If you’ve ever adopted a dog, from a shelter or other kind of fostering organization, you’ve been given a folder of all the necessary information about your animal. When we adopted Lucy we were given a folder that did not contain a record of the fact that she had been returned before or was given to the shelter with parasites, I’ve got a whole post about adopting her, if you’re interested I’ll leave it here. We figured that the reasoning behind the discrepancy was that we adopted her from a nonprofit organization.
Adopting Mickey has proven to be completely different, but just as difficult. We adopted Mickey through a fostering organization. The organization has somewhere around 20 foster homes between Jacksonville, FL and Savannah, GA. We wholeheartedly believe in this organization so do not take this post as bashing the organization we got Mickey from. We’re just trying to be open and honest about our experience.
We got Mickey on Saturday, the 18th. We ended up talking with his foster mom for about twenty minutes while she was waiting for the people who were adopting Mickey’s sister to show up and we picked up on a few strange kind of things. She kept reinforcing the fact that he was ‘growing like a weed’ to us. Earlier in the week she (without us asking) told us he was was around 17 pounds and when we showed up we were greeted with a 25 pound pup. Obviously, we don’t really care, but what if we had been the type of people that do care? What if we had shown up and said never mind, he’s too big?
I asked about the vet records she briefly showed us and she said, ‘oh yeah, all of that is just routine stuff, he’s up to date on everything, perfectly healthy.’ When we asked about heartworm prevention we were ignored.
While bringing him into the car I noticed he had more than a few fleas hopping around so when we got home I put a topical treatment on him, unfortunately it didn’t work.
We were originally going to make an appointment to bring him to the vet on Tuesday, when I would be able to take off work and spend the day sitting with him, but he wasn’t able to hold down food. And the food that he did hold down came out a few hours later as horrible diarrhea. Instead, we took him in on Monday… Because we didn’t have an appointment we spent almost six hours in the waiting room.
The vet came in and I explained that he needed flea preventatives, she agreed to give him a Capstar. I explained that he wasn’t on any heartworm medication, she agreed we would start him on Trifexis (Lucy is also on Trifexis). She sat on the floor and cuddled with him for a minute while I explained that he also had diarrhea, wouldn’t eat much, and had vomited multiple times. She advised us to give him antibiotics. We waited for his fecal test to come back, positive for two types of parasites, he was going on Panacur…
Panacur was something on his vet records, he’d been given the medication on two different occasions, about a month apart. Tapeworm is generally contracted when the animal (in our case, a puppy) eats an infected flea, usually while chewing on where the flea is biting. Mickey had parasites in the beginning of January, was given Panacur, and then when he went back to the vet three weeks later he was diagnosed with parasites again, and was again given Panacur.
When we got him in mid February he had noticeable worms in his feces. The vet advised that perhaps when he went back to his foster home, which was obviously flea infested, he was not given a flea treatment, so the cycle would have continued for who knows how long. My problem with this is that the foster mom 1) did not tell us he had been diagnosed with parasites twice already and 2) allegedly did nothing to treat the litter of puppies for their flea and parasite problem.
I have issues with the fact that the foster mom pushed really hard in telling us that he was completely healthy with no known medical problems. I have issues with the fact that she fibbed about his weight. At three months, the difference of eight pounds is huge. Lucy was 17 pounds when we adopted her and she was about five and a half months old, not hitting 25 pounds until about seven months. Only at about a year did she hit 50. Again, if I cared about the size of the dog I would have specifically asked how much he weighed before paying the adoption fee.
I also have issues with the fact that she did not mention to us that he would need more vaccinations. Yes, I understand that it’s my responsibility as a puppy owner to consult with a vet about what he needs but I feel like it was her responsibility to tell me what she knew he still needed.
Now, regardless of all of these problems we’ve encountered, I could not be more grateful to have Mickey in our lives.
I don’t think I’ve specifically mentioned in any post about Lucy’s horrible anxiety. She is akin to a velcro dog in that she needs to be with people constantly. I personally believe that all dogs are little velcro stickers who just want to spend endless amounts of time with their owners. Lucy and Mickey are only alone in our house an average of four hours and that’s only on weekdays. It was during these four hours that Lucy would get so anxious she would make herself sick and when we got home she would be so hyped we were worried she was going to hurt herself.
Before getting Mickey we tried giving Lucy pieces of our clothing, and that helped a little. We tried leaving the TV on, that didn’t seem to help at all. At night we gave her chamomile tea and she would at least sleep a little bit more peacefully. We didn’t want to just keep her quiet so we did not try thunder shirts nor did we take her to the vet to have her medicated, as some of our research suggested to do.
My mom commented that her dog, Mocha, was extremely anxious all the time until she hit about five years old. Surprisingly, a lot of people just suggest waiting out the puppy years and eventually the anxiety will [read : usually] get better. Instead of waiting a few years and hoping Lucy will mellow out we did some more research and got her a brother.
It’s been almost two weeks with Mickey and we couldn’t be happier with the way they’ve been getting along. Mickey is currently about half Lucy’s size so she beats him up a little bit but soon enough he’s going to be bigger than her and he’ll get his revenge. They don’t really cuddle together but Mickey’s not much of a cuddle dog, which is okay.
The biggest change we’ve seen in Lucy is that she is drastically more calm on a regular basis. She still gets excited when we get home from work and whines when she wants to go outside but she doesn’t jump four feet in the air every time we walk through the door, she isn’t chewing on her legs or licking her crate every time we start to get ready to leave and this is an extreme turnaround from how she was just weeks ago.
At the end of the day, Mickey brought so much good to us that I don’t know how we would have kept going with another dog. Now, if we could just get him leash trained…
Until next time! Xx