Yippee!!! The toe was successfully removed!!! =;-) I was able to have the surgery -- thank all the Goddesses and such! =:-D Everything went well. There were cultures taken of the area as well as of the "inside" of the toe to make sure that there isn't an unknown critter around and about. This will also make sure that the two IV antibiotics I'm on are, indeed, the right ones. Further, it will help determine how much longer I'll need to stay on the drugs. I'm going to go to bed shortly and will catch you all again sometime over the weekend. Again, thank you for all of your continued support and friendship. I truly am grateful and appreciative. Huge hugzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz to all! =:-)
Tipper has discovered a way to lengthen his torture of captured prey while keeping them alive -- well, that is, mice and birds ... his method hasn't yet been tried on snakes. He takes the poor thing into the bathtub where the slippery sides prevent the bird or mouse from escaping. The first few times involved birds and I just thought it was coincidence that they somehow hopped up and got into the tub but then I caught him depositing one there this morning. Later, when I came home from the hospital, he had two mice in there. Needless to say, he is quite peeved with me when I get the critters out of the tub and release them back outside.
The problem with the birds is that they are fledglings and I have to try to place them into a thick hedge across the street where they have a chance of making it. Sadly, there isn't a "wildlife" group here that will deal with uninjured animals. I wish he'd stop but it's to be expected given his months of fending for food on his own. One good thing about this new "tub play" is that they have a better chance of survival as he isn't so quick to kill them when he's bored of playing with them ... he will let them be and return later. This gives me time to realize he has a "living" toy and to snap them up and release them again outside. He's my little spitfire! LOL!!!
Chase is doing very well back at rescue. He had another cardiac work-up and the DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy) seems to have disappeared! The veterinary cardiologist looked at all the x-rays and ultrasound images from our vet here and agrees with their initial diagnosis but there is no sign of DCM currently. Chase astounds everyone as this is unusual. The vet does still see a "shadow" on the heart as did our vet but it's not worth investigating further if there are no symptoms. It is a noticeable mass that could be caused by a number of things. Identifying it could create greater health issues and pose life-threatening risks given Chase's age so it will be left "alone" until such time that it presents problems/symptoms. Chase is off all medications except Fish Oil which seems to work better in Danes than glucosamine and chondroitin for joint issues. His "stool" incontinence continues and they are much better-suited for dealing with that.
I am very happy that he continues to do well. He'll be 11 next weekend -- June 9th -- and is the oldest dog at the rescue as a "sanctuary" dog or otherwise. Given his current health status, there's no reason he won't live a year or more -- quite old for a Dane. I still miss him very, very much ... as I'm sure each of you can imagine. The day he was stuck between the bed, a window, the wall, and an in-room air conditioning unit was heartbreaking for me. It took me about 30 minutes to get him free and he was patiently "stuck" with all four of his paws up around his ears. It was a horrible position for him to be in ... one which I'm sure caused great pain in his hips and back legs ... but he was patient and stayed calm as I worked and struggled. I knew then that my own health condition and problems were making it unfair for him and that the best thing for him was to return to rescue and be a sanctuary dog living out retirement there.
Several friends have offered to take me to see him or to pay for me to go there. While I greatly appreciate these thoughtful and kind offers, I know that it would only be upsetting for Chase. I've discussed it at great length with the two vets here that know him well, our doggy behaviorist at the doggy day care and boarding facility, the woman in charge of rescue (who knew him well during the five years he was there before I adopted him), and an animal communicator I know from an online e-mail list. During the time Chase was with me, he has been used to periods of time when I was in the hospital and he was boarded or when he was sick and in the hospital. In each of those cases, he would see me and then come back "home." This time, he would see me but would be left behind ... he wouldn't be going "home" with me. Everyone believes that he would feel abandoned and, at his age, not fare well. So, for his sake, I'd rather not risk it. Again, so sad but it's what's best for my little guy.
There was also a suggestion by an anipal to get a camera for placement there to watch Chase. I mentioned this to Dale (the lady in charge there and founder of the rescue) and she laughed and laughed and laughed. She asked me if I wanted her to be divorced, and I was confused. She said that the one thing her husband drew the line on was a "live" camera in their home! (The sanctuary dogs live in the house with Dale and her husband. They are not in the kennel or group rooms in the buildings that house the rescue dogs.) So, while I appreciate the camera idea and thank you all for your continued thoughtfulness, I have to pass on the bad news that a Chase Cam is not feasible.
I also must confess that I posted something "wrong" in an earlier note to everyone! (Forgive me!) I said that Chase's playmate, buddy, and pal was Lyndon but it's not! It's Lennon!!! Here is his page on the rescue website -- http://www.hhdane.com/sanctuary/lennon.htm -- he's a gorgeous boy. I am a bit surprised that this is a dog of Chase's choosing and liking because, while Lennon does see and does hear, his vision and hearing are both limited and, as a result, he is very dependent upon another dog as a "buddy." Chase has always gotten along with other dogs but definitely preferred being "alone" and not having a "pal" rely on him in any way, such as a hearing- and/or vision-impaired Dane. However, these two get along like two houses afire! They have taught each other some "fun" (read that to mean "BAD") habits -- Chase passed along his love of tearing up beds; Lennon taught Chase the joy of toys and gutting them; Chase showed Lennon how to act all sad and moody to get more affection and attention; Lennon got Chase to gnaw and slobber on elk antlers so that no one will touch them and take them away when cleaning up around them; and much more! =;-) My little child is incorrigible! BOL! MOL!!!
I also want to thank everyone for their generosity in donating money to Harlequin Haven Rescue to help support Chase as a sanctuary dog. You are all so kind and thoughtful, and I truly greatly appreciate it.
Dale, the head of rescue, has been very busy with a special needs Dane and asked me to pass along great thanks to Boris The Kitty for a huge box of toys and goodies that arrived. She let Chase have first pick, and he chose a skunk and "Lamb Chop." Chase has been shaking and tearing into the skunk -- who'd have thunk! =;-) ... and he uses Lamb Chop as a pillow. So, thank you on behalf of rescue, too!
I'm attaching some recent pictures that Dale managed to take (some show Chase with Lamb Chop) and two which I recently found on an old camera. I hope you enjoy them. =;-)
Thanks for reading all of this ... I've practically written a novel! BOL! MOL! I wish you all a pleasant weekend and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you for being such great friends to me. Huge hugzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ...
RAY, CHASE & TIPPER -- @DaneRay