It’s not an easy job being Queen but somebody’s got to do it. Somehow we managed to run the Wiener Palace with just a Princess for a few years and everything was fine. About a year and a half ago, I saw a post on Facebook that pulled on my heart. It was a scruffy looking pup with basically only an underbite showing from underneath a mess of hair. She was posted on Ruby Ranch Rescue’s page and it said she had mammary cancer that had spread and was in need of a hospice home. We have done some hospice care including our sweet foster Flora who had a big tumor on her back and Cocoa Puff who also had mammary cancer. She needed a quiet house to live out her days which were estimated to be six to twelve months. We have a fairly quiet home full of soft dog beds, were experienced with mammary cancer and thought she was adorable. The biggest problem was that she was in Arizona and we live in Indiana. Through the magic of social media, someone agreed to let her fly with them to Chicago and another person picked her up there and kept her for several days until we could drive up to meet them. Her name was Tatianna and there was no denying that she was meant to be Queen. The rescue made a video showing her story up until the time she headed out to meet us http://youtu.be/4mkjLfO-fWA .
We met two of her guardian angels just South of Chicago. They had picked her up at the airport and pampered the heck out of her while she was there. She even came with a swag bag full of goodies including this T-shirt that has a sparkly heart on the back of it. Doesn’t she look like such a happy pup? So we brought her home essentially to die. But Tatianna had other bigger plans. She wanted to experience the world and live life to the fullest. We took her with us to a few pet events and discovered that she loved people and loved attention. I thought that maybe she could be a therapy dog like Pebbles and Fiona. So even though they say “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, we decided to try. I didn’t tell anyone what we were doing because I wasn’t sure it would even work. But she was a quick learner even at 15 and learned basic obedience and passed her therapy dog tests with flying colors. She loves going to the nursing home and the middle school. She does a great job of sitting still while the kids read to her. She thrives on attention and loves to go anywhere in the car.
She’s done great healthwise since we adopted her. She needed a dental desperately so about a year ago so we had that done and her mammary tumor taken off. The margins were clear and her bloodwork was great so we thought we got it all. About a month ago, she decided to take off on a little journey and the day after that I noticed that one of her little skin tags had come off. The next day, it looked worse so off to the vet with her. The vet commented on the place where she had the mammary tumor removed and thought that it seemed firmer and larger. We wanted to let her back heal before poking around in her belly so I took her back to the vet yesterday to get both checked. Our vet determined that it was not scar tissue as I had hoped. It appears to be more mammary tumors and they are on both sides of her chest now. She did an X-ray and there are also nodules in her chest. Given her age and medical history, we are going to treat conservatively at this time as she does not appear to be in pain and is not having any side effects from them. She will go back in three weeks for a re-check to see if we’ve slowed their growth. As long as she feels good, she will continue to do her therapy dog visits. She gets so much joy out of visiting and the people love her so much. Her 17th birthday will be on Valentine’s Day 2014 so that’s my goal for her. She had such a great Sweet 16 party at the retirement village and had 40-50 people stop by to wish her a Happy Birthday and there were two birthday cakes!
I want to leave you with this-please spay and neuter your pets. There are so many unwanted animals in shelters and rescues out there and it’s healthier for your pets to be altered. Tatianna’s mom loved her very much but didn’t have her spayed. If she had been spayed at a young age, her chances of getting mammary cancer would have been almost zero. Here’s a link to low cost spay/neuter clinics in your area. Hugs your pups tight and remember to Opt to Adopt. Long Live Queen Tatianna!
As they say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. Today though it was the Queen of the Wiener Palace who decided to go astray. We usually juggle our work hours so the dogs don’t have to be alone for too many hours. When you’ve got so many seniors and special needs pups, they need to be let out more often than younger dogs. Well today we both had to be at work early so hubby agreed to run home at lunch and let them out. I was working a little late at another campus when he called and left me a voice mail message to call home “Right now!” I called him and he asked me where I was and I asked him where he was. He said he was at home but he had lost our only non Dachshund, Tatianna.
He was sure that she came in at lunch and sure that she was in the house when he left. I was equally sure that one of those things was not true. He was absolutely convinced that he gave her a treat before leaving so she was in the house. Since she’s 16 with a history of mammary cancer, I thought maybe she had passed away somewhere in the house. He’s looking all over-and trust me when I say the Wiener Palace is not palatial at all and all on one level. He was becoming frantic and still couldn’t find her. I left work but told him to call if he found her. I got home after about 40 minutes and he still hadn’t found her. He was still convinced that she was in the house when he left. I told him that I was pretty darn sure that no one broke into our house and took only a 16 year old mixed breed dog. I was also sure that she did not let herself out of the house.
We took off through the neighborhood calling her name. She loves to chase bunnies so I thought she might have headed down to the pond where the bunnies hang out. We were walking around for about half an hour when he called and said some kids told him that they had seen her one block over. I headed down the next street calling her name. I found a person who also said they had seen her but she was heading South. He was already going that way so I kept heading West through the subdivision. There was a crew doing some lawnwork and I looked past them to see a little white dog trotting down the street. I was calling her name but I guess her hearing isn’t what it used to be. She was following a guy walking down the sidewalk although she was in the street. He said she had been following him for awhile. When I got close enough and she could hear me, she walked up to me and let me pick her up. She was very hot and tired but looked like she hadn’t been injured during her walkabout. I called hubby to come pick us up and take us home. She’s been exhausted since we got home and even ate her dinner laying down.
My original post was going to be about microchips and how they help reunite pets with their owners. All our dogs are chipped but they don’t wear collars in the house. We had a foster dog get his tags caught in a crate one night and almost choke to death so I don’t leave collars on them when they are inside. Microchips are great because they are permanent and can’t be removed. The main problem with them is that many people still don’t know about them and if they find a pet, they don’t take it to be checked. My sister has a tiny dog that is an escape artist and she got him microchipped after his first escape. When he got out the next time, my young nephew was excited because he was chipped so he thought it would be easier to find him this time. He thought it would work like a GPS but not so much. The family that found him had never taken him to be checked. Microchips are great but only when people know about them. I have our vet check the dogs every year during their annual exam to make sure that the chip is still working and hasn’t migrated. Local rescues and shelters will often have fundraisers where you can get your pet chipped for a low price or even free. It’s just another tool to help your pet get back to you if “someone” accidentally lets the dog out through the garage and then leaves for work.
Poor Tatianna had quite the adventure today. She was loose in the neighborhood for about seven hours. We’re very lucky that she didn’t get hit by a car or attacked by another animal. I just can’t believe that so many people saw her but no one thought that it was strange that a little dog with bows in her hair was out wandering the neighborhood. She’s been sleeping and dreaming of bunnies ever since she got back home. Long Live the Queen!
I swear we have the oddest things happen here at the Wiener Palace. We live up by a major city park that is very wooded and full of wildlife so we often have them run through our back yard. We’ve seen deer, raccoons, ducks, geese, all sorts of birds and even a coyote out there. It’s kind of scary because all the dogs here are under 14 pounds and could easily be seriously injured or even killed by some of these animals. I am always very careful to stay at the door and watch them while they are out back but sometimes even that isn’t enough. We have some resident black snakes that hang around our house. I’m glad they are here since they help keep the rodent population down but they’ve also bit our dogs twice. We were able to treat them at home and the dogs didn’t have any severe reactions. Now the spiders, that’s a whole ‘nother story. Apparently our little blind Princess Fiona McSnuggles got bit by a spider sometime late Tuesday night. We were at the retirement village that evening and everything seemed fine. It was really warm because they were having problems with their air conditioning but the girls and residents had a blast.
Everything seemed fine but the next morning Jerry told me that Fiona was “nervous” and shaking. I could tell she was in pain but I thought she had twisted her back the night before. I headed straight to the vet and figured they would do some laser or acupuncture and she would be fine. I was astonished when Dr. Cindy called and said she had an area on her booty that looked like a spider bite. They lasered it and put her on some pain pills, steroids and antibiotics. The next morning it took off and began swelling and getting redder. From the time I got up to the time we got back to the vet, it was so much nastier looking. This time it was full of pus and she was running a fever. They ended up putting in a drain and adding a pain patch and another antibiotic. The poor little thing was wiped out by the whole experience but she did end up with a cute camo bandage on her pain patch. Due to her blindness, she does not tolerate the “cone of shame”. She ends up getting so anxious and frothing at the mouth. So when we had to leave for a bit on Saturday, we left after her pain meds had kicked in. When we got back, I could see that she had been licking at that area and the next day, the drain was almost all the way out. I went ahead and removed it and the sutures and it was healing up great. She had her re-check on Tuesday and everything is healing wonderfully and just as quickly as it came up. She was growing some nasty things in that pus but her antibiotics worked on those. She’s still a little run down from the whole experience but she looks great. She hasn’t gone back to work just yet and she is sporting a big bald patch on her booty and the back of her neck. I bought her a pretty flower to cover her neck so once she feels up to it, we’ll head back to the nursing home for our weekly visits. Now I’m paranoid any time I see a spider and that’s pretty often around here. I’m so glad that I took her to the vet on Wednesday rather than just assuming it was her back and waiting. I think it resolved so quickly since we caught it early on. Sometimes I feel like I am a nervous dog mom and am overthinking their every movement but in this case I’m very glad we caught it so quickly. I would say to listen to your inner voice. They can’t tell us what’s going on or where they hurt. We are their advocate adn have to speak up for them since they are unable to. I would also warn you- Beware the spiders!