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Some of you may be aware of little Eddie, our Romanian Rescue dog.

 

He has several injuries resulting from a life of abuse and torture, the most obvious being the hole in his nose.  I am adding a link to his crowdfunding page at the end of this post on which you read more about his past.

The vets have now had the results of the tissue cultures and swabs: he has a bacterial infection (rather than a fungal one) which is responsible for the destruction of the interior of his nose.  In one way that is good because fungi are harder to eradicate than most bacteria. But the bad news is that not only is the infection in his nose but is also in the bones of his skull.  Therefore, if left untreated he will die.

The bacteria entered his system through the large hole in his nose and have been steadily chomping away internally.  The vet has two treatment plans ready to go, Plans A and B.  We all prefer Plan A which is the simplest and involves eight weeks of targeted antibiotics followed by, if the infection is defeated, plastic surgery to his face to close the hole and help his poor old nose.  Plan B will involve opening up his nose further, packing the whole space with gauze and inserting a tube down which antibiotic will be dripped twice a day, as well as continuing with the oral antibiotics.  When the bacteria are dead, his face will have to be reconstructed.  Sounds horrid, but the vet, a famous vet in the UK, is sure that it is possible to achieve a good result eventually.

Of course, the pet insurance will not pay anything because they state, quite correctly, that it is a pre-existing condition.

It was this TV vet who suggested the crowdfunding as he thinks Eddie is such a deserving case!  Actually, I think that perhaps the vet himself could have offered to waive or reduce the fees, but perhaps he will contribute to the crowdfunding;)

So, we begin medicating tomorrow and will be keeping our fingers crossed.

https://www.leetchi.com/c/money-pot-eddie-22587947

If anyone feels moved to read more about Eddie follow the above link: if you feel like contributing, however little, it would be a real act of kindness, but sharing the link would be really, really helpful too, so that as many people as possible have the chance to read about little Eddie’s amazing story.  Thank you:)

And, as for me, well I completed a 19 day water-only fast in June/July and now am intermittent fasting, eating only in a four hour window during the day.  All to see whether I can reduce or remove the cancer.  But during those four hours I eat for England, which is fun:D

 

Image result for greed for food(From google images.)

Husband has been taken on a weekend trip by our son so I am having an indolent and selfish three days doing exactly what I please, as I please.

Oh yes, and a man crashed his car into the driver’s side of my car yesterday, so something else to sort.  Really, I wonder exactly how many balls I can juggle at once!!!!!

 

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So . . . . the longest silence from this site?

What’s been happening?

As ever with life, good things and bad.

A lovely short break in Paris (view from my tiny courtyard studio  flat)

DSC02167where I was lucky enough to meet up with blogger friend Chlost for an afternoon and evening meal with her and some of her family.  That visit was full of memories to treasure.

A wedding in Scotland of two gay friends: small but perfect in an old stone House on the edge of the water in Oban.

Image result for manor house oban

Staff who were thrilled to cater for their first ever gay wedding and threw themselves into making the experience wonderful.  A super trip but I was ill on the way home which began a series of medical encounters, of which more later.

A 70th Birthday party to keep close to the heart.  Two years in the planning.  I hired a boat on Lake Windermere in the Lake District: with balloons, cake, farm food, Ceilidh band and magician and . . . well 80 friends and family members from all part of my life.  To spend two and a half hours in a room where every face took one back to fond memories from one’s life was an experience too huge to put into words.  But perhaps a post with photos to follow?

And then the biggie – a diagnosis of malignant cancer.  Always a heart-stopping moment. Apparently I have a rare lypo-sarcoma.  It has been growing for two years, misdiagnosed four times.  But most General Practitioners in the UK never see even one in a lifetime, so hardly surprising.  The final diagnosis came all in a rush with hospitals and doctors ringing me at home and general panic ensuing on their part.  Then a rushed appointment in London to see a European expert in this type of cancer.  An interesting diagnosis: huge tumour, but low-grade.  Unlikely to metastasize at the moment, but could change its nature at any point. No help from chemo, radiation or immunotherapy; only extensive, radical surgery.  Prognosis: scar minimum of 12″ with the likely removal of a whole major muscle mass.  It sounded like brutal surgery from the 1970s.  May prevent me from walking again.  Likely to return every two to three years with repeat surgery each time to remove it.  Little research done because it is so rare – fewer than 400 a year in UK.  Healing – a problem: large hole, drains, infections, etc etc I will not bore or disgust the faint of heart with the gory details but they made for ghastly listening.

That sent me into retreat, hermit mode: no wish to share.  I refused immediate surgery as I needed more time to process all this.  It took a great deal of digesting.

Finally I and the surgeon came to a compromise: I insisted on continuing on with a holiday I have planned in October this year to China, while I am still mobile. He agreed to postponing surgery until November this year as long as I have MRI scans to monitor the tumour.

I’m still not sure I can face the surgery.  I have terrible sensitivities/allergies to all known antibiotics, pain killers and anaesthetics with the least reactions being agonising migraines, continuing through to hallucinations, fever, infections and complete collapse.

So, the first thing I did was go on a 19 day water only fast.  Then I have been eating a ketogenic diet.  Just in case these regimes might at least help shrink the tumour a little.  Let’s face it, I have nothing to lose but weight and possibly some benefit to gain.  But the surgeon warned me against offers of help, which will be useless, and cost a great deal.  Nothing like proffering hope;)

More on this topic if I can face it and if anyone is interested in my journey, wherever it may lead.

Then the last few days we have been in the south of the UK visiting the Supervet, a specialist vet, with one of our little Romanian rescue dogs, Eddie, who is written about in the post on 1st march 2016.  When we adopted him we did not know about his current wound problems.  He has suffered much abuse in his life and now we are worried about the wound on his nose.  He had his tail chopped off, was hung from a tree by a metal snare round his waist and left to die, Capture

and finally someone tried to kill him by hitting him over the skull with a metal bar with a spike on it.  They missed his skull and hit the top of his nose instead, hence the hole.

DSC02352

He was rescued, put on a lorry out of Romania, got to the UK and then us.  Of course we insured him, but predictably the insurance company will not help us as they say everything is a pre-existing condition.

Our local vet knows no-one who can help – hence our visit to the Supervet. We were met by a delightful New Zealand surgeon who sat on the floor with Eddie, and began by saying that everything was possible, for a price.  (I wish my cancer surgeon had that attitude!!)  Eddie stayed overnight and underwent some procedures and now we await the results of tests but we have been warned that reconstructing his nose will cost from £2,000-£6,000.  Now,  we try to be responsible animal lovers, so we will do what it takes: if we have to take out a mortgage on the house we will.  The nurses who all loved little Eddie immediately said, “Go Crowd-Funding” and the surgeon said that he is a very deserving case.   Now I know nothing of such things but they were insistent that I give it a try.

DSC02351

Do any of you know about crowd-funding, what it is and how to go about it?  My immediate thought is that it sounds like begging, and that is anathema to me.

So, lots going on here.  Some lovely, some dreadful, life’s rich tapestry really.  I’m never too sure what to post because I would hate to depress anybody: I’m not depressed myself, just rather unhappy and over-whelmed at the moment.  But if people would like to follow any of these stories I am happy to write about them.

Over to you folks.  I will follow the directions suggested by any comments:)

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When adopting Ronda, the owner and manager of the Rescue explained that dogs meet a horrific end in Eastern Europe.  He would not go into details, but said that he brought dogs over to the UK so that he could have them humanely euthanased even if he could not find them homes, as that was so much kinder than the death they would expect back home.  Interestingly, he mentioned that the countries that adopt the most of these dogs are Germany and the UK.

So when looking for our second dog we looked at various Romanian Rescues.

We went to meet one dog who was very sweet but because of her experiences was rather nervous and dominant (they have to fight for their lives in the public shelters in Romania):  Ronda ended up frightened by this dog and begged at the door to go home, so we reluctantly decided against adopting that other young girl.

Back to the websites and I found a dog whom I thought might be a good match both for us and for Ronda: a male,  quieter, who loves other dogs, rides in the car, walks well on the lead and has been fostered for a couple of years already so is used to living in houses etc.  Unfortunately, he is quite a lot older than we hoped for at nearly eight years old, but we are assured he still likes to play.  Although Ronda wants to play and bounce we felt that for the sake of her legs we would need to adopt a dog who would play but would not excite her or bounce around more than was good for her.

Eddie, the name of this potential adoptee, was four hours drive away.

So arrangements were made, and we and Ronda went downto Norfolk to meet Eddie.  We all had a walk in the forest together and they were fine: they ignored each other for the most part but there was no agression or anxiety on either side.

Eddie was very ‘backwards in coming forwards’ as we say around here: ie he was very self-contained and disinclined to interact with us or Ronda but had the sweetest expression. index.jpg eddie in pub 1

My husband was not won over at all and expressed considerable misgivings but I relied on the assessment of the fosterer and pushed to adopt him: so we did and brought him home, with both dogs riding side by side on the back seat in their dog harnesses.  They were not bosom buddies but they behaved well and neither tried to take advantage of the other.

Eddie’s background is even sadder than Ronda’s.  Someone has chopped his tail off leaving a six inch stump:

eddie 1 032.jpg1

it was clearly a very fine Collie-type tail before that time.

Capture.JPG3

Someone has also bashed him on the top of his nose with an iron pipe or bar totally crushing his nasal passages which has left him with a slight drip to one nostril and a lot of snorting and snuffling.  And someone else caught him in a dog-snare and left him for days without food or water, causing great trauma to his hips.  Finally he pulled the snare clear of the stake and was found wandering round with its end hanging, with the loop completely embedded in his flesh and bone.

Capture

 

He has a huge indentation round his body which is obvious when one runs a hand over his hips; his rear end is deformed where he has physical bone and muscle wastage and he has suffered considerable damage to his rear leg muscles.  As far as we can ascertain his internal organs are OK but time will tell.

Capture.JPG1.jpg2

He is very sweet and undemanding and I hope that gradually he will come out of his shell and get to love life.  (We had one cruelty case many years ago and it took that dog two years before he would wag his tail.)

Day 2 with a bone:

 eddie 1 001

But after two weeks Eddie loves Ronda and she loves him.  Today I found them both curled up together in the same dog bed, only when I went to take a photo they moved.  Sorry about that.

domestic feb 16 031

domestic feb 16 035

 

They are both undominant and submissive dogs and have bonded into a little pack with us.   They now come to their names and my dog whistle and dried black pudding plays a huge part in both their lives as a training aid!

My admiration and thanks go out to the wonderful people in Romania who spend their time, money and love, on trying to cope with a really difficult stray dog problem in a country with limited resources.

PS  Today Eddie began to wag his little stumpy tail!!!!!  Progress:)

Today I took this photo of them both on  a duvet on the landing.

 

february 16 007

 

 

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We did not set out to adopt a dog from Romania.

We knew nothing about European Strays.

We went to the local pound and found that the dogs we liked were now too large and strong for us at our advancing age, and, in this part of the country, the others were mostly Staffie crosses: very sweet but my husband does not like how they look.

Appearances should be irrelevant but we both need to be happy with our choices.

I decided I would like to go back to having a couple of dogs as we used to and that since we could not manage a large dog I would like to adopt two medium sized ones.

After hours spent trawling the internet and visiting local pounds and shedding many tears at the judgements we were making when we did not adopt a particular dog, we travelled a few miles north to Barnsley to meet a young dog, just under two years old they think, whom I felt might be a good match with us.  She was at Royston Animal Rescue near Barnsley: a rescue which looks after both local and foreign dogs although I did not know this when we first made contact.  It appeared that this dog, called Ronda, was a stray rescued from the streets of a city in Romania.

As soon as we met her I knew she was the one.  I felt I knew her already, like meeting an old friend after a separation.  She was very smiley with a real twinkle in her eyes.  We had taken some dog treats and she sat down  for one and then rolled over to have her tummy tickled.  Leaving her there while we went home to await our home inspection was really difficult.  She sat in the door of her kennel grinning and looking after us as we left.

Three days later we were inspected and passed albeit with the requirement that we install a dog proof gate beside the steps leading up to our hard standing: this was duly done.

new gate 2016 008.jpg1

We were warned that Ronda had never lived in a house before, therefore was not house-trained, nor was she car-trained or used to walking on a lead.  Also, the kennels had just noticed a limp in one of her back legs and had decided to have that investigated before she left them.  We were not worried by any of this after meeting her, but it might have made a difference if we had known beforehand!

Two days later we went to collect her.  Well, I did not go as I was in bed with a virus, but a young friend/unofficial daughter, her partner and my husband went to collect her from a local vet because she had been having an anaesthetic that day while she had X-rays to check out her back leg.  Unfortunately, the results are not good.

It appears that life has not been kind to this young stray.  She has been hit at least once by a car/s: her pelvis has been deformed by one accident when young, and one back leg has been broken and had a metal plate and wire implanted, rather badly I’m afraid, which means that the leg sticks out at an odd angle and has suffered nerve damage.  She limps after the slightest exercise, which for a young dog is very sad.  It also turns out that she has very bad hip displasia in both hips made worse by her lifestyle and diet.  We do not know the prognosis yet or what may be physically or financially possible.

However I rang the vet whose video you can watch on my earlier post of January 25th ‘A Ray of Hope’.  Their practice is many miles away but I knew they had considerable orthopedic experience.  They said they would give me a free electronic consultation if my vet would email the X-ray results to them: they will say what they might be able do for her, and whether there is another vet nearer to me whom they think could offer the same expertise.

Meanwhile, Ronda, the dog in question, has settled in like a dream.  Given that she was not house trained and had never been in a house before, she has been no trouble at all. (Photo taken on first day here after a bath and a good brush I hasten to say, as she smelled dreadful when she first came!)

Autumnwinter 2015-1016 084

She does like to tear her bedding to shreds to make it comfy and is always on the look-out for plastic boxes or bags to investigate for food, but hey, she grew up a stray so these things are only natural.  We love her to bits and she has my husband wrapped around her littlest paw.  We just make sure to take her out every four hours during the day and shut her in her dog crate at night, and there are no ‘accidents’.  We have had to acclimatise her to riding in cars and by cars passing her in the street, but the judicious use of dried black pudding has done wonders for her confidence in these area.  She does pull on the lead but we are working on that: however, she HATES to be held by her collar: we are told this is typical of Romanian strays, because being held this way was always the precursor to pain and trouble.  So we walk her on a harness and that obviates the problem.

She is the smiliest, happiest, sweetest dog, attentive to our every mood and intonation: we have to go very gently with her training as she is a sensitive girl.

Autumnwinter 2015-1016 086

If you raise a hand or foot, flap a tea-towel, fry fat in a pan or unwrap some aluminium foil she cringes to the floor and rushes to her dog crate for cover.  Even a stern ‘No’ sends her crashing to her stomach to crawl away. It is so sad and makes one feel like a brute.

But this week, after five weeks with us, she learned how to play for the first time.  She ran after a ball and brought it back.  She has a rope octopus which she flings in the air and carries around.  And she lies at our feet with a bone exuding happiness and contentment.

The Rescue asked us for photos of her as she settles in to send back to her rescuers in Romania.  These wonderful people gather pathetic scraps from the street or the ghastly public shelters, nurse them back to health and then send them off on trains to other countries and do not always know what happens to the dogs they cared for.  The least we can do is send them some photos:)

I understand from the Manager of the Rescue that he tries to bring as many strays over as possible: he knows he cannot find homes for all of them, but he would rather have them kindly and humanely euthanased over here than face the barbaric and horrific deaths awaiting them back home.

Interesting fact: apparently Germany and UK take most of the dogs from Romania.

However our girl got here, she has enriched our lives beyond measure already, and I hope we can do the same for her.

new gate 2016 001

 

 

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