Teddy (II)

WhiteSale

Teddy overlapped at my house with Izzy, a little Jack Russell Terrier  foster who was with us for a just couple of weeks before she was adopted. I kenneled them together at night and they were very snuggly with each other. Who wouldn’t want to help dogs like this?

Dr. Salmon sat on the floor petting Teddy for a few minutes and earning his trust. Then she began to feel his lower back and manipulate his hips. He let her do the right hip without incident, but the left hip sent him flying through the air at her yelping and snapping. (She has excellent reflexes and Teddy didn’t get her. Again, he rushed right in to make up with kisses as soon as her hands were off his hurty hip).

Dr. Salmon suggested an X-Ray to see what was going on and also to see if Teddy was a candidate for a Femoral Head Ostectomy, also known as FHO surgery. This surgery removes the ball-shaped bone at the top of the femur bone if it is grinding into the hip joint and causing pain. The shelter doesn’t have an x-ray machine, however, so I would have to take Teddy across town to a local vet clinic that does. No problem, El Tederino.

Thanks to Companion Animal Alliance Assistant Director Paula Shaw, the cost of the x-ray was covered by the shelter’s Sick and Injured Animal Fund. (If you’re moved by Teddy’s story, and want to make a tax deductible donation to our shelter, they sure could use it: http://www.caabr.org/#!donate/ctzx The sick and injured animal fund helps dogs like Teddy. The General Fund feeds, houses, spays and neuters the hundreds of dogs, cats, horses, pigs, roosters, and God only knows what comes through the shelter doors on any given day. CAA is a municipal shelter and no animal is ever turned away. It is also remarkably underfunded for the sheer number of animals it is tasked with helping.)

Here’s what Teddy’s x-ray looked like:

TeddyXRay2

I’m no vet, but that left hip looks pretty wack-a-doodle doo, even to me. Also, another of the films shows an old injury to one of the vertebrate in Teddy’s lumbar spine and some arthritis too.

Say it with me: Poor Teddy!

An FHO surgery can range in cost from $1200-$2500, so not many people are looking to adopt a dog who needs one. However, the shelter recently purchased some of the special tools required to do this surgery so that adoptable dogs like Teddy would have a second chance. And Dr. Frederic Michaelson (http://jahvet.com/about-us/meet-our-veterinarians.html), a Baton Rouge veterinarian who also taught at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, volunteered his time to supervise the shelter vets who had never done the procedure before. This made it a professional development opportunity for the vets as well. Win/win.

So we scheduled the surgery for the Monday before Christmas, and I was eager to see what Dr. Michaelson would say about Teddy’s hip and his prognosis when he examined him before the proposed surgery. Aren’t you dying to know? You have to be a little more patient while I crank the rest of this story out though. Okay? Okay. Also, a fun fact: Dr. Michaelson is a U.S. Army Veteran, a Louisiana State University alumni, and he was also a starting defensive tackle for LSU from 1967-69. (To be continued…)

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Teddy

Meet Teddy, our very special holiday foster. I picked up Teddy from the shelter a week before Thanksgiving. On his intake report it said someone had called and reported an injured dog in their neighbor’s yard. Animal Control came and picked up Teddy. His owners never came to get him back.

Here’s the matted, scraggly mess he looked like the day I picked him up at the shelter (he had been there for several weeks):

That’s my friend, Author Laurie Lynn Drummond, who also fosters for Companion Animal Alliance and Friends of the Animals in Baton Rouge. We went up to the shelter that day to each pick out a new foster dog . I picked Teddy and Laurie picked Olive, a pretty Border Collie, who was recently adopted. You should read Laurie’s novel, Anything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You. You can buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Anything-You-Will-Used-Against/dp/B000C9WXUY#

That’s my friend, Author Laurie Lynn Drummond, who also fosters for Companion Animal Alliance and Friends of the Animals in Baton Rouge. We went up to the shelter that day to each pick out a new foster dog. I picked Teddy and Laurie picked Olive, a pretty Border Collie, who was recently adopted. You should read Laurie’s novel, Anything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You. You can buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Anything-You-Will-Used-Against/dp/B000C9WXUY#

At the shelter they had named him Howie. He looked more like a Teddy (bear) to me.

Howie1 Howie2

When he was first brought into the shelter, the vets there noticed Teddy’s ears were badly infected and put him on a course of antibiotics. One of them said they were possibly the worst ear infections she had ever seen. Aside from what the good samaritan had told Animal Control, there was no note of injury on Teddy’s record.

A fluffy, non-shedding, cocker/poodle mix (cockapoo) with maybe a splash of shih tzu thrown in, Teddy had languished at the shelter for weeks after being neutered. Despite his matted hair and bad breath, I knew once he was cleaned up he’d be beautiful. And he sure seemed sweet. He let me bathe him in my front yard without complaint.

Howie3

He let me clean his ears without complaint. When I tried to cut some mats off his belly, he let me, but then I accidentally, um, slipped with the scissors (No blood though!) and he snapped at me. I deserved that. He didn’t bite me, just let out a scream and gave a couple of warning snaps in the air. I think I clearly heard him say, “Yo, I’ve already been neutered. Watch. Those. Scissors!”

I brought him to a wonderful groomer (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pretty-Paws-Grooming-by-Teresa/189305501171383) who said he was an excellent boy and she didn’t even need a muzzle to carry out any of his beauty treatments.

Here’s what he looked like when she was finished:

photo

Teddy2Teddy4 Teddy3

On Thanksgiving, my 17-year-old son was petting his back when Teddy yelped and snapped at the air. Then he ran back at my son to kiss him and make up. Another time my 85-pound Mastiff mix bumped into Teddy’s rump and again, he yelped and snapped at the air, then ran back at my dog to lick his face. I also noticed that when I reached out to pet Teddy sometimes, he would blink as if I was going to hit him. That made me sad. Clearly, he was used to being hit. But he always sought me out for affection and he seemed very relieved and delighted when he knew I was only ever going to caress him and tell him he was a good boy (when I didn’t have a scissor in my hands, that is. Okay, bad joke).

There were a couple of additional snapping incidents when Teddy felt hurt or threatened, but nobody was ever bitten. I don’t foster aggressive dogs; my life is just too complicated and frankly, I’m a chicken! But I didn’t think Teddy was aggressive. I thought something was really hurting him and he was trying to protect himself, so I brought him back to the shelter vet to see what it might be. The answer was something I wasn’t quite prepared to handle. But I would handle it. I’m handling now, in fact, and it’s all good so far. (To be continued…)

The Most Coveted Little Dog Bed

The Most Coveted Bed

The Most Coveted Little Dog Bed in the House

These are my dogs, Luna (L) and Crespo (R). Luna was found by a dumpster by my neighbors a few years ago, and Crespo was my 12th foster dog last year. And Crespo was what we call a “Foster Fail.” In other words, I fell madly in love with him and had to make him mine.  (I’m saving that story for a book, so stay tuned).

 

Anyway, I just thought this picture was funny because there are FOUR dog beds in the house and three of them are large enough to accommodate all of Crespo. But the one in my bedroom is the one that everyone wants to sleep on. And so, even though Luna is a Cranky Pants about sharing her space, these two often jam themselves onto this little square cushion. What a couple of weirdos.

I’d love to hear the weird stuff your dogs do.

 

Mystic Krewe of Mutts Parade

Today was the Mystic Krewe of Mutts Mardi Gras parade in Baton Rouge, a fundraiser to benefit the Capital Area Animal Welfare Society (http://www.caaws.org/parades). I volunteer with a different organization,  but this nonprofit also does great work helping homeless dogs from our shelter in Baton Rouge, and this parade is always a blast.

My dog Crespo and I went downtown to check out the scene, and what a scene it was! Beads; floats; bones; biscuits; shelter dogs available for adoption; intact male dogs whom I directed to the low cost-spay neuter services of The Spay Spay —  http://www.facebook.com/TheSpaySpa (Various organizations had tents set up with information, and that was one of them). Obnoxious of me? Maybe. But I just can’t help myself after knowing first-hand how horrible the pet overpopulation problem is in our town. I try to be as tactful as possible, talking to people as if this was something we both knew they were planning to do, but I just happen to know a really inexpensive and excellent place where they can make the appointment RIGHT NOW. And maybe they were. And surely I do.

And, while at the parade, I also got to meet Joseph Tullier in person. Joseph is a trainer who really helped me with a dog I co-fostered with a friend when things got a little out of hand (But that’s another bottle of wine).   He is a deputy with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office and was honorably discharged from the Marines where he was a Military Working Dog handler deployed twice to Iraq. (Thank you for your service, Joseph!) He now owns Acadiana Canine Training (http://www.acadianak9training.com), where he runs doggy boot camps, and trains therapy dogs for vets with PTSD. And he had an agility course set up near the parade for people to try out with their dogs.

Even at 83lbs, I’ve always thought Crespo would make a great agility dog, so we gave it a try. I don’t want to be a stage mother or anything but, YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN MY DOG ON THAT COURSE!

Ha ha. Really, he had a ball doing it. Below are some pictures of the scene.

Hope you enjoy. Stay tuned for more news of Syrus, who leaves here tomorrow either to go to a new foster home, or to start the journey to his Forever Home in New York (if that works out — still hashing out details). I am going to miss Syrus a lot. I’m usually happy to see my fosters move on, even if I love them, because I have three dogs of my own, two teenagers at home and a busy work schedule. But in addition to being an absolute love, Syrus is really low maintenance. He’s good people. I’ve haven’t cried when saying goodbye to a foster dog yet, but I’m a little nervous I may tomorrow.

Anyway, parade pictures:

Highly Handsome Mardi Gras Indian

Highly Handsome Mardi Gras Indian

Crespo checking out a brindle Dane who dwarfed his 83 lbs.

Crespo “saying hello” to a brindle Dane who dwarfed his 83 lbs.

Crespo tête-à-tête with a spectacular Mastiff. Or is it a Bull Mastiff?

Crespo tête-à-tête with a spectacular Mastiff. “Hi there, gorgeous. Can I get you a bowl of water?)

Oh the things a Louisiana dog must endure...
Oh the things a Louisiana dog must endure…

Oh the things a Louisiana dog must endure (part II)

Oh the things a Louisiana dog must endure (part II)

Oh the things a Louisiana dog must endure (part III -- You even gotta pull ya own float!).

Oh the things a Louisiana dog must endure (part III — Ya even gotta pull ya own float!)

My friend, Debbie, from the Spay Spa (and a very chill companion).
My friend, Debbie, from the Spay Spa (and a very chill companion. Yes, the dog is alive).

Crespo walking the plank. He fell off once -- didn't realize he had to keep track of where he put his feet -- but  hopped right back on.

Crespo walking the plank. He fell off once — didn’t realize he had to keep track of where he put his feet — but hopped right back on.

Crespo climbing the walls.

Crespo climbing the walls.

Look how steep that is! Now he's coming back up the other side. I think he's going to get a scholarship! To what? I don't know.

Look how steep that is! Now he’s coming back up the other side. I think he’s going to get a scholarship! To what? I don’t know.