Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Many thanks to Lisa and Josh for all their help over the past 6 weeks!

Here's hoping for good health for the pack in the new year.
After we found out that Ernie had heartworm, we tested the whole pack. A bunch of dogs tested positive. It was caught early, so the prognosis is good. Treatments were expensive and rough on the dogs. We wrongly believed they were protected by being on Frontline. Now poorer, but better informed, we will be giving ALL of them a shot of ivermectin EVERY month.
Poor George had a bad reaction to the treatment. The vet thinks that swelling from the shot caused some nerve damage. He hasn't been able to stand or walk. He's a 60b dog and we live on the second floor, so Sean and I are both feeling his pain. Dra. Sandra recommended swimming for therapy. George seems to enjoy it and he's showing some improvement. He stood up today for a moment, for the first time in weeks! Happy new year indeed!

Josh and Lisa swim with George and Ziggy:

The holidays brought some new arrivals. One fuzzy little guy that had been steadfastly resisting warming to us finally gave in. He's been lurking around for at least 6 months and, more recently, had taken to hanging out under our truck. He finally decided to check out life on the other side of the fence. He's a little smaller and darker than Henry and we call him Ziggy. He has a problem with his eye, but is in no distress. He's been vaccinated, deloused, and will soon be going in for a neutering. He is a sweetie, he just gets noisy when overwhelmed with emotion.

In the spirit of the season, we took in a sweet mamacita about as old as Gracie. She has 3 pups and a long story. One of the pups has been here for a month or so.
we call him Chico:


The other 2 had been holed up nearby at an empty property, but were driven out when the owners arrived. 
I found them living under a bush about a quarter-mile away from our house. It took a few days of squatting in the mosquito infested shrubs with grub to trick them into a crate. Hallelujah. That sucked. 

They're here now and we're working on socializing them. Their brother Chico is outgoing and huge by comparison. They are, as of yet, unnamed. Anybody want a puppy? They'll be vaccinated tomorrow and old enough for neutering in a few weeks. Their mom is a small, friendly girl who has had at least 3 litters. She had been spending a lot of time around our house and occasionally comes on walks with us. We had given her Frontline, ivermectin and vaccinations weeks ago, but had hoped that one of the other beach dwellers would give her a place to live. That, of course, didn't happen. We're hoping to have her spayed before she goes into heat again.

 Are we crazy? Maybe. I know that plenty of people think so but we're happy and I don't envy one of those people their life. Age is making me less apologetic (and apoplectic... I say in my best Groucho Marx voice...).
A quote from fellow herbivore George Bernard Shaw springs to mind:
"The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity."

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