Several New Things I Learned About Dogs This Month:
1) If you don't neuter a male dog, some very bad and unpleasant things can happen to him later in life! And to your house!
2) You know those monthly heartworm pills your vet is always up in your grill about? They are very super important!
3) Dogs can get their very own special form of the Zombie Pinkeye.
Poor Foster Dog, man. After getting the break of a lifetime last month, he has not really caught another one since.
So, to recap: Jake is about 10 years old and was never neutered. He still isn't, because he is currently heartworm positive and cannot go under anesthesia until he tests negative. He also cannot be listed as available for adoption until he's both negative AND neutered.
We knew all of these things when we accepted the foster placement, and we specifically requested a senior dog with treatable medical needs who otherwise didn't have a shot in hell at adoption from a shelter. So this isn't a post complaining about us having to deal with any of this shit -- but I just need to point out that FAT HOT HAM THIS IS PREVENTABLE SHIT. Vaccinate your pets! Spay and neuter your kids!
He arrived at our house with suspiciously crusty and goopy eyes, and a tendency to lift his leg against the furniture. That last habit didn't last very long, thank goodness, since his instinct to mark his territory was nowhere near as strong as his instinct to be a Goob Boi.
Which is why we didn't exactly know where the drips and drops and trails of blood were coming from, at first.
It was his penis. He was bleeding all over the place from his penis. So, so much dickblood.
(This blog just got flagged as kinky AF p0rn by sooooo many new places.)
So on top of everything else, Jake had an infected prostate (because NOT NEUTERED) and required a heavy-duty antibiotic. Plus several medications to prep him for the actual heartworm treatment, which he got on Friday. Two butt injections, total restricted activity so he's essentially quarantined in his crate in the guest room full time (which makes both Jake and Poppy very very sad). The second round of shots is in a month, then testing a month after that. If he's still positive we get to do it all over again! But yeah, those monthly preventive chews are such a pain in the ass, right?
Poppy disagrees with that statement, and wants her new friend back.
His goopy eyes were diagnosed as KCS (aka dry eyes from the very depths of hell), and require an aggressive regimen of eye drops, ointments and serums. KCS is just One of Those Things some dogs get, but if he'd gotten some basic care earlier there's no reason why Jake's eyes and vision would've gotten as bad and inflamed as they are now. (Corneal scarring, people.)
(The dosage instructions are straight out of a Monty Python sketch, by the way. This one is 2-3 drops twice a day. Another is 1-2 drops three times a day. Use this one last, keep this one refrigerated, that one is strictly to be given at bedtime, and only in his right eye; give this one on an empty stomach and that one with food. The steroid is 1/2 tablet every 12 hours for seven days, then 1/2 tablet every 24 hours for seven days, and then 1/2 tablet every OTHER day for 14 days, after that it's just eye drop, eye drop, antibiotic, spam, bacon, steroid, spam, spam, artificial tears, eye drop and spam.)
Also: BLOOD SERUM. Because it really is Zombie Pinkeye.
Also also: No butt dignity.
I know everybody keeps wondering why in the world and how can we not adopt him and c'mon #fosterfail #fosterfail, but well: If we knew we could afford to pay for the long-term care and complex medical needs of a senior dog, we totally would've just adopted a senior dog in the first place. But we can't! Not with seven other dependent living creatures living here full-time, at least. For Jake, his rescue takes care of all the vet bills, the meds, the food, whatever he needs. We just feed, dose, snuggle, repeat.
(Well, I do buy him plenty of extra treats and toys with my own money. This ain't some Petunia Dursley shit where Jake's the second-class Harry Potter dog or anything.)
(ALTHOUGH if you'd prefer to give to my tip jar, I really want to get Jake a good orthopedic dog bed for his arthritis.The rescue doesn't have any on hand right now [unless I'm up for a 60-mile round-trip car ride just to procure a single damn dog bed]. The bed will absolutely follow him on to his forever home, and any donations marked for Jake above and beyond the bed cost will get passed along to the rescue, bloggers' honor.)
Anyway, we knew what we signed up for, and we signed up for what we signed up for: To be a temporary home for an older dog and to help get that dog happy and healthy and ready for adoption -- even if adoption will always be a bit of a long shot for him. He's welcome here as long as he needs us, and we're happy to have him as long as he needs us.
I skipped the Women's March this year in favor of a fundraising event on Saturday. (It was a chili cook-off. Jason and I both entered. Neither of us won but he thought that mine was totally the best and should've snagged first place. I am currently eating what's left of it and have to humbly agree.) After years of feeling so helpless and powerless to DO SOMETHING ABOUT EVERYTHING, helping this old dude has also been the best thing I've done for myself in a really long time.
"Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever."