12/16/15: Bella was declining quickly, and she passed away peacefully last week. We miss her terribly.
11/21/15: Apologies for how extremely overdue this update is! We are still truly marveled everyday at how far Bella (DE-12) has come. The last three years have gone by in a flash… Bella has muscled through 4 surgeries since her adoption, has the most loving personality, a beautiful white coat, a never-ending smile and the fluffiest, ever-wagging Sammy tail. She loves to eat, loves to play, loves to walk, and loves her people! She has affinity for stuffed toys and can easily destroy one in a few hours time in her relentless quest for the squeaker!! (We’re pushovers and enable her habit by buying her new stuffies every week…) She is the best doggy momma to our little boys (she even howls to stop our one-year old from crying!) and is just all around as sweet as can be.
In September 2013, she lost her buddy, our beloved rescue husky Teeko to a brain tumor, and has been the single diva in our home ever since. She had a benign tumor removed from her front paw during the same time. (Surgery #1) We then moved for a short stint in sunny Southern California where we had a massive backyard for her to run and play. She really came into her own and the dog who could hardly walk straight when we adopted her was bounding and leaping after her toys! She loved chasing balls and sniffing out squirrels and other wildlife out there – she even caught a possum!
After moving to California, we noticed a bump on her back left leg. Our vet aspirated it and diagnosed it as a harmless fatty deposit. In September 2014 the mass started to grow and turn red so we had it surgically removed & biopsied. (Surgery #2) Unfortunately, it turned out to be a nerve sheath tumor, not a harmless deposit. These tumors have a tendency to recur locally.
After moving back to Virginia in August 2015, we noticed a lump near one of Bella’s mammaries. Our vet examined her and put her into surgery the next day for immediate removal of the mass. Mammary tumors are 50/50 benign/malignant. Unfortunately, Bella’s turned out to be mammary cancer of the most aggressive kind. After consulting with an oncologist and having chest x-rays done (mammary cancers spread secondarily to the lungs) Bella’s prognosis is sadly only a number of months. Additionally, in the short time since her mammary surgery, her leg nerve sheath tumor returned. Her leg tumor was removed last week and biopsy came back malignant again. After all she has been through we are doing our best to keep her comfortable, and so far she seems to be recovering quite well and still maintaining a very high quality of life, tail wags and all.
She’s been such a great addition to our family and has been extremely tolerant of our two wild little boys running around the house. We will try to keep MASR updated in the coming months but for everyone out there with females, continue to check them over monthly.
Here are a few updated photos of our little love over the last year and half.
2/19/13: Bella is doing wonderful. She is such a lovebug. We are still treating the bladder stones/UTI with prescription diet and medication, which seems to be helping quite a bit. Hopefully she’ll be off the prescription food in the next few months. We are also still battling ongoing ear yeast infections, but they don’t seem to be bothering nearly as much. Her coat is coming in beautifully! (I’ve attached a pic of her and Teeko below). Almost all discoloration is gone, and she’s great about letting us brush her. She’s LOVING life – her personality is really starting to come out.
12/22/12: Another update from Bella’s new home: Bella visited our veterinarian earlier this week. Turns out the blood in her urine is due to a sizable bladder stone. They also found quite a bit of bacteria in her urine- so bladder stones and bladder infection it is. Explains why the poor girl had to go urgently whenever she had to go.
She’s also got some eye issues – they had been red and runny, and just recently started oozing some icky green stuff. Doc found nothing intrinsically wrong with the eyes, just irritated and inflamed. Her feet are splayed, and missing almost all of the black pads (tender and pink right now). Doc thinks the black healthy pads will come back after a few more months of better nutrition and care, but her feet are permanently flattened from scar tissue. We’ve also noticed that Bella has a very hoarse, fairly quiet un-Sammy-like bark and she can’t woo-woo howl. ;-( Unfortunately the doc says he often sees this type of vocals from ‘backyard’ de-barking procedures that are done without proper anesthesia. Has this come up with any of the other dogs?
In good news, her ears have cleared up nicely. Her heart, lungs, and throat all sound great and clear as well. He also thinks she is only about 3 years old! She is currently on antibiotics for her bladder infection and eye irritation, medication and a prescription diet to dissolve the bladder stone(s), as well as an eye ointment that needs to be applied 4 times a day. So far she is improving quickly and really could not be happier.
She still can’t climb our staircase but is quite content sleeping in a fluffy dog bed downstairs. 😉 Our Teeko is learning to tolerate her energy better, and her young age would explain a lot about why she is so bouncy!! (We’ve attached a photo (below) of both dogs sleeping in their favorite place – our fireplace! Looks like we won’t be having any chestnuts on an open fire this season ;-))
12/5/12: Update from Bella’s new home: Bella, the diva formerly known as DE #12, is doing wonderfully in her new foster home. She traveled beautifully in the car the whole way home – never made a peep and was simply content with a blanket and a bone. We tried out several northern names with her but she didn’t respond to any of them. After our long commute back to Norfolk we were hungry and decided to order “Bella Pizza”. At our first mention of “Bella”, she perked up – and has readily answered to this name ever since. Thus, Bella!
After a good soaking bath and groom session she looked and felt like a new lady. (Picture below) The groomers could not get enough of her and said she was very well behaved. She’s been a doll at the house too. Though we were told she’s not house-trained, you would never know it. She sleeps through the night and heads for the door in the morning when she needs to go out. (Thanks Marlene for getting her on this schedule!) Bella absolutely LOVES her walks and trips to the dog park each day, as well as bugging her new big brother Teeko to play. She is extremely playful – a wild woman when she wants to be! Teeko is still getting used to her Sammy-attacks since it interrupts his daily hibernation, but he is doing very well with her. She likes sleeping near him and sucks up to all of us (even the baby) for attention. 🙂 She could not be a sweeter (or more mischevious!) girl. Her Sammy attitude really came out after her bath. She likes to redecorate our rooms (i.e. move anything you leave laying about – such as baby toys, blankets, socks, etc.) and bring them to you with her tail wagging. She is also a champion counter surfer! Our main obstacle so far has been stairs. She didn’t even know how to get up the 3 steps to our front door when we first arrived home. She’s got those down now, no problem (in fact she likes jogging up them after the park!) but she is absolutely petrified of the flight of hardwood stairs up to our bedroom. Those will take some work. For now we’re all sleeping downstairs until she gets comfortable and relaxed in her new environment. All in all, her tail has hardly stopped wagging since we brought her home. She’s a very happy girl!
As a side note – we have noticed that she chews the bottoms of her front feet/paw pads very frequently, though we can’t see any apparent injury or irritant, and her paws seems slightly splayed. We’re going to keep an eye on it and likely check in with the vet soon.
Here are some updated photos.
12/1/12: Sweet little DE12, still w/o a bath……..went to a foster home w/a severe case of Denisenationitis. Meet Mr and Mrs Sucker and their baby Lollipop:) DE12 could have gone home with them last weekend if i hadn’t blown the weekend, bad Danielle, bad Danielle. Better late than never…… They drove up from Norfolk and then spent a little less than an hour getting aquainted, as expected it was love at first sight. I’d forgotten how sweet and kind Mrs Sucker was and had never met Mr Sucker before but can totally see why they are a couple:) Marlene and I were thrilled for #12, she will want for nothing:)
11/12/12: Video posted on YouTube (click here) and new pictures added below.
11/10/12: Twelve is still unbathed, plans for today went to poop. She is sweet and lovable, has those bad dog ears but not as bad as the worst ones. When taking her to the vets for her spay she got a little snarky w/one of the other girls but for all I know they could have instigated it. She is also another one just desperate for attention.