Friday, January 30, 2009


This is Maiya, shown at 2 years old in these first two pictures, just 2 days after being rescued.
She has Megaesophagus.

Megaesophagus ~ A condition in which the esophagus loses all tone and dilates making swallowing extremely difficult which increases the risk of aspiration pneumonia and malnutrition.
Symptoms are regurgitation of food, weight loss, coughing, aspiration pneumonia.
Comes in three forms ~ Congenital, Secondary, and Idiopathic
Congenital ~ Dog is born with it. Can be caused by a PERSISTENT RIGHT AORTIC ARCH, but most times is just genetically inherited. The link to genetic inheritability is unknown.
Puppies with congenital megaesophagus have the best chance of survival and management. As the pup matures nerve function may increase either curing the disease or making it more manageable. Some puppies never improve.

Secondary MegaE ~ is megaesophagus caused by another disease. This can happen at any age. Thyroid diseases, neurological conditions, Addison's disease and Myasthenia Gravis are a few diseases but not inclusive of all the diseases that may cause megaE. It is reported that Myasthenia Gravis accounts for 25% of secondary Mega cases. Megaesophagus can be cured in this case if the underlying disease is corrected before the esophagus becomes too stretched out in which by that time it may not return to normal function.
Idiopathic ~ Common in dogs 6 years +. It appears for no reason and is the poorest prospect for treatment.
Surgery is usually not an option as not only is this primarily a neurological condition, but the esophagus itself is slow to heal when operated on.
There is no standard treatment for megaE which makes it one of the hardest diseases to manage. Elevated feeding in which the dog sits in a "high chair" or held in the begging position helps use gravity to draw the food down into the stomach. Consistency of food is everything with megaE. The unfortunate part is that you never know what consistency works best with your dog. It's all trial and error. While some dogs require a soupy consistency, others may require a thicker oatmeal like consistency. Some even do very well with canned food rolled into meatballs and then dropped down the throat. Many times dogs are in such poor condition that it does not leave much room for the error part of the trial. It may take a lot of changes before you find something that works, and even then, you may never find something that works.
Maiya showing her climbing abilities, letting her mom know she can do the same things dogs without MegaE do.

Medications are virtually useless in MegaE. Vets will often prescribe reglan or cisapride. Neither of which will give the esophagus tone or motility, but may help strengthen the esophageal sphincter if it is having trouble staying closed leading to reflux.
A Histamine-2 blocker such as Zantac, or Proton-Pump Inhibitor such as Prilosec are often standard medications. Again, like the latter, they don't do much for the esophagus itself but can neutralize or even eliminate the stomach acid that is regurgitated up into the throat causing esophagitis.
Carafate can be useful in preventing esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus). It soothes and creates a coating over the tissue to help prevent burning and irritation of regurgitated stomach acid.
Maiya getting dinner. Look how patient she is.

Gastrostomy tubes are a last resort. Some dogs do not fair well no matter how many different ways you mouth feed. Those dogs are good candidates for a G-tube. G-tubes don't require much more maintenance than the megaE dogs themselves, but can be a scary thought at first. A dog with a G-tube can function in every way as a normal dog except he/she will receive their nutrition directly into the stomach bypassing the useless esophagus.

Sweet and spoiled Maiya has the best spot in the house.

Prognosis is guarded to poor with MegaE dogs. In most cases it boils down to the time and dedication the owner has for the dog. Even then, with the most dedicated owners, and scrupulous treatment the dog still may not respond and need to be euthanized.

Aspiration Pneumonia is the number one cause of death in Mega dogs. Maiya has had it 6 times.
Maiya belongs to a very close friend of mine. She is almost 4 years old now. She was not expected to survive this long. Maiya is a very special girl with an outstanding dog mom that has gone far above and beyond to give Maiya the life she has so deserved.

Thank you my dear friend for being such an inspiration to us all, and doing all you do for Maiya.

Updated November 6, 2009 Maiya and Megaesophagus
Updated November 13, 2009 Maiya Update

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Attachment Has Begun

I have the four ferals that have lived in my shelter and back yard for almost five years now. They love sleeping on the patio swing right outside my back door, below my kitchen window.

Things are mostly peaceful, with the new ferals and strays that show up. They just go to the shelter, eat, and go on there way. Sometimes one will get curious, and come into the yard, but leave quickly if I walk out there. That is how it started with BT, and many others in the past.

I much prefer them not to come into the yard, as once they do, I tend to become attached. I really miss BT. He kept things quiet around here. The other Toms that stroll the neighborhood knew my yard was off limits, it was BT's territory. Since BT has been gone, the others are starting to move in, slowly, but nonetheless, they are investigating my yard.

I keep dry food and fresh water in the shelter 24/7, so all the ferals and strays never have to go look for food.

My four ferals get wet food as a special treat every evening on my back patio, by the swing. Once I let all the dogs out at 5pm, the cats all start their routine of rubbing against each other, knowing as soon as the dogs come inside, it is their turn for some delicious wet food.

The night before last, as I was bringing the dogs in, all four cats were standing on the patio walking back and fourth looking up at me, waiting. But wait, out of the corner of my eye I spot another cat on the canopy of the swing. I look, and sure enough it was the Mac look-alike feral. He was watching every move I made, with eyes half closed. I quickly bring the dogs in, and go back out with my camera to get some pictures, as all of my past pictures are not all that clear, and taken mostly in the dark or far away.

I then realize he wasn't leaving. This is the beginning. I had to feed five cats wet food instead of four. I really did not want to do this. I do not want to become attached. As I brought out the food, I sat the four bowls down, and held the one bowl toward him, and then walked away. He jumped down off the swing, and watched me place the bowl in the middle of the yard about 20 feet from the others. He waited until I went inside, then he carefully and slowly walked up to his bowl and ate.

Last night, again, a repeat of the night before. It has started. The attachment has begun. I missed our spay-athon with our rescue last weekend, so I will hope to get him in the next few weeks, at our next one.

So, does anyone see a resemblance to another cat I have posted here? I'm not talking about Mac now, as I know he resembles him, but look closely at the face markings. Do you see what I see?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Rant...Part 2 reduce in size. Employers downsize by reducing the number of employees due to the economy. So, what does it mean when a dog breeder downsizes? Some breeders downsize due to personal health problems or financial issues. They find they can no longer provide the time and/or finances to care for all the dogs they are breeding so they sell some or all of them. They quit breeding, or take time off from breeding. Perhaps they keep a few of the dogs, and sell off the rest.

To downsize, I'm not sure that is a good choice of a word to use. It sounds like the dogs are yesterday's trash, garbage, personal property that can just be discarded when not needed anymore.

I just came across another reason a breeder *downsizes*. (I hate that word, I really do). They downsize to switch breeds. Apparently once a breeder decides they have had enough of one particular breed, and the breeds health issues, instead of trying to better the breed, they sell them off like a piece of furniture, and purchase another breed.

If someone can easily dump their dogs just so they can switch to another breed, they should not be breeding. How can they just dump all their current dogs, so they can get involved in a whole different breed? If the existing dogs have health issues and they feel they can not care for them, why get another breed? There is no guarantee in the health of a dog, anything can happen during the life of the dog. What happens if the new breed develops health issues too? Do they just dump them and switch to yet another breed? When does it stop?

Switching breeds because of personal health issues, financial issues, genetic problems in the breed, is nothing but an excuse. An excuse to get what they want. The breeder decides they are interested in another breed but cannot afford the time or money to care for the addition plus the current resident dogs, so their answer is to *downsize*. How can someone do this?

Oh, I get it. Backyard breeders perhaps. Someone who breeds for the money. They don't breed for the love and the betterment of the breed. They don't actively compete and exhibit in some type of sport to bring out the natural working ability of that particular breed. They don't do all the health checks prior to breeding. This would be the only reason I can fathom that it would be so easy to dump the existing dogs to switch breeds. For the money. It is all about them, not the well being of the dogs.

On any given day 30 percent of the dogs found in shelters are purebred. Why? Because of breeders like this. As long as there are people out there with this mentality, breeders, if that is what we really want to call them, there will always be a need for rescue.

Whether we are breeders or just another person wanting a dog, we all need to realize the huge responsibility that comes along with that *WANT*. We don't get to change our minds, when things get tough, or our desire to have another breed. Our responsibility should be for the life of the dog(s) that we brought into our home. Their needs and well being should come first.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Mac is the most friendliest, social cat, of all the cats in my cat room. On any given day that I go into the room, he does his quick greet and meet with me then finds a comfy spot on the floor and allows the other cats to soak up the attention first, then as soon as they walk away, he is right there waiting patiently for his turn.
I was really pleased with these pictures I took over the weekend. Most times when he is on the shelves, I don't have my camera with me, but this day I intended to get pictures of Oscar, so I was camera ready, and there he was, Handsome Mac posing oh so perfectly.
Mac is so gentle, and HUGE! A big solid boy he is, but just as cuddly as he is huge.
Who can resist that sweet face? He was about five months old when he found his way to my shelter.
I came very close to adopting him out, but something came up and prevented me from doing so.
One of the best decisions I had made, as he is LG's best friend.
My hubby named him Mac, because of his huge apple head, round face; short for Macintosh apples.

Monday, January 26, 2009


One of my blogging friends, Caroline over at Caroline's Thoughts
asked if I wanted to participate in a Q&A. She gave me five questions to answer, so here they are.

1. If you can live anywhere, where would it be and why?
In a Castle because I am a Princess, and that is where Princess's live.

2. Do you believe in Aliens?
I believe they live among us disguised as politicians.

3. If you weren't doing what you are now, what kind of job would you like?
One that didn't actually require me to do any work...Wine taste tester perhaps.

4. Is there anything that you would change on your appearance?
I'd like to start over, I really, really want brown eyes.

5. Describe your perfect man.
Look....He does dishes.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Rant

We all know of them, or at least heard of them. The people that decide to add a new puppy to their household. The excitement of getting a puppy, or even an adult; the excitement is the same. Lots of planning involved, we hope. Training, new food to buy, toys to purchase, more vet visits, oh what fun. But, what happens to the other pets in the household? Did they think about them when deciding to add another pack member?

We hear about people all the time getting rid of their pets. Many different reasons they all give. The dog is old, they need to make room for a puppy. Perhaps they are moving, new jobs, to save money, new kids, the list goes on.

One person I came across this past week has a four month old puppy. She also has a 7 year old cat. She has had the cat since she was a kitten, and has always been an indoor only cat. Now since the cat is afraid of the puppy, instead of working with the introductions and taking it slow, the cat has been banished to living outside. Why? Why do people do this?

Another scenario just this week. Similar, but different. In this case, the new dog is a 1 year old , and does not get along with the 10 year old dog that has lived there all his life, so they took the 10 year old to the shelter. Why? This was his home for 10 years, and was a very good dog.

Animals are a commitment. They are a living being. They are not disposable. When will people wake up and understand once they commit to bringing a pet into their home it should be a lifetime commitment. It is their responsibility, a huge responsibility. I understand there is that rare situation that it is in the best interest of the pet to be rehomed, but most times it is just greedy, uncaring individuals that want a new puppy, without having to put any time into proper training, introductions, and socializing. They don't want to put any effort into making it work.

Have you ever taken a walk through your local shelter, and walked by each cage, one by one, and wonder how that dog or cat found themselves there? What is their story? Have you looked at the card on their cage where it has a date, and spells out when their time is up? The next day you go back to check on that particular dog or cat, only to find their cage empty. Afraid to ask, hoping they were lucky enough to be adopted, but you know the truth.

They all have a story to tell. They all have a past. Many had wonderful homes, until they found they were being replaced by the new puppy or kitten.

People ask me all the time, why I do what I do with the strays and ferals. Why do I care? They are not my problem, I didn't cause their fate. Well, I can't just look away. They are all a living being. I can't save them all, but they all deserve a chance, because they all matter. Each and every one of them, cats and dogs, matter.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Eenie Meenie Minie Moe

It is time again to get busy trapping. Anyone want to take a guess on which one of these handsome boys will be lucky enough to be the first to be trapped? Eenie Meenie Minie Moe, who will be the first to go? (don't worry, all four will be returned to me).

I haven't given any of them names yet. I refer to this boy as The Mac Look-alike, well, because he looks just like my Mac. A quick little story, I believe he came from where BT came from, as they both showed up the same time, and were always lying next to each other until BT got brave enough to come into the yard, and accept me as his human. (hint...I think he will be the first).
I refer to this boy as The LG Look-alike, you can guess why. (sorry for the poor quality, photo taken through the window).
This boy is called The Mean Guy Look-alike, well, long story, so I won't get into it, except to tell you the original Mean Guy was the one that beat up poor Oscar all the time and caused him multiple injuries, before I was able to rescue Oscar.
Last of course is Lacee's little Siamese friend. He is so sweet, I really hope to get him very soon.
Stay tuned...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lacee's Spay

Last Sunday was Lacee's spay day. All went well and her recovery was quick. By Sunday late evening she was back to her normal sweet self. She does appear to have a hairline fracture on both hips. Poor little soul has had a rough start. The vet confirmed as well that she was no more then 6 months, possibly 5. I am guessing 6 months now, and that is what I will put on her records.

I finally got her walking this weekend. She will stand up on her hind legs, but once she starts to walk, she keeps her back legs bent so far down, that she is crouched very low to the ground. Her chest and stomach are no more then an inch off the ground when she walks, which makes her look even smaller then what she is. This handicap of hers does not slow her down any, as she is very fast. I am also thinking the reason she never left my shelter is because she could not climb out. The only way any of the cats can leave is to jump on the cat walk, and she can not jump. Good thing she chose the right place to stay.

I tried to introduce her to Oscar, one of my inside ferals. He is the sweetest boy, and I really need to get her comfortable with other cats, if possible. Well, that did not turn out too well. Oscar just wants to be with me, but Lacee was terrified, and anytime he got close, she growled and would panic. Who can blame her? Really, all the cats outside were mean to her, all except the Siamese, so she has not had any positive experiences yet. Poor Oscar, he is such a love bug. I will continue with that route, as I think if any of the cats can get her to warm up to them, it would be Oscar. We will get there, it is just going to take time and patience.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ice Skating 12-7-08

Video of my niece's spotlight program at a competition on 12/7/2008. This is her dramatic program ISI level FS5. She is 7 years old in this video.
I love this one and the music is perfect.

Friday, January 16, 2009

One Smart Doggy

Anytime I bring a new toy into the daycare, Bandit has the need to check out what is new. He has to make sure it is not for him, or perhaps he feels it is his job to ensure all toys are child safe and age appropriate....nah, he wants to make sure it is not for him.

When I put this cube on the table, Bandit had to be the first to check it out. He quickly became obsessed. Never mind how many times I told him to leave it, he wouldn't listen. Now, I normally do NOT let my dogs play with the children's' toys, but, Bandit was very intrigued. So, I thought I would play around with it, and really test Bandit on this new skill.

It did not take long, after just a few minutes, I can tell Bandit to touch a particular color knob, and he will tap and move the correct one, (with no guidance from me) with his nose. I shouldn't be surprised, he is one smart boy, and loves to learn new games. At 9 years old, he just keeps on learning, That's my boy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tag, I'm It

Betty at tagged me.
So, what I need to go to the 5th folder in my pictures file, choose the 5th picture in that file and post it. Then I get to tag five others to do the same. Here it is.

This is a good friend of mine in another country holding a 6 day old kitten. The mother passed away, and I was helping my friend via email with the proper care and bottle feeding of the kitten. It was a very stressful time for both of us, with our time difference, my mornings were his evenings. I LOVE this picture.

Now I get to tag five others, here they are...

Still Learning

Caroline's Thoughts

The Order Of Disarray

Shirla's Life

Katt Tales

Tag, You're IT!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Jeni, Bandit, & Jessi's Surprise

These pictures are very poor quality. I wasn't able to get any decent pictures of the Aussies or their gifts. They were all just too excited and crazy. So with just a few words, I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Jeni was the calmest of all.
See her tongue? LOL. That rubber ball makes the neatest squeaky sound.
The Frisbee was on her Xmas list. She loves it.
Bandit couldn't wait for the wrapping paper to come off. He did a snatch and run.
Here he is opening his Teddy.
Again, he quickly left the room. I had to keep calling him back.
His teddy is his favorite toy. He loves teddies.
Jessi was quick. Just a sniff... then
Off she goes.....
We barely got the duck from her to take the tags off, when she snatched it, and ran from room to room. Those Aussies are crazy, gotta love them!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Jarie's Surprise

Jarie was waiting patiently while hubby was reading her letter with a secret clue with who her secret Santa was. Did not take her long to realize there were toys in that box.
She was not quite sure what to make of the blue and white snowman. It was attached to a 3 foot long plastic stocking.
When hubby moved the stocking, it startled her, and she backed away.
With lots of toys spread all over, after opening the stocking, she couldn't choose what to play with first.
A look that says "all mine, and "I'm not sharing."
Spoiled, Spoiled, Spoiled. She had a blast. She was doing the puppy zoomies all over the house with a different toy every few minutes.
Last I posted about Jarie, I mentioned her allergies. We are still fighting that battle. She had a bare spot where she chewed and lost the fur on one side of her, and on her tail. That is starting to heal, and hair grow back in. Although, if anyone else would see her, they would ask what is wrong, as it is very obvious something isn't right. But there has been much improvement. The downside is, now she is getting the same exact bare spot on her other side. It gets so darn discouraging with her. Once we get her well in one area, then she develops something else. I have decided she really is my bubble dog, as she really needs to live in a bubble. Through all of this though, she has been a real trooper, and always happy.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Jake's Surprise

I participated in a Secret Santa gift exchange with the dogs on a message board I belong to. It was so much fun. All the dogs really enjoyed receiving their packages. Each day a different box would arrive, but I wouldn't let any of the dogs open their gifts until all boxes arrived, ( I know, I am so mean). I'll post the others in the next few days.
Jake was so happy. Look at that smile. A box just for him, with all his favorite toys. His secret Santa knew his favorite toys are tennis balls. His next favorite toy is a stuffy that grunts. That hedgehog does just that, and he plays with it all the time.
Happy, happy boy he is.
Spoiled, and he deserves it, and much more.
Jake is doing as well as can be expected. He still has a great appetite, and wants to play. He falls a bit more lately, and his legs are getting much weaker. Very hard to watch, but we take it one day at a time, and do all we can do for him. He is such a good boy, and has been such a sweet soul. He gets a little more spoiled then the others, but I always think as they age and become seniors, they have earned a few extras.