Archive for the ‘Chester2 Quinby: Rescued!’ Category

The Return of the Q

July 14, 2012

Pulled: Thursday September 22, 2011 from City of Columbia Animal Shelter

Rescue commitment: Sunday October 16, 2011 by Dachshund Rescue of North America

Rescued, again: July 13, 2012 from Dachshund Rescue of North America

Apologies that it’s been so long since I updated my fostering blog! As I’ve mentioned, we moved to a new house, and my fostering has subsequently come to a halt. Scott’s new house rule is 1 foster at a time, and since Morven seems to be the permanent foster (much to Scott’s chagrin), I have only been able to pull dogs for people who request them. So, it’s pull and immediate transfer, although that’s worked out nicely for Chesters Jude and Kimball.

But, alas, I was forced to break my one foster at at time rule on Friday. I’m sure my readers will remember Quinby, but for those of you who are just catching up, here are some highlights:

1) Way back in September, I was at the City of Columbia Animal Shelter to rescue the wayward Kincaid a second time (which is a long story in itself) when I met a man who brought in Q to be euthanized.

2) Q was paralyzed from the waist down, although I could tell by looking at her that she was this dog in spirit (despite her rather pathetic, flea-ridden appearance at the time):

3) So, I brought her home, Scott made her a wheelchair, and voila! Only the leaves are missing.

See the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJs0byo9SVs

4) I surprised all by getting a rescue commitment for Quinby faster than I’ve been able to get an adoption or rescue commitment for Morven. I contacted Dachshund Rescue of North America, because I knew they had experience caring for disabled dachshunds; DRNA agreed to take her, and then homed her with one of their best and most capable fosters. We were grateful and thrilled, as was Q and all of her Fisk foster siblings.

Six months later: I received an email from Quinby’s foster mother, Karen, who said that she was becoming more arthritic and facing knee surgery, both of which were making it more and more difficult to care for Q. She told me she was leaving DRNA but that she was trying to find Q a new foster home before she did.

Okay.

Three months later: I received another email, asking if I would take Q back. Scott, of course, said “no.” He pointed out that (1) we have foster dog Morven and family dogs Mr. Knightley and Emma; (2) we have two kids; (3) we have a longer commute now from work; (4) Q has special needs (some of which include diapers when inside and assistance when getting in and out of her wheelchair); (5) we would have to board her, b/c of her special needs, and we can’t afford to do that every time we go away for the weekend. And there are probably more, but I zoned out after a certain point.

I related all of the above to Karen and asked if we could foster her for DRNA, thinking that being able to depend on the larger organization for reimbursement of boarding, etc. would take away some of Scott’s objections at least. Here is Karen’s response:

“I’m afraid DRNA told me to have her put to sleep, so I doubt they would assist even with medical needs, and they don’t usually pay for boarding of fosters, special needs or healthy. I have the same problem that no one will take care of her while I am going to be incapacitated. I have not been able to consider putting her to sleep, but if you can’t take her, I’m afraid that is her fate. I don’t say this as a threat, but fact. Please don’t feel guilty if that is the way it has to be. She had a second chance because of you. I’m the one who feels I let her down.”

I read S. the email, and he didn’t tell me not to go get her, so I took that as a yes and made arrangements (unbeknownst to him) to pick her up at the end of the week. I made sure she looked her best for her reunion with Scott, which was very sweet:

I heard all five points (about why this is a bad idea) again; in response, I read S. the email again. He listened. Then, he said: “I’m glad you got her back. They don’t deserve her.”

Indeed.

And I have to believe there is value in sacrificing a bit of comfort to make life better and kinder for someone (or something) in need.

Who knows? It may be easier than we think. Tracy has suggested that we train Morven (who is butting into the photo, below) to take care of Quinby. I think that’s a brilliant idea: a service dog for a handicapped one.

Welcome back, Quinby.

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In Praise of Dachshund Rescue of North America

October 16, 2011

Hurrah for Quinby! Karen, a representative from Dachshund Rescue of North America, picked her up today. So, Q is off to Cummings, GA, to be spoiled and rehabilitated and spoiled some more.

We had all gotten so attached to Quinby. Me. The kids. The pups. Just look at Quinby and Elloree, below:

I even overheard Scott, who pretends that he’s only along for the fostering ride, tell Quinby affectionately, “Bye, Q. I really liked you. You’re a good girl.” He went so far as to say we would have kept her, if we could have given her the attention she needs, the attention that DRNA is experienced in providing.

My DRNA contact described Quinby’s new foster mother Karen as “the best” of the best. Quinby will be Karen’s second “cart” dog. Karen found a forever home for the first one, even flying with her to Massachusetts to get her there. And she’s fostered other dachshunds with back injuries, some of them improving enough to leave the cart behind.

Karen said that Q will be visiting an acupuncturist, and that she’ll have surgery, no matter how expensive, if surgery is an option. And, if not . . . well . . . Karen said Q will be a “fine ambassador” for DRNA, just as she is.

And we all agree. So, as a goodbye to Quinby, our top five favorite things about her:

(5) That she has a tongue like Mr. Winkle.

Scott and I have always been fans of Mr. Winkle, the stray that became a doggie modeling sensation after being rescued and adopted by photographer Lara Jo Regan. We buy his calendar every year. We’re convinced that he’s dead now. Wikipedia lists his birthyear as c. 1995, and he wasn’t a pup when found. But, the calendars keep coming every year. And every year we buy them.

One of the most remarkable things about Winkle is his tongue, which is out all the time because of a jaw injury. Quinby doesn’t have a jaw injury that we know of, but when she’s relaxed, her tongue will slip out, just like Mr. Winkle’s. One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t get a photo, but every time I crept up with the camera, she pulled in the tongue. If only I could have convinced her that it adds to her cuteness, I would have had the next Ms. Winkle.

So, Karen, if you can convince her to stick out the tongue on demand: Get Lara Jo on the phone.

(4) That she looks and acts like a seal.

Well, that’s not the best photo to illustrate the fact that she looks and acts like a seal, but you can kind of see how her back legs just sort of flop over, like flippers.

Quinby’s front legs are so strong that she’s able to carry her back weight easily. In the mornings, we loved hearing her distinctive “click, click, thump” keeping up speed with Emma’s and Knightley’s “click, click, click, click.”

Also like a seal, she puts a lot of expression in her neck, turning it this way and that, especially when she has an itch that needs scratching. Scratching: difficult to do if you’re a dog and your two back legs don’t work like they’re supposed to. We always knew, though, when Q needed help by the way she craned her neck. And we were always happy to oblige.

(3) That she uses the toilet. — sometimes.

I have cleaned up a lot of potty accidents since getting Quinby. Dr. Currie had warned me that “the bathroom thing” would be “the hardest part” when I took Q in. He wasn’t sure she’d be able to feel when she has to go. And, we’re still not sure if she does or doesn’t. As a puppy mill dog (yes, we’re convinced she was one), she was probably never house trained, so it’s difficult to know whether it’s (A) that she can’t feel she has to go; or (B) that she just doesn’t know not to go in the house.

Regardless, for a few days I felt like I was cleaning up all the time. Scott and Jack didn’t help. When I started fostering, Scott agreed to it, but he said  I’d have to clean up any “dog pee and poop.” And he’s taken so much delight in pointing out potty accidents and watching me get to work with paper towels and cleaning solution that Jack has gotten in on the fun:

“Mommy! Pee!” he’ll say, pointing at water from an ice cube melting on the floor. “Mommy! Poop!” he’ll say, pointing at dirt A. has tracked in.

SIGH.

But, just when I was about at my wit’s end, I read a blog post written by a woman caring for a similarly disabled dog. She also talked about those days of endless potty accidents, and of coming to terms with them. — which she finally did when she started repeating the following as a mantra:

THERE ARE WORSE THINGS IN THIS WORLD THAN POOP.

And indeed there are.

Once I relaxed, Q did too. And then she used the toilet. — several times, for both me and Scott. We couldn’t have been more proud of her.

(2) That she has spunk.

Quinby’s back legs may not work like they used to, but her nose still does. And, when she picks up a scent, she’s off. — whether that means she has to hop or roll.

Jump off a couch? No big deal.

Bounce/roll down a flight of stairs? Not a problem

Knock larger, more fit dogs out of the way? Done and done.

It’s like Q doesn’t know that she’s different. Or, if she does, she just thinks it works to her advantage.

(1) That she’s a cyborg wiener dog.

Really: enough said.

Finally, I’m thankful for Quinby, because she’s the reason I met the wonderful people who work with Dachshund Rescue of North America. I sent the following email on the day I picked up Quinby, Sept. 22:

“Dear friends at Dachshund Rescue,

I’m in Columbia, SC, and I foster dogs. At the local kill shelter I pull from, they were about to euthanize an owner-surrendered 5 year old dachshund, because she has lost control of her two back legs. HOWEVER, she does not seem as though she’s in pain, and moves enthusiastically by crawling, using her two front legs. She eats and drinks enthusiastically too. I just got her twenty minutes ago, and I admit that I’m out of my league. I just didn’t want to see her put down. Please advise.”

I got a response within the week. Please visit their web page and consider donating, in Q’s honor, so that they can continue the work they do so well:

http://drna.org/

And, no offense to the handsome dachshund in the featured photo on their web page, but I think Quinby should have a turn. 😉

Until then, I’ll close with one of my favorites: Q,curled up for a nap. Her tongue is sticking out, no doubt, but she’s hiding it from me.

Thank you, Karen, for giving her a safe place, where I know she’ll thrive. — because she’s Quinby. And thriving is what she does best.

The Fisk Fosters Enjoy Fall. And Quinby Uses the Toilet.

October 2, 2011

Poor Quinby. The vet warned us that because of Q’s injury, she may not be able to tell when she has to go to the bathroom. Scott and I still haven’t decided whether she knows or not. True, she often hops over to us and whines right before she goes, but that may be because she’s hopping over to us ALL THE TIME. — to be petted, to be fed a treat, to be given a toy.

So, to prevent cleaning up after Q’s “accidents,” we’ve been putting her in doggie diapers. To start with, we were paying $15 for a pack of 15. Yes. Doggie diapers are $1.00 apiece. Then, I figured out that Jack and Quinby wear EXACTLY the same size in diapers, so they’ve since been sharing, and I’ve been cutting out the hole for Q’s tail myself.

Q is not impressed.

She’s decided that she prefers to use the toilet. Scott and I watched a youtube video in which the owner of a handicapped dachshund enthusiastically described how she takes her handicapped dachshund “to potty.” Basically, she holds her over the toilet, pokes her in the bladder, and the dog goes in the toilet. “It’s easier than when she wasn’t handicapped, and I had to walk her and pooper-scoop!” she gushed.

So, we decided to try it. I held Q over the toilet, poked her where I imagined her bladder would be, and she went. Hooray for Q!

To celebrate, we went outside to enjoy the Fall day, but we had to snap this photo before going outside. See, below, Uncle Edisto and the pups, enjoying a Sunday afternoon nap:

Once outside, Q was all smiles:

Gertie ran up to greet us:

And, then, we were all mobbed by the pups:

Yes. In the photo, below, Bradley appears to be winking.

Of all the pups, B is the most fascinated with Aunt Q’s wheels and is always begging her for a ride . . .

. . . whereas Elloree, normally the go-getter of the group, hung back on the kids’ swing, unsure. Unsure, but awfully cute.

And Hilda, the smart one, decided to stay out of trouble and hang with Arina instead. — which may not be that smart, since trouble seems to find A. whether she’s at home or at school.

Finally, Arina decided to rescue Quinby by cuddling Bradley . . .

. . . and then cuddling Hilda, who needed it, because I had just washed her face, after noticing it was dirty in the photo, above.

Quinby, pup free at last! To celebrate, she strikes her most impressive pose. I’m sure she’s pretending she saw a squirrel. She’s pretending, because if she really saw a squirrel, she’d be using her wheels to run him over.

Seriously. We pup-sat for my parents this weekend. Joe and Harley were standing at one end of the hallway, Q at the other. She growled once before taking off. They scattered like bowling pins. Things were dicey, until they realized that they could get away from her by climbing the stairs.

Q’s next goal is to learn how to climb stairs. She can come down them in her chair but hasn’t quite mastered how to climb them. She already knows how to use a toilet, though, so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

Quinby gets a new ride. And I do too!

September 24, 2011

Today, Scott is awesome, because he made a wheelchair for new foster Quinby.

Parts include: 1 doggie harness, which we had; 2 wheels from an old umbrella stroller, which we had; unused velco car seat strap padding, which we had; 2 velcro straps from an old pair of Arina’s knee pads, which we had; lightweight aluminum piping and bolts, which we bought.

At first, Quinby wasn’t too sure . . .

. . . but, once outside, she learned how great doggie wheelchairs really are.

She ran from one side of the yard to the other, standing at attention whenever she heard a noise she thought merited investigation.

And then she’d investigate. I took so many photos, but most of them are blurry. Finally, I managed to get her to hold still by holding her.

And she indulged me by posing for a profile shot.

Well done, Scott! And S. is doubly awesome, because he got me a new ride too. — a 2011 Honda Element! This was the first (and probably the only time in our lives) when we drove a car out of the showroom, but the Element at Midlands Honda had all of the dog friendly accessories that we couldn’t resist.

http://automobiles.honda.com/element/dog-accessories.aspx

We managed to get a good deal, because (1) the car is orange, and we pointed out to the salesman that no one in Gamecock Country will buy an orange car with a dog paw emblem that could be mistaken for a Clemson tiger paw (my plan is to get a big Gamecock sticker for the back window, by the way); and (2) who else would want dog bone floor mats, seat covers with dog heads, and a custom built dog kennel in the back? No one but me.

We had been looking at cars for awhile, since we outgrew the little Toyota Corolla we bought pre-kids by 2 more people and a pack full of dogs. The Element is perfect for us.

BUT, before Scott signed the papers, he asked that I slow down a bit. I agreed, since he said, “Maybe only three fosters at a time.” Originally, his rule was one. He pointed out that getting this car would make me slow down. The Toyota was paid off; the Honda . . . um . . . is not. And, even with the generous donations I’ve received so far, I’m nowhere near the amount I’ve put into pulling and vetting.

Still, I’m super excited and you can see that I’ve been putting the new ride to good use. The pups approve.

As for the latest foster, rescued post new car and when we’re already past our 3 fosters-at-a-time limit . . . well, Scott says that we’ll make an exception for Quinby.

Chester Quinby

September 24, 2011

Pulled: Thursday September 22, 2011 from City of Columbia Animal Shelter

Rescue commitment: Sunday October 16, 2011 by Dachshund Rescue of North America

Meet Chester Q, squared. There is only one “Q” town in SC (my system of naming fosters), but since it’s a name I like, I’m going to have more than one Quinby foster. Q2 is a very special Quinby.

She is a 5-year old paralyzed mini-dachshund. I didn’t intend to get a dog on Thursday. I was at the animal shelter to pick up Kincaid, not to get another dog. In fact, I made a deal with Scott (that I’ll write about soon), and part of the deal is to slow down with the fostering.

I was in a different section of the animal shelter than I normally visit, the lost and found/relinquishment part of the shelter, rather than the adoption part, waiting for one of the shelter workers to bring me Kincaid.

A man walked in with Quinby.

Me: “Oh, you have a mini-dachshund! I have two at home!” [See our Mr. Knightley and Emma in the photo below.]

Man: “Yes.”

Me, noticing her back legs: “Oh no. What happened?”

Man: “I don’t know. She was already crippled in one leg. Then, she got into a fight with another dog, I guess. She’s suffering. Time to put her down.”

Me: “How old is she?”

Man: “Five.”

I looked at Quinby. She was using her two front legs to crawl around on the floor. She kept crawling to the man, trembling and whining. I kept expecting him to pick her up and comfort her, but he either ignored her or told her to sit still. To me, her suffering seemed to be more emotional than physical.

Emma is seven and Knightley is six. I looked at her and saw a slightly younger Knightley looking back at me.

“I’ll take her,” I said quietly, not sure how the people at the lost and found/relinquishment desk would react. I explained that I work with rescues, some of which focus on dogs with disabilities.

The man looked at me in surprise. “Okay. Yeah. I’d rather give her to you than euthanize her if you think you can help.”

One of the shelter workers overheard us and told us that we’d have to go outside “to talk about that.” So, we did. Once outside, the man confessed that Quinby didn’t get into a dog fight, that she was “run over” two weeks ago.

He didn’t take her to the vet after it happened. She was infested with fleas, and her nails look like they’ve never been cut. She looks like she’s had litters of puppies, and I wonder if the man was breeding her to sell the pups.

He had cared enough to wrap her most injured leg, but he hadn’t changed the wrapping in two weeks, so Quinby smelled like rotting flesh.

When I walked in holding Quinby, my mother and grandmother, who were visiting, assumed she was Knightly. — until I put her on the floor.

I immediately launched into an explanation and concluded by saying “Maybe she’ll have to be euthanized, but she at least deserves a vet visit. And to be rid of fleas. And to have a good meal and to be treated nicely before she dies.”

They didn’t argue. And my sweet grandmother slipped me a hundred dollars to pay for her vet visit.

Mom and I took her to our vet, Dr. Currie, who prescribed steroids and antibiotics but doesn’t hold out hope that she’ll regain feeling in her legs. Still, the vet tech said that Quinby was trying to wag her tail when I was speaking to her. Dr. Currie agreed that Quinby’s young and strong and isn’t in pain, so that helping her is worth an effort.

The effort hasn’t been quite what I’d expected it to be. — but in a good way. I put her outside when I got home, and she escaped from the fence. Being so small, she managed to slip under the front gate.

I saw her out my window, went to get her, and realized how quickly she can hop on her two front legs. Every time I almost had her, she’d hop under a car. When I finally got back with her, I was wet and muddy from what was left of an earlier rainstorm.

Mom: “What happened to you?”

Me: “The handicapped dog got away from me.”

Mom: “She only has two legs!”

Me: “Two legs that are faster than mine.”

And before the end of the day, she had climbed the stairs on the wood deck (how, I don’t know) AND escaped from the fence AGAIN. The second time, Miriam, my next door neighbor, and I chased her all the way down the street.

Handicapped?

Handicapable.

Finally, though, I think she’s realized that she doesn’t have to run away, that I’m not going to take her back to the shelter, or back to be poked and prodded by the vet (at least not immediately). Instead, she gets a nice bed, a dog bone, and a purple hippo. And, Scott’s working on her doggie wheelchair as I type.

And, in return, we get a big smile.

Favorite moment so far? Yesterday, Edisto jumped off the picnic table onto Kincaid. He did so accidentally, but Kincaid was startled from his nap, and attacked Edisto in retribution. The result: Ed has a scratch on one of his legs.

E. refused to eat, insisted on sleeping/pouting in the armchair upstairs, and came down at one point for sympathy, lifting his leg (the wrong one, that wasn’t scratched, by the way) for us to see.

Quinby hopped in the room, dragging her back legs behind her, and flashed a big doggie grin.

Ed looked at her legs, looked at his, and went back upstairs.

Good girl, Quinby.