UPDATE OCTOBER 27, 2011 - Life With Blaze: (as always, click on any image for a larger view)
She loves chasing the leaves when I blow them off the deck. She doesn’t hate the blower (or the vacuum cleaner) like the other terriers do because she’s deaf and can’t hear it. She just loves the leaves swirling around. I think this is her first exhibit of prey drive – that and her gentle chasing of the tennis ball, so this is progress.
She has learned that she can roll on her back and get a belly rub. I wonder how many years it’s been since that the awful huge tumor prevented that simple joy? This photo shows the little pot belly she is getting :), and how well her incision is healing from that surgery. It started high up on her chest near her ribs, curved all the way down to her private parts, and this is so much improved in such a short time, hard to believe it ever happened.
Best thing: yesterday, I saw her wag her tail for the first time – not the gentle little wave of recognition we have all been used to, but a truly joyous wag of the whole butt and tail when she met my neighbor Beth’s Llasa, Oliver. Something about Oliver triggered a huge response in her and she ran up to him crazy wagging like he was an old friend, even though she’d never seen him before. After we talked a minute, Beth went on to complete Oliver’s walk and Blazie chased after them, pulling on her leash to stay with Oliver.
She has decided she does not like the crate at all, even though it is a necessity at times because of her lack of housetraining. She prefers doing her business outside, but it is often sudden and urgent and I can’t catch her soon enough to prevent an accident. Trying to work with the constant feedings and trips outside has been hard and time consuming – so the crate is just a reality that has to be.
She still won’t eat unless I hand feed her. Each meal is a half can of ID mixed with hot water until it’s soupy. She gets 5 meals a day starting at 7 in the morning and spaced through until 9 at night. I sit on the kitchen floor and spoon feed her, because if I offer her the bowl, she eats a few bites and walks away. That would be okay under ordinary circumstances but she still needs to put on weight, so I just do the drill.
She LOVES the chicken baby food in the jars that Dr. Mees recommended for sore mouth the first few days after surgery, and I use a little of that on the spoon when she tires of eating – now she recognizes the little jars and tries to get them open with her foot. This is called “spoiled” in some circles. In the first few days after the surgery, she would over balance and fall forward while trying to eat – so now she likes the bowl held up level to her face and the spoon scooped up for her, which she then licks. Her surgery was a week ago today – I think she’s having very little, if any, pain now and is just working me. Oh well.
She still refuses water in a bowl, as well. The soupy food is clearly working to keep her hydrated because this little dog pees more often and more volume than a Great Dane. She has to go out every two hours minimum.. more often when possible. She had an accident in bed two nights ago – she didn’t even wake up until she’d already peed and soaked one whole side of herself, her fuzzy binkie and everything underneath. She jumped up, horrified, but it was already too late. This required another bath, stripping of the whole bed, which was soaked, waking up all our sleeping companions (who took themselves grumpily off to the guest room), and a trip outside for Blazie where she sleepily peed some more. Last night I took her out at midnight, then had the foresight to put a pee pad under her binkie, which she soaked again at 3 in the morning. Fortunately the rest of the bed did not get wet. So we got up, went outside and peed some more, and after I washed her with a warm wash cloth she spent the rest of the night in her crate with a clean binkie and a pee pad, which was also soaked when I got up at 6:30 this morning.
I tried feeding her just the canned food without the water this morning. She took two bites and walked away. She’s doing so well otherwise – now weighs over 14 lbs. – that there’s really no reason for this other than the extreme pampering she’s been getting. She’s gone from that starving, desperate little dog who would gobble anything you gave her to I’d-like-to-see-the-menu-please.
I have to travel next week, so she’ll probably go back to Ansley for a couple of days, which they will love, even though I will fret.
I love the terrific notes and participation on Facebook and on the American Fox Terrier Rescue site from everyone, and am flattered by your praise for my devotion to Blaze’s recovery, but please know that I don’t do it for praise or recognition. As I always say, what I get in return is so much more than I give – and it is truly MY pleasure (even if I am constantly exhausted lately :).) And to whoever called me a “saint” … wow, thanks, but my friends and family would fall down laughing if they heard that.
Most important: I want to thank each of you again who donated money for Blazie’s surgery and ongoing care. Feeding Blaze is expensive and something I really appreciate your continued help with. I have four of my own to feed, and my Nancy has to have a special kidney diet (the Science Diet KD cans and kibble and treats), also not cheap, so any help is appreciated.
Blazie eats 2 ½ cans of the Science Diet ID every day. There are 12 cans to a case and each case is $26. If you do the math, you can see that this adds up quickly for our little eating machine. She also has to have a probiotic once a day. A 30-day supply of this is $29. Ten days’ worth of her antibiotic is $18.80 – but we hope to be able to cut those out by the end of this week. Jars of baby food are about 90 cents and she eats one every day. I’m hoping to stop that soon, but so far it’s the only way I can get her pills in her.
American Fox Terrier Rescue has been wonderful about paying for Blaze’s surgeries and her ongoing care. So, for all of you generous souls who keep asking what you can do to help, the absolute best thing is to please donate whatever you can (any amount, small or large, is so very welcome and appreciated) to help with Blazie’s care, as well as for other deserving fox terriers who need our help.
The plan is, and has been from the beginning, for Blazie to go to a real forever home where she can have the kind of attention she needs and deserves. While I love and adore her and am very attached to her now, I know that my household is not the ultimate right place for her – I have two aging fox terriers of my own who need extra care, and two young ones that need training and attention. Ideally, Blaze will go to a wonderful forever home where her people/person are there all day to care for her, one with perhaps another older dog who would not challenge her. You know, when she’s well and my heart is convinced that she will be okay. We’ll get there, I know we will. If anything, I’ve learned to be positive where Blaze is concerned.
She truly is such a gift of love.
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