Big smiles

With unseasonably warm temperatures on a beautiful sunshiny day, Kaylee, Jack and I headed out for a little hike at a nearby wooded park.  Kaylee was running with excitement for at least the first ten minutes.  After about 20 minutes of our trek,  Kaylee looked back at me with a big smile.   She was so obviously enjoying herself and feeling good, and I think she wanted to make sure I knew it! 🙂

Working hard

My office was closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s, but I ended up working the whole week.  The office feels less eerie and the days go by faster with some canine companionship.  This was Jack’s second year, and as you can see by the picture, he was pretty comfy.  Kaylee, on the other hand, was excited about her first time working with her mom.  Look at that big smile!

Welcoming a new family member

On December 27, our household of senior and special needs pets welcomed a new member.

We have “slots” in our house for two dogs and five cats.  After losing Isiah to lymphoma a couple months ago,  we started looking for a new kitty.  We briefly fostered (with an option to adopt) a homeless six-year old confident and friendly Siamese.  We quickly decided he wasn’t the right match for us, mostly because of his talkativeness.  He found a delightful adoptive family after only being with us a few days that has Siamese experience and is more than happy to have frequent conversations with him.

We also found a renewed commitment to find an animal that truly needed us and could blend into the chaos of a multi-animal family.  We didn’t need to look far.  I volunteered on Christmas Eve at Angel’s Wish Pet Adoption and Resource Center and had the opportunity to spend time with “Chip.”  Twelve years old, Chip was a senior that had been homeless since he was surrendered to a  vet clinic over two years ago.  He had recently entered an Angel’s Wish foster home. With a thyroid condition and allergies that left him with numerous bald spots and scabs from old sores, he is also special needs.  He will need twice daily meds, special food and careful monitoring to remain as healthy as possible.  But what got me were his sad eyes.   Several people have mentioned he looks like he has been beat down and given up.   I’ve seen that look before in our Elvis–an animal that has been sheltered too long that they have almost given up any hope.  And yet, even in his sadness and despair, he sat in my lap and purred.  It took only a few minutes to make our decision to adopt….despite a ten page medical history, a bag full of meds, and one of the scruffiest coats I’ve ever seen on a pet.  (Of course, considering Kaylee’s multiple issues, he seems to be not-so-needy in comparison!) He certainly needed a home…and ours should be a good fit.

Merry Christmas, Kaylee

This is Kaylee’s first Christmas with us…and her first Christmas indoors in three years.  She’s sleeping soundly, curled up on her soft bed near the Christmas tree.  Merry Christmas, Kaylee.

Looking good, kid!

After starting with weekly rehab visits, then bi-weekly, Kaylee is now on a once every 3 to 4 week schedule.  This seems to be working out well as Kaylee is still challenged by her home exercises and the initial large gains in mobility have tapered to smaller victories.  She also seems to be able to be effectively pain managed for that period of time, with the laser therapy a good occasional  intervention.  Jack is also enjoying coming along to the sessions….lots of big smiles from both pups today!

Another advantage of more spaced out sessions is that Kaylee’s rehab team notices the progress that is less noticeable day to day.  For example, Kaylee’s body shape continues to become more normal. She is down to 34.4 pounds and is nearing her ideal weight.   She also looks very different as she has completely lost her undercoat and is a shiny, darker color!  Amy even noticed how darn speedy she has become as she ran around the rehab room.   Go Kaylee!

Happy Howl-days!

Tonight was the beginning of a weekend of holiday decorating.  At the top of the first container I opened?  Reindeer antlers for dogs!  It is never safe to be the nearest dog to me when I find them each December.  So, Kaylee, welcome to your first Christmas season at your new home!  (Now, be a good dog…no shredding presents under the tree!)

Kaylee has so much to be thankful for!

Kaylee is thankful to all of her friends that have made her life so much happier and healthier this year! Thank you to Remember Me Ranch for rescuing her, Noble Hound Pet Resort & Animal Hospital for her immediate vet care needs, Verona Veterinary Medical Services for ongoing management, Westside Family Pet Clinic & 4 Paws Swim & Fitness for amazing rehab progress, and Frankie’s Disabled Animal Rescue & Resource Page for sharing her story, and all of Kaylee’s other friends! Happy Thanksgiving!

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