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I can’t believe it’s been three weeks since Polly Pocket came to live with us!

Life has changed quite a bit for her in the last three weeks. She came to us a scared, trembling girl with no confidence whatsoever. She was recovering from spay surgery and a recently removed embedded prong collar. She limped badly on her back left leg and the initial vet who looked at her believed that she had a torn ACL. We were bracing ourselves to start raising money for surgery, but decided to get a second opinion on Polly’s leg when we had her spay stitches removed.

Polly Pocket was sent to us with a bottle of Rimadyl, which is an anti-inflammatory pill often prescribed to dogs with muscle injuries or  arthritis pain. Unfortunately, the Rimadyl didn’t seem to help Polly much, and from what I’ve read, prolonged usage of the medication can cause anything from gastrointestinal issues to renal failure. So I knew we couldn’t use the Rimadyl safely for any extended length of time, but I felt so terrible because Polly looked so sad limping around the house. By coincidence, Katharine from Two Kitties One Pittie posted on Facebook about how Zoe hurt herself and was limping around also. Francie from Maisie & Me commented that she had luck using Traumeel tablets to deal with her old dog’s muscle injuries. Traumeel is a homeopathic blend botanical substances and minerals that is used as a natural anti-inflammatory to treat arthritis, sprains, and muscle injuries in humans. I googled “Traumeel usage in dogs” and saw that it is a common practice to use Traumeel to treat the same issues with dogs. But unlike Rimadyl, Traumeel can be used longterm without any threat of cardiovascular or renal issues. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I ran over to the local natural food store and picked up a bottle for $14 (much cheaper than the price tag on the Rimadyl).

I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t really expecting it to work.  I mean, how in the world could a natural supplement succeed where modern medicine failed? So imagine my surprise when, just a few hours after taking her first dose of Traumeel, Polly Pocket did zoomies around the backyard using ALL FOUR LEGS! When we came inside, I noticed she was still walking on all four legs and putting considerable weight on her back leg, when she had never been able to do that before. I was really encouraged, but just before her nighttime feeding, I noticed she was limping again. It wasn’t as pronounced as before, but she was still limping. Another dose of Traumeel and she seemed good as new once more. I followed the recommended dosage for her size, which allows her two pills twice a day.

When I took Polly to have her stitches removed last week, I asked the vet to take a look at her leg. He asked me to take her around the office so he could watch her walk, then he felt around her leg and bent her knee several times. I braced myself for a horribly long, terribly expensive diagnosis. Then, decisively, he announced, “she’s fine!” Wait….what?! He explained that when he bent her knee, he could hear a small clicking sound in her joint, which is indicative of arthritis (probably developed from an old injury – most likely self-inflicted considering what an escape artist she is), but it is not anything that requires surgery. He told me that he was impressed with how well she is walking on it and told me to keep up with the Rimadyl and add a glucosamine supplement (which I had already been giving her since she came to live with us). I told him that I hadn’t been using the Rimadyl, but Traumeel instead. He looked skeptical, but said “if it seems to be helping, go with that then.” Polly will probably have to be on glucosamine and Traumeel for the rest of her life, but that is a much easier fate to deal with than an expensive and painful surgery. So as of last Friday, with her stitches removed and leg injury issues solved, Polly is officially adoptable! We are so thrilled – now bring on the adoption applications!

* I am not a veterinarian and cannot tell you what is best for your dog regarding using all-natural remedies or prescription medication. I am merely sharing what worked best for my foster dog. Please consult with your own veterinarian before using any new medication (prescription or all-natural) on your pet. *
* Polly Pocket is available for adoption through Heart of America Humane Society *

Fridays are tough for this blogger. Statistically, it is my lowest readership day of the week. Why? I’m not sure. But because of that, it is always tough for me to come up with something to write for Fridays. I also tend to come up with half-baked post ideas. Ones that sounds great when I am in the shower pondering blog topics, but aren’t super content-rich when I go to write. So I came up with this idea: Fridays are going to be for the random half-baked content I come up with while plucking my eyebrows but aren’t enough to have an entire post dedicated to it. Sound good? I hope so! So here goes…

Random Stuff:

1. I recently attended a Kansas City Blogger event at Saks Off 5th at the Legends Outlets. While this blog is not fashion-focused (unless it’s doggy fashion, and in that case…), I do love to shop and I couldn’t pass up the free $25 gift card they gave all of the bloggers spending time with my fellow blog chicas.

A fun time was had by all and I walked away with these amazeballs Carrera sunglasses. Win-win.

2. Last weekend Daniel & I ran in the Color Run. If you have the opportunity, run this race. It is so. much. fun!

3. We are gearing up for a big garage sale this weekend. I’ve never been super successful with them but I figure if we are going to move, we need to get rid of a lot of stuff – and making a few bucks in the process would be great! We still don’t know where we are moving, but the ball is officially rolling…

4. It. is. hot. Like, hotter than H-E-Double-Hockeysticks. Which means we are visiting the pool a lot and the dogs are hanging out inside doing their best to stay cool. This is how they look on any given day…

Of course Polly Pocket, ever vigilant, refuses to snooze regardless of temperature. Luckily she has a delicious antler to keep her occupied. Speaking of Polly…

5. She got her stitches out yesterday and is now officially available for adoption through Heart of America Humane Society!

Have an awesome weekend and think of us as we melt away sell lots of our belongings at our garage sale tomorrow!

Hey there! My name is Polly Pocket and I am in the HOUSE!

I’ve been with my foster family for about a week now and I am learning so much about being a part of a family. First things first – I got my very own Sirius Republic “Lily” collar with hot pink fleece lining. I look pretty cute, huh?

I am still getting to know my foster siblings. Rufus and I are able to hang outside together but Turk and I have only been able to see each other from afar.

From what I hear, he is not a huge fan of me or any other fosters. Maybe I’ll be able to change his mind eventually?

When I first came to live here, I was so scared of everything that I would cry and cry every time Foster Mama left my sight. I didn’t like to go outside alone and I refused to eat my food if Foster Mama didn’t sit with me the whole time. If anyone tried to touch me, I would flatten to the floor or try to run away because I wasn’t sure if I could trust these people yet. Needless to say, I was a mess.

But Foster Mama did some research on fearful dogs and found out that it was best to let me come out of my shell on my own terms and not try to force it. That was a pretty smart move, because once I was here for a couple of days, I realized how awesome Foster Mama and Foster Dad really are! They give me hot dogs when I “sit” my bottom on the ground, go potty outside, or when I go into the crate on my own. They even let me snooze on my very own Molly Mutt bed!

I’m not gonna lie though – things aren’t all perfect at Foster House. Foster Mama and Dad abandon leave me sometimes and I get worried that they are never going to come back. The worst part though, is that when they do abandon leave me, they put me in a crate. I hate crates so much. I tried to explain to them how much I hated crates the first time the put me in one…

But wouldn’t you know it, the bent wires and shredded bedding didn’t deter them! So the next time, I had to get a little more drastic so they would finally understand…

I overheard Foster Mama telling Foster Dad that she is frustrated, but not deterred. She asked her friend Aleks for advice on how to handle my “sep-ur-ation anxiety” and Aleks told her that my problem isn’t actually “sep-ur-ation anxiety” at all, but more of a hardcore hissy fit. How dare she say that! I wouldn’t never throw a hissy fit…unless, of course, that hissy fit resulted in the return of my dearest foster parents from wherever they disappear off to from time-to-time.

So Aleks gave Foster Mama some tips to make me love tolerate my crate, like feeding me exclusively from Kongs inside my crate, leaving me a piece of their clothing so I can smell them while they are gone, and playing a recording of their voices (or the radio or whatever) on repeat so I can hear voices in the house when they are away. I’ll admit, I’m not sold on the whole “crate” or “foster parents abandoning me every day for something called ‘work'” thing yet.

But I’m willing to work on it… they did spring me from the slammer so I owe them that much, right?

I received some news this week that is the kind of news that every foster parent dreads. It was about my favorite black dog, Charlie Machete, being discovered at an animal shelter in Omaha just months after being adopted by a (seemingly awesome) guy – and just one failed temperament test away from being euthanized.

Photo courtesy of Wayward Dogs

Charlie was fostered independently by my good friend and co-founder of the KC Pittie Pack, Crystal, who writes the Wayward Dogs blog. After eight months of fostering, Charlie was finally adopted in March by a guy in Iowa who seemed completely legitimate. His dog had recently died and was the spitting image of Charlie, so it seemed as though they were a match made in doggy heaven. Crystal seemed a bit uneasy with the fact that this guy was slow to respond to “check-in” emails she sent in the weeks and months after the adoption was finalized, but she trusted that his silence was due to being busy or not computer savvy or something. The few updates she did get were positive so she believed that Charlie was safe and loved.

Photo courtesy of Wayward Dogs

Until this weekend when Crystal received a phone call from the Nebraska Humane Society in Omaha alerting her that Charlie had been left at the shelter by “an unknown party” – but definitely not the guy who adopted him four months ago. Crystal was still listed as the contact person on Charlie’s microchip, and she offered to break him out of the slammer right away. The only problem was that Charlie was behaving in a less-than-stellar manner in the shelter (who could blame him?) and he was put on the euthanasia list. A few quick calls to Crystal’s rescue contacts in Nebraska and Charlie was pulled from the euthanasia list and picked up by Crystal’s boyfriend Zach on Monday. He’s safe now at home with Crystal & Zach, but his story could have ended very differently.

Photo courtesy of Wayward Dogs

The adoption agreement that this man signed clearly stated that if for any reason he could not keep Charlie, he was to make arrangements to return Charlie to Crystal. For whatever reason this guy decided to re-home Charlie on his own. Luckily he never got around to updating Charlie’s microchip, enabling Crystal to learn of his predicament. Crystal is obviously frustrated and upset that Charlie has been put through this, but she is trying to look on the positive side and see it for the valuable lessons she’s learned:

1. When you adopt out your foster dog, let the adopters know that you will be contacting them periodically to check up on the dog. This way, they are aware that you are not just going to forget about the dog as soon as it leaves your care. If they don’t respond to repeated attempts to contact them, there might be a problem. I get periodic updates on each of my foster dogs and their new families let me know when they are dealing with issues and try to help them in any way I can. Sometimes even this is not enough (as Crystal experienced) but it definitely helps.

2. Trust your gut. Crystal told me several times that she wasn’t 100% sold on this guy but was hoping for the best. We have intuition for a reason – trust it! If you aren’t totally confident it is the right home – take a pass. The right one will come along eventually.

3. Microchip your fosters (if your rescue group doesn’t do it – do it yourself)! If the new adopters are too lazy to change it (like the man who adopted Charlie), you might luck out if they try to leave the dog at a shelter. If Crystal hadn’t microchipped Charlie, she would have never known what happened to him.

I am not sure what else Crystal could have done to avoid what happened. To any fosters reading this – what do you do to ensure your foster dogs don’t end up back at the shelter?

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