ROXIE had a life home with her brother for 13 years. Then the pair found themselves in a Shelter. They were adopted together, but her brother was soon returned because he barked through the night (Old dog Haven cross-posted him, he was adopted again, and is doing very well in his 2nd new home.) After her brother left, ROXIE began to show signs of separation anxiety. Previously she had always had a dog buddy to keep her company, but now when left alone she would bark, pant, run around endlessly, and poop and pee in the house. Her owner tried various treatment approaches, but ultimately took her back to the Shelter. Left at the Shelter for the 2nd time in 3 months, ROXIE became depressed and withdrawn, and therefore unadoptable.
ROXIE obviously needed a dog buddy, and my other ODH dog BUGS (aka WREN) needed one as well, so arrangements were made for ROXIE to move to her forever ODH home and join BUGS and GINGER. When she met BUGS out in the yard, all was right with the world. But when she met GINGER (blind and 75# to her 23#) ROXIE took one look at GINGER’s white glassy eyes, and launched a full-on snapping attack. GINGER never moved – she couldn’t see ROXIE coming – but having a leash on ROXIE’s harness allowed me to pull her back and lift her into the air before her teeth actually connected with GINGER’s face. Scared me – I thought for sure that was the end of this happy homecoming. But after that ROXIE just walked away and never reacted to GINGER again. And now all 3 dogs are BFFs.
Next up was ROXIE’s separation anxiety – she still has that (barks, pants, runs around, pees) even with BUGS and GINGER right there. So we have work-arounds, and she is MUCH improved from when she first arrived. If I walk ROXIE first, then she remains calm and sleeps while I walk each of the other two. I run errands when my contractor is working in the house, so he can talk to her if she starts to get anxious and that seems to keep her quiet. She wears diapers so peeing in the house is no longer an issue for me and the carpet when she does get anxious, although adding to the situation is that she may not have been housebroken in her past life (maybe had a dog-door, or stayed outside more than in.) Pee control is still a work in progress.
When ROXIE arrived, she would cower in fear and go flat on the floor whenever I reached down to pet her head or put on her harness or adjust her diaper – she had obviously been severely disciplined at some point in her past. But every day she gets better, and only occasionally reverts back to that behavior. She sits attentively at my feet while I do the dog food prep – she quivers so much with anticipation that her teeth chatter !!!
ROXIE had her ODH Intake Exam with her new veterinarian. She has multiple congenital spinal abnormalities including scoliosis which causes bowing of her ribs to the left side, and age-related spondylosis throughout her lumbar spine. Even so she really perks right along on our twice daily walks and no treatment is currently needed. ROXIE does however possibly have Cushing’s Disease – further testing is scheduled to determine next steps.
Update: ROXIE had the softest ears, and never lost her zeal for food, or going for walkies with her nose glued to the ground diligently searching for anything that might be food.
With time, we got her separation anxiety under control, then BUGS died. ROXIE started to unwind again. Then 2 weeks later GINGER died and ROXIE’S world completely unraveled and she spiraled out of control. This time we tried several medications – one either left her flat on the floor or out of control, and the other kept her more consistent, but just wasn’t enough to keep her calm when I needed to leave the house. A combo of both eventually seemed to be the best option for anticipated times of stress, but ROXIE never got back to where she was when she had BUGS.
She used to sleep in the bedroom with BUGS, GINGER, and myself. But when BUGS died, she moved to the living room by herself. I used to think she was in the bedroom because that is where I was – but it was because that is where BUGS was. After GINGER died, she stayed in the living room with a new Final Refuge dog LEROY BROWN, but she never became attached to him.
When Final Refuge dog HEIDI arrived, they ignored each other. The did walk well together in a Tortoise & Hare kind of way: HEIDI at 95# plodded along at a slow consistent pace, while ROXIE would dash ahead on her Flexi-lead, stop to sniff, get passed up, and then when she ran out of leash behind she would dash ahead again. ROXIE was at her happiest when running along doing what Beagles do best.
Eventually her Atypical Cushing’s, gall bladder disease, and liver disease all started to creep up on her. Then one night she woke me up several times groaning. The next morning, she lay down and watched me do food prep (instead of eagerly supervising.) She did eat all her food, but then just went and climbed into her dog bed instead of waiting to see if either of the other two dogs left any crumbs behind. It was obvious she was in discomfort, and I knew it was time to say goodbye.
ROXIE had 10 months under the care of Old Dog Haven. It is really tragic how mental and emotional issues can plague some of these dogs that have been abandoned by their owners and/or lose their life-long buddies. For ROXIE, finding her second life-buddy in BUGS was the best thing that could have happened to her, and it is most unfortunate that she lost her too.
Thanks to Old Dog Haven and all the wonderful sponsors who made it possible for ROXIE to leave the Shelter and get all the care and attention that she deserved during this last phase of her life. I am so sad that she has gone, but I know she and her brother and BUGS are now all together over the rainbow.