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Adopting Yorkie with health issues.

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Drewa, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. Drewa

    Drewa New Member Registered

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    Hi everyone! I have had dogs most of my life and I am now 71yrs. My last dog was a beautiful Lhasa Apso called Tashi who I got as a puppy. Two years ago, when he was 5, I decided it was only fair to him to rehome him as I had worsening mobility problems and couldn't afford a permanent dog walker. Luckily I found him a fantastic family who adore him and keep in touch via emails and pics.

    However I never really got over the loss and more in hope than expectation I sometimes find myself looking at dogs that need a home - thinking there might be a suitable really old one who wouldn't want walks. However recently I came across a 5 yr old Yorkie who is currently in foster care. She has a luxating patella (I don't know what grade) which has been thoroughly investigated by the vets and a decision made she wasn't suitable for surgery because she is so tiny. Amputation was also considered but dismissed for some reason so the current situation is that her exercise should be limited to indoors and the garden with no official "walkies". Of course that suits my situation well, but is it good for her physical and mental health?

    Additionally the Rescue took her to be spayed and it was discovered that she had five mammary tumours (possibly because she had not been spayed as a youngster) so she had surgery to remove them. I'm not sure if they were malignant or not but nothing was found elsewhere in her body. I think all this was about a year ago. She has been through one adoption that failed due to changes in the adoptive family, so is now back with her previous fosterer.

    I expressed an interest and have spoken to the person who organises the Rescue and the fosterer and both seem keen to proceed asap. I will get a home visit early next week and also go to meet her and then things could proceed quite swiftly I presume. But I do have qualms about it and am reluctant to rush into a situation that might cause me more heartache. I also wonder if I just attempting to fill the hole in my heart caused by having to give up Tashi and whether that would be fair to her or me. At least at the moment I have only seen pics - if I'd seen her in real life I daresay I wouldn't be writing this! Any comments would be greatly appreciated - thank you.
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    You're right that you need to follow your head as well as your heart. But if you find the right dog, you could both enrich each other's lives :)

    My first step would be to be absolutely sure that 'official walkies' are, and always will be, out of the question. I would have thought even a 20-minute sniff round the local park would be more enriching for her than a wander round the garden that she goes in every day, even if you spend half of the time in the garden sitting on a bench. She is quite young - is there no chance that within time she could build up enough fitness for longer walks, which you might not be able to give her? And given the longevity of Yorkies, if her tumours don't come back, there's a chance that she could keep going for another 10 years - of course we never know what the future holds, but will you be able to meet her needs several years from now?

    One old man I know who owned a greyhound ended up only able to go out of the house in his mobility scooter - this was a blessing for the dog in a way, as they could both then go much further and faster! I don't know if this is something that might apply in the future for you (obviously you don't need to detail your mobility problems - just to take them into consideration).

    There are rescues that specialise in older dogs, who may be more prepared to let a dog go to someone with age-related issues. It does mean that there's more chance of the dog dying sooner, but although that would be very sad, I can't think of a better deed than giving a dog love and security in his/her final years. This, to me, would be a better parting than having to give up a dog because you weren't able to care for her - and of course you already know what that is like. On the other hand, a dog whose 'bowels move faster than his legs' - how a friend of mine described her old dog - could also be demanding, and exhausting, for you.

    These are just some random thoughts to ponder, really. Whether it is this dog or another, I do hope you find the right dog for your situation both now, and in the years to come. Do please let us know how you get on.
     
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  3. Drewa

    Drewa New Member Registered

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    Hi and thanks for your long and thoughtful and thought provoking reply. There is a lot to consider with no crystal ball to help me decide both for me and for the little dog. I have only dared broach it with one close friend whose instant reaction was "No you mustn't put yourself through all that heartache again". She was mostly referring of course to me rehoming Tashi but she also knows something relevant to one of your suggestions which is that about a year ago I "rescued" a 14 year old Yorkie which didn't work out mainly because I wasn't told the full extent of her medical problems and was assured that she had no interest in going for walks, when her behaviour when I was putting my coat on said differently. I took her back after 2 weeks and she is now in a medical fostering placement.

    And it is right that I have no idea what is in my future - 10 years ago I lived a perfectly normal life but have deteriorated a lot in the past two. I have definitely thought about a mobility scooter and know a man with cerebral palsy who has one and takes his Westie to the park on it which is ideal for both of them. But then the owner is relatively young. I did realise that the garden would not be enough stimulation for her and thought of getting one of those pet buggies - she could ride in it and I could use it as a walking aid to get out and about a bit. They did give me the impression it would not improve and that if she walks on it too much she just starts holding it up and hobbling on three legs - maybe the amputation would have been better?

    I am also thinking about the fact I live alone with no family near by so it's all down to me. In the past 3 years I've had operations when I couldn't drive for several months afterwards and couldn't use my walker either. Friends helped out with walking Tashi as did the Cinnamon Trust but there is a heavy weight of responsibility on one person's shoulders. Tashi went to a younger family with a stay at home Mum and two teenage daughters and about a year after they got him the Mum broke her ankle - it was no problem for Tashi as all the other family members were around to walk him etc.

    My heart was broken after Tashi and no other dog can ever replace him. I am realising as I write this that I have to consider this little lady and what's in her best interests and not just mine. I am sad.
     
  4. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Please dont give up. Maybe having a dog with you full time isnt in yours or a dogs best interests but what about being with dogs in some other way? My local shelter have volunteers who go in to play ball with the dogs in the shelters enclosed space, they enjoy the games and of course this gives the full time staff time for kennel cleaning and other duties. The volunteers also take dogs for walk and do things like brushing the dogs or doing little training sessions with them all to help them find forever homes. Maybe something like this could work for you and be a great help to more dogs.
     
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  5. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Hmmm...it's a complicated but not hopeless situation. I think you are being very responsible considering your options here. If the rescue involved think you can provide her with a home, then for your own peace of mind ask if they can provide backup in an emergency- as you have none. (A couple of days in hospital, say, will be doable if the rescue have a policy of taking dogs back in when really needed.) Once you've clarified the practical things only you can tell if you really want another dog. I've found no dog replaces another but can give you a new sort of relationship that is still life-enhancing. Good luck whatever you decide.
     
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  6. Drewa

    Drewa New Member Registered

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    Hi Mad Murphy (is that your or your dog's?). What you suggest is a great idea and I have been googling for nearby rescues that might need volunteers. None are very close to me and they seem to mostly need people who are more physically able than me. One idea I had a while ago but didn't do anything about was a "dog-sitting" service - not in the way that people do all day when the owners go to work, but for times when people need someone because of a one-off medical appointment or similar - either a planned thing or more of an emergency. I would be available to have their dog for say 2-4 hours and play with/cuddle and feed it, but make it clear that I couldn't walk them, though the garden is available of course. I would charge a minimal fee, say £6 an hour. I would really be grateful if any of you would tell me what you think of this idea and whether it's worth giving it a go?
     
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  7. Drewa

    Drewa New Member Registered

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    Hello Merlina - I am so glad I joined this forum as you all seem so nice and non-judgmental. I have done a lot of thinking overnight and have almost decided not to take her, mainly because of her age. Although I have no chronic long term serious illnesses apart from arthritis who knows what will happen in the next 10 years? I didn't think I'd be like this now 10 years ago! I don't know about them taking her in temporarily if I was in hospital etc but I think they probably would and they did indicate that they would help towards any costs if the mammary glands came back, though obviously not with pet insurance which I assume might be high for pre-existing condition?

    I'd be so grateful to if you could read my reply above to Mad Murphy about my idea and let me know what you think of it?
     
  8. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Hi Drewa, I dont think your idea is a bad one at all.. You would have to look into the rules about insurence etc Im not sure how things work in the uk these days.. But a baby sitting service is a great idea a friend of mine was in a bind this summer when she had to go to hospital for scans and tests but had no one to look after her dog, in the end she took him with her and the hospital agreed to let her take him in with her! But if there had been a local person such as yourself available she would have been so happy to have him looked after..

    oh and Murphy is the name of my dog he's a two year old Stabijhoun and he is as mad as a box of frogs.
     
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  9. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Basically you are offering an occasional doggy creche! Well I've no idea if your area has a need for one but I know in the past it would've been a godsend for us! (Luckily a lovely pair of teachers have just retired in our village and set up a dog-minding service.) I have no experience of business so there will be people on here who can advise re things like insurance. I did wonder also whether you have thought of fostering for a local rescue? They must have dogs in that just need a bit of temporary tender loving care while their health improves, say. Worth asking.
     
  10. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    The advantage about dog-sitting or fostering is that if it didn't work out, or your health got worse, you would be able to stop pretty much any time.

    Another thought - have you considered adopting a cat instead? You might be very much a dog person and not interested in cats at all, but if not, a cat might suit your lifestyle better.
     
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  11. Drewa

    Drewa New Member Registered

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    That's one of the things I like about the idea - the flexibility! If I go ahead I plan to call it a Pet Nanny service. There's nothing to lose by just putting a bit of advertising out there and seeing what happens. I've only ever had one cat who I got for my son when I was working full time so couldn't have a dog. We rubbed along ok but he wasn't really affectionate with me or my son and I don't know what people see in them to be honest.
     
  12. Drewa

    Drewa New Member Registered

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    Well I learnt something today - had never heard of a "Stabijhoun" but googled it and it certainly looks a lovely dog. Where do live now? Maybe they haven't taken off in the UK yet? I think there is a demand for such a service in my area because I had a lot of trouble sometimes finding someone to mind Tashi and those that did seemed very busy. More and more the idea is growing on me and making it easier to consider not taking the little Yorkie.
     
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  13. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I thought if you were a cat person you'd probably have gone down that route already!

    Do look into insurance for your pet nanny business - it may actually be madatory, but others should be able to advise on that. Not all dogs are easygoing, and not all owners are honest about their dogs' issues. What if a dog should bite you badly, or a visitor to your house? What if he destroys your sofa? What if he chews on an electric cable, kills himself, and the owner tries to sue you? What if he runs out of the house or escapes from the garden, and gets run over or causes a traffic accident?

    Don't let the thought of sorting out insurance put you off though - a lot of insurers sell packages tailormade for dog carers and even if insurance ate into your income, you'd be doing it for the companionship rather than the money anyway.
     
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  14. Drewa

    Drewa New Member Registered

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  15. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    @Drewa I dont want to derail your thread but a Stabij is a Friesian farm dog. They are used to hunt ..mostly vermin and are great at mole hunting. We live in the Netherlands where they are from but there are a few in the uk and USA now ..
     
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  16. Drewa

    Drewa New Member Registered

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    You are so sensible! My thoughts re insurance up to now is that I would insist they have insurance for their animal and it covers them for biting, getting involved in accidents etc when not with the owner. It's not the same but I had a very good relationship with Tashi's groomer so could ask her advice and I'm sure she'd put a poster up for me. I will also have to check my house policy for pet damage though I think they generally aren't covered. I remember my son-in-law saying that the dog knocked a curry out of his hands on the stairs (ruining a new carpet) because he didn't want to admit he'd been drunk and stumbled - they wouldn't cover it because it was a pet but would have if he'd been honest!
     
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  17. Kara 1

    Kara 1 Well-Known Member Registered

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    The law changed recently that anyone dogsitting walking etc has to have a license and insurance ...check with your local council to be on the safe side ...
     
  18. Drewa

    Drewa New Member Registered

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    Thanks I will definitely check if I decide to go ahead.
     

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