Ben MAY be able to go to a forever home with sponsorship from SLR. Carmel rang today, and said that she feels he could be so much happier as a second or only dog, but as he was a second dog, that may be better. He is happy, but she can tell from her experience with the oldies, that having several other grumpy dogs around him is not what he needs. He is so happy go lucky and just wants to please. So... we will be trying to find him that forever home with SLR sponsorship on vet bills.
A dog is a gift in life. Love and protect it. _________________
Hi everyone!! I told Jenny today I'd get my update on here before midnight - and it is now 11:51pm!!! I made it by the skin of my teeth.
Ben is lovely. He is understandably overwhelmed by the events of the last few days - we don't know how long he was with his previous family but it must have been heart breaking for them and him when he was picked up on Thursday morning. Despite all the upheaval and car travel he greeted everyone at Jenny's with a waggy tail and as Jenny said he was up for a play!!!
My first few walks with Ben were short ones with the "old oldies" - I was mindful of his wobbly rear and didn't want to overdo it. However, he pulls like a steam train and was obviously keen to do more. Ben now joins the "young oldies" for the first walk of the day - down a hill and round a lovely meadow by the River Ash, then back up the hill - about 40 minutes at a fairly steady pace (give or take the odd few minutes for sniffing and toiletting). I think Ben probably hasn't been walked much recently - either because family circumstances just didn't allow the time, or because he was getting old and wobbly, or a combination of the two. I am hoping that our twice daily regular steady walks will add some muscle to his back legs and give more support to his ageing joints.
He seems in good health apart from needing a dental, and he also has a cyst on the back of his neck which may need to be lanced (yuk!!!). We have an appointment with our lovely vet Helen tomorrow afternoon and I fully expect to come home with instructions to give him Metacam.
My impression of Ben can be summed up in a single phrase - he is one gorgeous cuddle-monster!! He really does love his cuddles, and after only a couple of days he is already coming up to me when I'm on the computer and nudging me to let me know that I should really be scritching him instead.
Ben is welcome here for as long as he needs us. If that is for his lifetime then I shall be very lucky indeed. As I discussed with Jenny, though, I really feel that we won't be doing Ben justice by closing the door on a possible move to another home. If the right home comes up Jenny will let me know and we will make absolutely sure that it IS the perfect home for this lovely old boy. In the meantime I'm off for more cuddles with Ben The Bear!!!!
I'm having fun with Photobucket again so if there are no photos above this line I will send them to Jenny.
Ben will be going in for x-rays on Thursday to establish whether his problem with getting up and walking is down to the legs or his spine. His dental is on hold just until after those x-rays are done. The x-rays will be done under sedation. Thanks for the updates Carmel. x
A dog is a gift in life. Love and protect it. _________________
We're home from the vet and we've had a bit of lunch - Ben loves the bread crusts so I'll be eating sandwiches for lunch every day!!!
I'm sorry to have to tell you that the x-rays show damage to Ben's spine at the end, just above the hips. I'm no expert and will struggle to recall the medical names that Helen used so I will tell you in my own words - the bones above the right hip socket are very mottled and indicate severe damage. This has been caused either by infection or a tumour. In order to find out whether it is a tumour we would have to do a CT scan. If it is a tumour it is likely to have been developing for some time and therefore will almost certainly have sent out cancerous cells to other areas. If it is a tumour the kindest thing to do would be to put Ben to sleep without bringing him round.
If it is not a tumour then the damage remains and cannot be repaired. The best we can do for Ben is to start him on some "serious pain relief" (Helen's words) and monitor his mobility and demeanour. If the meds give Ben some relief and he is still happy to eat and go for walks then he will be spoilt rotten until such time as the pain meds stop working.
I am so sad for Ben that his family didn't think (or want...) to seek medical attention when he became "grumpy" - it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that a grumpy dog = a dog in pain.
My mind is in turmoil - but my resolve is good. Ben has only been here for a week and in that short time I have seen a friendly, loving dog that is first to the door for walks and cries till I open the front door! In that short time I have seen a dog with very painful teeth and gums gobble up some tasty Wainwrights soft food (as opposed to the cheap kibble his family sent down...). In that short time I have seen my pack adjust to Ben's obvious discomfort and Ben adjust his position to where he is less likely to be knocked. Mine is not Ben's ideal home. Mine is the home that will give Ben what he needs for the short time he has left. Tonight it's pilchards for dinner, a short walk on his own on level surfaces and lots of pain relief - probably the first he's ever had. When he has settled for the evening I will sit by him and brush him - he loves to be brushed.
That is such sad news ....but so glad whatever time he has will be pain free (as much as it can be )is he going to have a CT scan to definitely say if its cancer? ? I took on an elderly JRT in march her owners must have known she too was in pain and had lots going on ...it was inexcusable to let a dog she had all those years get like that and not go to the vets but she had the best pain free 3 months with me before she went to the bridge ......it broke my heart ...but id do it again so huge thanks Carmel for looking after Ben even if he breaks your heart.....
Jenny and I agree that there is no point putting Ben through a CT scan. The earliest we could do it would be Monday. If it is cancer then the kindest thing would be to put Ben to sleep before bringing him out of the GA. If it is not cancer then we will have put him through a day of being manhandled in and out of my car, then the vet ambulance to the hospital, and back again. We can't change the state of Ben's spine. Keeping him on pain meds for the next couple of days will give us time to assess what benefit they are having, whether or not we planned to do a scan.
We can't give Ben his health back. What we can give him is the benefit of our knowledge, medication and the ability to judge when it is time. It is not something I was planning to do at this stage, so I too need time to adjust.
My heart goes out to this dog who has probably been the most loving companion and now finds himself in a strange environment with strange people and dogs ..... and still in pain.
Sobbing here for this poor boy. It beggars belief how anyone could not attend to an animal's needs if they think they might be in pain. My heart goes out to you Carmel for being there for him and to Jenny for bringing him in, at least all he will know now is love and kindness. Lots of kisses and cuddles Ben. I'm off to give my boys an extra big squeeze and tell them how much I love them xx
I'm in tears here too. How much pain must he have endured already?! And now no long, happy ending. Life is so unfair to these poor souls.
Carmel, I know you will cram as much love & as many treats as is possible to fit into whatever time he has left, but please give him one extra little hug from me. ... And if there's ANYTHING I can do for either of you then I'm here. xxx
Tears here too. Poor, poor boy As Boo said, no long, happy-ending for Ben but hopefully enough time to feel how loved he is and how safely he is being held in the arms of SLR and in the hearts of all of us on the forum.
Hugest respect and thanks to Carmel and to Jenny for enabling this gentle boy to have a dignified, and as comfortable as possible, last few months/weeks/days/hours