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Life of Destiny
Living in the present, never in the past
 
 
What kind of tripawd pawrent are you?
Posted on May 29th, 2013 at 1:40 pm by and tagged , , , ,

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This is a VAST generalization. I am very fortunate that we are not dealing with cancer and that bring a different set of challenges and fights. This is mostly written tongue and cheek and I am a firm believer that there is no “right” way to train/raise a dog as long as it works for the owners.”

The laid back pawrent:

This is probably the category we fall into. I don’t really treat Destiny any different than any of the other dogs I have owned (although she doesn’t eat scraps like Nikki did). She probably runs around too much, slips too much, jumps up on furniture too much (I try and stop her but she likes being on our bed when we are at work), and countless other things she should probably not be doing because it is bad for her joints, etc.

I probably let her play a little rougher than I am suppose to. She and her friends run around the dog park. Playing chase and pin she is usually the fastest of the bunch. I know just from my reading that there are tripawd pawrents that prefer their dogs to play quietly but I love that look on her face when she is having a blast.

I know every trainer/behaviorist says never to focus on a dog’s past life, but it is still a part of who she is. The nightmares she has in the middle of the night, the pain of the nerves growing back in her stump, her fear of weird things all are from her past experiences. I do force her to face her fears. Help her with her nightmares. Massage the stump when it is sore but I am not going to shelter her from life and living. I think that is why I am a little more les affaire compared to some other pawrents, is because of her past.

My friend summed it up best. “Yes, she may get arthritis earlier than most dogs, but you only get 12 years with her. You may as well make the most of it. Besides, you can be twins!” (I suffer from arthritis in my hands. boo.)

That isn’t to say I let her do anything that would endanger her life. She is never off leash unless she is fenced in. I still don’t let her jump up on furniture when I can be around to prevent it. I don’t let her eat scraps or things off the ground. I try my best to let her be a dog without being a dead dog.

After we get her enrolled in obedience and she does a few classes of that, I would like to get involved in the rally club that we have here in the city. She is fast and is able to take corners like a bat out of hell. She would probably have a lot of fun with it, and I would like an activity that doesn’t involve work. I know just from the research I have been doing online, there is two camps about Tripawds doing rally but I really do think it is good for them.

The protective pawrent:

Notice how I didn’t say “over” protective. Because I don’t think being protective is wrong. Hell, I think I could probably be a little more protective of Destiny sometimes.

These are the pawrents I mostly researched when I was thinking of adopting Destiny. They allow their dogs to play, but quietly with quiet games (puzzles, feather toys, and casual fetch). Walk their dogs but making sure they don’t get over exhausted or too stiff. Never allowed on the furniture. Plays with other dogs but makes sure that their dog gets to have “breaks” or cool downs before joining back in.

And these pawrents taught me a lot. Taught me a lot about what harnesses to get, cool toys that are outside the box, different kinds of activities to do with your dog and to be watchful for any signs of injury.

Their dogs are usually well behaved and calm because they spend the extra time that other people use to let their dog be a hellion working on training and working on obedience. They are usually the dogs that EVERYONE even the dog haters like being around.

And that isn’t a bad thing.

I figure most people will be somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. Leaning more one way or the other.

So what kind of tripawd pawrent are you?


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Tummy troubles (and what we are doing about them!)
Posted on May 18th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by and tagged , , , , , , ,

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Having had Destiny for over three weeks now we are all trying to figure out how our pack is going to work. It has been mostly ups and I have only had a few things lightly chewed which for a new dog has been fantastic.

However, we have been having some “tummy issues.” The rescue we got her from sent her home with Acana Ranchlands food. For those of you unfamiliar with it has beef, lamb and bison in it. That is pretty rich! It is also a highly rated dog food across the board. But it is what she was eating at the foster mom’s without a problem for the last 4 weeks so we were excited that the rescue gave us 4 bags of it.

Well, day one she is spitting out her kibble and not eating it. Fine, I chalked it up to being in a new place with new people. So I took it away (we do not free feed) and fed it to her for supper. She ate it without a problem. This on and off song and dance went on for about the first week we had her. Some days she would eat both meals without an issue (we feed her two cups twice daily as she is a) still a puppy and b) weighs 26 pounds. Anyways by Saturday I start noticing she is having bloody diarrhea.

NOT GOOD!

She also stops drinking her water.

ALSO NOT GOOD!

Well I book a vet appointment for Monday and in the mean time get my good, old fashion turkey baster out and give her water that way. I get her to start drinking again on her own. SUCCESS! I also start boiling some chicken and making some rice. Also success, start to get her to eat again.

So Monday rolls around and she is still having blood diarrhea. So I got a vet appointment first thing. This is also the first time meeting our vet. My husband and I’s families have been going to him for years. It is a little hole in the wall, in a strip mall beside the roughest bar in the city, next to the free way.

Don’t let impressions fool you.

While I am in my mid-twenties I look to be about 18/19. Therefore I often have bad experiences in places like dr and vets offices because they think I am a stupid teenage. Well I have never been treated so well in my life. Our vet has hired a new vet to work along side her. She was nothing but kind and gentle to Destiny and myself. She did a full checkup on Destiny and concluded that her stomach was inflamed. She said that it could be a multitude of factors.

1) New environment and routine. Therefore stress.
2) Food intolerance and allergy to kibble.
3) Lack of nutrition from before.

She also recommended after I get her stomach settled I start giving her an omega three supplement. She said it would help if she had an inflamed stomach in the future and with her coat and skin which was quite dry. She recommend I continue feeding her chicken and rice for 5 days, then get her back on to her regular food. She also gave me anti-inflammatory medication for her.

Happy it wasn’t anything serious I took her home and started her out with her medication. Giving dogs any sort of pill is a pain in the ass. I decided to use a little of the wet food I stuff her kong with when we are gone to work and form a little wet food ball around the pill.

She didn’t even notice. yes!

So after running her through her medication I slowly reintroducing her to her food by replacing the chicken with the kibble. That went well so I cut out the rice after 4 days and start feeding her small amounts of kibble, increasing it back up to two cups a day.

Well…she started being picky again. So I double check the lot numbers on the bags, still well within 6 months. I also notice her stools are starting to get softer and a bit of blood. Now after two and a half weeks, I can suspect it is the food.

So we go out and pick up a bag of chicken grain free Pulsar. I am starting to switch her over, because who needs to upset her stomach more. She refused to eat yesterday morning so I gave her breakfast for supper and she ate it gladly. We noticed though last night she will attack the Pulsar first, then the Acana in the bowl.

It is weird. You always want to get the best food for your pet, but sometimes “the best” isn’t the best for your pet. We are hoping once we have her switched over to a less meat heavy food her stomach problems will subside. We have though already noticed a difference.

It is also funny to think about because up until now she has survived off of rotting animals and garbage (we figure this because she prefers gamier treats and meat). You think she could hand a bit of meat. But as my husband mentioned, she is probably use to not knowing when her next meal is. Not use to having food twice daily, and it will take time for her to adjust. Also, once she is a year we will probably bring her feedings down to once a day as that also seems the way she prefers to eat.

Every dog is different. Sometimes you can figure out their eating style right away, and other times it takes some trial and error.

Destiny’s story
Posted on May 9th, 2013 at 4:03 am by and tagged , , , , , ,

I am going to put up a warning right now that there are graphic pictures of Destiny’s injured leg in this post. If this type of thing makes you upset, you may want to sit this one out. For me, I want people to see and understand why dog ownership education is SO important and to prevent neglect like this from ever happening to another dog.

Destiny was born sometime summer 2012 (July 15, 2012 is her estimate birthday) on Moosomin First Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada. Born to “potentially” to an Australian Cattle Dog mix and who knows what else, maybe coyote (very bad coyote problem here in Saskatchewan) parents on this Northern Saskatchewan reserve.

At some point between birth and March 14th her left leg got injured. No one who has dealt with her knows how but the theory is that it was caught in a snare. Normally if this happens on a reserve, when the trapper finds the dog he will shoot them in the head. But for some reason Destiny was spared. Either because of those big brown eyes or because she freed herself from the trap. The estimated date of injury was between November 20 to Jan 1st.

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There were sightings of her on the reserve all winter but people failed to report anything to the RCMP or the SPCA. Apparently some local residents had attempted to shoot her to put her out of her misery but she managed to evade their shots. By the time my friend D had spotted her the injury was down to the bone and infection had set in. However it did not spread to her blood stream as we had an unusually cold winter, we were having minus 30 days until the beginning of April which even for Northern Canada is unusual.

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As you can see in the above picture, this was an old injury. And she had been hopping around all winter on a populated reserve. Sigh, I still cannot believe that she didn’t died. Maybe she has cat mixed in there as well!

So my friend D seeing that this dog was in pain, contacted the RCMP. The RCMP didn’t have the resources to go after the dog so they told him to call the SPCA. Well no one picked up at the SPCA. So D was talking to his paramedic coworker and she suggested contact a local rescue called Lend a Paw.

Well Lend a Paw as soon as they could sent out a “search party” to find and locate this dog. It took this rescue two days to track and locate her. After catching her and seeing the extent of her injuries they rushed her to the Battlefords Animal Hospital.

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These are photos taken of Destiny as they were admitting her into the Battleford Animal Hospital. I know just from the way these photos were taken that the rescue hopes that if they can find who owned her before me could be charged with neglect. But as we all know that is in the magical fairy world. Unfortunately in the real world people get away with this and far more evil abuse all the time.

Obviously seeing the extent of her injuries, the vet ordered an amputation at the shoulder and down. Her surgery went well and she was sent to be fostered with the local dog trainer (lucky for us!).

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This is the first photo I saw of Destiny. I don’t know how someone could do/let something this awful happen to this dog. She is the most calm, even tempered well behaved dog I have ever met!

I have never met the vet and vet tech that ended up saving Destiny’s life, but I did save this photo of them with Destiny after her surgery so I can later print it out and place it in a scrap book.

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Thanks Dr. Tom Schmidt & Kayla. Not many vets would try and save a rez dog with no family, running wild with an injury like this.

After having a month to recover from her surgery and to get spayed we were allowed to take Destiny home. Meeting Destiny’s foster mom was a really cool experience for us, and she told us she was having a hard time letting her go (her rule is, two dogs for her and one room for a foster). I really admire her for being strict with herself with that rule. I know I would have a hard time! And meeting the woman who runs this rescue was amazing. Such a kind, giving person who deals with so much neglect and abused animals yet can still laugh and see the bright side of things.

Destiny’s fees were 250 dollars. Included: Her shots, spay, 4 bags of Acana dog food (OMG thanks!), collar, leash, stuffy, microchip, and if we want to be technical her surgery. Now most of you on here know how much that surgery is. I don’t because they paid for it for us. As she put it, “This adoption fee does not cover most dogs.” Yet she still keeps it the same.

We are forever in debt to these people for their kindness and generosity in saving Destiny’s life and trusting us in giving her a good home. After all they have seen with her and dealt with it made us feel a little special that they wanted us to be her pawrents.

So this is Destiny’s story that we know before she came to us. Not the happiest of stories but I am the type of person who doesn’t let the past get them down. And my dog will be the same.

*Photos used in this post are property of Lend a Paw.

Introductions to us and a bit about Destiny.
Posted on May 8th, 2013 at 2:25 am by and tagged , , , , , , ,

Hi,

Have no idea where to begin but I may as well start with myself.

I am a 25 year old retail store manager. Very interested in art, photography, cooking, writing, reading and travel just to name some of my interests. I got married last year to the love of my life who I have been with for the past 5 years. He is currently a tire installer, working on going to school at the moment for aircraft maintenance engineer.

Growing up with dogs my whole life I have always been passionate about them and rescuing them. My first dog, our family dog Nikki was a Malamute/Border collie cross. My mom and dad always expected that we take care of her and train her. While she wasn’t the best, most well trained dog she was ours.

She was with our family for 12 years. Gave us many laughs and many tears. She passed away in 2010 from advanced stomach cancer that was not treatable.

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Nikki, 1998 – 2010. Hated bikes, old people, children, cats, other dogs…well you get the point.

I still miss her every day.

Moving out in 2009, my husband and I always wanted to get our own dog. But we also knew it was important to a) get the right dog for our life style, b) have some money saved for said dog, c) make sure we have enough time for said dog and d) have a stable job to support dog. At that point we did not have any of those things. The only thing we did have was our own Condo which allowed pets.

Between 2009 and now, we had both gotten stable jobs through promotions and hard work. Saved money towards a potential dog, and with the stable jobs came a much more stable schedule to possible have a dog.

The only thing left was to find the perfect dog. We knew off the bat we wanted a rescue dog that was being fostered. It is very hard to housebreak a dog when a) you live in a condo and b)when you work shift work. So that was a must. Age never mattered to us. We were willing to rescue whatever came our way.

Looking at different rescues we soon realized that we had another obstacle to over come. The stigma of living in a condo. We had many rescues that wouldn’t give us the time of day because we lived in a condo. It was very disheartening as we are both active people and our condo board is very progressive and supportive. Still, a lot of rescues would not reach out to us and judged us based on our living arrangements.

After a while we decided to give up. None of the dogs were really speaking to us, and the condo situation made it tough to even get questions answered by most local rescues.

Then we met our “Destiny.”

Easter 2013, Saturday night we decided to have a bit of a board game/drinking fest with a couple we are close friends with. As the night progressed, our friend D pulled out his phone and said “You need this dog in your life.” That was the first time I saw Destiny.

He explained to us that he was called out on a reserve one day (He works as a paramedic) and saw this little dog limping behind the rez dog pack. Upon closer inspection, he saw her leg was messed up and the bone was showing. Having to deal with a call, he couldn’t chase after her so he decided to call the SPCA.

He couldn’t get through.

He then decided to call a local rescue in the near by town. They sent someone out right away. It took them over 2 days to locate her but they caught her and brought her to the near by animal hospital. The leg was beyond saving so they removed it.

After we heard that story, we were hooked. The Monday after Easter I filled out my application form and sent it off. A week later I had a phone interview with the rescue. Impressed with my dog experience as well as my attitude towards her disability (I hate to call it that, if you have a better term let me know). Basically we don’t see it as a disability but a special ABILITY.

They were also impressed that I went to my condo board first before contacting them and had two people from my condo board contact them as reference.

After my phone interview we arranged the pick up. Meeting her the first time I knew we made the best decision in our life to date. She has only been ours for just over two weeks but so far she has brought a lot of joy to our lives.

Next: Destiny’s full story, with pictures.