September 10, 2008
While Lexi was at the vet for her spay, hip x-rays were taken and showed old, untreated fractures. It would be imperative that Lexi be on anti-inflammatories for the rest of her life as she would only become more and more painful with age. We already knew that she could not tolerate taking Rimadyl since we had tried that early on and it made her very ill. With that being the case, there would be no pain management for Lexi and in consultation with the veterinarian we decided it would be best to put Lexi to sleep while she was already sedated. We did not want a painful future for her. This was obviously a direct result of her prior neglect and blame lies with the people who let her get into the condition she was in. We think she was hit by a car and never treated. (Probably why she would become anxious and duck behind her foster mom every time a car would pass while on walks.) At least Lexi had three great weeks in her foster home, the best time she had ever experienced. She had finally lived like a dog should live and she loved it.
Animal control was called when Lexi was found wet and shivering under a porch in a trailer park. She was in awful shape, her ears raw and bloody from fly bites and her coat brittle and sparse from poor nutrition, fleas and ticks, and years of exposure to the elements. The next day her owners arrived at the shelter to claim her. Lexi was so happy to see her people and ran right up to them with her tail wagging. How sad that a dog can be so neglected yet still love her owners, only to be rejected. They yelled at her to get away because she "was filthy and smelly". Well, now who's fault would that be? The animal control officer demanded to know why Lexi was in such bad shape and the owners said that is because she lived outside all her life and is 16 years old. Granted, makes sense she probably lived outside but 16 year old? NO WAY! Seems like they added on 10 years to excuse her neglected condition. The mother started sobbing hysterically, one would think because the animal control officer was insisting she sign the dog over. But no, the reason was she was terrified that she was going to be thrown in jail for neglecting the dog. When the animal control officer said he would not press charges if she signed Lexi over, she happily signed and went on her merry way. Yes, she should have been summonsed, but the most important thing at the time was not to let her take Lexi back to the awful life she had been living.<p>
Lexi is now in one of our foster homes. She took to indoor living like a fish takes to water. She LOVES sleeping in the soft doggie beds and goes right into her crate without a problem. In fact, she took a nap in her crate all on her own before we even needed her to go in it. She follows her foster mom everywhere. Her foster mom works from home and Lexi naps in the dog bed next to her while she is working. Lexi simply loves to be close to a human - something she didn't get enough of living outside all alone. Surprisingly, she is heartworm and lyme negative. We had fully expected her to be positive for one, if not both. Lexi's bloodwork showed she is anemic, most likely from hosting fleas for quite some time. We will retest her once she has been flea-free and on a proper diet to be sure her red blood cells are back to normal. The vet found muscle wasting in her back legs so when she is spayed on September 10, her hips will be x-rayed at the same time. The muscle wasting is most likely from lack of exercise but we want to be sure nothing is going on with her hips. She walks very nicely on leash and doesn't pull. Her only "fault" is she wants to stop and sniff everything and her foster mom is one to charge full speed ahead on a walk. So she is learning to step it up and keep up! Lexi has discovered the joy of doggie toys and happily flings them around, playing catch all by herself. At first she was taken aback by people actually wanting to interact with her in toy play but she is getting into it now and it learning to fetch and retrieve. Lexi's teeth are in surprisingly good shape and are very clean. We (as well as the vet) are guessing Lexi to be about 6 year old. MOST DEFINITELY NOT 16!!!!! That statement from her previous owners was simply an outright lie in an attempt to redeem themselves.
To help Lexi's skin and coat recover she is getting medicated baths, is eating Wellness dog food and is getting supplements specifically designed for the skin and coat, generously donated by Nickers International. After just a little over a week, there has been tremendous improvement. Lexi no longer becomes oily, dull and stinky the day after a bath, her coat stays shiny and clean and hair is growing back where it was missing.
Lexi is a retriever type of mix, maybe lab or flat coated retriever with something smaller. She is weighs 41 pounds.
Lexi is used to pottying outside but the other side of the coin is she is used to going whenever the need arises. With letting her outdoors frequently, she has not had any accidents indoors at all. We will keep on top of that to reinforce outside is the place to go and to avoid her having any accidents indoors before we start trusting her to hold it for any length of time.