Arrival Story: While recovering from surgery, I decided I wanted a lap dog. My daughter and I kept going to the shelter looking, and looking. I went several times on my own. Finally, on the Wednesday before Christmas '04, I went in, and it was freezing both outdoors and inside the shelter. There was Pokie in a small cage, at least he was up off the floor and wearing a sweater. All the other larger dogs were in the large kennels on the cold cement floors without so much as a blanket or carpet scrap to stay warm. I didn't really want a Chihuahua, but when he looked at me with his sad little face, I could hear him asking to be given a home, and I made it a point that I would come and get him the first day that he was available for adoption, the Monday after Christmas. I left my job in order to be first in line when the shelter doors opened, and I got him. The first stop for us was the vet's office next door to the shelter for a checkup and all his vaccinations. He was covered with fleas, so they gave him a Capstar in addition to the shots. He only weighed slightly over 4 lbs. When I picked him up after work, we went to Petco to get him a new bed, harness and treats. As soon as we got home, he had a seizure! I attributed it to all the excitement and medications. Over the coming months, a pattern emerged that seemed to be tied to his monthly Heartgard and Frontline, so we quit giving him those. Then the vet did lab, and his liver function was damaged, so we put him on Denosyl. After 3 months, his lab was normal, and he was a happy and healthy (healthier) boy. However, the vet thought he could take an additional month of medicine and then stop because his liver had apparently healed itself. Big mistake! Within 3-4 days of NOT taking the medicine, he suffered a severe cluster type grand mal seizure. As Denosyl is the same supplement that people take (Sam-E) for depression and mood elevation, both the vet and I decided that it must also regulate the chemical action in the brain. As it is also a safe and natural supplement without side effect, we will just give it to him forever and hope that to be a LONG time.
Bestest friends: Well, there's Shadow (RIP), Peachy, Sunny, Atticus, Gibrien, George U., Rosie, Otto....gee I love all doggies!
Well, I'm doing a lot better. We think the back-to-back seizures were a result of wearing a new sweater that hadn't been washed first, so that's an easy fix. And the last mild one , dad had taken a tumble in the back yard while he was out there, (didn't get hurt) but it scared me! But I think I'm back on steady ground, eating extremely well, loving my yummy turkey compliments of Thanksgiving leftovers. (hee-hee!) Let's hope I can stay well for a while!
It appears that we are running out of luck with my little man's seizures. Darn it! The one's he had in August and September were mild, but without any real warning and different in character, more violent shaking and 1 followed by another, although brief. Well he had one last night, that although I kinda' knew he was "in the mode", still caught us off guard. He hadn't played tug-o-war before bed on Thursday night with his dad, which was out of character. And he didn't eat his nightly muffin bedtime treat and wasn't all that energetic yesterday morning. Last night's was again him shaking more and trying to get up and move around. We got him settled with the sugar syrup and valium, and he slept well and ate ok this morning. But then a child rang the doorbell around lunch time, and he got all excited, and he had another. He became disoriented and then tried to crawl around on the sofa, and then it subsided a bit and he threw up. He had another brief episode and I remedicated him with his valium and sugar, and he's been OK. It looks like we'll be headed to the vet this week to see what our options are. He wasn't put on phenobarb due to compromised liver function to start with, and we thought that was under control, but lately he's acting like something's not right again, licking his paws a lot, etc. We'll keep everyone posted. Maybe we can do KBr since it's supposed to be less damaging. Poor little boy :-( Just thought we'd update everyone and ask for good thoughts while we figure this out.
Pokie's mom here. - Such an innocent little boy, eyes that speak volumes from unbridled joy when he's happy -- to frightened confusion during one of his nasty seizure episodes. As a neglected stray staring out from the confines of a cold metal kennel at the local animal shelter, he could only shiver as people walked by, hoping to attract someone who would rescue him from despair. And I, on my lunch break from my daily grind, had just stopped in on a whim, not expecting to find a new baby. But there he was, all 4 pounds, standing so proud in his worn brown sweater, eyes pleading "please take me home, I'll be a good boy, I promise!" I swear, I heard that plea, loud and clear. As a newly captured stray, he had to wait the requisite number of days for adoption in case an owner came looking for him. I hoped and prayed they wouldn't. On the day he could be adopted, when the shelter opened, I was first in line to claim him. When I stepped into the lobby of the shelter, my heart sank! He was tied by a leash to one of the chairs up next to the adoption clerk, and I just knew he'd been given to someone else! When I inquired, they explained that they were holding him for someone who had said she wanted to come and get him - and I said that someone was me! Even though he had the first of many seizures on the day he came home with me, I've never given up on him. And because I don't take no for an answer, I've not only learned how best to treat his seizures, but how to make them go away! I liken having Pokie in my life now to the days when my children were infants. They, too, could not speak to tell me they were hungry, soiled, in pain, etc. It takes a mother's intuition to communicate during those months as a baby grows. I consider Pokie to be a perpetual baby, and I have learned to monitor his every move, mood, expression, every sound he makes and every bite he takes - and I know it is a lifelong effort. His life depends on it! So this is my tail of devotion. I am completely devoted to this tiny little creature to provide him a loving, long and happy life and keep that tail waggin' for a long time.