him not wanting to eat, no need to worry about that any more!  He enjoys his food just as much as the other dogs do. He goes outside right after he’s finished eating, and since he isn’t yet eating part of his meal from a kong he finishes quickly, before Jerry and Misty. Earlier this week he actually barked to be let inside after going potty, that was the first time he didn’t just lay down on the back step and wait for Jerry Lee and Misty to join him.
       Sparky has a wide range of noises that he makes – all very friendly, last weekend he was so excited to play he was actually growling!  He almost always talks when he plays, and he loves to play!
       I hope this blog entry adds a bright spot to your day. 

  • Thanks for your concern, Kim. Happily, Jasper seems to be improving day by day. It’s too soon to declare victory, but his wounds are healing and his energy is (very) slowly increasing. He still can’t stand by himself, but he can walk a few meters once we stand him up.

    Peyton’s adoption went great! Steve (his adopter) was as great a Sheltie-daddy as we’d come to believe from talking to him on the phone and via email. His current three Shelties are healthy and happy and well cared for, so we were convinced that Peyton would be the same. And it has proven to be the case. We’re certain that Peyton will be happy and get the best care possible.

    Thanks SO much for the update on Sparky. He’s a very special boy and I really love him and want to know that he’s happy and fitting in completely. We wouldn’t have allowed you to adopt him if we weren’t positive that you’d be the perfect home for him, and we have every confidence in you and your unlimited love for your furkids. It’s so much fun to read your updates, so please keep writing about him (and about Misty and Jerry Lee, too).

  • OMG! That is horrible!  And I feel bad too because when I was there to drop Tanner off I saw dirty dishes laying around the living room and dining room but I didn’t think much of it other than to tell her that she will need to keep that stuff picked up or Tanner would get into it. I should have called you guys to inform you of this and I am so sorry that I didn’t. I just got off the phone with mom and she said that when she went to pick up Tanner the petsitter just brought him outside and shut the door behind her.

  • Absolutely unacceptable pet sitting.  If she came from an agency I’d be talking to them.  Probably not though.  Obviously she was overwhelmed by the job (it IS a big job!) but still…unacceptable.  I’m glad Jasper seems to be making a comeback…and very sad about Smokey, whom you didn’t even get to meet? 
    I have an interview for a job on Monday.  If I get hired (a big if apparently as I haven’t been able to find work in 10 mos) I can help support you guys again!  Here’s hoping!

  • Sheltiemom

    It’s the 7th of September. I realise this was a couple of weeks ago. Sorry to read about Smokey’s sudden passing and the petsitting fiasco. How are things going now?I’m feeling a bit torn right now. Shall I donate a bit for the dogs medical bills or for their home(temporary home) renovation? Which one’s the greater need?
    I know you both work hard and put a lot of love into your work. Both Sassy and Anna are still with me and doing well.

  • Thanks so much for all of the wonderful, supportive comments. Kathlynn, any donation you wish to make should be specifically to and for Sheltie Rescue of Utah, and that doesn’t include repairs on our house. That’s our problem. Donations for the dogs’ medical bills are always deeply appreciated. Thanks for updating us on Sassy and Anna, too!

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