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Old 07-21-2010, 08:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Buddy the Pit Bull- Part 1

The following is a blog that I follow called Points Well Taken.
I stumbled across it a few weeks ago and it really touched my heart. It is about a pit bull named Buddy who is rescued from a neglectful home by a woman named "Frazz" and her boyfriend/husband, whom she refers to as "The Colonel."
It is a great read in my opinion and it is told in ten parts; however, it doesn't end there but the author had to get it up to date in real time. Below is part one. Definitely worth reading!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Buddy the Pit Bull Part I

If you had told me on Friday, that by the end of the week-end I would have a Pit Bull living in my house, I would have called you a liar. This is Buddy's story.

On Saturday, May 15, we made our weekly delivery of meds to an acquaintance whom we assist. The Colonel thought maybe this lady's dog had been hit by a car because he was having trouble moving his hind legs. We talked about it in the car as we were driving away but little more was mentioned in the next week.

On Saturday May 22, again we made our weekly delivery of meds and found the dog laying in the yard. He was unable to get up or walk. He was just laying in the dirt, filthy. The Colonel had a long talk with the owner, telling her she had to call the vet. The dog must see the vet. The dog was dying in her yard. The owner stated she had been searching for Pit Bull rescues on the Internet but none of them were local. We stressed she had to call the vet. She had a plethora of excuses: no money, no transportation, etc., etc. She said she would just have it taken to the local shelter. I told her a Pit Bull who can't walk would be put down in a matter of hours at our local "kill" shelter. He would not survive at the shelter. We told her she had to call her vet and get an appointment for the dog and make the arrangements to pay for her pet's care even if she had to make monthly payments, but that she HAD to do something for her dog. As we left, I think we both knew nothing was going to happen and the dog was going to lay there and die.

The Colonel said, "I just can't stand this. We can't leave that dog there to die."

I said, "Okay," and turned the car around and we headed back.

When we arrived back at the house, the dog was still lying in the same place in the yard. There was no bowl of water in sight and last night's dinner scraps were tossed across the patio attracting numerous flies.

We went in the house and told the owner, "Your dog is dying in the yard. You have a decision to make. We will take the dog and take him to our vet and see if he can be made well. We don't have the money to fix him either, but somehow we will come up with it, if he can get better. If we take him, we will not bring him back here. He will become our dog. If he can walk again, we will find him a good home. If he can't walk we will have to have him put down, but at least he won't suffer anymore. So, what's your decision? Let him lay there dying in your yard, or let us take him?"

The owner agreed to let us take him.

After a few perfunctory questions, "When did he have his last shots?" "Is he fixed?" We learned pretty quickly that we were not going to get any straight answers. "We found him under a house beside the road when he was a puppy." "How old is he?" "We found him under a house, next to the road a couple of years ago, when he was a puppy." He had never been to a vet. He had never had any vaccinations. I was so aggravated at these people, words just cannot describe. Absolutely anything could be wrong with him. It could be something minor or something terrible. The one thing they did tell us was they thought a fox tail may have gotten into his penis. I had never heard of a fox tail, let alone where they thought this was was lodged, but at least it was something we could tell the vet.

As her son loaded him in the car I asked him what the dog's name was? "Buddy," he replied.

We dropped Mollie, the Mini-Schnauzer, off at our house as we took Buddy to the vet. Oh, he smelled so bad. I have never taken an animal of any kind anywhere that was in the shape Buddy was in. When we got to the vet, because Buddy couldn't walk, the Colonel stayed in the car with him while I went in and told the staff about the dog. Luckily, the wait was short and two attendants came out with a stretcher to take Buddy in. Buddy would have nothing to do with the stretcher. Although he couldn't walk, he could still somehow get his back legs under him and leap, only to splay himself out on his belly wherever he landed. I carried Buddy into the vet's office where the vet tech guessed his weight (he would not be still on the scales) at about 62 lbs.

I am not sure what we were thinking. It was Saturday. Maybe we wanted the vet to keep Buddy until Monday to evaluate him. We took the dog and got him to the vet, but we really didn't have any plans beyond that. We sat in the vet exam room with this stinking, smelly, big old dog who was truly a stranger to us. A dog that can't walk. We told one of the vet techs we weren't sure when the dog last had water or food. She brought a big bowl of fresh water and some dog cookies. Buddy choked and coughed as he lapped at the water. At first he didn't seem interested in the dog cookies, but after he finished drinking water, coughing and choking, he ate all of the cookies and the vet tech brought some more, which he also quickly ate and then he drank some more water. He seemed to choke on the water and would cough horribly.

When the vet finally came in to examine Buddy, his first question was, "How long have you had him?" Our answer, "Uh, about 30 minutes or so." We tried to make it clear to the vet that we didn't have a lot of money. Our intent was to get him up, get him healthy, get him neutered, vaccinated and find him a good, loving home. The vet wanted to know if he had ever walked and we told him that he was walking at least three weeks prior. He had a big fenced yard that he could roam around in and the son occasionally took him out of the fence for a walk. We knew the dog used to walk, we just had no idea what was causing him not to walk. As the vet examined him, he began to talk about neurological problems causing his inability to walk. Then he found a tick in his ear and another on his neck. Tick paralysis could be the cause of his lack of mobility. The vet noticed that when he tried to stand, he didn't seem to be using his front legs or his rear legs very well. We thought the problem was mainly with his rear legs, but his front must also be affected. The vet made it very clear because Buddy had no vaccinations, he couldn't keep him at their office. He also said we should keep him quarantined from any other dogs we have. The vet left the room. A vet tech came in to remove the ticks and take blood samples to run tests.

We waited. My arms itched. I hadn't notice that hundreds of small bumps had formed on the insides of my arms. Fleas? I washed my hands and arms in the sink in the vet exam room. My arms were red, bumpy and itchy. The Colonel and I talked as we waited. Tick paralysis would be an easy diagnosis. Once the ticks are removed, the dog will usually recover in a a couple of days. Neurological problems were another story. A Pit Bull. What were we thinking? If he had to go home with us, the first priority was to give him a bath. We made plans to put him in our shower, use the sprayer and liberal amounts of flea and tick shampoo. And pray this Pit Bull had a good easy temperament which would allow us to keep all of our limbs.

The vet returned and said all of the blood work came back normal except for a high white blood cell count which could be associated with tick paralysis. He tested negative for heart worms and would need to be put on heart worm/flea/tick preventative. He wanted permission to do a test called a "tick panel" to see if it might show some hint of tick poisoning. Although there is no sure test for tick paralysis, something in this test might lean him toward that diagnosis. We gave our okay for the test and the expense. He said he wanted to put Buddy on the antibiotic Doxycycline and he would give us a prescription for ten days but he really wanted him to be on it for 30. So, providing the dog's condition did not deteriorate further, we would need to get more of the antibiotic in ten days. The other diagnosis, a neurological issue, might improve in 3 weeks. The vet said that 3 weeks is about the most time for a neurological issue to improve as much as it can. I carried Buddy back to the car and one of the vet techs came out to give Buddy a Capstar pill which would eliminate all fleas in approximately 30 minutes. The Colonel sat with him in the car while I paid the bill and got the prescriptions.

Once we got him home, I picked him up out of the car and placed him on the grass. He started crawling around and sniffing. Soon, he got his back feet under him and raised his rear end an inch or so off the ground, his tail was pointing straight up. The tail straight up in the air soon became our signal that Buddy was urinating. As soon as he finished, he would crawl away from that particular spot. That day he went straight from the yard to our shower. He laid in the bottom of the shower as I sprayed him with water, soaped him up and rinsed him off. I took another five ticks off of him as I bathed him. He never growled or looked uncomfortable or acted as if any of this bothered him. Once he was toweled off we realized the parts of his fur that were previously yellow were now bright white with many black spots on his skin beneath his white fur. My arms were once again covered with red, itchy bumps. Fleas? I somehow doubted fleas were the issue. I think I am allergic to Buddy's fur.

After his bath, we poured a couple of cupfuls of Kibble n' Bits into a bowl and took it to him. We sat the bowl in front of him. He laid there and ate every single bite. Then we brought him water which he drank and choked and coughed and drank some more. The coughing and choking with water is worrisome, but it doesn't seem to bother him. We started him on the doxycyline that afternoon. So, after eating, drinking and taking his meds, he crawled around and sniffed the carpet, then rolled over on his side and went to sleep.

What goes in must come out, so a couple of hours later I picked him up and carried him outside and laid him on the grass. He immediately started crawling around and sniffing, and sure enough within a few minutes that tail went straight up. I set a lawn chair in the yard and sat down beside him. He seemed to enjoy laying outside in the grass. After 30 minutes or so, he started crawling around sniffing again, but this time it was his bowels. Sure enough, this dog has really worked out all of it's business and he doesn't need to walk to get it done. I learned quickly that we had to keep him from drinking water from flowers beds or puddles in the street. He was streetwise. He had learned to take care of his needs on his own. Learning this stuff was really something to admire in this dog. He took care of his needs better than some healthy people I know. He doesn't know it yet, but he has just moved into the "Taj Mahal" for dogs. I wonder how long it will take us to spoil him rotten.

Keeping Buddy and Mollie separated in our small house was impossible. I wish I could read Mollie's mind. This morning she was "Queen Dog" of "Taj Mahal" and this evening, well, there's a very large dog sleeping on "her" floor. Mollie wanted to play with him at first, but then she realized he really couldn't play. Next, she barked at him a little, like she wanted to "fix" him. I guess she has decided he is here. I did notice she didn't sleep on the floor that day. Mollie took her daytime naps on the couch and left the floor to Buddy.

That night, using a quilt, we made him a bed in our small bathroom. I carried him in and laid him down on the quilt, left the light on, closed the door and headed to bed. We heard him cry for a few minutes, then silence.

Buddy's a beautiful dog. His coloring reminds me of a black and white cow. His size reminds me of a calf. When he tries to walk, he looks like a new-born calf trying to take it's first steps. He can't take one or two steps without falling or trying to use his nose to balance himself. His chest and front "elbows" are raw from crawling. His nose is red from trying to balance. He has a few scars around his nose and a couple on his legs. I don't think he has enough scars to have been a fighting dog. His ears and lips are completely intact-from what I have learned from the Internet- these are the most pierced and scarred areas of fighting dogs.

For us and Buddy, it's one day at a time.
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