Dennis and Joanne
You warm my heart, Miss Sophie! From Michelle
Happy Holidays from anonymous
May 2, 2011
Poor Miss Sophie! She came to my house on Saturday and is in really tough shape. She is 14 years old. She is a mix of Golden and something else like Husky or Samoyed. She has a really dense undercoat that is very much like wool. The first thing that you notice about Sophie is her beautiful white face. Sadly, after that you will notice her terrible smell and the HORRIBLE fur matts. She came to RAGOM as a stray and has been seriously neglected for some time. I have never seen such dense and dirty fur matts. I tried to comb her, but it was impossible. The matts behind her ears were as big as eggs and when cut looked just like felt. The worst matting is under her tail. I am including a picture of it, but even this does not show how bad it is. These matts are urine soaked and full of fecal matter. She has trouble walking due to arthritis in her hips, but I am certain that the matts are also making it more painful to walk. I have not seen her wag her tail either. I am sure that must hurt too.
She was not up to date on her shots, so I could not take her to a groomer until she got a rabies shot. I took her to the vet yesterday and then to a groomer. The groomer worked valiantly for 45 minutes shaving a part of her shoulder and back. They stopped as she was tired and weak. They also feared cutting her skin (which is in bad shape). We all felt so bad that we could not liberate her from this fur torture suit. The groomers said that she needed to go to a vet where they could sedate her and completely shave her. This is NOT the weather that you want to go from three inches of fur to naked, but there is no choice. I dropped her at the vet this AM and they are going to see what they can do about the fur.
Her back legs are very weak and she has trouble doing two steps up to my back door. It is very hard for her to lie down and get up, so she spends much time pacing. Once she is down, she really does not move unless coaxed. She does not have full control of her poop and pee. Sometimes when she gets up, some poop or pee gets pushed out. Her appetite is good and she is interested in what is going on around her. She is very submissive and not really interested in my dogs. She has an independent spirit and likes to check things out for herself. She did sleep in my bedroom Saturday and Sunday nights. It was a bit stinky, but I was glad that she chose to join us. I hope to get her on some pain medication today. She will probably also need antibiotics as her skin is most likely infected.
She is gentle and sweet and deserves MUCH, MUCH better than life has given her. I am going to do everything I can to help her enjoy life again. The next pictures I send will be of a mostly naked and I hope more comfortable girl.
Sophie has been freed from the worst of her matts. She was at the vet for 10 hours on Monday. They worked on shaving her in small chunks all day long. They had to let her rest in between shavings. They did not get her fully shaved as it was just too hard on her. This means that she now looks like a sheep shorn by a drunken shearer. It is not a great look, but she is SO much more comfortable! She still needs a bath and will be getting one soon. She needed a couple of days off from the intense grooming sessions. I tracked down her vet records in Iowa and found out that she is a golden/collie mix. She is also 15 years old.
Her blood work came back normal, so I have started her on Rimadyl to help with her arthritis pain. She is still unsteady on her feet, but moves more easily since the matts are gone. She is coming out of her shell and is starting to follow me around the house. She is also taking antibiotics for her skin infection. She has not had any more accidents since the first day at my house.
I hope that as she feels more relaxed at my house I will see her tail wag. All of the changes that she has been through are an awful lot for a senior lady to adjust to. She is smart and interested in her surroundings, so I know that she will settle in and enjoy herself.
A week has made a BIG difference for our Miss Sophie. Two days ago she started showing interest in toys. She is eating all of her food and best of all she has had a total makeover. I took her to Ollu Dog Wash today. They trimmed her up and gave her THREE baths. Where she still has fur she looks like a big powder puff! Her under coat is white and fluffy. Her outer coat has a golden blush on it which shows now that the dirt is gone. She is ADORABLE!
You can tell that she is pretty tired from her big day and is happy to be snoozing.
From Kathleen S
Thank you to Dennis and Joanne who are sponsoring Miss Sophie! We really appreciate the support. I know that many people are watching Sophie's story and it is good to know that she has people cheering for her. I also want to thank Kathleen S. who got the ball rolling with the cute chick on Sophie's page.
She finished her round of antibiotics this morning. She was not happy about getting the pills pushed down her throat, so I tried peanut butter. That worked twice and then she was done with peanut butter for good. I thawed out some BOCA burgers and tried her on that. While I am sure that she would have preferred a REAL burger, she was happy to take pills as long as there was burger before and after.
She likes to sleep on the floor next to my bed and I think she is getting used to my routine. I talked to someone this weekend who had a golden/collie mix who lived to be 17! If it wasn't for the wobbling in her walk, you would never know her real age. She is a very sweet old girl.
Sophie has enjoyed not being clipped or groomed or bathed for a whole week! She spends most of her time snoozing, but when I am home she likes to follow me around. Sometimes I put my dogs outside and have a little cuddling time for Sophie. I think that she likes the special attention. While she loves treats, she is a bit picky at supper time. I think that she would prefer to graze all day. Since I have three other dogs who are NOT picky eaters, that is not an option. She will eat more if I sit with her and let her eat out of my hand. I worked out in the yard for about 2 hours yesterday and she did not lay down once. She walked around the yard and stood watching me. I know that she can lay down and get back up, but must not have been in the mood.
I am including a picture of her pretty white paws as well as one from a few days ago when she was relaxing outside. She is wearing the red coat to protect her from sun burn. I still have not heard her bark or seen a prolonged tail wag. She perks up her ears when she is interested in something, but does not wag freely like most goldens.
Things have been pretty quiet for Sophie lately. Two nights ago she decided to sleep in the crate in my bedroom. She looked comfy in there, but has not gone back to it. She is having more accidents and I think that I may have to get her some doggie pants for indoor wear. I am not sure if she physically loses control, or if she just forgets where she is. She is easily distracted so I think her concentration is not very strong. Her appetite is good and she is getting a little fuzz growing on her back. I am still waiting to get a tail wag or a bark from her. Two nights ago when I was throwing a toy for one of my resident goldens, Sophie actually trotted after him for a few steps. It was the liveliest I have seen her and made me happy.
Sophie will be at the event on Saturday at Ollu Dog Wash. I had to promise her that she would NOT have to be washed or groomed. She likes her current look and is not interested in more work at this time. Please stop by and tell her what a PRETTY girl she is!
Sophie enjoyed her time at the event at Ollu two weeks ago. She got lots of attention and petting. Most people could not believe that she is 15 years old. We were in the sun much of the time, so she wore her red coat to protect her from burning. She went back to the vet for a blood check to see if her liver was OK for continuing the Rimadyl. Her blood work looked great, but she had lost 2 pounds. The vet suggested that I put her on regular dog food (not the senior lower calorie food that she had been getting.) I also got some canned food to mix in with the dry food. She LIKES the new diet and does not had to be urged to finish! The vet said that her frequent pacing is a sign of dementia.
She is now wearing diapers indoors. I got some baby diapers and cut a hole for her tail. I also got some plastic pants to help hold the pants up. She rustles a little when she walks, but has gotten used to it Her favorite activity is sleeping and she fills her schedule with naps.
Sophie’s life is pretty quiet and peaceful these days. She continues to relish the canned food mixed in with her dry food. She spends most of her time indoors napping. She has a great love of her Rimadyl tab. She likes it more than a regular dog treat. It must be tasty! I limit her outdoor time so that she does not get too much sun. She is able to move a bit faster than I thought. When she comes in from outside, she tries to get away from me so that I can’t re-diaper her. She is not very fast, but when she is motivated she can speed up! She likes to chew on cardboard sometimes. She had a piece of cardboard in her mouth when I offered her a treat. I expected her to drop the cardboard to get the treat. She took the treat and held on to the cardboard. Then she tried to figure out how to chew the treat. That did not work, so the cardboard was temporarily sacrificed.
Yesterday I found Sophie in front of the mirror. I think she was checking to see if the plastic pants made her butt look too big.
There was a Sophie first this weekend. She barked! She was out on my porch and I heard her bark about four times. I went out to see what was up. She was lying on the floor next to the futon where she likes to sleep. I think that she may have slid off of the futon and ended up in a position from which she could not stand. I gave her a little butt boost and she was fine.
One of the advantages of getting older and hearing less is that fireworks and storms don’t cause her any distress, so the 4th of July was no problem for her. One of Sophie’s RAGOM fans came to meet her this weekend. Sophie enjoyed the extra petting and attention. Sharon said the Sophie reminded her of a senior dog that she once had. We swapped dog stories, threw a few tennis balls for Mr Wiggins and enjoyed ourselves. It is always fun to meet another dog person!
I took Sophie to the vet last week. She has been licking and pulling fur off of her right elbow and it is infected. They shaved the area and now she is taking antibiotics. I hoped that they could bandage it to keep her from licking it. The vet wants it open to the air to speed healing. I didn’t want her to have to wear a cone, so she is wearing a No Bite Collar. This type of collar is MUCH easier than a cone and does the same thing. It is stiff and keeps her from turning her head enough to reach her elbow. She has adapted to it well. Her elbow is healing and she has two more weeks of antibiotics to take.
She barked for the second time yesterday. She needed help getting up again. I am glad that she calls out when she needs help.
I apologize for not posting an update sooner. I was out of town and am just catching up.
Sophie spent some delightful days while I was gone at the home of another RAGOM foster. She met two new golden boys and really loved the central AC during the really hot weather! She was seen borrowing toys from the toy box and sleeping in someone else's dog bed! She also learned that it is very tasty to have salmon on her supper at night! I think she would have been happy to stay there for the summer, but she is back with me
She has been taking antibiotics for a sore on her right elbow. She saw the vet on Friday and he was very pleased with her progress. She is still on antibiotics and we are hoping that the healing continues.
She has grown back a few tufts of fur, but is still enjoying the furless look. It is great in this heat. I gave her a rope toy the other night. She chewed on it for a couple of minutes. The next time I looked back she was using it for a nose rest and was asleep.
Sophie has had a quiet summer. Not much has changed for her. She sleeps most of the day, but enjoys her food and treats. She loses her balance more easily and has fallen several times. Even though there are only two steps to my back yard, I have put up a ramp to help her. I put my arm under her belly to support her when she walks the ramp. The fur on her back is still pretty sparse, so she will need to wear a coat as the weather gets cooler.
Sophie will be at Goldzilla next week taking it easy at the foster tent. Stop by and say hi!
Sophie had a wonderful day at Goldzilla last Saturday. When we arrived and were headed to the Foster Showcase area, we kept getting stopped by people who wanted to meet her. Many said “Is this Sophie?”, others said “Oh what a sweetie!”. Sophie is a slow walker, so it took us awhile to make it to the foster area. Once we got there she had many visitors who came up to say that they had read her story on the web. She got lots of petting and treats. One woman came up to her at least three times to say that she would take her home in a heartbeat, but she has a puppy at home. We all agreed that Sophie is not interested in spending her golden years being a playmate for a puppy!
When it was time for the Foster parade we were about 5 in line. Sophie’s description was being read as we walked in front of the stage. All over the audience I could hear people saying “oooooohhhhhh!” She looked so sweet in her red coat with her fluffy white feet. We left soon after that and it was a long walk back to our car. I was afraid that she would be totally exhausted for days after all of that activity. She slept the rest of the day, but was back to normal on Sunday. Of course normal for Sophie is pretty laid back!
Sophie has been leading a quiet life, which is the way she likes it. About a week ago she scared me with a bout of diarrhea and vomiting. It only lasted one day and then she was back to normal. That was a relief for both of us. Her appetite is good and she is always interested in treats. I have gotten her winter coat ready to go, but we both are in no hurry to use it.
Sophie and I made a discovery this week. If I give her supper to her when she is lying down, she eats it much quicker and more easily. When she ate standing she would pace around and get distracted. I think that it was just hard for her to stand in one place for too long. She is really enjoying the Breakfast in Bed option (or maybe we will call it Supper in the Sack). Her appetite is good and she still loves treats. This morning when I let her in from outside she started wagging her tail. That is the first time that I have seen her do that. I am not sure if she was happy to be in from the cold, or just checking to make sure her tail had not frozen. It was chilly this morning.
Miss Sophie spent a little time with us in St. Cloud while her FM took a well deserved break. I really thought I'd taken more pics of Ms S. but guess these will have to do. She is a sweetheart of an old gal. My other house guest, Daisy, a year old lab, and resident Jax a 3 year old cocker, were very good with her. Unless you count Daisy wanting to eat her food before she was done.
Typically Sophie's FM has her wear a diaper while she is at work. I was/am lucky enough I could go in later and work less and so I let Sophie be diaper free while she was here and she did really well. She had a couple poops, but when on tile that's fine. Her last day here we happened to be out side and she did all her business out there:) Yay Sophie.
I set Sophie up in front of our front door with rugs and blankets and used the big dish holder for food and water. She also spent time wandering the deck or being out in the fenced area. I did find if I took her out in the unfenced yard she liked to wander. But hey new places to explore. We helped her down the 7 steps to our family room and she found one of the big dog beds to be just right. I wasn't worried about accidents as we just pulled the carpet up and the cement wasn't a concern. She seemed to like just laying there and watching the dogs, the TV and checking to see what we did..........which consisted of vegging out on couch and rocker :)
I give her FM kudos for giving her a loving home and all the work involved with caring for her. We both use a towel to help her up and down stairs. FM has a ramp and I know that has been a great help to Sophie. She is not steady on her feet and sometimes needs help to lie down. I always wonder, if they could only talk, what she would tell us of her life before RAGOM. At least we know what it is now.
Miss Sophie can come back and visit us any time. She may be more work, but treating her with love, gentleness and respect her remaining time on earth is what her FM does and we'd love to be able to do the same.
Hugs to you Miss Sophie & FM
I was out of town last weekend, so Sophie got to spend a few days with another wonderful RAGOM foster. When I dropped Sophie off I could see that everything had been set up for her special needs. Lots of rugs on the floors, a comfy spot in front of the door so she could look out on the back yard. The resident cat was happy to keep her company. I felt like I was leaving her at a resort! When I came to pick her up I was not sure that she wanted to go back home to the wildness of my three dogs J
She gave me a bit of a scare last week. One day when I got home she was lying on the hardwood floor at a funny angle and could not get up. I helped her up and found that she had pooped while she was stuck there. I supported her and tried to get her to walk on her own but her back legs kept giving out on her. I took her outside and walked her around more, but she still could not stand. She was not in pain and was interested in eating, so I decided to see if she was any better in the morning. I called the vet and made an appointment for the next morning, thinking that I would have to have her put to sleep. She did not even try to get up all night. In the morning I gave her a little boost to help her up and she walked just fine (or as good as she ever can).
I think that her legs must have fallen asleep when she was stuck on the hardwood floor. Her circulation is so poor that it must have taken a really long time for the blood flow to return.
Sophie and my resident dogs got some Thanksgiving leftovers. Since I am a vegetarian it was Tofurky instead of turkey. They ate it with enthusiasm, but I know they would have preferred the real thing. I put some big dog bed pillows on the floor for Sophie and she has finally figured out how to make the best use of them. She circles backwards to lie down and can end laying down a long way from where she started the process. At first she would miss the pillows entirely. After a while she would be partly on the pillows and partly off. Lately she has managed to get all of herself on the pillows most of the time. It goes to show that practice makes perfect and that an old dog CAN learn new tricks. Sometimes she gets into an odd angle on the pillows and needs help to stand, but most of the time she is fine. Before I leave for the gym in the morning I wake her up to put her outside for a few minutes. Since she has been sleeping on the pillows she pulls her head up and looks at me and flops her head back on the pillows. If she could I think she would pull the pillow over her head. I hate to make her get up, but her bladder really needs the morning break.
When I came home from work a few days ago I looked all over the place and could not find Sophie. She was not in any of her usual spots. Finally I found her under my desk. The desk is on a hard wood floor, so she could not get up. It looked like she had backed in and laid down, but since Sophie has to back around many times before she lays down, I have NO idea how she got there. She looked up at me as if to say “How did I get HERE?” I slid her out and helped her up. I should have taken a picture of her, but I was most concerned about getting her up and out. She also needed to be cleaned up as she had an accident while she was there.
The warmer weather has been easier on Sophie. A couple of days she went out without her red coat. The way the wind is blowing today, I am sure I will be bundling her up again!
Sophie has made it to a new year and she wants to thank her sponsors and everyone who made it possible. I am sure that she is much happier and more comfortable than she was last January. We had a visiting dog over Christmas. Her name was Blondie and she is a Husky. She is white with gold highlights, so she looked a bit like Sophie’s shorter sister. Sophie and Blondie seemed to like having another white fluffy dog around. I cleaned my bedroom carpet yesterday, so Sophie’s new year’s resolution is to keep that carpet dry. So far so good.
Sophie has not changed much over the last few months. She may have lost a little weight, but she is still eating. I feed her at night when my other dogs eat. She is very slow at eating and gets distracted. I sit with her and eat my supper. This seems to help her focus more on the food. Often she will eat only half of her food. When that happens I put it in the fridge and give it to her for breakfast. The only tricky part is that my other three dogs want to HELP by EATING her FOOD! I have to keep them out of the room she is in when she is nibbling away. She has a very set routine and I think that is easier for older dogs (and people too). When I got her last spring I never thought that she would still be with me in 2012. There have been a couple of times when I thought that her time had come, but like the Energizer bunny she just keeps going.
|Sophie, my little energizer bunny reached the end of her road tonight. When I got home from work I found her lying in the bathroom and she could not get up. When I did not see the water dish I realized that she was laying on top of it. Half of her face was wet and some of her side. I hope that she had not been in that uncomfortable position for too long. It broke my heart to see her all wet and bedraggled. I tried to get her to stand but she was not able to do that. I laid her back down on a thick towel.
I corralled my three dogs in another room and called the vet. They said to bring her right in. I got her in the car by sliding and carrying her. At the vet she was carried in on a stretcher. We made her as comfortable as possible with blankets and towels. She was calm and just looked tired. I was with her when she crossed over. I told her what a good dog she was and that now she could prance and jump as I am sure that she did as a young dog.
I had Sophie longer than any other foster I have had. She came to me in April of last year in a very sorry state. She was a sweet old lady and I am glad that I could see her through to the Rainbow Bridge.