Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Remembering Angel Katy on her Anniversary

Our last year with Katy was a hard one as she was so sick for much of it. I had thought I'd would have documented much more of Teddy's first year, but this year has had some challenges but far greater blessings. While I may later regret not documenting Teddy's first year with us, I am so much more grateful for the time we spent living this first year with him.

However, today I come to remember Katy, one year after we lost her. I can't but think Katy would have loved Teddy. Something tells me he wouldn't get away with nearly as much with her as he does with Annie.

Our beautiful girl came to us from rescue when she was two. She is why I believe the earlier people realize they have made a mistake in bringing a dog into the home and responsibly turn it over to a breed rescue or shelter the better it is for the dog. Dragging it out when people either can't or won't work on the challenges the dog has added to their lives is not fair to the dog, especially when the younger the dog is, the fewer the problems it has acquired in this first home, the more likely it is to find a forever home afterwards.

Bailey and Katy were meant to find one another. We never got Katy's background story from the rescue but she was very isolated from the world. She was terrified of everything. Bailey acted as her guide to the world, encouraging her to try new things and sheltering her when things were too overwhelming for her. He celebrated when she succeeded at overcoming her fears while she pretended she'd never been afraid of it. She was capable of anything.

When Bailey got sick, Katy was his companion to the end. She was devestated when he died. We had started looking for a companion before Bailey died. We had one failed rescue before finding a breed placement with Annie, who quickly become Katy's therapy dog. Annie had to be at Katy's beck and call at all times.

Since Katy has passed Annie has been working on figuring out what her role is without Katy needing her support, especially with a demanding puppy in the house.

We were very blessed to have Katy with us for 14 years. I still miss her calm presence in the house. I am glad that she is no longer suffering. That last year was rough. I prefer remembering her stronger years playing with Bailey and Annie.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Meet Teddy the Newest Member of Sheltie Times

We are used to long searches for our new Sheltie family members so we were quite surprised that we found Teddy just as we were gearing up for the prep to search.

A wonderful woman reached out to me at Sheltie Nation with the names of breeders in our area with puppies available right away.

One of the challenges of finding a new dog is finding good quality breeders. Often the most well advertised breeders are not the ones you want to do business with and the higher quality breeders just don't have the time for an online presence easily located by those hoping to find them. When you have people willing to help you make the match it is such a blessing.

Teddy was born November 25, 2022 and were were very blessed to have him join our Sheltie pack on January 21, 2022 at 8 weeks old. He had 3 adorable sisters. It was hard to decide but Teddy seemed a good choice with Annie. I do wish we'd taken pictures while at the meet and greet but we were so focused on all the interactions and trying to choose that we didn't want the phones to be the focus. It would have been nice to have a family picture for his record.

Teddy loves toys, chasing balls, and is all energy. We are so grateful to Ann at Sheltie Nation and Acadia Shelties in CT for helping us find our new family member. It has been busy getting adjusted as we were really at the thinking about doing this not doing this righ now stage, but it has been worth all the craziness for this beautiful bundle of joy.

Friday, January 20, 2023

The search for a New Friend

Well friends Dog Dad and Mom have begun the search for a new friend for me. I miss Katy terribly and living alone is just not in the cards for me.

After having three Shelties Mom and Dad are entering new territory they are talking a puppy. While Bailey was a puppy when they got him he was Mom's miracle rescue a puppy that was fully housebroken when he came home. This means starting from scratch and they are both excited and a bit scared at the prospect so send them your best wishes.

They are currently in talks with a breeder and have high hopes. If that doesn't work they will continue looking because they want the right fit for our Sheltie pack. Hopefully we will have some news soon about my new brother or sister.

Mom is doing her research on puppy raising and is excited to get started. I think I'll be more excited once I meet this new creature who will be entering my Sheltie space.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas!

We wish all of you a happy and healthy Christmas with the ones you love. Best wishes for a wonderful New Year.

This was my first solo visit with the big guy and it was scary. First, I'm used to going with Katy and second I had to go in a room with Santa and the picture guy all by myself. Normally Mom and Dad are in the room with Katy and I for the big picture. Dog Dad said I was very brave and was quite grateful I cooperated without anyone there to provide support.

Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy!

Monday, November 14, 2022

Halloween Memories

I had hoped to post these right after Halloween but Katy stopped eating and caring for her became more intense as we were spoon feeding her and sleep became something rather limited. Beautiful memories are a gift that help us let go of the hard stuff and cherish the beautiful times we have with those we love. Halloween was a great night for Katy and Annie both and I want to be able to look up this post next year and remember what a special night it was with the two of them.

Annie fell in love with the gnomes. She could hide behind them and observe everything going on and as it got dark nobody knew she was there and therefore no requests to pet the cute doggie. She has started hanging out with the scarecrows in the backyard now. I'm thinking we may need a year round contingent of these in the backyard for her as she seems to like hanging out with them.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Katy has Crossed the Rainbow Bridge

Our sweet beautiful Katy died Monday November 7, 2022 after a battle with Cushing disease. I couldn't write about it until now. It was a hard journey. We were spoon feeding her baby food at the end. Our Vet isn't open on Mondays and she was due to see the Vet on Tuesday and it wasn't looking great for that visit as she had even started being unable to keep down the baby food. Monday night she passed away allowing her to die at home on her terms. There are not enough wonderful words to say about how caring and supportive our Vet was through this journey. We are very blessed to have had her for this journey and to continue on with Annie.

Katy was 14 years old and we were very blessed to have adopted her from New England Sheltie Rescue when she was 2 years old over Labor Day Weekend. So she lived to see her 14th birthday and her 12th gotcha day. I still don't have the words to write a tribute for her as the wound still feels so raw. I do plan on posting our Halloween pictures in a separate post as it was our last great holiday celebration and I know in years to come I will be grateful to be able to come back and see how happy she was that night.

Run free my dear girl. I know you were looking for Bailey in those last few days. Your Dog Dad found you in Bailey's donut bed which you had ignored since he died a few days before you passed. I know he was there waiting for you. Peace my dear girl. All your pain is gone and you are with the one who has waited for you for some time now.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Katy Could Use Some Paw Prayers

What started out as problems getting up off the floor, which we got help from a dog PT for eventually morphed into Cushing Disease. The medication for Cushing actually helped with her balance and overall strength but we've had additional complications and her kidney's are starting to shut down resulting in pancretitis. If she goes there there is no coming back. She is getting morning IV treatments at the vet and her Dog Dad is hand feeding her baby food but we could use some help with prayers from the Paw that she can react to the treatments and get eating again or we could be looking at a very sad scenario.

I had wanted to write about this journey earlier but there is so much going on with caring for Katy and lots of non-Katy stuff that is great but time consuming that I avoided doing something that was going to be hard. It is hard to write about Katy not being strong, stubborn, and feisty.

I also wanted to record this for anyone else struggling with helping an aging dog with balance and stability issues because I didn't know what to do or where to start. First if you have the option consulting with a dog PT was worth it. The exercises and information on what we could do to help and what wasn't helpful was worth the consultation. We didn't end up going back for further visits because we started the Cushing treatments and then had food issues but I do plan on using the exercises to increase Annie's strength and flexibility as you don't have to wait until they lose strength to build it.

The harness Katy is wearing is the Help 'em Up Harness. I write this in case we do need to find another one down the road.

Reviews can be great or they can confuse you more if you don't know why someone purchased a product, what they were dealing with at the time. Katy has strength in her front legs and once stabilized can stand on her back legs. However, her back legs are weak, especially if she's been laying down. I had trouble helping her up off the floor and what became really scary at times were the stairs as without restraint she would fly down or barrel roll on the stairs even with the ramp a neighbor kindly loaned us to make going down the back stairs doable. The harness gives you the human a means of picking up and stabilizing the dog without hurting either you or the dog. We chose this one based on the suggestion of her PT and if needed I'd purchase another one because it has made a huge difference in being able to give her confidence in moving around.

The critisms I've read generally refer to dogs who no longer have the ability to stand once brought to their feet with the help of the harness. The dog is a dead weight in the harness if they can't support any of their weight on their legs. I've never reached this stage with a dog but the few people I know who have generally have had to move to more stabilizing equipment to allow the dog mobility as the harness isn't the right tool.

I meant to write all of this down in other posts earlier for my own records and to share with you. It has just been too hard to face. If I didn't write it maybe I could ignore it. However, having reread my Bailey posts I want to make my future posts balanced not as health updates but records of what an amazing dog she is today. Tomorrow I hope to get to talking about what an great night Annie and Katy had hanging outside for Halloween.