The St. Louis Senior Dog Project is a not-for-profit dog rescue organization specializing in older dogs but taking in and finding homes for dogs of all ages...even puppies. We'll have dogs for adoption from 11 to 3 Saturday, October 5, AND Noon to 3 Sunday, October 6 , at the Kirkwood Petco near I-44 and Lindbergh. To see which dogs will be there as well as other adoptable dogs, go Here.
Those three old labs above might be some of our luckiest dogs of all time. All three were scheduled for euthanasia as unwanted pets when we found space for them with us. Wally, the yellow lab, was already at the vet's office after being dropped off from a local animal control. Dr Ivan thought he was too nice to be put to sleep and asked if I could take him. I can still see the spot on my bedroom wall where he chewed a hole. Let's just say he suffered from a bit of what some call "separation anxiety." But Wally and Brutus and Benny all turned out to be wonderful old boys, and by some miracle the same couple adopted all three. They send us regular updates about how well they are doing. They look pretty happy up there on on the lake.
Of course, we aren't always quite that lucky. Some of our dogs have serious problems. A couple weeks ago we said goodby to Ruby the Redbone Coonhound. I'll admit she was never my favorite foster dog. She dug under the fence several times and escaped to visit neighbors who didn't appreciate her good points. She was decidedly unfriendly with cats. She drooled...a lot. And she took up a lot of space on my bed. But she was loving and she had personality. Her former owners had abandoned her to a shelter where staff called us because she was losing weight, possibly because of depression. We picked her up and soon found she had some health issues. At times her back legs became paralyzed and we had to carry her outside. With medication she recovered for awhile and then relapsed. The drooling increased and she began vomiting most of what she ate. After a couple more vet visits, we had a diagnosis -- myasthenia gravis, a neurological disease. She also had a condition known as megesophagus, which was the reason for her digestive problems. Things did not look good, but we decided to start her on some new medication. She seemed a little better at first. But soon she went downhill. She became paralyzed on all four legs and developed pneumoia. Sadly, we decided to let her go, to end her suffering. We don't always write happy endings. So farewell, pretty Ruby. This is my favorite picture of her.
During the past week I've also had two dogs diagnosed with cancer. One moved today to a hospice home. One is scheduled to see a specialist. Another is seeing a different specialist because of a neurological problem -- not one as serious as that which afflicted Ruby, but serious enough to require special attention. Samson the German Shepherd still receives extra care for his chronic respiratory condition. We don't go looking for dogs with problems. But we take in our share of special cases. One of our favorite people recently started a special fund -- named the Indie Fund -- for dogs with extraordinary medical expenses. I'll write more about that later. But if you want to help, just mention the Indie Fund.