Monday, March 25, 2013

Brownie crosses the Rainbow Bridge

By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.

For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.
For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.

The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.

-- Steve and Diane Bodofsky --
Till we meet again my sweet boy...

(details later)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I will get the vet's prognosis tomorrow

Brownie today - runny nose, lots of eye discharge

He didn't use to look like this. He's often been mistaken (like myself) as some neighbour's dog because he looked pretty healthy. I only to find out later that he was actually homeless and partially taken care "food-wise" by a neighbour.

Update: I've been asked to get a second opinion since the first opinion was the test kit as the vet was not on site to physically examine him.

Yes, I will need an expert opinion and a house call as he cannot make a trip to the vet. I guess the vet has to bring meds for both options - to put him down and antibiotic, flu and serious booster jab to increase his immunity, depending on the prognosis.

There will be hope if he takes his medication. Otherwise, it will just deteriorate and will be a bad situation all round. :(

Disease progression from Wikipedia

The virus first appears in bronchial lymph nodes and tonsils two days after exposure. The virus then enters the blood stream on the second or third day. A first round of acute fever tends to begin around three to eight days after infection, which is often accompanied by a low white blood cell count, especially of
lymphocytes, as well as low platelet count. These signs may or may not be accompanied by anorexia, a runny nose, and discharge from the eye.

This first round of fever typically recedes rapidly within 96 hours, and then a second round of fever begins around the 11th or 12th day and lasts at least a week. Gastrointestinal and respiratory problems tend to follow, which may become complicated with secondary bacterial infections.

Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, otherwise known as encephalomyelitis, is either associated with this, subsequently follows, or comes completely independent of these problems. A thickening of the footpads sometimes develops, and vesicularpustular lesions on the abdomen usually develop. Neurological symptoms typically are found in the animals with thickened footpads from the virus. About half of sufferers experience meningoencephalitis.

Final journey home

Final resting place
Even before the recent events, I have often wondered what will happen to Brownie once it was time for him to go. Will he find a quiet place and go to sleep? Will he come looking for someone to help him?
Unfortunately, the recent chain of events was not his own doing. Out of all that has happened, he did help us find Bowser. That is his final good deed before going over the rainbow.
This afternoon, we decided to prepare to bury him under the lovely red frangipani outside the house. I think he would be happy resting outside the house in his neighbourhood. I'm happy with the place. I have a white frangipani I've been meaning to plant somewhere. So, planting it over the plot would be perfect....amongst the three red frangipanni.
Now, I am only hoping that my vet will make a house call for the procedure tomorrow. We broached the topic yesterday. Understandably, she said if he is tested positive, he would not allowed to come into the vet as it's contagious. Hence, the procedure will have to be done in car or by the roadside....which would be just awful and scary for the poor boy. So, I'd rather have him sleep in peace in a familiar place at home and quickly buried in his plot.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The rainbow awaits him

Brownie in 2011
I am tracing my posts to find our first encounter with Brownie. It was sometime June 2011. Almost 2 years ago. Seems like yesterday when he first came to our lives. I thought he was someone's dog but later found out he was homeless. Yet, he was happy roaming in the streets. Rather notorious to visitors to the neighbourhood but friendly to some neighbours in several different roads who noticed his recent disappearance.

Since coming back from PAWS, his health had deteriorated drastically. At first, I thought he was depressed about being under house arrest. He did not show any symptoms of being ill earlier.

He didn't seem to want to eat during meal time. Some days, his bowl was left untouched. Some days, it was cleaned up. Only last night I saw a cat in my garden, so it might be someone else had been eating his food lately. But definitely something was wrong when he is not eating immediately.

He's still ok about walking around the neighbourhood. We have not done so the last 2 nights because it was raining.
Today, Brownie refused to get into the car to the vet. So I went to get his medication for his cough. After describing the symptoms, it was indicative of canine distemper. The vet said that it is very dangerous to bring in an unvaccinated dog, especially from the pound. Lesson learnt. I have to keep a watchful eye on my kids in the coming months. So, I purchased the test kit, his antibiotics, cold medication and a can of "critical care" food (according to the vet is super delicious).

Brownie's test results

Had to swab his eye discharge, nose and saliva at home. It came out positive pretty quickly. Reading WebMD, he has all the signs (even before doing the test). It looks like he is in Stage 1 now. Mixed his medication with his vet-prescribed food. But, still not eating. :(
So, I will probably bring this poor sweet boy in on Monday to be put down. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

The enemy within

A week after our rescue of Brownie, my kids began coughing. Both coughed out phelgm all over the floor. Monday night being the most severe - coughing all through the night. Like the last times (this and this), it had to happen during the night when no vet is open. And like the last time, I didn't sleep the whole night. Ruki nudged me a few times during the night. I think he wanted to go to the "doctor place".

It's bad when both dogs are sick at the same time.

First thing the next morning, we went to our vet. As usual, Haruki loves the vet. I think he likes the attention. Considering that Riko is "anti-vet", she was quite a trooper. It's her first visit here...and I think she's more comfortable with a lady vet. When I went out to get Ruki (leaving her in the examination room), she ran from the door to the doctor's side across the examination table. Good sign that she trusts her, rather than waiting by the door for me to come back.
Checking heart beat and breathing
Checking temperature
It looks like kennel cough. Probably something caught from PAWS via Brownie. But Brownie has no cough symptoms like Ruki or Riko. Dr. Joeanne says Riko has a slight fever but her breathing is less congested than Ruki. The good news is that Ruki has lost 2 kg since his last visit in October. He's now 38 Kg. It sounds good in kilos....but in pounds - he lost 5 pounds to 83 pounds. I would like to get him under 80 pounds.

Dr. Joeanne preparing the medication

Waiting to get their medicine

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Great Escape

While trying to nudge Brownie away from his night carers front gate during our walk, the whole collar slipped out of his neck. He was all too glad to enjoy his new found freedom.

He ran towards the darkness of back lanes only to return to his night carer's front gate when I left. The night carer (Mala) and her neighbour brought him by the leash, back to my house. Poor boy... he thought he was home-free. I think my house is not the most popular to him these days.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Road to recovery - Brownie

I think Brownie is depressed from being under house arrest. But, he needs to stay indoors otherwise he'll end up in jail again!
We went walking yesterday and passed his night carer's house. Yesterday, we bumped into that neighbour and she was glad to see him (they call him doggy) again. Apparently, her ex-student was one of the MPPJ staff that picked him up and informed her that he was taken to PAWS. She wanted to go to PAWS but she was afraid she couldn't ID him. Moreover, she can only care for one dog in her home.
I think he misses roaming  the streets and his night carer.
Not eating well. Still not putting on weight. Fur condition is not good.

His balls are still intact.

Road to Recovery - Bowser

I presume Bowser may have ended up in the PAWS adoption ads in the papers, if not taken. This posting was in yesterday's The Star newspaper. Just like cousin's old daschund - Noddy. Poor boy.
We visited Bowser on the weekend. Old pals....cousins marching on the driveway!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Even dogs need retirement homes

Brownie has been under house arrest since he was bailed out from PAWS. He has been well-behaved considering that this is so far off his normal routine for the past 3 years. First three nights, he was bark-howling late at night for me to let him out. Last night was the first night he didn't bark to ask to be let outside.

He is getting a very short walk along my road in the morning and a longer one in the evening.

I started to look at possible retirement homes for him. I have to send him to the vet to do item 3 below before sending him in. I have not check whether he still has his balls since coming back from PAWS.


Terms and conditions for leaving a dog under our care are as follows : -

1) 2 months advance as deposit (RM 300)
2) RM150 monthly
3) Rescuers are required to send the rescued animals to private vets for vaccination, deworming, treatments and neutering (for 6 months and above). Other subsequent medical bills if required will be borne by individual rescuers.

I will be apprehensive if the place looked like PAWS.
But, it looks pretty decent. Hopefully, a place in the country is also great for a city dog like him.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Operation Save the Dogs (STDs) - The Sequel

What are the odds that we find another familiar dog at PAWS?
My sisters headed for the 3rd and 4th class (i.e. strays, no collar, no adoption hope) hold up cells, out back of the center. I was quite blur... I started searching for Brownie in the wrong holdup area. If I hadn't been at the wrong place, we would not have noticed a beagle amongst the mass of dogs standing on urine-stained cement floor.

OMG....I thought Bowser 2. How awful. He had a blank gaze. When I called his name, there wasn't an immediate response. When he finally looked up, so did the many dogs in the cage....pouncing against the net, barking...take me..take me..




As we did not know it was Bowser, we thought he was a good candidate for our uncle to adopt. We just asked the caretakers why he was sent there. We were told the owner did not have time to take care.
I made some calls to my aunt to ask her to check on Bowser and whether our uncle wants the dog. If our uncle wanted, I will go get him in later that afternoon. After some calls, we found out that Bowser was sent to the shelter by the new owner around CNY period.
So we headed for PAWS again the first thing in the morning.
Statement from my aunt (conversation with new owner)
Apparently, the new owner had to go outstation. Passed the dog to a friend. Friend could not take care and sent to a shelter. After revisiting the facts, I think it was the new owner that left him there
Statement from PAWS
The dog was ABANDONED in the DOORSTEPS of PAWS with his MKA certificate on Feb 15 BEFORE the place opened
My theory
If I were to pass my dog to a friend to dog sit, I don't think I need to pass his MKA cert as well. So, I think the new owner did it himself!
The new owner could not care for the dog. Passed ownership of him with cert to "friend", who in turn dumped him at PAWS.
Hence, he was sitting and sleeping with 50 strange dogs in the urine-stained hold up for a month. We had him taken out. See Meng's wife Kim was already in tears. We called his name...he could not recognise my mum or Kim. There were some similarities in looks but no response to name. He looked smaller in frame. Kim was convinced it was not Bowser. (which was worse...this meant Bowser was still missing or rehomed somewhere).
We checked with the Office Manager (Agnes). We only knew that he was left in a shelter around CNY and his birth date. We had to counter confirm with the new owner whether he was sent to PAWS Subang.
Co-incidentally, he was left there on 15 Feb (around CNY) and was born on 10 October 2010 - same as the birth cert, but no one knew the breeder info or the exact date he was left there. In a way, it is lucky that we had the birth cert to cross check.


So, we decided to take him home. Adoption fee RM400. He was neutered and dewormed...but smelling of urine.
Took him to the groomers. He has ticks. So, he got a tick bath and the complete works. Checked for heartworm - tested clear. Had is neutering stitches taken out because the nylon stitches were left inside.

When we got to my uncle's house, my uncle recognized him immediately. Quote - one look also know it's him la...*curse & swear at new owner*....bring out the milk!.
Checked the old scar in his face. The maid (reason he was sent away) cried because she said who in the world will leave a dog outside the shelter.
Now at Uncle's and Cousin's house to jog his memory.
On the way home, I was telling my lucky are we to chance upon him there. "Must buy number". My mum said she already jotted down his MKA cert number. 

Operation Save the Dog (STD)

I have a love-hate relationship with the neighbourhood stray, Brownie.
I normally don't bother about strays. We met when he kept following my girl and me on our walks. We thought he had an owner and I allowed him to play with my kids. When I found out that he was actually homeless, the thought did cross to foster him in the house.
But, it proved difficult because he is such a free spirit (likes to roam around). Then later, I found out he has a tendency to terrorize people on motorbikes and chase cars.  He was at one point being fed by 2 houses. Most recently, he has breakfast at my place.
Since last Wednesday he did not turn up in the morning. I wasn't that alarmed at first because he had gone missing for more than one week or more and turn up again....thinner.
On Sunday evening, I got confirmation from a neighbour that he was taken by MPPJ.
So yesterday we went to PAWS for the first time ever. We found him at the 4th class holding cell - adult, pure mongrel, no collar, no MPPJ tag..... no potential hope to be re-home...a.k.a. on death row.
Luckily, we managed to recognise him among the hundreds of strays in the holding area.

Who would have thought that we ended up recognizing more than Brownie at PAWS. Read on..

Lost Dog

Quite tragic. This dog was found in Damansara Heights and surrendered to SPCA.
I presume he ran out from his house and got lost. It is an effluent neighbourhood. It must have an owner....a RICH owner....though may not be responsible.
I was really thinking of calling SPCA and see whether can foster.
He really looks like my boy. It might really be Ruki's sibling.
But, purebreds tend to look a like.