Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

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Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby connie » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:00 pm

I'm so angry I'm spitting.

In the summer of 2015, I offered to take in the Merle Girls, two Shelties that had been bred and owned by a hoarder in upstate NY. The Girls are sisters and were 12 at the time.

The rescue told me that Posey could not have surgery because she had been diagnosed with mammary cancer. They wouldn't even give her a rabies vax. Okay -- I understood I was providing palliative care for a senior with cancer.

She doesn't have mammary cancer. If she did, she'd be dead by now. She is not spayed; she goes into heat every 5 months, which is really annoying. My vet won't spay her because of the mammary tumors, but he did a dental on her last year ($$$$$$) and took out some ridiculous number of teeth.

I was told that Peeks had been spayed by the breeder some years earlier. Lie. She's intact, she's going into heat and my vet did a cytology swab today and found that yep, there's estrogen there and presumably a uterus! He wants to spay her and do her dental this summer.

I was not told that Peeks has Intervertebral Disc Disease, which is a chronic condition. The rescue may not have known, since the hoarder apparently lies like a rug.

So the rescue gave me two seniors that had had poor care, that had not been spayed, and that had not had dentals.

Fuck that. The rescue needs to take these dogs back, because I can't afford to care for them and I can't keep a dog and not give it the care it needs. If I had known the truth of their conditions, I would NEVER have taken them in.

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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby Amanda » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:55 pm

Oh no! Have you spoken to the rescue yet? Maybe they will pay for the procedures? You’ve had some bad luck with the vet bills lately. :/

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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby connie » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:13 am

I calmed down a bit and yes, the rescue and I are talking this out. Pardon my language in my original post, but I have felt like several houses have been dropped on me lately, vet bill-wise, and finding out yesterday that Peekaboo is not spayed just put the icing on the cake, so to speak.

If the rescue is going to take back the Girls, one of the people from the rescue will be passing through Chicago in June and can pick them up then, which is good, because this is a New York rescue.

However, I don't think the rescue WANTS to take them back; they are not what you would call adoptable, and A said 'we know they will never have as good quality of life as they have with you' which is probably true. I am willing to keep them if Peeks's surgery is paid for, so the rescue is discussing that. Posey's dental last year was over $800, and Peeks will probably ring in at around $1100 with a spay included in that. Rescues have access to lower-cost vet services so that's quite a chunk for them to come up with, and I don't know if they will. It's up to them. They can leave Posey with me -- I've put almost $1400 into her vet care since she came here, and as far as I'm concerned, that's cool and she's in as good shape health-wise as she can be. Now that I know she gets vestibular episodes, I don't even take her to the vet for those, but ride them out with anti-nausea meds so long as she's still eating and not vomiting.

I will not pay for Peekaboo's dental and spay, so they can take her back, or have the surgery done and leave her with me. Their call.

I feel like I'm being a jerk about the money, but I'm not. No more than they were jerks about giving me two dogs with inaccurate medical information. Stuff happens. And when it does, you make it right. I'm just saying.

BTW, CharlieBear has rung up over $3,000 in vet bills with me. I did an Excel sheet of my rescue dog vet costs yesterday. He's quite the pricey little item, another unadoptable dog! :tongue:

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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby emmas_mom » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:11 am

What a financial and emotional storm you are experiencing this month! I do hope the rescue will pay for Peek's surgery, as I know she is getting the best care and is safe with you. And I hate to see her world turned upside down. I know that gut-wrenching feeling of one vet bill after another after another, not to mention the frustration of finding the dog you took on has more issues/heath concerns than what you bargained for.
Connie, I worry whether Maggie is really spayed - the previous owner's son who took the dog to the shelter said she was, but given that she wasn't microchipped or tattooed and was in such deplorable state, and that there is no spay scar (though I know they often are not visible especially in older dogs), I keep waiting. I thought, as I have had her almost a year now, that I was in the clear, but it seems to me that you've had Peeks for at least a couple of years and this is her first heat while in your care? Of course, I remember one of my very senior dogs (Shiloh or Belle?) was not spayed but only came into heat once during the two or three years she was with me, and then it was more the discharge than the desire to copulate.
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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby connie » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:14 am

Jean, this may not be Peeks's first heat while here, but she's so shut down most of the time that I might not have noticed. I saw this one because I was brushing her and saw small droplets of blood near her vulva. She might also be a dog who only has a season every 12 months or so, which is not uncommon in Shelties, as you have experienced.

If you want to find out if Maggie has a uterus, an ultrasound will tell you. That may be a bit pricey, I don't know.

I must say, I never thought of menopause as a good thing, but I would sure hate to be getting my period in my 60s, which is what Peeks and Poe are going through, so maybe Ma Nature's design for us human women isn't so awful. :lol:

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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby SherriA » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:19 pm

Oh man, that's frustrating!!! I hope the rescue does the right thing and pays for the surgery. They're not going to find a better home for her, that's for sure.
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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby connie » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:04 pm

Well, I haven't heard back from them yet, but I'm sure I will.

The bad thing about this is it's pretty much finished me with rescues. Secondhand Shelties, Central Illinois Sheltie Rescue, and now the LISSR -- all really bad experiences. I'm inclined to stay away from rescues now, and that's just so sad.

I told a good friend the whole story -- he's always gotten his pets at Anti-Cruelty, so he's familiar with adopting rather than shopping -- and he said 'wow, they played you, didn't they!' I hate to think that way! But there it is.

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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby emmas_mom » Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:32 am

Connie, I'm sad to see this has turned you off rescues. I think there are a number of factors at play with adopting seniors from rescues - (1) many rescues are on a shoestring budget and therefore can't pour buckets of money into really thorough dentals, exams that include xrays or ultrasounds etc; (2) rescues who take in dogs from a known individual (as opposed to strays) often take the word of the person surrendering as to whether the dog has been spayed, has had any major surgeries or injuries, and even how old they are - and people surrendering or having their dogs seized may well be too stressed to get things straight, or even outright lie; (3) and telling for sure if a female dog has been spayed is a lot less obvious (and, as you point out above, may mean an expensive ultrasound) than telling whether a male dog has been neutered.
And, of course, adopting seniors (whether from rescue or from a breeder who is rehoming a retired bitch) is always a bit of a crap shoot as dogs, like people, can have their bodies go suddenly down hill with age. I would love to have two dogs again, and I think Mags would like it too, but given the escalation in vet rates and the cost of senior dog health care, that ain't gonna happen.

To respond to your earlier comment re heats and senior shelties, I think when Mags has her dental this fall I will check on the cost to have an ultrasound done at the same time to check she is spayed, assuming the clinic has the technology. Thanks for the idea.
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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby emmas_mom » Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:34 am

Oh, and I wouldn't say the rescue necessarily 'played' you - they had two very fearful girls and knew you had the experience, the compassion, and the love of shelties to provide them with a safe haven. I'm sorry the experience has not been a good one.
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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby connie » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:08 am

They should have known better than to take the word of a hoarder for anything, IMO. That's common sense. Hoarding is a psychological disorder. Hoarders are liars.

Unless the hoarder produced a veterinary record of a spay for Peeks, the rescue should have ultrasounded her to see if she was still intact. And FFS they should have done a dental at the same time.

I'm tired of encountering people who do stupid things and then get upset at having that pointed out, that's all. And yes, I'm extra cranky because my life has changed so much: I have pulled Rowley from all dog sports, I am terrified that he is going to die from the heartworm treatment and it's all my fault, and this is just the straw that's broken the back of this particular camel.

I might be civil again in a few months, but really, you'd be safe to take the under on that.

ETA: Posey's not fearful, that's only Peeks. Posey is a genial, worn-out old breeding dog who has mammary tumors and not much of a clue in general.

ETA again: And if a rescue is NOT going to be responsible and do the basic health maintenance (dental, spay, vax, heartworm test) before placing a senior, then the rescue should make it a 'permanent foster' arrangement. That way THE RESCUE will pick up a portion of future vet bills, as they should.

I didn't take Peeks and Posey because I had a yen for more dogs -- I took them because they were living in a pen in a wildlife refuge, FFS, and had nowhere to go. The rescue should have APPRECIATED MY GESTURE, which they said they did, but as the saying goes, 'I can't hear a word you're saying, your actions are screaming so loudly.'

This rescue as as BS a rescue as Secondhand (Linda Carbon, refusing to euthanize even dogs that are aggressive, so she learned to GIVE HERSELF STITCHES as she was bitten repeatedly by several fosters that probably had brain tumors, true fact), as CISR (Natalie Whalen, fervid trump supporter, adopting Shelties only to white people, a Confederate general in central Illinois!) -- good grief.

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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby SherriA » Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:00 pm

Not all rescues foist medically challenging dogs off on trusting, caring people. The rescue I'm involved with has severally medically supported adoptions, as well as the Sensational Senior Beagle program that I oversee. Based on the applications for Grey Muzzle funding this year, it looks like there are more and more rescues providing financial support to get aging dogs into caring homes. I hate that you've been so burned by the sheltie rescues :(
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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby connie » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:57 am

Sherri, you're absolutely right. :)

Seniors are a challenge for ANY rescue; often they are not nearly as adoptable as younger dogs or the ever-sought-after puppies, and almost always their vet bills will exceed those of other dogs. I was counting all the seniors I have taken in (Angus, Rudy, Banjo, Mikey, Good Guy, Irwin, and my current three) and I knew what I was getting into and I didn't hit this wall of frustration until Peeks and Posey.

A rescue's reputation is made not on how it handles the easy, adoptable dogs, but on how it handles the dogs who are NOT in that category. It's possible that this rescue is going for saving more dogs and not keeping to certain standards because those would mean less money for more dogs. I don't know. They save and place a lot of dogs and goodness knows there are way too many Shelties out there that need homes and are in rescue.

I'd be very surprised if they actually take back the Merle Girls: it would present a problem for which they have no solution, I think. But the more time that passes without word from them, the more I think that they are engaged in creating excuses and blame scenarios and not finding money for Peeks's care. I certainly hope I'm wrong, and I often am wrong, so there's that. :rofl:

I still work with a BC rescue and I have nothing negative to say about them. But yeah, my experience with Sheltie rescues has been truly awful. Really, truly awful.

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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby connie » Tue May 01, 2018 5:26 am

Well, no word back from the rescue yet, and my guess is they're ignoring this, hoping it will go away. And it will! The Girls will stay with me, I will look for some extra consulting work to finance Peeks's surgery this summer.

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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby emmas_mom » Tue May 01, 2018 8:35 am

I'm sorry the rescue has let you down and did not even have the courtesy to respond. Thanks for standing by the girls. I can't afford much, but I would be happy to contribute to a "spay Peeks" fund.
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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby connie » Tue May 01, 2018 12:23 pm

That's a lovely offer but I will not take you up on it; HOWEVER, I have a carton of Sheltie-themed items that I was planning to donate to the national Rescue and that I now have decided to offer for auction (probably on eBay) in order to raise some money for Peeks's surgery -- so if you see something in there that you want to bid on, I won't try to dissuade you. :grin:

I'm going to start sorting that out in the next couple of weeks, I'll post on FB when I've got things assembled. Even if it raises only a little bit of money, it's worth doing.

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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby connie » Tue May 01, 2018 12:29 pm

And I don't think the rescue is going to help out in any way; the only thing they have said is that they will have someone in Chicago in June and can take one or both Girls back with them. And from there? This rescue treats *people* like shit, I've no intention of letting them put the Girls back in a pen in a wildlife sanctuary because they've got no place else to stash them.

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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby whiteboxerboy » Tue May 01, 2018 6:24 pm

Gah this whole situation is just infuriating. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this on top everything else.

The Merle Girls are lucky to have landed with you.
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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby connie » Thu May 03, 2018 5:18 am

Alex's breeder has very strong views on the responsibility of breed rescues -- this is the woman who dropped everything to drive from TN to MD to collect a Finnish Lapphund from a shelter, when the dog was not of her breeding, and then poured $$ into the dog to get him as healthy as possible before adopting him out, which is how I got my Mikey -- and she is bending the ears of Sheltie people she knows about LISSR's refusal to step up here. I am not putting the name of the rescue out in my FB posts but I absolutely will share it with anyone who asks me, and will share my PM convos too. As I said to Amy (of LISSR) yesterday, I am beyond disgusted that the rescue is doing nothing to help Peekaboo here.

Immediately after I posted on FB yesterday I received a YUGE donation from a Sheltie owner on the east coast who has always gotten his dogs from rescue and who was on the board of the old Tri-State Shetland Sheepdog Rescue, which sent me Banjo and Charlie. TSSSR was headed by Julie Canzoneri, an angel with an ass-kicking demeanor and Queens accent, who saved countless Shelties before her untimely death from kidney disease several years ago. LISSR, the rescue that is currently avoiding its responsibilities, took over for TSSSR. I said to Mark, when I thanked him for sending $$ for Peeks, that Julie would NEVER have let this happen, to which he replied that Julie would never have sent a dog out unvetted.

The rescue should catch major shit for this from the national rescue,and I hope it does. I am holding my fire for now, but the anger I feel is sure not going away.

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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby maxs_mommy » Sat May 05, 2018 3:30 pm

And seriously, could they not just check for a spay scar on intake? Just saying.
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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby connie » Sun May 06, 2018 12:11 pm

But the breeder told them she was spayed! :lol: :lol: :lol:

One of the most annoying things in this whole exchange with Amy is her insistence on calling the owner of the Merle Girls a "breeder." She is a HOARDER. Words have meanings, do not call a hoarder a breeder!

I know very well she's just in a defensive posture now, and I won't be talking to her again -- no reason to. I will never understand why some people can't say things like 'We deeply regret that she was not checked before she left us and we will help you remedy this!' rather than 'The breeder told us she was spayed.' The hoarder didn't give you any vet records, eh?

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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby emmas_mom » Sun May 06, 2018 4:30 pm

In response to Max's Mommy - often there is no noticeable scar on dogs. I think only one of the spayed seniors I've adopted had even the faintest of scars - the rest were no longer visible. It is such a small incision anyway, and often fades to nothing, with the fur growing back over it. Sometimes it is a midline incision, following the natural line down the belly of a pup. And laparoscopic spays are also being done now - though I'm not sure they were available when Peeks was younger - those involve just a tiny keyhole incision. Even my vets haven't been able to find scars on some of my adopted girls. Maggie certainly has no scar visible, but as I've had her almost a year now I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the person who took her to the shelter was telling the truth when he said she was spayed.
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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby connie » Mon May 07, 2018 9:36 am

But if you don't see a spay scar, then you DO ask for proof of spay, or you run an u/s wand over the dog's belly. The rescue didn't do any of that.

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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby emmas_mom » Tue May 08, 2018 10:43 am

They should, but none of the rescues or shelters that ive worked with have ever done that - ultrasounds are really expensive here and most dont have the resources if there is reasonable grounds to think they would be spayed. However in Peeks case, and in Maggie's, an ultrasound would sure have been advisable.
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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby connie » Tue May 08, 2018 4:14 pm

In the Sheltie rescues I've worked with, the intakes fall into one of two categories: they are owner surrenders, in which case the rescue requests (repeatedly, if necessary) all vet records from the owner, or permission to get all vet records from the clinic. OR they are strays or hoarder rescues, in which case they go to the vet as soon as they are bathed and decontaminated, and they get their teeth cleaned, because they are Shelties and neglect of this breed goes RIGHT to the mouth. While they're at the vet's, the rescue will request the vet determine if the female has been spayed. Some vets, the old-school ones, will palpate the abdomen to feel for a uterus, which if you know how to do it is an effective way to answer the question.

Of course, so much easier with boy dogs -- but not necessarily! My vet is removing, next week, a malignant mass from the belly of a 12-year old male dog that is a retained testicle that has become a malignant tumor. The owners adopted that dog at the age of 3, and assumed that he had been neutered since he was sans testicles! But cases like that are pretty rare.

A rescue will take some steps to ascertain the repro status of its dogs on intake. This rescue took none of those steps. They should have. If they had given me a vet's opinion that Peeks was a spayed female, it would be a different story. Of course, there would still be the fact that her teeth are so awful that one of them FELL OUT OF HER HEAD recently; my vet's surgery estimate details 6 extractions he plans to do. Her teeth were awful when she got here. I wonder why the rescue didn't bother to have a vet attend to that? Perhaps the hoarder told the rescue that the teeth were clean? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Peeks the rescue Merle Girl is intact and in season!

Postby connie » Tue May 08, 2018 4:23 pm

And I just checked, since my memory isn't entirely reliable: I had an ultrasound done for $79 at my vet on one of my Shelties. A rescue would pay less. I wondered why the University of Illinois Vet School prices the procedure at $250, so I searched around a bit. This article details the different types of ultrasounds; it would not require a full abdominal ultrasound if you were just looking for a uterus, nor would you need it read by a radiologist; and my vet told me last week that an ultrasound of Peeks for that purpose would actually cost less than a blood test.
https://www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvetted ... d-why-5958

But just to clarify: I am not saying a rescue should do a full abdominal ultrasound on a dog; I am saying they should run an ultrasound wand over the dog's belly to see if there's a uterus in there. The cytology swab I had done on Peeks cost me $50; an ultrasound would have been a bit more; and a blood test more than that. But not talking about the full procedure that one would do for an oncology exam, or even for a repro exam to check on puppies in utero.


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