Missy arrived here Sunday evening at about 10:00pm. What a long saga this darling girl has been through! I carried her inside and set her down in the room in which all the dogs eat (previously our formal dining room). The room smells great to dogs because of all the kibble and dog treats we keep there so it’s usually a great place to put a new kid – gives them yummy thoughts to think about instead of anxious ones. I had a big bed set up for Missy and as soon as she saw it she headed right for it and settled herself in it. I decided to feed her a light meal. I was told by Danielle, one of the two LOVELY women who transported Missy, that she’s only supposed to eat soft/canned foods though nobody was quite sure why that is. So I opened up a can of food (with new dogs I use Hill’s Prescription i/d which most vets use for the dogs they’re boarding due to illness or surgery or something like that) and Missy enjoyed a light meal of canned food. This particular dog food is meant to help soothe the lining of the digestive tract and be very easy to digest regardless of whatever diet the dog may be used to eating. I made sure a bowl of water was within a muzzle’s reach so she really didn’t need to move to get a drink if she wanted it.
I’m not sure why Missy is supposed to be on a canned food or soft food diet? Her mouth and teeth don’t appear to be an issue. However, with older kids, I buy the highest quality smallest piece of kibble I can find. Right now I use Artemis. I’ve tried out some on Missy and she seems to be doing very well with it.
I slept on the couch Sunday night so I would be near to Missy just in case she had any problems or might be reassured by having a person nearby – having lived her life with people nearby. As I became familiar with the specific difficulties Missy has with movement I have changed her bed to one that will be easier for her to get in and out of and still have a great deal of support for those deformed limbs she has.
Missy is gradually becoming familiar with the location of all the various water bowls we have all over the place here. That’s something I really like to see even with dogs who don’t have any difficulty walking. I’ll probably bring Missy in to have an orthopedic evaluation with a specialist at our vet clinic. Her funny walk appears to me to be related to birth defects in both her front and hind legs. On her front legs her elbows bow way out. Her right front foot appears to be deformed, over-sized, and very flat. Her rear leg “elbows” also are deformed. Missy can walk but she does so with an obviously unusual gait. I think these deformities could have occurred during or just after the birth process if not within the birth sac during her development in the womb. Based on Missy’s teeth and everything else I see, she appears to me to be in pretty good health. We will do a senior wellness exam on her at the same time we do the orthopedic evaluation.
I would like her to weigh at least a little less just to aid her poor legs which were not built to hold her even at a normal weight. Although she seems heavy when I lift her, I can feel her ribs fairly easily.
Missy will be sleeping in her bed in the food room where two other girls sleep. This will keep her on our main floor with no need to worry about stairs to get inside or outside. She has walked both up and down the large ramp we have for the dogs to get into the yard from the back door. It’s really good to see that she can be mobile on her own and it’s really good to see that she already anticipates breakfast and dinner at the times we prepare them. I’d say Missy is settling in and getting familiar with us! – Barbara