Bringing senior dogs and people together.
Ava's new life with lots of TLC
Ava came to live with me on November 22, 2014. Before this, she was with a foster mom for a little over a week. She had been a stray and had been rescued from Animal control, and was very underweight and dehydrated. Her foster mom had to take her for IV fluids to bring her hydration up. She weighed just about 5 pounds and was just skin on bones. When she stood you could see her spine. All she wanted to do was curl up in my lap and sleep. Wherever I went she followed. She slowly became accustomed to steady meals and her new big sister Tori. There were a couple of disagreements between the two at the food bowls. As soon as I would put the bowl down, Ava would inhale her food then if she noticed that Tori had not started on her bowl, she would just help herself to that bowl. That eating pattern came from not knowing when her next meal would be. She now knows that the food and water will always be there for her. She eats a fish based food and the oils are helping her skin and coat. She no longer has thick patches of calloused skin. She also gets steamed and chopped mixed veggies and fruit with her dry food. She loves blueberries, bananas, strawberries and cuties. And she absolutely loves broccoli, carrots and sugar snap peas. As soon as she sees the refrigerator door open, she is there wagging her tail. If she sees fruit she starts her little dance until you share with her.
To help with her dry skin, I bathe her with shea butter shampoo that I have added vitamin E oil, glycerin oil and grape seed oil to. I lather the shampoo and oils into her skin for about 5 minutes. This has really helped with her dry skin and dandruff. It has also made her coat very soft. She has gained weight and weighs about 6.5 pounds now. Her hair is growing out and she is not missing clumps of hair anymore. Her eyes are clear and bright.
She now has a silly personality and loves to snuggle. She burrows herself into blankets, and has a soft snore. She loves to run around and always has some kind of toy in her mouth that she is playing with. How could someone just leave this tiny sweet little girl on the streets? It just brake’s my heart. She is a sweetheart, and I am so blessed to have both her and Tori.
Written by: Julia Mahacek
Date: January, 2015
Blue Bell's Mast Cell Tumors
Blue Bell's life began in a breeding facility and she was found to have a large malignant tumor. The surgeon needed to remove a large section to get clear margins and Blue Bell was on pain medication for four days. As you can see, the incision is healing well and Blue Bell is feeling just fine now. She is only four years old and her prospect for a happy and long life are now looking very good!
Written by: Diane Pierce
Changing Pugsley's Fate
I pulled Pugsley from the St Louis Animal Control because I was worried about his future. He had a major problem with one of his back legs, and, even though he was believed to be only one year old, I didn't think anyone would want to take on the expense and he would be euthanized. I immediately took him to Heritage Veterinary Hospital where his bad leg was x-rayed and Dr Sanford said that she would try to fix it or would need to amputate.
We were delighted on surgery day to hear that Dr Sanford believed she was able to fix leg. Pugsley recouperated at the home of one of their vet techs and Dr Sanford's house. He had the cast removed and his leg isn't perfect but he is able to use the leg now and is such a happy boy. You should see the look on his face as he runs full steam with other dogs.
Pugsley has the sweetest personality and is a very affectionate boy. He found his own forever home in the middle of December with a wonderful senior lady who lived alone in a house with a fence and needed a companion. She got a GREAT one!
Written by: Diane Pierce
Updated December 2014
Tracie's bad eye
Tracy was retired after seven years in a breeding facility. She had trouble seeing and it was found that her left eye was totally dry and blind and probably very painful. So the decision was made to make her new life as comfortable as possible, and her bad eye was surgically removed. She has recovered from her surgery and seems to be feeling much better. She is now much more socialable with the other dogs and praces outside and back in like she is a queen. She loves to eat and to take naps too.
We happy to announce that Tracy was adopted by a wonderful family!
Written by: Diane Pierce
Updated: October 1, 2014
Snicker's New Life
This poor little girl came from a breeding facility into our rescue. She needed some serious grooming and felt so good after going to the spa. She seemed to have problems urinating and was found to have bladder stones.
Snickers did well in her surgery. Poor baby had a dental with several extractions, was spayed and had a huge bladder stone removed which was the size of a quarter. The wall of her bladder was very thick and infected. She finshed her antibiotics and is feeling better every day! She will require periodic urinalysis and special food for life.
As Snickers recovered from her surgeries, and every day she became more outgoing and happy. She would smile when she urinated now as it no longer hurt. She started playing with toys and running and wrestling with other dogs. She adored her foster Mom and loved to sit on her lap and give her kisses.
We are very happy to report that we found a wondeful forever home for Snickers with an older woman and a senior brother. Her foster Mom was so attached to her and it was hard to let her go, but she knows that she now needs to take in another dog that needs our help.
Written by: Diane Pierce
September 21, 2014
Gilbert: The stray that needed some help
On a busy Saturday I got a call from my good friend Yvonne. She told me she had just found a stray dog and asked if I could help him through Senior Dogs 4 Seniors. I do not usually bring big dogs into my house of snooty little dogs. I heard desperation in Yvonne’s voice though and knew this boy needed our help and agreed to take him.
When I met Gilbert that afternoon I met the most gentle soul ever. A purebred Lab that had been defeated by life on his own. He immediately laid his head on my hand and gently wagged his tail. Yvonne then explained how she was on the way to the groomer with her five dogs and saw a black dog on top of a ridge looking lost and confused. Yvonne always stops for a stray on the road but had no where to put him because her car was so full! She thought she would look on the way home for this black dog. When coming back to the same location, there was no dog in sight. She was so disappointed and realized he was gone. However, three miles down the highway, there was the same dog on the side of the highway. She pulled over and got out of the car. All she had to do was open the car door and in he jumped! Yvonne then brought Gilbert to my house.
When we first checked out Gilbert he was weak, emaciated, and covered in about 500 ticks. Some where so big they looked like marbles. That same day we laid him down in the driveway on his side and started pulling ticks off one by one. There was blood everywhere from the ticks and Gilbert laid there and moaned every once in a while. He loved just being touched and I think he knew we were helping him. The following Monday we took him into our vet. She estimated his age at 2 years old. After examining him, our vet diagnosed him with lots of problems. He was 30 pounds underweight, anemic from the ticks, heartworm positive, and had multiple tick borne diseases. Gilbert still has an enlarged scrotum with infection, road rash and multiple scrapes and cuts that showed he had to have been hit by a car and dragged on the road.
Gilbert (Gill for short) recovered in my home from all of his ailments. We fe him several times a day and he was on lots of antibiotics for all the healing that needed to be done. He is loved by every member of his foster family and everyone that meets him. This gentle dog is so well behaved. He must have had a home at one time because he knows how to sit and lay down on command perfectly. He heels on his leash and loves all people. Most people that meet Gilbert say they have never met such a great loving and gentle dog. We don't know what happened to Gilbert and why he was a stray. We will never understand why no one is looking for this dog. All we know is that we are so thankful to Yvonne for saving this boy and we are reminded once again about the amount of love given by a dog that has been through so much.
Written by Amanda Knobloch
Good news is that Gilbert was adopted by a wonderful young man who will be his best buddy for the rest of his life. Gilbert completed his heartworm treatment and is finally a healthy and happy boy!
Gus Finally Finds his Home
Gus’s owner was in his 90s and frail. There was a fenced yard, but it was separated from the house so the owner had to walk Gus on a leash to the yard several times a day. Unfortunately, Gus was never trained to a leash and was very excited to be outside and he pulled his owner down twice. Because his owner couldn’t walk Gus safely anymore, he man’s family decided that Gus had to live outside in the fenced yard, in the winter, all winter long. Gus did have some luck – he did have a garage to sleep in on the coldest nights. Their justification: “Gus loves living alone and being outside”. I wonder what Gus thought….cold, lonely, separated from his family.
Gus came to our rescue in February as an owner-surrender, we guess him to be 10 years old. When he came into his first foster home, he seemed to love being in the house, he seemed to love people, and he seemed to love other dogs. He would sprawl out over the floor like a frog and seem to say “Look at me inside the house…I am so cool.” When he was let outside, he would do his business and then bark at the door. When the door opened to let him in, he seemed to have a look of disbelief that he could be inside, comfortable and safe.
Gus moved into my home with my family and pack as a foster dog in March – we were his second foster home. He fit right in. For a dog of 10 years old, he loved to play! He learned the chase game very quickly and he learned when it was OK to be on the couch. He learned how to walk a little better on a leash and how to “wait”. We found out – mostly by accident – that he knew shake, sit, down and how to “high five” which is a great trick when your legs are only 1/3 of your total height! He LOVED supper time and he loved wrestling with the other dogs and with my husband. Chasing squirrels was a favorite hobby. He slept on a rug right beside my bed, very quietly and all night. He was just a wonderful dog – kind to kids, fun to be with and easy to have in the house.
There was a catch though. Gus needed his forever home. Every Saturday, we went to an adoption event. And almost every Saturday, at least one person would come up to Gus and say “what a cool dog.” We’d talk about Gus and how great he was and then came the killer question “How old is he?” and then “That’s too old for my family”. So many people walked away from Gus, a dog with so much to give, because he was “too old”. Four months is a long time in rescue. We were starting to wonder, until last Saturday. On Saturday morning, someone finally ignored the excuse of age to see the real Gus; just a great dog. Gus did his high five and strutted his stuff and generally showed off. Then Gus went to his new home that very day!
I visited him the next day, Sunday. He was happy to see me and we had a nice reunion, but it was clear that he wasn’t anxious to leave with me. Hard as it was for me to say goodbye, I was content – because Gus was home.
Written by Cindie Luhman
Chico's broken leg
Our little Chico was on the couch with his foster Mom and several other dogs and he accidentally fell off the couch and broke both the femur and the ulna of his right front leg. He was rushed to the emergency room of Veterinary Specialty Services. He spent the night in their hospital on pain medication and the next day he had surgery to repair this leg by placing screws to hold the bones together. The cost was $1,700 and we are happy that we had the funds to provide the care that this little boy needed.
Chico is has been adopted and is getting lots of TLC.
Little Addie came to us from a breeding facility, still leaking milk from having just weaned puppies. She came with two other little female Boston Terriers. They, unfortunately, weren’t as lucky as Addie. One didn’t make it to foster care because her heart was in such bad shape and the other was diagnosed with inoperable cancer and is now in dog “hospice”.
See, I fostered Addie. The day I picked her up, she was so frightened that she had shut down. She lay in a dog bed with her head buried and wouldn’t respond to much of anything. When I picked her up, she just went limp. She had been to the vet, and had been spayed and had two abdominal ruptures repaired. Her belly was full of stiches and she was hurting. Her tail had been broken at some point and was now healed – crooked and off to the side – making her look like she was always sitting on a hill. As I held her, she leaked milk all over my jeans. Her eyes were rather dull and she seemed to say, “Just get it over with.”
I took Addie home and we gave her 24 hours to decompress. She met my pack and that seemed to perk her up a little. She had no idea about going outside, using steps, being petted and talked to and they all scared her. She spent much of the first 48 hours hiding behind the couch. She would at least not run from us, so we could catch her to take her outside, but once outside, she didn’t seem to understand coming back so we had to chase her around the yard and herd her in. She was scared to death to eat out of a dish in the open, so we fed her in her crate.
On about day 3, we saw a shift. Addie started interacting with us! She came out from behind the couch! She put her front paws on us. She would come to us at feeding time and we fed her in a pen set up in the living room. She would ask to get on the couch and lay next to us (she had spent her life in a cage, so she never learned to jump – we had to teach her how to jump on the couch). She came in after being outside, and she didn’t run away from the other dogs! We were fortunate in that things progressed quickly after that and she was potty trained in about 3 weeks. She was learning to play – she wanted to interact with our other dogs but she just didn’t know how, so she would run around them in circles while they played with us. It was funny, but heartbreaking at the same time. How does a dog never learn how to play? But we were lucky with Addie; so many of these dogs that spend the first 5 to7 years of their lives in breeding facilities never learn to trust, or play, or accept affection.
At one of our weekly trips to Petco for an adoption event, Addie got lucky! It was her day – she was noticed! That day, it was love at first sight and Addie was adopted by a lovely family that took her home cuddled in a blanket. When we called three days later for a check in, it was clear that Addie had found her forever home. She is very loved!
Written by Cindie Luhman
Irwin came into Senior Dogs 4 Seniors from a breeding facility. After a while he started holding up his left back leg and could not put any weight on it. We had him xrayed and evaluated and decided to move ahead with major surgery to repair it. A femoral head ostectomy (FHO) surgical procedure was done that removed the head and neck from the femur to alleviate pain. The head of the femur was not replaced, but was allowed to heal and develop its own fibrous scar tissue so that the joint is no longer bone−to-bone.
Now Irwin is getting lots of TLC in his new forever home!
Brody's owner moved and left him in the house to starve to death. A neighbor heard him and broke a window and let him out. That was 6-7 months ago. Since that time Brody has stayed in the neighbor's yard in the bushes as she would occasionally throw food out for him - even through St Louis terrible heat. His coat was so matted and he had fleas and ticks. It had to be miserable. A kind man was in the neighborhood to do an inspection and decided to save him. He brought him to Senior Dogs 4 Seniors. We immediately took him to Heritage Veterinary Hospital where they shaved off most of his matted mess. He also had a Heartworm test which was negative and his shots. He was previously neutered and Doc estimated his age at 4 years old.
The next day Brody went to Petropolis for grooming and you can see what he looks like now. He is a sweet and affectionate dog that deserves a wonderful life from this moment on!
We took in Sienna, a six year old Italian Greyhound, from a breeding facility. We discovered that she had a luxating patella on one of her back legs. Sienna ended up having several surgeries to repair her knee for a total of close to $2,000. We think that she is worth it!
Sienna has now been adopted by a wonderful couple who love this breed. They previously had two Italian Greyhounds but one recently passed away and the remaining dog was very sad and lonely. The first time we introduced him to Sienna, they seemed to bond and he was so happy to have a new sister.
A Truancy Officier went into the home of a crack addict and noticed a shih tzu with a serious eye problem. While he was there he told the family that the eye needed immediate attention from a vet. When he returned three weeks later the dog still had not seen a vet so he confisgated the dog and called Senior Dogs 4 Seniors. Of course we took in the little boy into our rescue and immediately took him to one of our vets. It was found that the eye had been totally punctured and needed to be removed. The operation was completed and Louie went to a great foster home where he received lots of tender loving care. The eye wound healed well and we are sure that Louie was grateful not to have the pain anymore.
We were able to find a fantastic forever home for Louie when someone who previously had adopted a shih tzu from us.
Our mission fulfilled
Nancy Walters came to the Kirkwood Petco to find a dog for her father, Glenn Wettig, who is 85 years old. Here is the update email we received:
I am the person who adopted Annie (Amiga) two weeks ago (the little daschund). OMG what a true blessing that was, as I took her to my car and put her in my dads lap with a "dad, meet annie, she is yours." Annie snuggled right in on the car ride home and was introduced to her new home and yard. I brought my daschund (Gus) over to spend 3 days with Annie to teach her the ropes and help her learn the doggie door. Within a half day, she was using the doggie door like a pro, loves the yard, and nestled right into the house. Dad just loves her, she made an instant change in his mood and demeanor (he just had major surgery and is a little depressed). Now just two short weeks later, she is such a happy dog, scampers in the yard, can't wait to go on her morning walk, and spends most of her day in dad's lap getting petted. I say she was a three way win for all of us. So thankful she was sitting in your lap looking so sweet two weeks ago! Can't imagine the life she had or how she was treated as a breeder dog, but she definitely has the easy life now, and is loved immensely by all, especially dad. Thank you!
Three Yorkies living in a car
In rescue work, you think that you have heard it all at some point, but you haven't. Amanda, our Intake Coordinator, got a call from a lady saying that their house burned down and she was living in her car with her three yorkipoo dogs in a cardboard box. She wondered if we could take the dogs into our rescue. Of course, Amanda agreed to take them and she brought them to Amanda's house.
All three dogs had severe flea infestation and their hair coats were thin and poor. That was the first thing Amanda took care of. After a couple of days she took all three of them to our vet where Kissy and Victoria were found to have Grade IV heart murmurs and the vet wondered if she should put them down. We said we wanted to do everything that we can for them so they all were spayed and received their vaccinations. It was also necessary to remove one of Kissy's eyes due to glaucoma. Kissy and Victoria are considered Special Needs dogs (no adoption donation needed). Hopefully, we can find great forever homes for all three of the girls!
Roxy is an eight year old Yorkie mix that weighs about 11 pounds. We cannot say enough wonderful things about this precious dog. She is housebroken and walks on a leash to potty too. All other pets are fine with her and she loves to curl up in a dog bed with any cat or dog. Roxy is quiet and loving. She is a very easy dog to have and would be great even for a first time dog owner. Roxy is very healthy and will have a beautiful coat in a few months.
Kissy is an eight year old Shih Tzu/Yorkie mix. It was necessary to remove Kissy's eye due to Glaucoma. She has adjusted great and has never changed her sweet funloving personality. She is totally housebroken and is perfect in the house. She loves her people and other dogs. Kissy will make a great pet for anyone of any age. She does have a heart murmur so we will not be asking an adoption fee for her. We are just looking for someone to love her as she is.
Sometimes we take in younger dogs. We took in Emilee who was a 6 month old puppy from a shelter so that she would not be put down. When Emilee first came into our rescue she didn't act like a puppy and looked very sick. We soon found out that Emilee had parvo! We put her in the hospital at VSS (Veterinary Specialty Services) hoping that she could come home in several days of their excellent care. She did not make progress and continued to be very sick. Our bill was getting very large and was approaching $2,000 and on the 10th day I called VSS and said that we probably need to let her go. Her vet, Dr Karagiannis, called me back to say that he wanted to give her two more days to see if she could turn it around. He said that they would freeze our bill at $2,000 and not charge us for the extra time. Of course, I agreed, and two days later Emilee came home to my foster home.
She was weak and needed to rest and ate a little rice and chicken for several days before gradually adding some special dog food that is easy to digest. All of her bones stuck out including every rib, and her hip bones. Slowly she started eating a little more each morning and evening. I would have to sit on the floor next to her or she wouldn't eat. Then she would eat a few bites and then come over to kiss me and then go back for a few more bites. Because she had spent 12 days in a cage at the hospital, she now slept with me and snuggled all night.
Very slowly her energy came back and she started gaining some weight. Three weeks after getting out of the hospital Emilee was adopted by a wonderful woman with another lab sister for her and a huge fenced backyard. She is a beautiful dog with a beautiful heart and I am so glad that Emilee was able to avoid death from being put down in the shelter and making it through parvo. This was only possible because of the grant money that our rescue receives so that we can once in a while spend extra money on a sick dog.
Hope's life started in a Missouri breeding facility. When she was 8 years old she was moved to the Humane Society where she was found to have really bad teeth and two luxating patellas. All of her teeth were pulled which had to make her feel better but it was thought that she may not be adoptable with the bad knees. She was moved to Senior Dogs 4 Seniors rescue in December, 2011. Hope responded well to her foster parent's TLC and made great progress in learning how to be a happy pet.
Unfortunately, one of her back knees slipped out of the socket and she started holding her leg up. The cost of surgery to fix this was very expensive, even for "rescue rates," but one of our vets, Dr Furlong, agreed to do it for $600 and we agreed to move ahead. After her surgery had healed Hope continued to hold her leg up so we took her to Healing Paws Rehab for aquatherapy to teach her that she can now use that leg. Here is a video of her working out: http://youtu.be/qoTeOFsKTn8
It didn't take long for this smart little girl to catch on and she soon started using her leg and was ready for adoption. Joanna Werner saw Hope at an adoption event and immediately feel in love with her. Here is note from Joanna:
Because Senior Dogs for Seniors intrigued me,I was drawn to look at their dogs they had for adoption at a recent Petapalooza sponsored by Ralston Purina. I wasn't so sure I was ready for a dog but when I saw a beautiful red Pomerainian I was smitten. Hope was delivered to me he next day by this wonderful couple who take in older dogs for future adoptions. Hope has been the perfect lady, loving the attention from my grown children and my friends, she even tolerates my 3 year old grandson's quizzical stare at her tongue slipping out the side of her toothless mouth. Hope and I walk a lot these days, much more than what I'm used to but so good for me. Her enthusiasm when I come home is heart warming. When she isn't sleeping she is not so patiently waiting beside the garage door in anticipation of a ride. Does she love the car or the delicious smells she finds when we get to our destination, I don't know but she is wonderful company for me. I still shake my head in wonder that this beautiful animal was available. Hooray, she's my best companion, I love her.
February, 2015 UPDATE:
Of course, Hope is such the Poster Dog, what a diva! We are having fun. My daughter here in Maui has 4 cats, 2 of them are Maine Coons about the size of Hope. Hope would like to be friends but the cats don't much like her wet nose in their private places, no one takes too much offence, but the relationship hasn't developed very far. Because Hope is such a good traveler we go several places together and she has even been invited out to dinner with me at my neighbors. We start the day with a nice walk when the temperature is about 67 degrees, she longs to see another dog but the ones who are out here not only aren't interested in her but aren't used to any dogs and don't want to start with her, so Hope gets her affection from all the people we run into. Everyone loves her, thinks she looks like a fox. When we arnen't in the car Hope seems very content to spread out on a comfy rug often in front of the screen door to watch any activity that might be going on. Today we are waiting for the groomer to arrive, just in time as yesterday we went to the stables where she found untold smells. Her attitude to the horses there is: "If I don't look at them they don't exist". She doesn't try to make friends there. As you can see we are having a busy and great time together.
In September, 2012, someone brought a dog into the St Louis County Animal Control and surrendered a 12 year old dog that they said was called Princess, a female. The dog was so matted that it could not open one eye and the ears were matted to the head. It was necessary to shave the dog and it was then discovered that it was not a female but a male, therefore, the name was changed to Prince. He was thought to be unadoptable and was moved to Senior Dogs 4 Seniors.
We provided the vet care that was needed which included a dental for severe dental tardar with extractions, the removal of a mass from his throat and treated his skin condition.
Prince is still in our care and is a wonderful dog. He has is calm and content and happy in his foster home. His hair has come back in but he still likes to wear his sweater. He has a gentle soul and enjoys taking naps snuggled up in a comfy dog bed.
Some our volunteers were at the St Louis County Animal Control and they asked us if we wanted to see a very pathetic case that had come in the night before. We found an emaciated dog that was a walking skeleton. Her age was estimaed at 2 years old. She had so many fleas covering her body that her ear canels were packed with thousands of fleas. Although Reagle was so weak with starvation her tail never stopped wagging and we knew we had to take her and try to save her. In less than 2 weeks she gained six pounds! All she needed was food, that's all! It is amazing that a dog could have gone through so much and still love all peole.
Reagle was quickly adopted and started her new life as a healthy and happy pet.
Oliver's New Home
On May 27, 2012, my husband and I became the "parents" of a wonderful
dog from the rescue group called "Senior Dogs 4 Seniors."
Everyone that I had contact with at the organization was very
professional, warm, and caring. After viewing the available dogs for
adoption on their website, I was interested in meeting "Oliver," a 7
year-old Long-Haired Chihuahua. His Foster Mom brought "Oliver" over to
our house for a "Meet and Greet" (which I call "Whiff and Sniff") to see
how we got along together, and also so the Foster Mom could check out
our house and yard - and I suppose check me out, too.
After just 30 minutes, I just knew Oliver was The One. The Foster Mom
approved us wholeheartedly, took Oliver back to her house in Florissant,
and returned the following day with Oliver and all of his toys, treats,
and food. Our house was bustling with excitement as we had been dogless
for 3 years since our dear Cocker "Bingo" had passed suddenly from
cancer three years ago.
The change in my mood has been remarkable! Disabled with MS, my world
has been getting smaller and smaller. Now with this darling and funny
and well-mannered furry addition to our family, I'm waaay less
depressed, my blood pressure has gone down, and I'm out and about in my
electric scooter taking Oliver around our neighborhood. And get a load
of this: my husband, who swears he is *not* a dog person, even lets
Oliver sleep on our bed with us!
Oliver is the best thing that's ever happened to us.
Dora, Diva and Marilyn's life together
Johnson uses our Complete Care package. She wanted a companion dog and Dora, who was 12 years old, loved living in her home. They were together for Dora's last two years and it was a blessing for both of them.
Marilyn recently took in Diva, a cocker spaniel, to be her companion and they are doing great together.
David comes to her house once a month. He delivers any needed dog food, dog treats or medication. He gives the dog their monthly Heartguard and Frontline. He cuts their nails and brushes them and cleans up the yard. He also takes the dog to the vet and groomer when needed.
A second chance for Chance
Gizmo, a 4 year old Shih Tzu came to us from a rescue shelter in central Missouri. Gizmo isn’t a small Shih Tzu, he is one big boy weighing in at 18-20 lbs., but he sure is cute!
His original story is that he came from some folks who only had him a month or two. They turned him in because Gizmo didn’t do well with their 3 small children. He had been living outside because they were obviously misinformed and thought Shih Tzu’s were suppose to be rugged and outdoorsy. (Anyone, who knows anything about Shih Tzu’s, knows Shih Tzu’s are indoor dogs and they need attention and love.) Before that he belonged to another woman who had rescued him a couple of years before. The story she told is Gizmo was a stray that ended up in a vet’s office after someone tried to set him on fire. We can’t confirm this, but he does have a full coat and doesn’t have any obvious scarring that we can see.) What had happened was her mother moved in with her and didn’t like Gizmo, so one day while the daughter as at work the mother arranged to give Gizmo away, (apparently not caring what type of home he went to). The daughter said she wouldn’t’ have given Gizmo up and certainly wouldn’t have given him up to a family with small children, but she couldn’t take Gizmo back because her mother wouldn’t allow it. However, she did confirm that Gizmo didn’t like rough-housing and didn’t like a lot of physicality.
Anyway, we were contacted by the shelter, where Gizmo ended up, and asked if we would want him. They said they couldn’t put him up for adoption because he was dicey with kids and really needed some help to get over his trust issues. We decided he needed a chance, so we took him in and hence the new name - Chance! After a few days his foster mom reported that he was a fantastic and very cool dog. She felt like he must have been misunderstood. Chance didn’t have one accident in her house, so it was apparent that he was potty-trained. Also, very smart because he was easily taught to sit-up, shake hands and to speak when he wanted to go outside. He also got along great with her four other Shih Tzu’s. She discovered he had a fantastic and very cute personality. He loved chasing his light-up football in the yard and playing chase with it. He was really just a big teddy bear! He loved it when his foster mom would rub his belly and hug on him! She fell in love with Chance and decided she would make it her mission to make sure that his next home would be his loving forever home.
We would like to report that Chance was adopted by a wonderful family who has 2 other Shih Tzu’s and they all love him very much. He has his own bed (indoors), and they give him all the patience and understanding he needs, as well as treats and lots of toys. He gets daily walks in the country and gets to visit the local dog park where he has lots of fun with the other dogs! They have also reported he is definitely full of personality and gets along great with everyone in the household. Chance is finally home!
Robbie's New Life after Purina
Dear Friends and Family,
I am very sad to share this news with you. Yesterday, my little dog Robbie passed away. Today the house seems so quiet and empty without his presence.
As most of you know, my little man was a working boy who spent his first 12 years as a food taster for Purina. If you ever got between Robbie and his dinner bowl, you know he was very good at his job! Through serendipity, I met Robbie at a pet adoption day and one month later he moved in, June 22, 2008.
Robbie always made me smile . . . whether watching his ears flap up and down when he pranced up the driveway, seeing his goofy off-balance attempts to navigate the curbside, hearing him bark the very first time, bumping my leg with his nose when I wasn't getting the food dished up fast enough, licking my hand to wake me in the morning, nosing between my legs to stand there and lean against me, putting my hand on his side while he slept, listening to him breathe and dream . . . there are so many wonderful memories. He was a sweet little soul who taught me much about the meaning of love.
He was an old guy and had his share of serious health issues, but we managed to celebrate birthdays 13, 14 and 15 together. Yesterday the little guy just had too many things working against him, so I decided it was best to let him go.
Thanks to each of you for being a part of my little man's life. It's time for me to start a new chapter now.
Be well. Be happy.
p.s. Attached is our first and last pictures together . . . 6/22/2008 and 7/18/2010, Robbie's birthday.
Holly Has a New Forever Home
It has been so long since we last spoke and I have wanted so many times to contact you about our Holly. Dennis and I have been so blessed by having Holly in our lives. She is our constant companion, absolutely spoiled rotten and we don't know how we ever got along without her.
You may remember Holly had bladder stones when she came to you and just had surgery when she came to us. Holly has been stone free ever since and still sees Dr. Sanford at Heritage on a routine basis for her care. The special diet dog food prescribed by Dr. Sanford keeps those bladder stones away. She is also only allowed plain Cheerios as a treat but she thinks these are the best dog treat in the world.
Shortly after coming to live with us Holly discovered a plant in the back yard she just had to taste. A few hours later we found ourselves in the emergency vet hospital in West County with a very sick Holly. After blood work and tummy x-rays she received medication, iv therapy to prevent dehydration and an overnight stay at the hospital. Dennis removed the offending plant/bush as soon as we came home. The next day I insisted that she come home, they said she wouldn't eat and needed to stay. I said I wouldn't eat either if I were in this noisy place. Holly and I came home to Dennis preparing boiled chicken and rice and voila instant appetite. Holly has been well ever since.
This year when we took Holly for her annual checkup she had a stage 3 gum disease that required surgery and unfortunately the loss of 5 teeth. Dr. Sanford assured me 5 teeth are nothing to a dog and it would not affect her ability to eat. She was right of course and Holly doesn't seem to miss those teeth at all. We are now doing Oravet plaque prevention treatments every two weeks. This is a lifetime commitment but it really seems to be working and Holly is very tolerant of her treatments and even seems to like it.
Recently Holly was having sneezing and coughing so off to Dr. Sanford we went. I am now the owner of a dog who has allergies, which is rather ironic since she, the Bichon, is the perfect dog for people with allergies. She was given an allergy shot and will get boosters as needed. Holly stopped sneezing and coughing almost as soon as she received the shot.
Since Dennis has his office in our home she has a bed in his office where she spends most of the day. She also has a bed in my craft room, and has claimed the most regal chair in the living room as her own and of course we don't stop her.
Each morning she barks at me at 6:00 to remind me it's time for her breakfast, in case I forgot. She does what we call 'The Doggy Dance" down the hall until we get to that magical place where Holly food is kept. If I am the least little bit late coming home from work she will not stop barking at me as if she is saying it's dinner time did you forget. Who ever gets home first feeds Holly but when the other one comes home she tries to trick you into believing she has not been fed. We have the same routine each night, we go to the kitchen where we each have a snack, she follows me to the bathroom, sits and waits while I get ready for bed then hops on the bed as soon as I'm finished. When either Dennis or I are out of town she is not completely settled it's as if she is thinking someone in the pack is missing I must be on guard until they return.
You may also remember the blue blanket/rug she came to you with. She still has her blankie and we have discovered it is when she is very playful and very relaxed that the blankie becomes her companion. If she is on guard the blankie is left behind but when we are all together, reading and relaxing she will go get her blanket and sit with us, relaxed.
Diane as you can tell she is our best friend and we hope we are hers. You truly blessed us by bringing this little girl to us and there is nothing we would change about Holly. We will take her with gum disease, special diet, allergies and anything else that comes along. As I said we don't know what life was like before Holly and know that she is a joy to have around and the perfect companion, always by my side.
Attached are photo's of Holly so you can see how good your Holly looks.
Denise and Dennis Sahrmann
Bernice the thin Bernese
by Diane Pierce
Amanda called me and asked if we would be interested in taking a Bernese Mountain Dog from a breeding facility. I have never been around a Bernese and thought that it would be fun to see what they are like so I agreed to take her.
When trying to come up with a name for a Bernese, I instantly thought about the name Bernice, which was the name of my mother. When Bernice arrived she was strikingly beautiful with her tri-colors. She wasn’t feeling well and would quietly lie in the kitchen all the time in the same place by the stove. She would be affectionate if you approached her but otherwise just laid there looking sad. We put a real nice throw rug where she liked to lay so she would be a little more comfortable. She was very thin and we learned why. She would immediately vomit after eating each time.
Debbie and Denis Phillips had applied to adopt Bernice. We told them about her problems and they were still interested in adopting her. We brought Bernice to meet them and they both thought she was wonderful and they were okay waiting for her to get better. Debbie is a nurse and was ready to take on the job helping this girl.
We took her to see Dr. Kim Sanford at Heritage Veterinary Service in Creve Coeur. We tried different medications and special dog food and we would hold our breath and cross our fingers that she could keep something down, but the vomiting continued. Finally Dr Sanford opened her up and found that her common bile duct was blocked. Dr Sanford called me and said that she was not certified to do that type of repair surgery and she could close her up and we could have a specialist do it or she could continue and do her best but we needed to know that we could lose her. Of course, we told her to continue. We had already spent so much money on this girl we didn’t know how much further we could go. Well, she came home after the surgery and there was no more vomiting! It was wonderful to see her slowly gaining weight and moving around more.
Debbie and Denis came to Petco on January 30th to get her so that they could spend the whole weekend with her. David and I went out to their home in Union, MO on Sunday. Bernice seemed pretty happy and settled in already. She now has a brother, Gus, who is a german shepherd.
Here is a note from Denis, Debbie, and Gus Phillips:
Where do I begin about Bernice? She has captured our hearts. She has joined our family and has become the "missing piece" that we were looking for. She is so affectionate and loving and to think about everything that this sweet sweet girl has been through in her short life. If only people could learn from dogs. Bernice and her "brother" Gus love to go outside and explore the backyard. She rolls in the grass and is playful now that she is healthy. She weighs 85 lbs and loves!! to eat. She especially enjoys evening snacktime. Denis and I cannot thank Diane, Dave and the rescue group enough for the fantastic work that they do!!.
Denis, Debbie, Gus and Bernice Phillips