If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know how Isis is. If not, let me introduce you. This beautiful face, is my whole heart. We adopted her back in June of 2010. Brought up from a high-kill shelter in Georgia, with a few others, she found her way into our home and hearts. And now she’s gone.
Isis was an American Staffordshire Terrier. Isis was happiest at home, playing with ball, laying in the sun with a full belly. She was happy being the only dog. She wasn’t a big fan of other dogs, especially if they rushed up to her, but she did okay with them. She loved children but really couldn’t be bothered with most adults unless they had food. She was a horrible watch dog, though I’m sure if someone stole her food, it’d be a different story.
Isis loved to run. She would play ball until her feet were bloody. Literally. We had to take the ball from her because she was so tired chasing it, we didn’t even realize she ripped a toenail, and then had to be carried to the house because she was exhausted. She just kept bringing it back to be thrown again. If you were just trying to relax, she brings you a slimy ball and put it it your lap. Give it a nudge and look up at you. If you decided not to throw it, she’d eventually grab it and run around with it by herself. She also loved going for walks. She was amazing on leash. Right beside you. Ears back, tail straight. Nothing swayed her attention. Except a child.
Isis also loved to eat. She knew when breakfast and supper were, and would let you know 2 hours before, so you wouldn’t forget. You’d only have to say “Suppie!” And she’s come running out and sit on the mat, waiting for you to say it’s okay. Drooling all the way. In the evening she would sit and stare and you a whine, hoping you’ll give in and give her treats. She waited every Sunday morning for her egg with her breakfast. And she could smell you peel a banana from down the hall. She would also check out the garbage cans when you weren’t home.
Isis likes going places, but not for long. She always got super excited to go for a drive but had no patience for the actual drive. She made the weirdest noises in the car. Once we got where we were going, she needed to be kept busy. She didn’t like stopping. And she was more than happy to go back home.
Isis loves to be comfy. She was never allowed on the furniture, but we’d occasionally find her curled up on a chair. Sometimes I’d pick her up and put her in the bed. She’d drop like a rock and roll to the side so you couldn’t get her back off. The bed was really high and I never wanted her to jump off, but she was not going willingly. She loved her beds and usually needed to fluff them up herself before laying down.
After making it two years with people who obviously didn’t care, and finding her way to Nova Scotia, she came to us. She was not what we were looking for, but she’s definitely what we needed. We looked at 2 others dogs and things just didn’t work out. We got Isis. 7 years after beating those odds, she broke her leg. We spent a thousands to fix it, only to have to have it amputated 7 months later. Shortly after, we found out it was osteosarcoma. They told us she’d have 6 months to 2 years. She healed. She fought. She won. My Southern girl, rescue, pitbull, tripod, cancer survivor. And then she got sick. And she fought. And we didn’t know how to fix her. And I didn’t want her suffering anymore. And we said good bye. I’ve been broken ever since. March 2, 2019 my heart broke and it will never heal. But I’m trying hardest to start my mind away from those last days and remember all the things I told you here. The noises she made when people came to the door because she wanted to see them. She sad resigned sigh she made when I gave her a bath. The weight of her head in you leg when you’re sitting out on the doorstep. Her waiting by the window for my husband to come home. The grunts when I told her to lay down and she protested but did it anyway. Those beautiful eyes and that quiet but playful spirit. Her company when I was lonely or sad. Always there when I needed someone to listen. Always there to try to sit on me when I tried to do exercises on the floor.
We recently adopted a dog. But no one will replace my baby. The one who was always there for me. The one who played with the cat and tolerated everything they did to her. Who never gave a chicken or rabbit a second glance. She moved into the house with us and she will forever be here.
Rest In Peace, my love. I will see you when I get home ❤️
Jan. 2019: Around Christmas I started noticing that Isis (my dog) had been drinking a lot more water than usual. I noticed her backbone sticking out more. But I wasn't sure if it was because she's getting older (almost 11) and the fact she's missing a hind leg? I wasn't sure. I also noticed the barn cat had tape worm. So I grabbed him a dewormer, then I picked up one for Isis, too. This did not help with her thirst or her backbone.
Jan 22: To the vet. We had a blood test done, wondering if maybe she had diabetes. Teeth are good, heart is good, kidneys are good. It's her liver. That's not good. We tried 10 days of antibiotics, incase it was an infection of her liver. During those days, she decided she didn't want to finish eating her meals (she loves her food), has a hard time getting her back leg under her, belly started to swell, can't do the steps anymore. Still drinks a lot, poop looks good, doesn't urinate excessively. We bought a high quality canned food to mix into her dry food, which seems to help.
Christmas Eve vs Jan 22 at the vet. She looks fairly normal, except looking back at Christmas pictures, we realized how bony she looks here.
Feb 5: Back to the vet. Belly is huge. I had to put down more mats so she can get around. The vet wants to do X-rays. X-rays show an enlarged liver and possibly her spleen. And a whole belly filled with fluid. Can't see anything else. They took a sample from her belly. The fluid is not clear, but blood-tinged and full of cells. They made a slide and am now waiting to hear what the cells are. They're thinking cancer. She mentioned trying diuretics to help with the fluid and supplements to help her liver, but instead of just guessing and giving her a bunch of stuff she doesn't need, we're waiting for the results. I know she's uncomfortable, so here's hoping we have answers soon.
At the vet on Feb. 5, hoping for answers, but none were given.
Feb. 8: So I called the vet myself after not hearing anything. The vet had said they hadn't seen any cancer cells in the slide. But there is blood and pus in her belly. She said I could try antibiotics again, if I thought they had helped (they did not). She said they only two things she can think of that would be wrong would be cancer or a tear in a bowel somewhere, but neither of those things are adding up. So we can try an ultrasound, and exploratory surgery, a liver biopsy, or take another sample of stomach fluid and have it sent to the lab for testing. I stopped on my way home from work and got some diuretics to see if we can't get some of the fluid off her belly and make her feel more comfortable. So far, it doesn't seem to be working.
Feb 16. Took her back to the vet, as I had decided to do another fluid sample, as the only other option I was considering was the ultrasound and I would have had to take time off work to drive to the city and it would have cost $400. Monday is a holiday, so they won't be able to send the sample off until Tuesday, hoping to have an answer by Thursday.
Feb. 23: Results are back. Still no answers. The lab says either a tumor (still no sign of cancer cells), or a walled off abscess. They suggest a CT scan, but there isn't anyone around who has one. An ultrasound probably wouldn't give us any more answers. I can tell she is now very dehydrated, drinking excessively, not really interested in food. She's very uncomfortable and can't get around due to carrying the extra weight with less muscles on a single back leg. Her leg is also swollen. She's breaking my heart. We could do an exploratory and try to fix what's wrong or make her comfortable. She said I could try antibiotics again, anti-inflammatories, and steroids. I've got the weekend to think it over.
We’ve made out decisions. I will call the vet tomorrow and have her euthanized. Friday will be the day. My heart is broken and I don’t know how I’m going to get through the next few weeks.
That’s right. I love “pit bulls”. I put that in quotations because pitbull isn’t a breed. It’s a generalization of appearance. Stocky bodies, blocky heads, short fur. One of the most common breeds to be called a pitbull is the American Staffordshire Terrier. I also happen to have one.
Her name is Isis. And before you ask, she’s a 9 year old rescue dog and named after the Egyptian Goddess.
I can tell you two things. 1: that she is an amazing dog. And 2: that I am a responsible pet owner and if she weren’t good with people, I wouldn’t take her into stores and public parks. But I do, because she is. She loves kids. And food. And balls. And food.
When people come up to me, they tell me what a beautiful dog she is. Sometimes they ask if they can pet her. Then they ask what kind of dog she is. If they’re already petting her and seen comfortable, I’ll tell them she’s a pitbull. And they’re like, “Oh!” Sometimes they’re like, “Okay!” And they’ll pet her a little more. And sometimes they’ll tell me that their daughter/son has one, too. If they seem nervous before they even pet her, I’ll tell them she’s an AmStaff, because most people don’t know what that is. Does that seem counterproductive to trying to advocate the breed? Maybe, but I don’t want to scare someone off before they know her. I don’t want them to make assumptions. Again, a lot of people have no idea what an AmStaff or American Staffordshire Terrier is. So I tell them that so they aren’t concerned about what she may do, or I tell them pitbull so they’re not confused on breed. I try to gauge people before deciding on my answer. I do know that some people are more knowledgeable about dog breeds, and sometimes I will say AmStaff and they’ll go “oh, a pitbull!” And then continue to tell me how beautiful she is. Since getting my dog, several of my friends have gone out to get themselves a “pitbull” or mix.
I love taking her out and letting people meet her.
One of my coworkers has a mix and I’ve heard her try to explain to people why she wanted her dog before they even meet her. I hear “why would you want dog like that?” And she’s left to defend her choice. Which is sad. You should never have to defend your choice of dog breed. I’m not a fan of small dogs. I figure if you want a small dog, why wouldn’t you just get a cat? But it was their decision, not mine. Their choice, not mine. And I don’t ask why. It’s not my business.
Every once in a while someone will disagree with the choice and then try to make up for it by saying “Oh it’s all in how they’re raised!” NO, it’s not. A lot of dogs in shelters or rescues weren’t “raised right”. And mine wasn’t. She was tied to a tree for 2 years. With her mouth shut from a muzzle (because she yips when she’s tied, so we don’t do that) That’s not being raised right. And once they hit shelters or rescues, so you think they’ll will get adopted out of they have aggression issues? Surely not, if the shelter has any morals.
These breeds are extremely forgiving. And that’s what makes them so great. Do you know one of the main factors that makes them not great? Poor breeding. Backyard beeeders. People who don’t care about the lineage, the health, the disposition of the dogs they are breeding. Just out to make a quick buck. And inbreeding is a big factor, too. And that goes for every breed out there, not just “pitbulls”.
Why does it seem like there are more “pitbull” attacks in the news? Because most people don’t have any idea what breed it actually is. AmStaffs, American Bulldogs, Mastiffs, Boxers, Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers and several other breeds and mixes there of, appear to have similar features. So they automatically become “a pitbull”. There are several other “aggressive” breeds out there, but you don’t see state or province wide bans on ex. huskies. BSL is not the answer.
Did you know that “pitbulls” tank higher in temperament testing than retrievers? And that “pitbulls” were actually nicknamed the “nanny dog” for how well they were with kids? I’m not telling you to leave your baby home alone with your dog, no matter what the breed.
Here’s a link: www.google.ca/amp/dogtime.com/dog-health/general/1220-american-pit-bull-terrier-temperament-dog-bites/amp
It’s always good to use precautions around any dog you aren’t familiar with. Always ask before you pet someone’s dog. And teach your kids respect, dogs aren’t meant to be ridden or have their lips pulled. A dog can only take so much, and why risk your child?
And if you own a dog, know your dog. Don’t put your dog in a situation where someone, or your dog, could get hurt. You know what they’re comfortable with, don’t put them in a situation they’re not. Not long ago I was at work and there was a greyhound hanging its head out of a truck window. I went out to see another dog, one I was familiar with, and I must have gotten too close to the greyhound, because It lunged and snapped at me. My first thought was “Why would you allow your dog to hang out a window of your vehicle, if he dog is aggressive, or protective of the vehicle, unattended?” And then I thought, “ What if I were a child and thought I could pet it?” Not to mention that this dog was in this truck alone for several hours, it would have been best just to leave the dog at home.
In closing, these dogs cannot speak for themselves, so we must do it for them. And I will.
I debated putting this into the recipes catergory, but essentially, it's for Isis. Tomorrow is her 7th adoptiversary. She's around 9 years old, but it's been 7 years since we adopted her. And last year with all her issues, I wasn't sure we'd have another birthday with her. So I'm making her a cake. Well, cupcakes really. I found this recipe online.
I didn't have applesauce so I substituted for banana. I mean, that's just common sense, right? So instead of the 1/4 cup applesauce, I used 1/2 cup of mashed bananas.
Its more of a paste consistency than a batter.
And Voila! Going to frost them with peanut butter :)
Isis likes them. But she'd probably like anything. I ate one myself, and found it kind of dry. I added some Nutella on top of mine and it was quite tasty!
Isis has a swollen leg. Yes, the one she broke. She puts very little weight on it, and it is warm to the touch. It appears to be under or around the steel plate they put in back in February. I will be calling the vet tomorrow morning.
I took Isis to the vet and they took someX-rays, and said it didn't look good. He made an appointment for me to see the surgeon again, the surgeon wanted to do a biopsy. They weren't sure if it was an infection from the plate or a tumour.
I drove her to the surgeon almost an hour and a half away. He said my options were to treat it as an infection, which would consist of surgery and reconstructing the bone, harsh antibiotics and many follow ups. Amputation, or euthanasia. Which, he was not suggesting.
Day 1: Isis came home just an hour after her amputation surgery. She has staples and a bandage. And she was as high as a kite. She was quite wobbly getting around and whimpered a bit. I hand fed her supper and a cookie. I put her in her crate for the night after giving her a pain killer. Around 2:30 am she started crying loudly. I let her out after giving her another cookie and letting her go to the living room to drink what seemed like a gallon of water. She seemed to settle down until I got up this morning.
Day 2: Isis started whining this morning. Then I realized she had to pee, really bad. She followed me around the house while I tried to get dressed, as I refused to go outside in the cold without my clothes on. I grabbed a towel in case I needed to help support her and snapped her leash on. I carried her down the steps and set her on the ground. And then she peed. A lot. She did great all on her own. I carried her back up the steps and let her in the house. I fed her breakfast, her anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and pain meds. And ahe drank another gallon of water. Before I left for work I put her back in her crate. I came home to her crying and I let her out for another gallon of water. Then I took her outside and she peed again. Inside for supper and more meds. Then she layed on the floor and started to cry again. Time for a poop I guess! She's now resting on the floor. Hopefully she will have a better night tonight.
Day 14: Isis seems to be getting around okay, but seems uncomfortable these last few days. Yesterday we had half of the staples removed. The vet said it could be the staples that are causing her discomfort. Next Monday we will get the rest of the staples removed. She is also picking at her inscision and making it irritated. She has to wear the cone of shame.
Day 20: We had the rest of the staples removed today. Seems like she may have started to have a reaction to the staples, so I'm glad they came out. Hopefully in a few weeks the incision will be fully healed and we can start life back to normal. For a long as we have. I also found out today the results of the biopsy test. Osteosarcoma. Which is the worse possibility. I will eventually kill her. I'm hoping by removing her leg, we'll have her another couple of years at least. But only time will tell.
Nov. 4: Today, after some time of trying, Isis has walked half way up the stairs by her self. This is a big accomplishment. We'll keep working on it. Hoping she can do the set by her self before it snows.
Nov 28: As of today, it's been almost 3 weeks since Isis has been going up the steps all by her self. We put down some roofing shingles to give her better grip. But the first time I saw her do it, it was like watching a child take their first steps! I was so proud! And everytime I see her do it, I'm proud. Every step is an accomplishment. We've also had to put down a runner in the living room and a small mat in front of her crate.
Im glad to see her almost back to her normal self.
May 8, 2017:
I love this animal. She's doing great. She's been slipping on the floors so we put down a runner from the edge of her bed to the door mat. And another in front of her crate. I also bought her rubber boots to give her more traction. She's doesn't wear them often, but sometimes it seems she falls more than other times. Today she had a bath, which is way easier for me now that there's only 3 legs and she can't stand in the tub. (Isis hates baths) and then we got her some flea treatment. She does t have as much energy as she used to, but wanted to play ball today. She takes a lot of breaks. We don't play as long because I don't want her to tire too much. But she about 9 years old now. We think. I think we'll give her a great birthday party this year.
Here we are again with Isis. She was rolling in the grass and let out a yelp. She came over to me so I could inspect her and saw nothing. I had to go pick up my new rabbit (pics to come) When I came home I noticed her ear was swollen. She'd been bit by something. Could have been a bee or a stump lifter. Who knows. That was Wednesday evening. On Saturday I noticed it was bigger. I was going to make her an appointment to et her needles for Monday but I figured she needed to go that day. Basically they told us it was fro. Her shaking her head after the bite. The hematoma is basically a blood blister. She's now on steroids to help it shrink and she's not allowed to shake her head of dog at it.
Update: the steroids were horrible. She was fine when she was one then, but once we started weaving her, it's like she went crazy hungry. This dog never really chewed on anything. But she was in every garbage can. She even chewed a pair of my dirty underwear up while I was doing laundry. Not like her at all. After the steroids were gone, the hematoma started coming back. I wasn't doing steroids again. I just left it be. It dried up on its own but it looks a little funny. I don't care and neither does she.
We were supposed to take Isis to the vet Wednesday for a bandage change. But shortly after we had it changed last time (and they told us the tape was stuck between her toes and caused a sore) she started chewing at her bandage. I called there vet and told me that they wanted to put her on antibiotics and to come in on Monday instead.
So I just got home. They had to cut the bottom off of the bandage, to let her foot dry. And now she must wear a cone to prevent her from licking it. Apparently she had a reaction to the tape. Warning: it's pretty yucky looking. And now she runs into everything and gets stuck.
It looks much worse in person.
July 4, 2016: We are pretty much back to normal. After the last update we found out shortly after that photo was taken that the bandage was put on too tight. Her foot had swollen to about twice its normal size. We had to take her back to the vet and she had the splint removed, which resulted in another were of crate confinement. After that it was back to taking her out on the leash to use the bathroom and carrying her up and down the stairs for about two months. After that I called the vet because I want sure if she needed another check up to say she was okay. It was getting hard to hold her back after using. The washroom. He said that if she wants to run, let her do it. So she's been running. And rolling and playing. We still haven't thrown the ball to her, as we're a bit weary of it now. But here she is in all her glory.
I've decided to put this in the pet section, because that's what she was. A pet. I initially got her when a weasel killed my pet Mini Rex, Aurora. Rori was one of a kind. Beautiful, funny, sweet. She was the only rabbit I could take in the house and she wouldn't make a mess. She wanted to be up high. Starting on the floor, she would then jump up my leg to be on the couch, then to my should, the back of the couch, and we had to stop her before she got to the cupboard. She was housed with my sister's rabbit Clover (who I bred and raised myself) who was also killed. When we found out that my mother's farrier had a litter of rabbits born in the barn, we had to check them out.
They had 4 babies born and only wanted to keep one. So I convinced my mother to let us bring the other three home. Haze, Cooper and Smokey. Now, Smokey was mean to my other rabbit, Nibbles, who ran around the yard. Nibbles wasn't the brightest, but was very curious. Smokey attacked Nibbles through the fence and ripped his lip. I told Mom that Smokey had to go, but that she could pick one of the babies from the litter Haze was going to have. She picked Cotton. These four rabbits lived next to each other for several years until I moved to my own place. As soon as I had my barn set up, I brought them all with me.
I had Cooper set asleep about 2 years ago (who was Cotton's best friend). Cotton died last year, leaving my Haze all alone. I decided to put Chester next to her for company. They bonded quickly, and even though the shavings bother Chester's eyes, I couldn't bear to take another rabbit away from Haze. He sat by her side these past few days, as I believe he could tell something was wrong. He was still by her side this morning this morning, even though she had already passed away during the night.
Haze had 3 litters for babies for me. The first two she had 8, the third was just four. I promised she would have no more and that she would spend the rest of her days just being my girl. And that she was.
RIP Haze, I'll miss you
April 2006-March 8, 2016
My poor baby broke her leg. We were playing ball and when she spun around to go after it, her foot must have gotten caught on the edge of the patio stone. She started screeching. My first thought was that she sprained it. After talking to a friend who has had similar problems, I thought she tore a ligament. She came in the house and went right to bed. I finally convinced her to come out around 1 pm today. I asked her if she wanted to go for a drive and she got up and ran right to the car. I had to lift her in, and off we went to the vet.
When we got there he knew that it was indeed broken. After X-rays, it was confirmed that she has a oblique fracture of the distal tibia. And because of the placement, she will now need surgery. So they splinted it so the bone wouldn't break through the skin and gave her some pain meds. I will find out more tomorrow.
Isis had surgery today. She went in this morning and Randy picked her up this evening. They said everything went as good as can be. She's home now resting. She's quite drugged up. I gave her a small amount of food with her pain medication. She whines every once in a while, I'm not sure if she's in pain, or just uncomfortable in the way I put her on the pillow.
Update: The leg healed well from what they could see. It was a horribly long process of healing. Lots of time being crated, many trips to the vet for bandage changes, two months of carrying her up and down the steps, putting a bag on her leg so it wouldn't get wet, taking her out on a leash. Then, an infection. She was allergic to the tape. Sores were oozing. They put another cast on that was shorter and put it on tighter. Which cut the circulation off in her foot. They removed the cast and she was confined to her crate for another week. It was horrible. Please see my later post for what happened next.
Dog food. We feed Isis dog food from Costco. The Kirkland brand. Turkey flavor. Nature's Domain.
She's been getting it for the last few years. Before that we've tried several other brands and they would bother her. She would get bumps that would itch and then she'd dig them open. This is the first food this has not happened with. I can't say it's the best, because she gets stinky pretty quickly, but we're going to try giving her some cod liver oil pills. She loves them.
The cat also gets Kirkland food.
When we got Sara, she was about 14lbs. I was concerned about obesity and diabetes. I've never had an indoor cat before. I started to cut back her food and just give her meals. She lost some weight, and then she lost her the sheen in her coat. Now I free feed her, and she still hasn't put the weight back on.
I went to PetValu today and they gave me some sample packets of dry food and I bought a couple of cans of wet, also. Hopefully she does well on this. If so, I will pick up a big bag for her.