- Schnoodle, maybe
- Bone / Joint Issues, Dental Issues, Ear Problems, Senior Needs
Lynnwood, Washington, 11 p.m., May 13 2012. We were driving our cat to the 24-hour vet to treat a raging infection, and saw a dark little shape shuffling along the sidewalk. Stopped to investigate, saw it was a small dog, limping and matted. Had to get kitty to the vet pronto, so took the pup along. He let us pick him up easily, seeming more tired and confused than anything else.
Once at the vet, I dealt with kitty (she was fine in the end), while my partner and the receptionists got a better look at the dog. His fur was horribly matted, and seemed to have some kind of yeast growing in it, as did his ears. He had cataracts and was half-blind. Half-deaf, too. His nails were long to the point where they curled under his paws, cutting in to them. His teeth were so rotten and abscessed that the vet jumped on seeing them. No microchip, no message in the vet’s folder of lost pets. He didn’t fear humans at all, so we theorized that he’d belonged to someone who had died suddenly, perhaps an elderly person who may have loved him but who couldn’t see (or smell) what bad shape he was in. Judging by the cataracts and his general shape, the vet guessed he might be about 12. An old lonely blind deaf lame fellow in bad shape, with no-one to take care of him, and a very slim chance of being adopted.
One of the receptionists, an angel called Heather, had been a groomer, and she offered to come to our home the following day to help clean him up. We took him home, gave him the first of many baths (ugh!), fed him, and he settled calmly down to sleep. Heather came in the morning and worked on him for hours, bless her. He needed a full buzz cut, a serious ear-cleaning and nail clipping, and he was the best little dog throughout, as if he knew we were trying to help.
A subsequent visit to the vet confirmed that every single tooth would have to be pulled. Our wonderful friends pitched in, and just a few days later he went in for a 4-hour surgery, coming out a bit groggy and with a cone, but otherwise in fine spirits.
By this time we’d called him Lucky, and decided to keep him. Our fabulous neighbors, who had helped with the surgery, have become his second home, so he always has someone to hang out with. That lonely little shadow on the street will never be alone again. He’s a sweet, trusting, funny little soul, and we’re pretty sure that if there were scientific algorithms of cuteness, they would put him right at the top. The fact that his tongue flops out, since he has no teeth, just adds to the cute.
So now we had a toothless dog. What to feed him? Enter Honest Kitchen. We could have given him pre-soaked kibble, but wanted something better, given his age, and the need to keep his weight down (he limps). Several good stores had recommended freeze-dried food, so we took home some samples of HK and started experimenting to find just the right paté-like consistency. We’ve settled on a blend of Force and Keen. It’s perfect to hide his pills in, sprinkle supplements on, and he wolfs it down like a champ. And it’s easy to take along in the car when we go for little day trips with him - like swimming in the lake, which he loves and which is good for his back legs.
He’s a lucky dog alright, but we’re just as lucky. Everyone who meets him falls in love - he is a little ball of sweetness in a world that is not always kind. Hopefully with Honest Kitchen’s help, we can ensure that we have many more years with him.