Edgewater Greyts WebLog

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Frenchie Zoo's former life... 

Frenchie came to us a fragile girl, uncertain of her new home, what was in store for her. All her earthly possessions were with her, wicker bed {which sadly now sits empty in my room}, and her "babies" those stuffed animals she so loved to carry so proudly and tenderly in her mouth. She loved to give kisses, the only one of the hounds that did.

She was a bounce back, a family didn't want her anymore after having her for nine years. She was neurotic, she licked herself down to the bone, she had separation anxiety. These were the reasons given for giving her up. I was truly afraid of what we were getting ourselves into.

The licking we discovered was caused by an allergic reaction to her food, corn the culprit. A switch of diet and a few benedryls and she quit licking. We saw no signs when we got her that she had licked herself raw and down to the bone. I still haven't quite figured out what her neuroses were, but the separation anxiety was solved because she was in the company of fellow greyhounds.

I spoke with her former owner on the night that Frenchie died. She seemed shocked that she was gone, and questioned how she died and what the cause of her illness was. She also seemed defensive about why they gave her up and how much that they had done for her. She thanked me for calling but the sincerity felt hollow to me. How I wanted to tell her that she should've tried harder to find out why she acted the way she did. I learned that Frenchie had been attacked by two labradors and while she suffered no real physical injury she suffered mentally from it. Maybe that explained some of her problems, but with us she showed no fear of other dogs with us at home or on walks when we would encounter other breeds.

She was a sweet loving companion, she was a delicate girl, she was a daddy's girl. She relished being able to beat the other hounds to the sunroom to perch herself in one of the wicker chairs, she loved to be loved, she loved walks even though we found she had corns on her paws which caused her stride to be a little slower, she would tear down the stairs to be on the first walk.

Her life with us went too fast, we knew that taking seniors would mean eventual heartache but Frenchie wasn't with us as long as we would've wanted her to be. This was supposed to be about my conversation with her former owners but I can't help but just talk about her our beloved Frenchie. I thank you (former owners) for giving her up and letting us have the chance to make her last 19 months one which filled our lives with her loving gentle nature. I only wish you could've given her up sooner so we could've had her possibly longer.

Our sweet Frenchie, your pain is over, please watch over us, we'll hold a special place in our hearts for you forever. I look forward to the time when you can give me one of those wonderful kisses again!

Monday, May 17, 2004

how she must fly! she's free now and she soars the heavens 

Frenchie Zoo

28 September 1991 - 17 May 2004

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

we are still in the not knowing phase 

We spent the evening at the vets last night because the latest blood work on Frenchie showed a severe decline in blood values - something's additionally breaking down her RBC's. Our vet anticipated and got a blood donor there and got some blood transfused into Frenchie. The idea is this - we are treating for ehrlichiosis with doxy. We are also treating for auto-immune issues with prednisone to stop the destruction of her red blood cells. I was happy to see that she became progressively more alert the more time we stayed with her - I guess for her even the vets office is tolerable if you're with family.

Frenchie showed a tiny bit of interest in eating (she likes baby food) but realistically speaking I think I will need to "assist" her. Fortunately she tolerates that well with no resulting sickness.

We got her home after 9, and she was quite content to settle in the kitchen along with everyone else while Tom scratched together a quick dinner for us.

After I had settled in for the night along with part of the crew, including Frenchie, Frenchie must have decided to bed down for the night upstairs. Because that's where I found her this morning, sacked out on the flop room floor along with Tom and Missy.

Well, she'll be at the vet in less than an hour for a blood test to see if things are heading in the direction we are hoping for.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Frenchie's severe anemia 

Frenchie my sweet Frenchie you are sick! Very very anemic. Low Red Blood Cells, Very Low White Blood Cells, some blood values indicating breakdown of red blood cells. Tom and I left her at the vets overnight where she'll be on an IV.

Among the possibilities they're seriously considering are Ehrlichiosis or Babesiosis. Huh! I've been so intent on getting Knight and Surf treated for positive titers for Babesia with no real symptoms, and here I've got this sweet girl with typical anemia. Frenchie had a negative tick-panel in December too.

Too soon to speculate. Might also be something auto-immune, might be leukemia.

I want her home here. She'd apparently settled in okay by the time we left. Maybe we'll hear some more definitive news in the morning.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

beautiful weather sunday... 

and that's the only thing that's kept me sane after a weekend of worry over Frenchie. Her appetite had dropped to a couple of mouthfuls a day and then yesterday she didn't eat at all, no matter what I thought to try to entice her. She's also showing signs of high stress or pain with the fur almost falling off her body. Finally last night I shot an email to Dr. Suzanne Stack who contributes to the big greyhound list and to the Tick-L. I recalled her mentioning in passing that greyhounds are easy to force feed and asked her to tell me what the technique was, which she emailed to me within a couple of hours.

I ran off to the store for some canned dog food for the morning (that's what this feeding trick required), and then my dreams all night long were filled with the upcoming attempt at feeding.

Yaay, it worked! Frenchie wasn't fond of it, but in a very short amount of time I got a whole can of high-calorie food in her - by far the most she'd eaten in days. Same success with dinner - she finished off another whole can.

Lack of appetite though I fear is just a symptom. Her gums are totally devoid of pink which means she's anemic. She's horribly weakened and shaky too, but we've continued with the walks because she always wants to go on it. But she wants me to carry her on the steps in and out. And then there's the signs of stress/pain. I'd thought that that might be from the corns that have come off her two front feet in the last few days (duct-tape treatment). Now I'm worried that there's more going on.

As soon as Tom gets back to Chicago tomorrow and I'm done at the dentist (for MY mouth this time) we are heading to the vets.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Jack's major dental - Conclusion 

Tom, Jack and I spent the day at the dental vets office in Barrington. Jack finished up his dental begun three weeks ago and only lost six more teeth, for a final total of 24 teeth extracted.

He got a post-surgical morphine shot so maybe it took him just a little longer to get his legs back today. I'm happy to say that he was able to eat his dinner and go for a walk afterwards. Poor fellow was a little more unsteady than we thought and ended up not being able to hold a poop squat. He ended up sitting in it before I rescued him. He's no worse for the wear though.

Finally done with his mouth. I can hardly wait to see how he acts when he's completely healed up.

Jack, this was our present to you for your 13th birthday. Happy Birthday to our good boy and wishes for many many more.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

that wasn't that bad 

Knight and Surf got their first Imizol shots today. Our vet got to give her first Imizol shots today. It hurt like hell while the needle was in but not for too much longer. Still our vet was totally taken by surprise despite being warned in advance that it does hurt - apparently a lot.

Both of them pooped themselves empty within 15 minutes of leaving the vets office - whatever was in their systems got purged. Other than that both were perfectly fine. This was almost a non-event especially as it took 4 months to get to the shots. I am so relieved. Well, there is one more shot for each to go in 2 weeks.

On our after dinner walk Surf, Jack and I ran into Dennis walking Audrey and his new addition Monty. Monty formerly called Money was the one dog left in Ginny's home after Jack and the two others got new homes. It's clear this was a good match. Dennis is beaming, Audrey is very relaxed with Monty, and Monty is very much at ease himself. I was surprised that Audrey and Monty have decided on their own unique dining style. They will both work on one of their dog bowls TOGETHER, and when that's done both move TOGETHER to the second bowl and finish that one off. Incredible!

Right now is a moment of peace. The entire household is up in the flop-room. I'm here at my laptop composing this. Tom's in the recliner watching Tru Calling on TiVo with the little red dog Missy laying on the floor by the side of his chair. Kimba is upside down on the couch asleep, legs stuck out rigidly all akimbo. Four greyhounds on four dog beds on the floor, three with eyes closed, and one, Knight, with her eyes open, watching...

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