|Barked: Mon Dec 10, '12 1:40am PST |
|I wanted to share with everyone my lovely Alyssum, who has a sad past but now has a happy existence blending in with my couch.
I first met Alyssum when she was 7 months old. Her original owner lost his house to foreclosure and left his 5 outdoor-only dogs behind. These were Alyssum, her two brothers and her parents. A bunch of neighbors got together and after a few days rescued the family, splitting them up. Alyssum's second owner took her and one of her brothers. I got to meet my doggy because the woman who took her thought she had been 'attacked' by the male. I did the general check in process for her, and was instantly enamored of this 10 pound puppy. She was emaciated, matted, covered in foxtails and anemic. We feared she was also pregnant as her abdomen was quite distended.
Unfortunately, owner #2 could not afford the care needed to keep Alyssum alive. She needed surgery desperately to remove the foxtails from her ears (ruptured her left ear drum and there were 8 in that ear, 6 in her right) and to deal with the abscess she has on one thigh. She also needed her severe anemia dealt with. I, being the biggest sucker on the planet, offered to take this little critters. I can't help but love the terrified ones and the fact that she allowed us to remove most of the foxtails from her ears without restraint just broke my heart.
Because we feared she was pregnant, we decided to spay her while she was under for the abscess. It was risky, but she would not have been able to deliver puppies in her condition. Fortunately she was not heavily pregnant like we had feared, but unfortunately we discovered that she was so hungry she had been eating foxtails and the inflammation from her intestines had caused her to leak fluid into her abdomen. She lost a pound and a half of fluids during that surgery. Very scary, but with some special IV fluids to help keep her fluids where they were supposed to be, she made a quick recovery.
Alyssum was, if not outright abused by her very first owner, at least emotionally neglected. The first couple weeks she would cower if we attempted to have her walk through a doorway and she continues to be very flinchy with fast hand movements.
These pictures are from a few days after her surgery. I had already spent a great deal of time with her, hand feeding individual kibble to get her to eat. Alyssum had already begun deciding I was the only safe person on the planet.
Dog O' Despair- See how she is fixated on me and desperately ignoring the person holding the camera?
So scared she wouldn't even stand up:
Two months later, she was doing significantly better. She trusted most of my coworkers (especially the kennel people who fed her every day!) but me she loved.
She made, and still makes, the goofiest expressions:
No longer underweight... in fact, she's a little fat here. Oops!
Such a pretty face:
And this is a *happy* dog:
Alyssu m has been with me for a year and a half now and I could not ask for a more perfect dog for my lifestyle and energy level. She has her moments of crazy hyper, but the moment I indicate we're done, she's back into her corner of the couch sleeping the day away. I think it's her favorite pastime.
She does have her issues, including some fear aggression that I am continuing to work on. She definitely does NOT like strangers leaning over to pet her and will cower and growl. Makes me annoyed when people assume they can pet my dog just because she's fluffy. But overall, she's a great dog and I couldn't love her more.
And a few more photos of her in her summer "No more foxtails for you!" hair cut:
Disproport ionate dog is disproportionate:
To the point that she runs like a rabbit, despite no hip dysplasia or luxating patellas.
We're still not entirely sure what she is, though the consensus at work is cocker spaniel poodle some sort of terrier. Her ears are FAR too tiny to be just cockapoo as the actual ear doesn't even reach to the outer corner of her eye. Tiny dinky ears.
Thanks for reading!
*edited to post links to photos, as they are not showing*
Edited by author Mon Dec 10, '12 9:23am PST
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