What turned out as a routine senior exam because Gus wasn’t feeling good has turned our life upside down for the last couple of weeks. Gus has lymphosarcoma. It isn’t slow moving and it is attacking his GI tract pretty nastily. Our vet didn’t have a whole lot of positive to say because of his age and susceptibility to succumbing if we opted to treat our beloved Elderbull with chemo. He said that the kindest option would be management and then helping him cross the bridge when the time came – which could be sooner or later.
How did we find out and confirm our worst fears? Blood work. We had taken him in because his belly was a bit bloated and he didn’t want to eat his meals and was having trouble controlling his bladder. The latter is a common problem in the older dogs but I didn’t want him ending up with issues because he had an accident while we were at work and soiled his blanket in his crate.
The results from his blood work weren’t promising. He has hyper calcemia. He is anemic. His thyroid levels were incredibly low. All of that combined with the added insult, he also had a Urinary Tract Infection – the one thing we worked to prevent with his accidents. The final blow was the lymphosarcoma attacking his GI tract and causing the bloating and unwillingness to eat.
Cancer. It should be a curse word. This vile, vile disease is something that takes far too many loved ones from this Earth and runs rampant through our hearts as they deal and cope with this internal Hell until it is time for them to leave us. We’ve been dealing with it. We’re making our buddy comfortable. We are letting him eat whatever makes him eat and keep strength up. He has been getting to sleep in bed or we’ve been sleeping in the dog beds with him. We have to keep him cool since he gets uncomfortably hot even though he loves to bake in the sun. Whatever it takes for however long he has left with us.
We started a bucket list of things to do with him before he crosses the bridge – a “like” campaign on his Facebook page, Gus the Elderbull, in an effort to create a functioning memory that helps other dogs in shelters and a place for owners of their own elderbulls to come and share their memories, going swimming for the first time with us, eating an Oreo cookie even though they aren’t good for him, spending all night cuddling with us.
It hasn’t been easy. I’ve cried more nights than I care to admit to. My husband has remained stoic but even he can’t hide the pain. We’re having to make a decision that no person wants to make. When is the right time? Are we being selfish by waiting? Is Gus happy? We’re told time and again we’ll know but in my heart, I don’t know. It’s scary. I never expected to lose this beautiful soul in such a short time after we adopted him from the shelter – which is currently at almost two months shy of his September 23rd Gotcha Day. It sucks and it’s something that I could wish on my worst enemy but we will work through it and we’ll make the best of whatever time we have left until Gus lets us know it’s time.
If you’re looking for a nice companion or even a sport dog prospect, little miss Luna might just be the dog for you. She is a very sweet little Belgian Malinois girl who was left behind after her family was deported. Her unforeseen tragedy turned out into a miracle thanks to a kind-hearted gentleman who reached out to to the wonderful folks at Adopt-A-Pup for help.
With good timing, good people and a Malinois-savvy home that came from the folks over at the American Belgian Malinois Club Rescue Facebook group this little peach has a good start to a bright future ahead of her as she settles into her foster home and the search for her forever home begins.
Luna is a pretty easy-going gal overall. She rode well in the car and seems to have settled into her foster Mom’s house with no problems. I personally would have loved to have adopted this little peach myself but we’re pretty full to the brim with our crew. She will definitely make a wonderful addition for her forever home! I was blessed to actually get to meet and transport this little love and would definitely recommend a breed savvy home because I know how much go these guys can have and how much they enjoy having a job.
If you’re interested in adopting Luna or any of the available animals available through Adopt-A-Pup Rescue, please contact them through their websiteor their Facebook page.
Jewel came into the River Rouge Animal Shelter with her good buddy Thor via the officers of River Rouge. Unfortunately, Jewel and Thor had a habit of escaping their yard and their owner opted to not reclaim them and instead leave them to sit in the shelter.
Jewel is a happy go lucky gal who absolutely LOVES affection. She enjoys long walks and has energy that could go on for days if you didn’t want her to stop. She is very willing to please and has been getting some good basic manners training from the volunteers at the shelter when she is out on the twice daily walks.
Jewel would do well in any home but may be a bit too boisterous for families with young children since she forgets how big she is. Jewel has shown some mild interest in the cats but with proper introductions should be okay with a feline member of the household. She would also make a good working dog prospect in dog sports venues as she is social, willing to learn and eager to please and has good drive for toys and food.
If you’re interested in adopting Jewel, she is available for adoption through the River Rouge Animal Shelter which is located at 100 W. Pleasant Street, River Rouge, Michigan. You can contact the shelter by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 313-205-1732.
I seriously read that phrase not that long ago when referencing my least liked mantra of “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem!” when it comes to the serious issue about the animal overpopulation problem going on in our nation today. I will be honest, it angered me pretty heavily because I know how much time I have wrapped up into my volunteer time in animal rescue in my community and at a handful of shelters and rescue groups that I support heavily – sometimes so much that my husband doesn’t get to see me much and has complete care and exercise regimes on the dogs to take care of. I know not everyone is going to agree with me because I support both responsible breeding and rescue but to insult and belittle what I do would have pushed many people away and onto the “all rescue people are freaks” bandwagon.
The question though is – what is enough? Is enough being an Internet and social media sharing junky? Is fostering as many dogs or cats as a person can handle enough? What about actually donating well above than the 16 hours a city pays you to manage a shelter completely like one of my very, very dedicated rescue friends does? I know the blood, sweat and tears that goes into rescue because I am there alongside of those who dedicate their lives to changing the futures of those animals who are less fortunate but what gives a person the right to say “You’re not doing enough?” to someone because their path is not aligned in the same fashion as another group?
I would like to think I am making a difference in the lives and futures of the animals I am lucky enough to help through walking, photographing, transporting and training. We aren’t, at this time, able to foster another member of the household because we were foster failures with our last dog – Duo. This won’t be a permanent thing but it is, for the time being, the case in our situation. I also spend my time on social media sharing and networking available animals and even helped my parents locate their new family member at a local shelter (Yoshi’s story is here) but I also know I’m a bit of an abnormality. Why? Well, the whole supporting and owning of breeder-acquired dogs and support of responsible breeding.
Anti-breeding groups call those of us “greeders” and think breeders (they lump backyard breeders and responsible breeders into the same category) make a living off of the reproductive parts on their pets. This is very true for the less scrupulous breeders out there but those responsible breeders breed infrequently and when they do breed, the puppies have good, well-screened homes, impeccable upbringing and a lifetime of support from that responsible breeder.
I know this fact doesn’t go over well with the rescue community because of the thousands of dogs being euthanized daily but at some point it would be nice if the acceptance of those who truly care about dogs and not about adding to the shelter population would be accepted into the rescue fold because there are many out there who work both sides of the fence and I’m not the only one. It would be nice to work hand-in-hand with those same people who dedicate their lives to rescue animals and have them see who truly is the problem and who isn’t. Placing the blame on an entire group because of one sector of bad apples is about as bad as the breed profiling that everyone joins together to end.
Maybe this is just a dream but hopefully one day responsible breeders and rescuers can join together to end the mass production and abandonment of puppy mill and backyard bred dogs and end the mass euthanization of shelter animals and get them in to responsible forever homes so that those who dedicate their lives to the cause can actually go home and relax for a little instead of worrying when the next dog will hit “the list.”