Tuesday, May 28, 2013

And Then a Miracle Happened

The week of my birthday was a memorable week. First, starting with my birthday (May 13th), our dog Ellie passed away. Then five days later on the 18th, my father-in-law passed away. Then the next day (19th) a miracle happened.

We were pet sitting a long-time client's Boston Terrier, Lou (pictured above), who will be 13 this year. Though we had been sharing the visits, my husband Clifton happened to be doing that particular visit. He had just given Lou his breakfast which was (chopped up) prescription can food. Lou began eating and Clifton stepped away from the kitchen for 60 - 70 seconds. When he returned Lou was laid out flat on his side. Calling his name, he checked for breathing and heart beat. There was neither. He opened his mouth and reached down his throat and pulled out a piece of can food. Then he gave Lou CPR. Then the miracle happened. Clifton felt Lou's heart start beating again. Lou started coughing and catching his breath. He was back! He was gone but now he was back! Clifton said it all happened so fast yet it was going in slow motion. He instinctively and intuitively knew what to do and just did it. All this took another 60 - 80 seconds. Lou sat up and wanted to get up and walk but Clifton made him stay still with a blanket wrapped around him. Clifton called me and I went over there and we kept Lou in the blanket, holding him, giving thanks to God. This story could have ended differently. We are so grateful it didn't. What a miracle! Lou was fine. He was still hungry and ready to finish eating! Though I don't know for sure if he knew what just happened to him exactly, he knew that Clifton saved him. That was incredibly obvious to us. He would not take his eyes off of Clifton. With his eyes, he was saying "thank you" for saving me.

What a nice gift...especially considering that that day, the 19th -- was the anniversary of Clifton's mother's death. What a week.....

Who would think a dog could choke on can food otherwise known as "wet" food? How many times have we stepped away for a moment to do something else after giving pets their food? How many pets "free-feed" on food? We have been pet sitting for over eleven years and we both have had multiple animals our whole lives. We've fed hundreds, possibly thousands of pets. (I have fed close to 100 animals in a single day before.) We have never had any animal choke on their food....before.

A lot of the prescription can foods are so hard and dry. They are the driest can foods I've ever seen. We started totally mashing Lou's food (which primarily consists of potato with venison) totally and adding enough water to make the consistency of oatmeal or even a little more soupy than that. He seemed to like that better too. (You just have to keep scraping it off the bottom of the bowl into a heap for them so they can get it all.) We noticed that even after adding all that water, when Lou was halfway though eating it, it had soaked up all the water and was becoming dry again. Incredible. So if your dog eats prescription can food, take note!

Those that know me well and all the research I've done....know that this leads me into a topic of which I am passionate about: pet foods. But that's another article for another day. Until then, check my blog (use the search button) for previous articles and videos on pet foods. You can also find a list of helpful website links related to pet foods and nutrition on my website. Just click on the "Links" button.

And remember......EXPECT miracles!   :)

In Loving Memory of our Dog Ellie

We said good-bye to our sweet Australian shepherd, Miss Ellie (aka Wiggle-Butt), on Monday, May 13th. She was suffering from Lymphoma and her quality of life quickly declined. We used Houston Mobile Vet so Ellie could remain in the comfort of home. Dr. Angela Donaruma and her assistant were great and I highly recommend them. Ellie went very peacefully with us there beside her. She had a good, long life of 15 or 16 years. We aren't sure exactly how old she was as we adopted her in 2001 from a shelter.

I'll never forget the day we went to pick up Ellie. We had been searching for a playmate for Einstein, our oldest dog, who at the time was four years old. Einstein went with us to get her and bring her home. Ellie had been at the shelter for around six months. As soon as we got her in the truck, we noticed she stunk pretty bad and she was covered in ticks. So the first thing she got when we got home was a bath to remove the ticks and get rid of the stink! The first thing Ellie wanted to do was roll in the grass! There was no grass outside (just dirt) at the shelter and she thoroughly enjoyed rolling in the grass at her new home as often as possible.

Her favorite thing was going to our ranch with Einstein (and then the other dogs too). As soon as we would arrive, she and Einstein would bark at us to go for a walk on our trail around the perimeter of the property. They had acres and acres to run but wanted to go for our walk! Ellie always had to be the leader, usually way ahead of us, stopping occasionally to let us catch up. She had the best time there, running as fast and as far as she could. She was really fast too! She could run circles around Einstein and then stop on a dime. They would chase each other through the creek that runs through our property and go swimming in the pond or find some old deer or cow bone to drag home.

Ellie loved people so much, every time someone in the vicinity was coming out of their house or car, she would want to go over and see them. She thought everyone was here to see her and give her pets. One time on a trip to the ranch with my husband, he stopped at the feed store to get some feed and hay for the horses. He left the window in the truck rolled down when he went inside the store. Ellie jumped out of the window and went in the feed store just talking up a storm to everyone. After that, she always had to go in the feed store and say hello to everyone. She was the sweetest dog. So full of love for everyone. 

She loved the country life and she loved the city life too, with all it's activity, people and her walks in the neighborhood. She loved our other dogs and was happy to give her position of alpha female to Cali once she joined the family. She was always sweet with the cats too. Ellie was a good singer. A fast licker. She loved to give kisses. 

She was so incredibly resilient. She went through a lot health-wise. She had arthroscopic surgery on her elbows, two surgeries to remove mast cell tumors, a splenectomy and tumor removal and then had  immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. All within about a four year span. It's no wonder she got highly stressed out going to any kind of vet clinic. Thank God for the recent advent of mobile vets. I'm comforted knowing that now she has crossed over the rainbow bridge, she is whole again, without the pain and suffering, running and playing with the rest of our pets who have crossed over.

We couldn't have asked for a better dog. Such a sweet angel. We will miss her a lot!