canine health, cats, dog rescue, foster cats, fostering

One Day at a Time

It has been quite a rollercoaster ride with Miss Bippity Bop this past week.

The good news is that we’ve been able to get her seizures under control.

The bad news is that we still don’t know what brought them, and the medication she is taking to prevent them is having a strong effect on her.

She is docile, dopey, and a wobbly. Gone is her fiery little personality that claimed her space at this house. Now, she seems to be sleep-walking through her days, and sleep-walking unsteadily at that. She naps all day long and is happiest if she can nap in a lap.

She is wary of the other dogs whose exuberance often knocks her off her feet. She’s unsteady like a tiny drunk, but wags her tail happily to see us or the other dogs. Her expression is one of confusion, as if she has no idea where she is or what she’s doing here.

I suppose I should be glad she’s no longer chewing everything within her vicinity, but to be honest, right now I’d be thrilled to see a mutilated paper, a roughed-up sock, or even a gnawed-on chair leg. She did carry around a bone the other day, dropping it when she attempted (and failed) to walk up the stairs with it. She can still manage the short set of steps to the backyard, but can’t manage the longer flight to the second floor.

On the leash outside, she is wary of traffic and jumpy at noises. She trots along with her head low and reminds me of a weathered city traveler, focused on where she’s going and trying not to make eye contact with anyone around her.

We did run into a neighbor this morning and he paused to meet her. She was wary at first, but then immediately warmed up and began circling his legs (winding the leash around him), as if she was claiming him. Maybe she was hoping he would take her away from our busy house full of big dogs who knock her over.

Over the weekend, we traveled to New Jersey for my daughter’s graduation and Bippity stayed home with a pet-sitter who took great care of her (and the foster kitties) and sent me pictures and updates. She did fine and no doubt enjoyed the peace and quiet, and attention from an animal-loving young adult. MacKenzie even sent pictures:

After consulting with the vet, we’ve begun cutting back on her meds, very slowly and deliberately, watching her closely. If there is any sign of seizures, I’ll up them again, but I am hopeful we can find the line that stops the seizures but doesn’t render her a ghost of herself.

The best case would be that we wean her off the anti-seizure meds altogether and the seizures don’t start up. That’s what should happen if what we’re dealing with is a reaction to something toxic she ate. We won’t talk worst case because this little girl deserves only best-case options. And because I can only think about the little dog in front of me and how she is doing today.

The kitty-boys recovered from their neuter surgeries and even seemed to have forgive me for that particular horror. They’ve grown friendlier every day (neutering will do that to a cat….).

Garfunkel likes to stretch his long orange self along the windowsill and watch the world go by. Although I have pretty much zero experience to go on, I believe he is going to be an enormous cat. He already seems large at just six months. His tail is massive, as are his paws, and he has a certain heft to his size (probably because he claims more than his share of the daily bread).

Simon is sleek and stunning. He prefers to curl up in tight spots rather than lounge in the open like his brother. He is aggressively friendly, his purr precedes him and he simply cannot get enough of me.

Mostly I sit with the kitties while they climb all over me clamoring for my attention. I tell them they are beautiful and lucky and I know they are destined for wonderful homes. I do not tell them how many other cats are not nearly so lucky. It is enough to save these two.

They’ve been such a simple pleasure to foster (of course, this is relatively speaking, not that I begrudge Bippity one moment of my worrying).

UPDATE: Simon and Garfunkel were adopted together by a family in Front Royal and are destined for a happy, happy life.

I imagine that by this time next week, there will be a new foster cat or kitties hanging out on our sun porch. It is high kitten season and we are ready to save more lives.

It may be a long road with our little Bippity Bop, so the cat-distraction will be a good thing. Meanwhile, I’m preparing for the next Who Will Let the Dogs Out shelter tour (June 6-12) If you’d like to support our work, consider donating to our fundraising campaign – we’d be incredibly grateful.

Until Each One Has a Home,

Cara

For information on me, my writing, and books, visit CaraWrites.com.

If you’d like regular updates of all our foster dogs past and present, plus occasional dog care/training tips, and occasional foster cat updates (!) be sure to join the Facebook group, Another Good Dog.

And if you’d like to know where all these dogs come from and how you can help solve the crisis of too many unwanted dogs in our shelters, visit WhoWillLetTheDogsOut.org and subscribe to our blog where we share stories of our travels to shelters, rescues, and dog pounds.

If you can’t get enough foster dog stories, check out my book: Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs. Or its follow up that takes you to the shelters in the south One Hundred Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues.

I love to hear from readers and dog-hearted people! Email me at carasueachterberg@gmail.com.

7 thoughts on “One Day at a Time”

  1. seizures are complicated and don’t come with an instruction manual. There is lots of tense anticipation – questioning every product, weather change, vaccine, pill, plant, and play level. If she’s on the medication I think she is, the first weeks are hard to watch as the sedation can be profound. Should she have to return to a higher dose, she’ll eventually be less and less wobbly and sedate. Dogs with seizures have good lives with supportive vet care. Thank goodness they live in the moment! We are the ones who are left with the after-effects of a seizure event! Thinking of you and Bip.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The road with a dog who has seizures is always a crapshoot when trying to get the medication right to be simultaneously sufficient to prevent the seizures and not so intense as to render the poor pet a zombie. As the huMom of an epileptic puppy mill rescue that started seizing 2 weeks after adopting her, it took several months to get it right (and even then she still occasionally will have a seizure but at least they aren’t the grand mal ones like she had at first). My heart goes out to you and Bippity and hope the cause in her case was from eating something toxic. Good luck. Glad the kittens have been adopted. They sure are cute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good to hear from people who are living with a seizure dog and managing it well. Good to know that’s a real possibility if this turns out to be a permanent situation. It’s very interesting that your pup’s seizures started two weeks after you brought him home. That was about the timing here too.

      Liked by 1 person

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