Wednesday, September 10, 2008
looking for fleas.
^Baby during one of her better moments. the cotton rag around her neck was to protect it from the elements and the collar...it was red and raw from mange, and during that time i was exercising her more often to get rid of 15 lbs of excess puppy weight!
about three years ago as i was driving to go to the store i red nosed pit bull tied to a gate, bloody, cold and hungry. it just so happened that the gate was across the street from my front door. as i drove past, i noticed the dog looked like it was waiting--patiently--for someone to come get it. figuring it must have an owner, i kept driving, but a nagging in the back of my mind prompted me to say to myself, "if it's not gone by the time i come back, i'll have to untie it."
well as it happens to be, because God seems to want me as keeper of all things needing TLC, when i got back from the store, the dog was still there, patiently waiting. i pulled over, and 6 months pregnant and wobbling...i cautiously approached the dog, noticing that it was a she and her bloodiness was not only worse than i thought, but her attitude was better than i expected. she eagerly wagged her tail at me and tried to trot on over to me, but the rope tied around her neck prevented her from taking more than a few steps.
when i realized not only was she not going to bite me, but that she appeared grateful to have me there--it dawned on me that her owner was NOT coming back for her. so i took off my gloves (it was about 11 degrees outside) and i tried to untie the knot--but it was done tight. so after at least 5 minutes of trying, i realized i couldn't get the knot undone and it was cold and i was feeling every inch of the weather. a passerby saw me struggling and she offered to help me--and for the next 10 minutes, we both struggled in the freezing cold to untie the dog.
finally we got it undone and we reviewed her injuries. to me they looked horrible, but that probably was because i was pregnant and especially sensitive to anything that looked uncomfortable. the woman asked me if i was going to try to help the dog, because she would if she could but she had no where to take her. i told her i'd take her in my house.
that was the beginning of my and the girls relationship with Baby--a red nosed badly bred but heart of gold pit bull.
now, three years later, Baby's mange, which was the cause of her distress and more than likely her owners disposal of her--is not any better. it has it's up and down (mostly down) moments and i noticed that now, she's not as positively effected by medications that she's taking for it. it's bad enough that my already badly strained pockets can't afford another bill, but what makes it worse is that i can't afford her already marked down medications (the vet marked the prices down from 130.00 a shot 2 times a month to 50.00 a dose once a day--30 day supply for me--and that is CHEAP). so i am struggling with her, badly. i wish i had a constant supply of the medicine, but because her mange (which is demodex) is so bad, he's afraid that it will be a lifetime illness, meaning a lifetime of medication.
that has me stressed.
last summer was one of Baby's better moments--she actually had about 17 fleas that nested on her. now while most pet owners despise the little nasty buggers that sap the life and blood from animals worldwide, for Baby, the presence of fleas was a great thing! she was so sick and so bad off that neither fleas nor ticks would come close to her...it was a mixture of the medication and the sickness and the stinch probably...but last summer 17 very brave little fleas decided that they would land on her and suck her blood. this summer, not a single flea is in sight...letting me know that they just don't find her appealing. letting me know that she's having a bad turn of events.
i'm still struggling with her illness--it's very bad. but it has humbled her and made her into one of the most loyal and loving dogs i have ever seen. she has a heart of gold and she smiles at the camera for pictures, despite being in pain. her vet said, "she's more even tempered than even the best pits i've seen. to be in so much pain and not so much as growl--wow what a dog!"
at one time i tried to put her down, but i couldn't bring it in my heart to do it. that was two years ago, and i still haven't done it, because of how much the kids love her, how much i love her, how much it would break us up inside to put her to sleep.
i've been through so much with this dog, i've had to pray over and for her because sometimes she gets so sick she'll stop eating and peeing...and then i feel guilty for even keeping her alive. but even if i wanted to--i can't afford the cost of putting her down. and i don't know if i could ever do that. so right now, yes i am being stingy and selfish in keeping her alive...but it's my only option as far as i can see.
she just had a bath and she's feeling much better. her skin isn't doing too good and we have no medication. when she dries completely i'll take her for a short stroll (she gets exhausted super easily and i don't like to add any extra stress on her), and i'll try to scrape her up a bone for her good attitude.
but unfortunately, there are no fleas this summer.