All posts by KarenC - Alberta

Sheena, before and after…

I thought that some people might be interested in seeing a before and after shot of our Sheena.

Sheena Before and After

In her “Before” shot, Sheena was 99 lbs and her hair was so matted we had to shear it all off. Her hind mammary glands were hanging down to her hocks. She could barely bend her body enough to turn a circle. Her obesity meant that she had a hard time getting up from sitting or lying down. She had to literally lurch herself upright. Her nails were very long making it all the harder for her to walk properly. That was back in early February. Almost five months ago.

In her “After” shot, SheShe is now around 80 lbs, fully recovered from a mastectomy that removed the troublesome mammary glands. She can turn a circle with ease, walk, run around the yard, jump on the couch, run up the stairs taking two stairs at a time (thank you very much), and ta-DA…she can do a tuckbuttrun like any self-respecting Airedale! Well, her version of it anyway! It’s so nice to see her feeling so perky and funny. She is back to enjoying life and I think she plans to live it to the fullest! Sheena is still looking hard for her forever home! Can you keep up with this ten-year-old-going-on-eight? If you can, email BritishColumbia@airecanada.com or fill in an application at http://www.airecanada.com/applicationform.html

Sheena is still looking for a home!

Sheena is growing her hair back! It’s still thin over her back, but the new hair now growing in is a lovely wire in beautiful copper and black. It seems that all we needed to do was to get her thyroid medication into her at the right time each day.

Sheena subsequently got a staph infection on her skin and needed some antibiotics and a way to help eliminate the bacteria on her skin surface. That too is clearing up nicely and looking lovely!

Sheena has a lot of energy for a 10 year old. This morning she initiated some goofy play with my boy Rio, but I had to ask them to tone it down a little because Rio likes to bite her on the neck and I didn’t want him to cause any irritation. She’s definitely more playful though. It’s all good! Sheena is a mischevious girl and what you THINK she should be like (a sedate matron) is a far cry from what she’s really like. She’s curious about everything, she’s got a sense of humor and a sense of adventure, that’s for sure.

Close up of Sheena's shirt

Sheena has a new shirt to show off….who says mosquito protection can’t be cute as well? This one subtly states that she’s royalty!

Sheena has been in foster care for nearly five months. Somewhere out there, surely, is that special someone who can give their heart to her. In return, just know that you will get a dog that loves you with every cell of her being. She really deserves to have someone of her own to love, to walk (or run!) with and to share her days with. A special bond that she won’t be taken away from, ever again. Please consider this senior who apparently hasn’t a clue that she should act like a senior…because she clearly doesn’t! If you are interested in being Sheena’s special person  http://www.airecanada.com/applicationform.html

Just call me “She”

Sheena has had a lot of healing to do after her mastectomy, but she’s all healed now and doing great! Her only other issue at this time is her hair loss. It might be from alopecia or perhaps not timing her thyroid medication just right? We’re not 100% sure so first of all we’ve adjusted when she gets her thyroid medication and we’ll see first if that helps her regrow some hair. While waiting for that, we decided that Sheena really needed a little protection from the sun and those darn mosquitoes.

So we went shopping. Trying to be thrifty, we’ve adapted a couple of girl’s tank tops. That seems to work really well, actually, to give her some light cover from sun and insects. I embellished the tanks a little. Here Sheena (or “She” as we’ve been calling her) models a summery little number in blue and white tie-dye with cute buttons and a couple of pink flowers. I still need to add a little tie around the waist to show off her new figure.

Sheena in her summer shirt

Sheena continues her walking and diet regimen to help her lose weight. It’s going slowly, but it’s going we think! After her stay at her previous foster home with Gary and Marie-Andrée, she is very fit for a ten year old and can jump and bounce and dance in the kitchen as her meals are prepared!

Sheena is 10 years young, gets along fine so far with other dogs, the cat (the cat disagrees, but then she’s a bit opinionated and grouchy, so what does SHE know) and of course all people. My dog Rio had grouched at her a couple of times, and she hasn’t even thought about retaliating in any way. She is a very sensible girl.

She is currently on a raw diet and it would be preferable if she remain on that kind of diet. Her only medication is her thyroid tablets. They are inexpensive and easy to administer.

Sheena loves, LOVES her walks and sometimes takes the leash in her mouth to hurry you along. She will sleep a good portion of the day away, but as soon as she hears the tinkling of her leash and collar being picked up, she’s at the door in a heartbeat and ready to go! She will pull occasionally on the leash, and she IS strong, but she doesn’t do it a lot and it’s not hard to convince her to walk more politely and be mindful that she’s attached to a human on the other end of the leash. Sheena also loves to cuddle. We have “dog couches” downstairs in the tv room and she easily jumps up to curl up beside me, or she’ll just curl up on one of the dog beds available.

Sheena may or may not regrow all her hair. She may always have some thin or bald areas. We’re just hoping that someone can see past that to the happy, active, I-love-my-life girl underneath it all! Sheena continues to wait for that special person to show up who will just give her the best life possible for the rest of her days….which, at the rate she’s going could be several good years! I know it takes a big heart to adopt a dog knowing that they won’t have her for the same length of time as one might expect when adopting a puppy or much younger adult, but she really deserves to find that person.

Here is a fun video of walking with Sheena, with a little emphasis on the bittersweetness of loving a foster dog and knowing you have to send them on to their forever home at some point.

If you are interested in adopting Sheena, please contact http://www.airecanada.com/applicationform.html

Sheena, Pretty in pink!

Sheena in Pink!

Sheena had a bandage change and for a while there, was very color coordinated. She subsequently had the bandages removed entirely so that air could get to the incision site. She has a lot of healing still to do, but is doing well. She is now on full walks. Sheena is counting the days to when she will be ready to go to her very own forever home. Will she have a home to go to? That’s up to you. She would love to move in to that cozy space in someone’s heart, as well as that cozy space on the couch! If you have that “spare room” that Sheena is longing for, http://www.airecanada.com/applicationform.html

She would also appreciate it if everyone noted how slim and beautiful she is!

Bandage, leash and collar - all pink!

Sheena is out of surgery!

Sheena with a gold bandage

Sheena’s surgery went well, according to the vet. They removed all but two of her mammary glands. All but two had little pockets in them and rather than risk them filling with fluid, they removed them. Her thyroid was tested with Dr. Jean Dodds in the US, and we now have an appropriate dosage of thyroid medication to give her. We are hoping with all the balancing of her diet, her thyroid and her exercise, that there will be some hair growth soon and her thin coat will be a thing of the past. Fingers crossed!

Sheena will spend the night at the vet clinic and tomorrow she should be able to go back to her foster home and begin her convalescence! Keep sending those good thoughts for speedy healing!

Once more, all the kudos have to go to her foster parents who are doing such a remarkable job of getting Sheena healthy and in shape, and giving her back an activity level that will keep her from getting old before her time.

More than anything, this dear Matron of Airedales would like to have her very own home, complete with an active human or two, a cat is optional, another dog is optional, and a comfy couch to lounge on, well, that might be a bit more on the necessity list than the optional list. If you are in Alberta and think your heart is big enough to provide all the love that Sheena needs for rest of her life, http://www.airecanada.com/applicationform.html

A little update on Sheena in Alberta (Now in BC)

Our Sheena has been going through a lovely transformation (down to 83 lbs as of this morning! YAY!!!) thanks to her foster parents, Gary and Marie-Andrée in Edmonton. Sheena has lost some weight, but more importantly she has gained some much needed muscle and mobility through regular long walks…and now RUNS as well! As of today, April 5th, Sheena is undergoing surgery to remove the troublesome, pendulous mammary glands that were the result of an unresolved case of mastitis some three years ago!

I will post another update as soon as Sheena is in recovery at the vet clinic. Please keep paws crossed and send some good thoughts for Sheena! All she will want when she gets home is, I’m sure, to climb back in her favorite spot on the couch. Sheena is still actively looking for her forever home. So if you have it in your heart to give this affectionate girl her wish, http://www.airecanada.com/applicationform.html

Sheena on the Couch

Sheena in Foster Care

Sheena Resting

The Further Adventures of Sheena!

Sheena settled into my place, which is really just a temporary stop before going to her foster home, after a day of trying to get her and my dog Rio to get along. He’s pushy and goofy, she was pushy and not so sure of him. She was really wanting to tell him to knock it off. Some snarking went on and she even got a mouthful of Rio hair at one point. But 24 hours later, they were ignoring each other, politely sniffing, sitting side by side in the kitchen while waiting for meals and even lying close to each other while I worked on the computer. Peace! YAY! Well, almost. Sheena likes cats, but I’m afraid she was just too much for our cat who is quite wary of dogs. So poor Sheena got her nose boxed a few times and got some surprisingly loud growls out of our small gray tabby. Sheena and Rio also played a bit of tug-of-war. Rio didn’t stand a chance at just 50 lbs…literally half of Sheena’s weight. The toy also didn’t stand a chance. Stuffing was littered everywhere when Sheena finally let go and Rio took off with his prize.

Sheena after clipping

The Shearling

On only her second day at my home, we tackled her long matted coat. There was no saving it. What wasn’t matted, was dreadlocked. It would have been torture to try and comb it out. As it was, it took me three hours to shear her. It pains me to take away a dog’s beard and furnishings but it all had to go. By the time I reached her hind legs, she was leaning on me. She was tired. She already had a thin coat over her back as well as some bald spots (could alopecia, could be thyroid), so after taking away the rest of her insulation, she was cold! I went and bought her a pretty pink and gray coat. She appreciated that, and even wore it to bed that night.

The Vet Meets Sheena, Sheena Meets the Scale

After a visit with the vet on Tuesday, Feb 15 (which lasted an hour and a half!), we got a good report on Sheena’s blood work (white cell count, good, no issues detected), but her heart rate was high. Sheena is supposed to be Hypothyroid, but the vet said her heart rate was indicative of being Hyperthyroid. After a quick in-house T4 test, it was confirmed that she was Hyperthyroid. We have adjusted her thyroid meds temporarily and some time next week well take blood for more thorough thyroid testing and then hopefully we can ensure her medication is at a correct level. Her hind mammary glands are pendulous. The vet surmised that the only way they could have gotten in that condition was if she had mastitis, but spayed females don’t get mastitis! After some head scratching about whether she really was spayed or not they took a sample of fluid from the glands (the fluid shouldn’t be there). Sheena shows no sign of infection so it was all the more puzzling. We decided to wait on the results of a culture of the fluid to see what is going on there. We have a mystery. They shouldn’t be in the condition they are in.

Sheena has some vision loss, but the vet says it’s the about same as my own, and attributed to age. She’s likely far-sighted and it’s possible that things close up are a bit out of focus. Do they make reading glasses for Airedales?

We also weighed Sheena. She’s an embarrassing 99 lbs. Carry around all that weight has put a lot of strain on her hips. She does stairs, but it’s clearly difficult for her. Sometimes she walks up each step very slowly, but sometimes she gets a roll going and can bunny hop up two stairs at a time. We think, at the most, she should be 65 – 70 lbs. She’s uncomfortable. If the weight can come off, she’s going to feel so much better.

Sheena sleeping

Mystery Solved…Sort of….

The next day I called the vet clinic that was listed on some papers I got with Sheena. The receptionist remembers Sheena well, and confirmed that she did have mastitis at one time, and was subsequently spayed at that clinic at seven years old. So it explains that she did have mastitis, but not why there is still a discharge from them.

It helped us to establish as well, that some time this year, Sheena will be 10. It also told us that she’s been overweight for some time.

A Sheena Moment

That night, Sheena did something that I didn’t think she was able to do. She hopped up on the love seat! I was seated there already so the momentum of the jump caused her to plow into me. I held my ground, barely, and asked her to lie down. She did so with some difficulty on the soft, cushion-y surface, trying to arrange her hind legs under her. She ended up with her head in my lap. Then she started moaning and whining softly. I asked her what she wanted. That resulted in her raising her head and moaning even louder and bordering on a full out yodel. I told her that saying it louder wasn’t going to help me understand! Not sure what was upsetting her, I reached over and hugged her really tight. She immediately fell silent, and fell asleep. I guess she just wanted to be cuddled. I fell in love with her. What a dear girl she is. Then I had to face taking her to her foster home the next day. It’s the best place for her right now, and honestly, I did not plan to get so attached to her. Well, she’s stolen my heart, but, I want the very best for her and that would be her foster home where she’ll get the exercise she needs so much right now! So off we went to start the next chapter in her life..a healthier chapter!

Sheena, day one in foster care.

The Biggest “LoseAire”

On the 17th, Sheena went to The Spa of Embarrassing Illnesses…uhm, I mean…her Foster Home. While at my home, we began to transition Sheena to a new, leaner, raw diet with plenty of veggies to help her feel full. At her foster home, she’ll also get two to three walks a day and she’s already showing signs of loosening up her joints a little and lifting her feet better (she was shuffling a bit before).

The goal is to help her lose some weight in as healthy a way as we can manage. Along with that we’ll get to the bottom of her mammary issues and we’ll balance her thyroid.

We’ll follow her progress here. Good Luck Sheena!! You can DO it!

Sheena is a happy, bubbly senior stuck in a body that won’t do what her brain asks it to do. She deserves better. She dances in the kitchen when her food is prepared. She dances when she sees her leash. She wants to roughhouse and loves to shove her head into your chest and get her ears rubbed. She loves her back scratched and her face smooshed between your hands. She talks, a lot (and has a fairly extensive vocabulary!), but each day as she settled in more, the talking got a little less insistent. She does her best to sit (verrrrrry slowly) when you ask her to. She lies down when you ask. She even knows stay. She gallumphs happily around the dog yard. That’s right. Not sure you can call it anything else just yet. One day it will be an impressive gallop.

If you think you may have room in your hearts and home (pending final health assessments) to provide a safe, loving and healthy home for this girl (with couch and cuddle privileges and plenty of walks preferred!), please don’t hesitate http://www.airecanada.com/applicationform.html