Lady Love is such a beautiful sweet girl who doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. She has Degenerative Myelopathy which is a progressive type of paralysis. When she first arrived her left rear leg and hip were all that was really affected. But the DM is progressing. Her rear really drags a lot more now and she wears booties to protect both feet. As much as I try to protect the tops and backs of her feet they often are worn to bleeding. A friend has given me a bunch of old tube socks that I made into quick change booties which she patiently lets me put on. We now also have a ramp (loaned to us by the Thulani program) to use getting out of the truck.
On the plus side she continues to become more comfortable in her new life –
When Lady first arrived she had various medications to take and she wouldn’t even eat dinner never mind spoonful of peanut butter with a hidden pill. Eventually meals got to be an ‘eh’ kind of thing. Now Lady expects breakfast and dinner and will give the dish a lick now and then just in case I have dropped something in. (I made a little table for her and that has really helped with the gagging she used to experience while eating.) When you ask her if she wants a treat, her eyes brighten and she goes to the kitchen even though I will bring it to her. She is so dainty taking the food. Happily, Lady has started to play ball a little bit in the house. Besides pawing at the ball in an effort to chase it she will sometimes nudge the ball with her nose. I hope to develop the nudging because as her ability to walk decreases we can then at least roll the ball back and forth.
The best thing in the world is a trip to the Fremont dog park. She won’t even wait for the ramp set-up to get out of the truck. She interacts positively with all the dogs and has a small fan club of people that want to know how she is doing and comment on what a happy beautiful girl she is. As much as the other dogs attract her she always checks for where I am and is never too long from my side. She really enjoys “jogging” alongside me with numerous stops to visit. 3 laps around the park are usually enough, but one Sunday she did not want to leave! There was a small fox terrier that was playing chase with her. An interesting sight to be sure! I finally had to insist on going as it was getting cold and dark. The dog park people and I look forward to Lady getting a cart so she can more easily move.
Lady can usually get up on my bed by herself and sleeps with me. And when I say ‘Time for Dogs Out’ she heads out the back door, gets a cookie, and knows I’ve left for the day. (but she knows the sound of the cars, so don’t try sneaking in). During the day she keeps the yard clear of squirrels and cats. When I get home it is time for quality hugs and cuddles and gentle play. Lady is just so glad to be with people and follows me everywhere about the house.
Despite the advancing paralysis Lady is the sweetest happiest dog you could ever wish to see. She is beautiful and so loving. Her eyes are the saddest brown and her muzzle is always where is can get attention. I sometimes have to help her get up over low steps and untangle her legs and It breaks my heart to see her struggle. But despite the back end failing, the front doesn’t know it and is as happy as can be. Lady is an ambassador for GSD rescue and DM awareness.
I laughingly call myself Lady Love’s Paw-Maiden but I feel very honored to have been given charge of her and hope that I can continue to give her this quality of life until it is time for her to cross the rainbow bridge. She adds so much to my life.
Lady Love passed to the Rainbow Bridge in January of 2012, where she waits patiently for Patty.