Monday, April 23, 2007

Dogs and Blogs & Blogs and Dogs

There seems to be a trend lately in blogs about dogs. I don't know who started it, but I know both Jocelyn & Jenni have recently waxed poetically about the joys (and sorrows) of raising their four-footed children (Chloe, and Scoobie & Phoenix, respectively).

Meet our furry child, Shelby. She is 9 years old, a Keeshond, and our first "baby".

When we first got married, we lived in an apartment, but always said once we moved to a house with a backyard, we'd get a pet. I didn't really care, cat or dog, as I grew up with both.

David, on the other hand, was adamant that there were to be no cats in our house, as he was "allergic". You know, the kind of "I don't like them, therefore I'm allergic to them" allergy. In his defense, whenever we were around cats, his eyes did water & he sneezed a lot, but that also could have been dust & pollen.

Anyway, David grew up with a Keeshond named Lisa, and even learned to walk by pulling himself up by her fur, so when we were thinking, "dog", keeshonds or keeshounds, as they're more commonly known, were pretty much the forerunner. Also, at least the females, don't tend to get very big, so this was good for me. I'm not a huge fan of big dogs, as I was bowled over by a German Shepherd when I was pretty young. This is one of the many reasons why Laura and I get along so well :-)

Back to Shelby's story. The spring of 1998, we moved into our new house in Hillsboro, and a couple months later, we picked up the most adorable puppy, who we named Shelby, from a breeder in Salem. I had also just started a new job, not too far from where we lived, so it was easy to come home at lunch time, and let her out to run, etc.

There is nothing cuter than a Keeshond puppy!
(Unfortunately, I don't have any digital pics of Baby Shelby,
but this gives you an idea of what she looked like)

From 1998 until 2005, Shelby ruled the roost. However, like Chloe, Jocelyn's dog, she's always been very high-maintenance. Besides the copious amounts of hair, and not being fond of brushing or baths, she's also got a very sensitive digestive system. Which means no Purina chow for this dog. Only Prescription Potato & Duck, at $35 for a 20lb bag, found at your local vet's will do!

Dec. 2005. Kyra is born, the first day we bring her home, and what does Shelby do? Lick her right in the face!! So much for trying to keep germs away from the baby. I also figured at some point, Kyra would reciprocate with her own lick, so...

Here are some pictures of the two of them together:

Kyra is only 3 weeks old here!~~January 2006

Kyra 6 months--still buddies~~June 2006

"One for you, one for me!"~~Kyra 6 months, June 2006

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!~~Jan 2007

March 2007. Shelby goes to the groomer, and the groomer says, "Have you noticed these 'hot spots' on her back?" Bad pet owner, Kristin says,"No, what spots?" That same afternoon, our wonderful vet's office, Pampered Pet Clinic, sees Shelby, and puts her on antibiotics & a special shampoo & medicated rinse.

3 weeks later, not only did the medicine not touch it, she's gotten worse. The old spots have spread, she's got a new spot on her stomach, and her hair is starting to fall out. The vet says,"You need to take her to a Veterinary Dermatologist. I could do a ton of tests to figure out what's wrong with her, but a derm. vet might be able to look at her, and say, 'I've seen 3 cases like this today."

So we make the appointment with the derm. vet. Meanwhile, David & I are wondering how much more $$$$ can we spend, chasing after a diagnosis, which may not even be treatable? The initial exam at the vet specialist was going to run at least $200, and that doesn't begin to cover any additional lab work, or allergy tests they would need to do.

After a lot of discussion, and soul-searching, and a few shed tears, we've decided that the best solution for everyone is to continue with the new round of antibiotics/medicated baths, so she doesn't get worse, until we can arrange for the Keeshond Rescue folks to take her. Then hopefully, she will be adopted by someone who has the time & resources that she needs.

By the way, if you know of anyone who is looking to adopt a great pet, please let us know, or have them contact us.

Blessings all, K~


Girasol said...
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