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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oh my gosh, I'm writing a blog entry, an update on Summer... finally!

Yes yes! I know know! It's been forever since I've entered anything here! I've peeked in and started to write often.  In fact, I even have a draft of a long entry, but it's not the right time to post it. It's quite long. Whether I feel compelled to post it or not, who knows? For now, I'm just going to sit on it!

So, what's been happening with me? Why am I dragging my blogging feet? For one thing, it's been busy around my house. Admittedly, I'm having some word issues in writing which is a bit discouraging... and also, I'm still very focused on Summer. How could I not be? Her recovery process is NOT over. Although the little sweetheart is making strides daily and is MUCH better!

Last I mentioned her we were dealing with her eye... well, the ulcer on the cornea of the eye where the cherry eye was repaired steadily worsened. Finally, after three trips to "her" vet hospital in Sanford, NC it was determined that she needed to be seen by a DVM specialized in animal Ophthalmology. To be honest, it's what I wanted from the moment she first scratched her eye.  I knew she needed to be seen by such a specialist.  Yet, these things take time at times. For one, she needed a referral from her vet before the animal eye care clinic would set up an appointment. Two vets (at the same hospital in Sanford) and two types of antibiotic eye drops, another course of oral antibiotics and another round of an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, we were able to schedule an appointment with an animal Opthalmologist in Cary, NC to have Summer's eye examined.

To catch my readers up on her current state... unfortunately, there was a suture in the fleshy part of her eye that hadn't dissolved which kept rubbing on the cornea causing it to become ulcerated and continually increase in size. Without the specialized hi-tech equipment the Opthalmologist has the vets never could have seen the suture as it was "lost" in her eye.  Also, it's important to keep in mind that vets do not typically have the type of an instrument an Opthalmologist uses to operate on a canine's eye beyond the usual cherry eye repairs. Bottom line, the ulcer never would have healed unless we'd taken Summer to the Opthalmologist. I do want to point out it wasn't a case that we weren't trying for Summer, nor her regular vets. They were focusing hard not to cause her any undue pain the three times we brought her in when and after she scratched her eye.  Much pain was involved and Summer was struggling even with me when I had to put drops into her eye.

After the Opthalmologist removed the suture within three days the cornea of her eye was MUCH improved.  Then, when we took her back for her week follow up visit, her cornea was totally healed. Things go bad quickly with eyes and on the flip side an eye has the ability to heal extremely fast. The fleshy part of her eye still looks raw and there is a tiny piece of cartilage protruding from the cherry eye repair, but so far the repair has remained in tact. Unless she has some further issues with that eye, I'm not going to have the piece of cartilage removed. It's just a cosmetic thing anyway. She's already been through enough as it is and is better, but definitely we have a way to go before she's 100%, if that's even possible.  Hearts are difficult to repair and totally recover.  But, I'm going to my best with a combo of vitamin and mineral supplements and holistics to get her there.  So much is about healthy nutrition and exercise, just like it is with we humans.

At the moment Summer is being treated for a bladder infection and is on horse pill sized Amoxycillan caps, 500 mg twice a day. I've had to take the same antibiotic quite a few times during my lifetime and it was 250 mg caps three times a day. So, that's a lot of antibiotic for a little 34 pound dog. She'll be on it for two weeks. And again she's on an anti-inflammatory for a few days. Since she first came into our home in late June, the poor little girl has been on antibiotics straight with the exception of only about 3 weeks off. She also has a fungi infection, no doubt due to all of the antibiotics and she's being treated for that, too.   I've had her on Probiotics for weeks now.
In spite of everything, Summer is happy happy happy and is finally enjoying being a dog a little bit. She's still recovering from all she's been through the past few months, and Lord only knows what her life was like prior to coming into ESRA rescue care (straight into my care)... but she's begun to play some with Chance and Sydney, as well as run around the backyard a bit looping the pool.

She's also still very much glued to me as one can see from the photo above and to the right.  She actually crawled under the arm of the deck chair to get next to me.  Rarely is she more than 5 feet away from except in the backyard for energy "spurts".  And, in the house, she's at my feet, even when I prepare dinner I either have to slide her out of the way when I'm working at the counter, or lean over her. Although she's the most loving dog I've ever had, I don't believe she got much loving prior to coming into our home.  Except for her over protective growlies, I'm not in a groove to discipline her or make her find another spot where ever she decides to rest.  And crating is totally out of the question for any length of time.  No way.  Ever. 

More and more by her behaviors and simply from the scars on her lower chin extending from her mouth to under her chin, and by her the grooves in teeth, as well as the misaligned teeth on the bottom, I'm certain she lived her life in a wire cage or in a pen with a dog house.  She cut herself by trying to chew her way out!  Some of the scars were "fresh" when we pulled her from the shelter, but others have been there for a long long time.  I'm also certain she was USED primarily for breeding purposes and lived with other dogs.  Quite possibly in the same cage or pen.  She also backs under tables and into even my pantry.  Neither of my other two Springer put it into reverse very often, unless I'm coming towards them getting ready to throw a toy.  She also lays with her legs positioned as a dog would partially out of a dog house.  Why do know this stuff?  My grandfather raised Beagles and I spent a tremendous amount of time observing them from the time I could walk until I was 13.  If a person is observant and knows about dogs a rescue will reveal part of their story.  Summer's pieces are coming together.  Her triggers, as well, give much insight.

Lastly, before I close this entry.  My hubby and I had the sincere pleasure of working at the Carolinas' ESRA twice yearly yard sale in Liberty, NC.  It's held in conjunction with a gigantic Antiques Festival the town of Liberty has in the Spring and late summer.  On Friday we had to take Summer back to the vets for the bladder infection I mentioned above and from there it's just a short 30 minute trip to Liberty.  Well, Summer got to be the "ambassador" ESRA Springer for the day.  Normally, it's best not to bring our dogs to this particular event because it's usually hot and very busy.  It makes for a long day for the dogs.  Dawn to Dusk are the hours, although we weren't there that long, but our coordinator and/or her hubby were.  For us to participate, it was necessary to take Summer with us on Friday.  The trip to Sanford is already a bit of a "hike" for us -- an hour one way.  Need I say Summer had a good time and everyone who met her fell in love with her? 
The children were crazy for her and petted her so sweetly.  It was interesting explaining "rescue" "adoption" and "fostering" of a dog on a child's level.  Technically, Summer is still my foster, and one little guy boldly asked why didn't I just adopt her?  His face was squnched up very unhappy like.  But, immediately I told him she was going to be all mine forever.  Fortunately, he got it!  Then, when, I pointed out to him the scars on her chin his eyes became watery... he almost cried, but held it back.  The kids also couldn't get over her curly fur on her ears and down her back.  They thought it was so pretty and loved petting her.  She was so GOOD!!!  I truly see her as a therapy dog one day, and so hope to make it happen!  It was fun fun fun showing Summer off and very rewarding.

She's come so far since the first day of Summer when we pulled her from that shelter.  It's been painful for her and for my husband and I as she's had to endure much to recover to the place she is now.  She's such a lap dog and craves attention SO much and is SO humble and SO amazingly submissive (God only knows why she is THAT submissive) she was either in her "poppy's" lap or mine the entire time being held like a baby with her legs up in the air at the yard sale.  People really made over her and she gobbled it up.   It was a damp yucky day, but because we were there on behalf of ESRA to raise funds, and because Summer was there with us, I feel nothing but warm and fuzzy over the experience.  The work ESRA does is incredible.  The work our Carolinas coordinator and her hubby do... countless hours with hearts of gold... there are no words to thank them enough, no bounds to what they do.

On Saturday, it rained, but it didn't stop our event.  We did shut down early, yet the Antiques Festival had already closed down due to the weather for all intents and purposes.  Quite a few sales were made toward the end of our time there.  We were drenched, chilled, but not a single complaint was uttered from any of us.  For us... it's all about the Springers!  And after we volunteers left... after the take down and the clean up... there was still things our coordinator and her husband had to do on their own.  God bless them for all they do and ESRA.  Without ESRA, I'd not have my precious Sydney who brings me unending joy each day... she is comic relief and so smart... so observant and has BIG feelings.  She's also very much still a puppy and has some triggers we're still working on.  And, of course, without ESRA, I would not have my Summer... and Summer truly makes every day special.  The unconditional love and affections she gives, the bright smile on her face which is almost constant, is a pure gift from God.  She's helped distract me SO much from transitioning off the Keppra and focus my attention towards her when I'm being challenged by pain and neuro activity.  The physical pain she's had to endure to recover from the Heartworms alone, makes any pain I feel pale.  Even though I didn't ask for whatever has caused "seizure" issues within my brain, it's very likely many things have contributed to it... none was due to neglect!!!  And I know and understand treatments and medications and the effects... a little dog doesn't.  All Summer knows is that we love her and are in her life to help her.  She trusts us.  The pain she was in with her eye so upset me because I've ulcers on my cornea.  All I could do is wait it out with her even though I couldn't have been more on top of the situation with the vets and my coordinator and the Oopthalmologist.  There are other ways I identify with the pain Summer has experienced since she became my foster, but too personal to share any further.  Suffice it to say, I've told my coordinator many times, if I were a dog, Summer would be me.  And the rain, was no different that rain or shine many many auctions I had to "manage" during my old career with Morningstar Properties.  Plus, the type of rain we experienced was exactly like the rain I became accustomed to during my Seattle years.  So... it was no biggie!

Okay... so I'm going to do my best to post more frequently.  I ran out steam with my words over the Summer and feel that way over a few things at the moment.  Just feelings I need to push through.  And, I'm very good at pushing through.  With God's help and love... His Word... I'll get to the other side.  As far as focusing on Epilepsy, putting a face on it, I'm not sure I can do it.  Speaking of it so much in this blog has been a testing ground for me.  When I'm in the real world,  I prefer not to talk about it.  This past Friday and Saturday was a terrific example of it. Except for the feelings in my head that never seem to stop and random twitches and sensations in my body, it was as if I was normal.  I want to be healed and normal.  So... rethinking calling more attention to myself locally and on a state level.  Youtubes will stay up for the time being... until I've fully thought "this" through and prayed about it.

AND Blogger, where did the spell check button go!!!  Bug report here I come! 

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