Tuesday, November 11, 2008

All American Rejects, featuring Roxy

Roxy has personal space issues....

So I figured I was tired of ranting today and the dh finally downloaded pics for me for a series of posts I've been wanting to do for awhile. We have 3 dogs in our home and each one has a story behind them. I was a vet tech for 5 years while putting myself through college (college took longer than 5 yrs for me I just couldn't deal with the women in the vet business anymore so I quit) so I'm always the person who gets the dog that's a total mess that no one else wants. I figured I'd do a little bio on each of my pooches for your entertainment. Plus you'll know why I want to occasionally shove them off a cliff. Yeah it happens, often. The feeling of, not the actual action, we don't have cliffs in Texas or they'd be in trouble.

We are going to start first with the numero uno girl, Roxy. She was the first of our 3 to come into our home. I had a dog prior to her (black lab, reactive dog) but he loved my ex boyfriend more than me so I figured they deserved each other and I left him back in MD when I graduated from college. So my dh and I were finally at a point where we could have a dog and he wanted one bad, he's never had one before. This was when the kid was 5 I think? It was a few years ago. Anyway we started the hunt at the dog shelters in San Diego and for whatever reason decided that we'd go to the Chula Vista animal shelter. It wasn't close to us and it was in a nastier part of town, pretty ghetto actually. The upside is that their shelter always had dogs in abundance and they wanted to place them asap, some of their runs were doubled up with dogs.

When we first started looking I had a day off and the dh had the day after off so it was my job to go through the shelter and write down all the dog id's that were appropriate for our home (with a young kid) since the dh didn't know much about particular breeds nor what to look for in the health and outward temperament of the dog. And so I did, narrowing it down to about 5 dogs. Hey out of the 80 or so we had to choose from I wasn't doing too bad! It was like 3 labs a boxer and something else big. We knew we didn't want a small dog so I didn't need to look at those. I know, I know, I have a small dog now but that's All American Rejects blog post #3, have a little patience you'll get that story too. The dh went the following day with the kid and they looked at ALL the dogs. DH called me on the phone while he was looking/swooning over all the cute pit bulls. Don't ask us why, we have a thing for bully breeds and let me tell you, in ghetto towns pitty's are dumped by the boat load. I told him not pits, house insurance goes up with the dogs that are on the 'bad' list and I don't want to find out about any wayward emotional stability issues after adopting and having the family fall in love with a dog. More on that in All American Rejects blog post #2. Don't worry, we've never had to give up a dog, once we have them it's for the long haul, be it a hellish haul or not. Usually it is but I am well rounded in the behavioral and physical issue dog things, I can make a purse out of a sows ear. If a dog can't hack it in our home it's time for the blue juice (anyone in the vet field knows what that is) because they can't be trusted in the general population.

Back to the pound though, Roxy was one of my choices. When the dh came across her cage oh that was it, love at first sight. She was known as Wiggles at the pound because she had that boxer thing going, no tail? No problem we can just wiggle our whole body and you get the picture. She was sooo lovey through the cage doors, smashing her face up against it to get lovins'. Totally emaciated, skinny as all get out, probably 35-40lbs when she should be 55lbs. She had obviously just weened (or lost) puppies, she was a stray and no puppies were found with her. She had 3 or 4 more days before she was available for adoption and there was another person/family that was signed up to get her first. They were supposed to show up at 10 am on the day she came available but we put in for second chance. If they didn't come in by 11am she was ours if we showed up. We came back at least once more before her adoption day so that the dd could meet her and we could see how she handled kids. No problem, Roxy is such the mellow lovey dog, very sedate for a boxer girl. Best we can tell is that she was a back yard breeder dog for some gang banger. All she wants is to be loved on. And of course, even now, she has no respect for personal space. Her adoption day came and we were there an hour ahead of time, just in case. They gave the original people 30 minutes to show, once they didn't we were signing paperwork and paid the whopping $60 adoption fee. This was a Friday and so the scheduled her spay for Saturday morning so we could pick her up after 2pm.

We were there promptly at 2 to pick the poor girl up. She looked AWFUL, she obviously didn't have enough reserves in her to pull through the spay surgery so well. We don't think she had ever been in a car before, the dh had to pick her up to put her in (sore and scared as she was) and he kept asking if I thought she was ok. Yeah well she was alive and really, that's all you can ask for with a shelter spay. If you expect anything more than 'alive' out of a shelter you're asking a lot, they've got a lot on their plate there.

We took her home and she slept, for like 5 days. We had a coupon for a free exam at the vets that most pound dogs come with. I took her in at like week 5 maybe? I wanted her to be able to relax and recover before onslaughting her system with other new things. Plus her immune system was taxed enough with the spay and all the grub from the pound. When I took her in she had gained a few pounds but she was still grossly emaciated. They weighed her and said she needed to gain more, yeah no really? And we checked everything out. It was all ok until the dr listened to her heart. He looked all grimly at me and told me she had a heart murmur. I fully think he expected me to take her back to the pound or fall apart or something...yeah right, no I don't think so. This dog is a doll, why would something like a heart murmur bother us? I have a chinchilla that has a severe, and I mean severe heart murmur. He's going on over 10 years old now and had like 3 surgeries (other chin tried to kill him, it was bad) and is still truckin, don't know why. So murmurs are rated on a scale 1/5-5/5. The 5/5 being the worst. My chin has a 4/5. I asked the vet to tell me where she was on the scale and he wouldn't. I knew it was pretty damn bad and he fully expected her to kick off right then and there. WHATEVER have a little faith man! I took down the info they gave me for the cardiologist and took my girl home. Silly doctors, like that would make me give my dog back to the pound, hell no. I told the dh what had transpired and he asked if we should worry. I told him no. I've been in the vet field too long, lots of things are tragic and this wasn't one of them. No way this was going to make us love her any less.

Fast forward...2 or 3 months. I didn't want to take her to any more vets until we put weight on her and she was in good well fleshed out health. No more stress for my girl until she felt up to it. So when I was good and ready I made an appt for her at the cardiologists. She went in and had a full work up, x-rays, ekg, bloodwork. And the vet listened to her heart. Guess what? No murmur. Could not find even a hint and all her labs came out normal. So what in the world was wrong with the other vet? Most likely, nothing. Most likely she was soo malnourished that her heart was starting to die and her body was living off her muscle due to lack of nutrition and running out of fat. Nice huh? When I got her good and plumped up her body was able to bring her heart back to normal and not feed off of it any more, murmur gone. I can't believe the vet at the shelter saw her fit enough to spay, it's a miracle she lived through it.

Good thing she did though, she's a sweet dog who deserves a chance at a nice home. We have found out through the years that she is terrified of guns. I don't know about the sound (since we don't shoot in our home) but just the sight. If the dh goes to clean the guns he has to do it outside or put her outside because she just falls apart. That's why we figure she was owned by some not so nice gang bangers. Plus the dd was walking around with a magazine rolled up and using it as a 'telescope' and Roxy was just a mess. We think people beat her with a newspaper or something. One time I was vacuuming and she was directly in front of me. I yelled (over the vacuum noise) at her to move and then reached over to move her and she totally coward into a puddle on the floor. Someone has raised a hand against that dog. I don't know why you'd need to, she is sooo placid. We don't think she had ever been in a house prior to us owning her either. Just her behavior initially after we got her was like she thought she wasn't allowed in and it was totally foreign to her. BTW, all our dogs are indoor dogs. They like to go out and lounge in the sun but when we are home or not they are inside. It's just safer that way and brachycephalic breeds can't take heat. Plus they are total wusses, they don't so the whole 'outdoor dog' thing. They'd be horrified. Spoiled brats....

Next up tomorrow, dog #2 to enter our lives, mental boy, Jayne. And you are going to ask why? Lordy just why did you adopt that dog?


Anonymous said...

We have two "All American Rejects". One has seperation anxiety and a list of "extra fun" quirks and the other one used to like to eat furniture.

Trailboss said...

You know how I feel about the boxers. She is a beauty! How old is she now?

MichelleSG said...

Thank you, we think so and so does she. We have no idea how old she is. They estimated her age to be like 7 at the pound but the vet looked at her teeth and said no way, she was more like 4. I think it was the gray in her muzzle, probably from being bred over and over and beaten. I'd be gray too! So we think by now she's probably like 6? She's got creaky hips but again, that's probably abuse on her body. All the fur that had come off on her elbows and knees from being an outdoor dog for so long has grown back but you can't fix the creaky bones! Acupuncture does her really well though and she feels much better after her treatments.

Anonymous said...

Oh you know how I love this! Such a sweet story! And she is a cutie!