Thursday, August 12, 2010

Another Less Than Great Day

Suzie Being Irresistibly Cute
One of my dear fosters, Suzie, is at the vet hospital because she's having trouble breathing.     I noticed she was having some issues yesterday, but during the night it got really bad.    She usually sleeps in Joey's room but in the middle of the night she came into my room making a horrible coughing noise.   I put her up on my bed and after a while, she settled down and her labored breathing calmed down.     

The vet office let me come in without an appointment this morning and worked her in.    When the vet saw how she was breathing, though, he became extremely worried.    He decided they needed to keep her and put her on oxygen and take some XRays.   It could be a number of things.   From best case to worst cases;  asthma, bronchitis, COPD, heart failure, cancer.   As the vet put it, if she had to exert herself in any way while she's breathing like this - it would be fatal.    How crushing to hear that!

This is what absolutely sucks about fostering older dogs ... they have more of a chance of having health issues.   It's just like people, the older we get the more that starts to go wrong on us.    I have had fosters die in my care - one a puppy after initially surviving a terrible case of parvo and one who had recently gotten out of the hospital due to heart/breathing issues.     It's scary and heartbreaking.    Both times it happened I was ready to quit ... it can be so hard on the heart to volunteer as a foster.

Suzie came to me with her 11 year old sister, Tina, last December.    Their 81 year old owner was having a hard time taking care of them.    True, she had an adult grandchild living with her but the owner's daughter in law decided if she couldn't find a rescue to take them in, they were going to be put to sleep.   Again, what is wrong with people???? As I've said before, I have a real soft spot in my heart for the older dogs who are given up by their owners in their twilight years.    I can't imagine how traumatic it must feel for them.   Or maybe I can ... that's why I empathize with them.

Suzie and Tina were the hardest transition I've ever had - they were so distraught when they came to my house.   I didn't know what to do ... I didn't think I was going to be able to continue fostering them.   Tina wouldn't get out of her dog bed and had to be carried everywhere.   She had to be carried outside to go to the bathroom, carried to her food dish, and back again.    When I first got these two, Tina weighed a whopping 23 lbs!   Now that is really heavy for a mini dachshund.   And carrying her around everywhere got old very quick.    Now, Suzie, she just cried and whined all night long for the first week.    It was really, really hard time for this household.    I actually regretting agreeing to take these two.    Do I ever feel awful for saying that and feeling it at the time!

Tina and Suzie - 11 YO sisters
But, they bounced back and became two of the sweetest and funniest fosters we've  ever had.    Joey loves them and they love Joey - they actually prefer Joey to me.   I don't know what it is about our little old lady fosters, but they always tend to gravitate toward him.   We believe they need to be adopted into the same home - they've lived together their entire lives and are definitely a "bonded pair"    Because of that, and because they're 11 years old ... they still haven't found a home together.

I'm hoping Suzie just has asthma or something simple.    I admit, I cried after I left her at the vet's office.     I grow really attached to these babies and it's scary and upsetting when something serious may be wrong with them.

I actually have two phone calls to return about possible interviews .... yay    Now how do I get pumped up and sound positive and excited on the phone while I'm so stressed about Suzie Q?


  1. Suzie is in my prayers! She's blessed to have you to care for her.

  2. Hi Kim, I hope Suzie is feeling better today. I told you recently I loved your blog posts and yesterday the Dog of the Week blog got a sharing award and part of that award is too share it with others, so I am sharing it with you :)