Dear little Sue has an all-too-familiar story. She’d been having puppies, the last one was in fall of her 12-year-old year! But there was only one puppy the last time, so when she next came into season her owner didn’t want to bother anymore and brought her to a shelter. Staff there were very upset at what this little schnauzer had gone through and called ODH, worrying that she might have a pyometra (uterine infection, common on older intact females and very deadly). We took her immediately to surgery and found no infection but quite a lot of mammary tumors – yet another major risk for older intact females. Our vet spayed her and removed the tumors that were large enough to find, two incisions that made a painful recovery. Sue moved into her Final Refuge home and onto her dad’s lap. She spends as much of the day as possible on his lap or next to him in his chair as he works or reads, and is quite anxious when outside her familiar territory. Walks were so upsetting to her that we finally just allowed her to stay home; she’s worked up to short car rides and even visited a home with other schnauzers once. We’ve gotten the mites out of those horribly close-cropped ears and her exotic-colored coat is shining. All too soon more mammary masses appeared and they have grown fairly steadily but we’ll not put her through another surgery. We know they will eventually cause her pain or metastasize to her lungs, but until then she will cuddle with her dad and know she is loved and valued. Update: Little Sue left this world cuddled up in her ODH dad’s arms, her very favorite place in the world, at the age of 14 or 15. She’d had 2-1/2 years of being loved, WELL fed, and snuggling whenever possible – she leaves a little hole in her home though it will be far quieter at dog mealtimes.

Sue died September 7, 2015