Saturday, September 22, 2007

Goodbye, Old Friend

UPDATED 11-15-07 We still have Jack. After speaking with Linda at SecondHand Shelties, we are trying some different natural remedies. She knows how much we do not want to give Jack up. Additionally, we have brought a new Weimaraner puppy named Emmett into our home. Jack and Emmett play together and we really think that Emmett has helped by keeping Jack busy and not licking! We also have taken Jack off of his weekly allergy injections. After a year and a half of shots, we decided that they were just not working. So as of now, he's on steroids, Vitamin E, Fish Oil, Dogzymes and another dog powder added to his food. He's growing back some hair and isn't itching. We'll see how this all plays out in a couple weeks.
p.s. There's a picture of Emmett below. :)

Today is a sad day. We are putting our dog, Jack, into a rescue home. We've had Jack for almost 5 years. About 2 years ago, he started losing the hair on all four legs and itching. After unsuccessfully trying natural remedies and a food trial, we found out that he is allergic to grass, trees and other stuff. He's a can he be allergic to grass? I've been giving him allergy injections every week at home for over a year, in addition to steroids and Benadryl several times a day. He's still itching ferociously and is just miserable. We cannot keep up with the $120 shots, plus recurrent infections. He licks and gets open sores, so he gets infected. Once we get him cleared up, he's still licking so the vicious circle continues. We just can't keep up with it any more.

He is the sweetest dog ever. He is the best dog we've ever had. He listens. He sits when you tell him to. (OK, he barks every time someone opens the garage or rings the doorbell....he's gotta have one flaw.) I love when I'm on the couch and he just jumps up and lays his head on my lap. He looks at you with the sweetest eyes. Now when he looks at me though, I imagine he's saying, "Don't give up on me." It is so hard to push the emotion aside to see the reality of what we can realistically do for him.

The hardest thing now is waiting for a home to come available. The lady at the rescue organization has been great. Each day I wake up, I think, "Is this going to be his last day with us?" In some ways, I pray NO. Other days, I think...."Please, let this be over with so I can go on." See, now I'm crying again. I know, I know....he's a dog.

Today I had to sign release forms at the vets office so that they could send Jack's records to the rescue organization. I had called them ahead of time, so I wouldn't have to explain the situation in front of everyone there. When I arrived, the lady knew exactly who I was (maybe the teary, red, puffy eyes were a clue). She gave me the paper, I signed it and she said she'd take care of it right away. It was *so* hard to see all the people there with their dogs knowing that I was there completing yet another step to giving permission to give my dog away. I walked out bawling.

I've been hard to live with for the past week. (OK, maybe I'm always hard to live with, but this week has been especially bad.) I know this is the right decision, and someone else will have the time to take care of all of the special needs he has. But still, I love this silly dog and I feel guilty that I can't make this work. Hopefully by banging out these words, it will help me come to more peace. As of right now though, I'm crying again. I do have a scrapbook page dedicated to him that I made the first week we got him. I'll share it on another day.

Thanks for listening to my story.


Anonymous said...

I feel such sympathy for you. I know it couldn't have been an easy decision for you.
Not knowing what you've tried for his allergies, I don't know if this will help at this point, but please read my blog on my dog's skin allergies. She was allergic to grass and other things outside, and hers were pretty bad too, and have been helped greatly by changing her diet. At first I supplemented her food with probiotics and fish oils, as well as a product from Only Natural Pet Store called Immune Balance. I did this for about 2 months, gradually weening her off Prednisone, and then after about 3 months on the natural diet, I was able to stop the supplements altogether. The dog's immune system gets compromised by the chemicals, etc in their commercial dog food and environment, and to protect the major organs, the body will starve the skin of nutrients, thus causing the allergic reactions.
A raw food diet builds up the immune system in a dog--that's why it's so helpful with dogs with skin allergies. Cooking meats destroys some of natural probiotics found in meat, so that's why a raw diet is best. I don't know if it's too late for your dog, but I just wanted to bring this to your attention, in case you still have time to try one more thing.
Here's my blog link:
Good luck to you in whatever you decide.

Crystal N said...

I just found your blog through SCS. I am so, so very sorry for what you are going through! My animals become part of my family too, not just pets. My heart goes out to you. Crystal N.