Denise came to the shelter at age 13 after her person died suddenly; she’d clearly been well cared for, all her teeth were removed and her coat was lovely. Underneath, however, we found very very odd and ominous labwork. She simply wasn’t making any white cells and had a strange pattern of other cells; her organs seemed to be functioning fine but she should have easily succumbed to any small infection. In the 15 months she lived in her ODH home, however, the blood chemistry remained exactly the same and she remained perfectly healthy. We dealt with her “dry eye” condition, and tried to keep her poor deformed elbows – a genetic condition probably from lhasa apso ancestry – as comfortable as possible. We noticed that her coat thinned and changed color, and her elbow pain increased but she could fly around the pasture at a great rate of speed, tail up over her back, if her ODH dad was out there. She stayed close by his side whenever possible and made a HUGE roar of complaint if one of the big dogs walked past her (they paid no attention but she had expressed her opinion).
We lost little Denise suddenly, to something completely unrelated to the white cell issue, which reminded us again of the country song line “it all goes to show that you never can tell”. We’re glad that the pain in her legs is now gone, but she will be missed.