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Hey everyone, After hundreds of Google searches & hours of reading I decided making an account would prove much more helpful & could answer specific questions. Poncho found me June 3rd 2017, She came bumbling out of the woods to me like she had known me her entire existence. My life has never been the same. Malnourished, Tic/flea infested, covered in dirt, mud and Lord knows what else I picked her up, feeling every rib...My main concern was feeding her first & cleaning her up second. The first food I ever gave her was bread, as that was all I had in my bag at that moment (she popped out during a hike) and I wanted to give this poor baby something until we made it back to the car to go buy real dog food. Well you'd think a dog who appeared to not have eaten in weeks, possibly months would gobble down whatever dog food was placed infront of her, I had sped to the nearest gas station & bought a can of dog food, I know now that Poncho is not a fan of wet food but at the time I was baffled at her turning her nose up to the wet food. Well, I get her home, Bathe her, remove every tic (I lost count after 15) and just love on & cry over my new found blessing. I made an "asap" appointment with a vet, and we were in the office the next day. This is where my questions will later come in.. Poncho was diagnosed with heartworms and a bad infestation of parasites, This was in June. She is on heartgard monthly, and Doxycycline 10mg 4 pills 2 times a day. I took to the internet to find the best vitamins, supplements, oils, and whatever I could to ease any discomfort, aid her prescriptions, and help with her extreme need to gain weight. It is now October & Poncho has maybe gained a solid 10 pounds, her ribs don't show, but her hip bones jut out and she has an overall lanky appearance. It never fails when we are in public that a remark is made about her needing to eat, or that I am starving her. It kills me. What can I do? Poncho is fed a mixture of Pure Balance dry kibble with Ol Roy moist lightly on top, I just now got her to grasp the concept of a bowl, feeding her used to be an hour or longer feeding her by hand until she was done. Every other day she gets a scrambled egg cooked with coconut oil, I pop a fish oil vitamin into the scrambled egg and add a small amount of flax seed. She will eat about half of this. I've read up on the health benefits of coconut oil & it just so happens she loves it, I've gotten where I melt a teaspoon & drizzle over her dog food. I boil chicken breast, I'll give her small amounts of bacon, I've tried tuna (wasn't a big fan) I'm aware the parasites make it very hard for her to gain weight & the only noted side effect from the heart gard is lack of appetite (she hasn't reached the coughing stage, or just doesn't cough) What can I do to combat these side effects? I am open and willing to try anything. has anyone tried ground pumpkin seeds to aid in the fight of heartworms? I've read about this. What do I do? I want to get her to a healthy weight, kill the heartworms & parasites. I'm 24 years old on minimum wage, I'll procure whatever i need to give her a long happy life. People say I saved her, but she saved me. I don't ever want her to be in pain or succumb to her health problems. I need any and all information, reccomendations, regimes that have worked for you, tips, advice, anything... I'm all ears. Thank you in advance. I'll be more than happy to answer any and all questions.
Ivanna Lakota was born into this world May 2, 2001 to Dorata and Zorro Siberlove of Allegro Siberian the breeder was Jo Anna Hartman of Terrace, British Columbia, Canada. She was 5 weeks old when she began a long trek from her siblings and Mom to get to Philadelphia, from Terrace to Seattle, Seattle to Toronto, Toronto to Montreal, Montreal to Ontario and Ontario to Philadelphia International Airport for Customs. She travelled close to 24 hours to get to me. She came in by means of Air Canada and when the jet landed one of the baggage claim attendants climbed on board and took the crate which carried her directly into the terminal where I arrived and filled out the customs papers and paid the fees. The clerk was kind enough to sneak the crate over the desk so Ivanna and I could get acquainted She was the cutest black and white baby I've ever seen deep blue sapphire eyes belying an intelligence and willfullness that would exhibit itself remarkably in the years ahead. As I had to go to the main terminal for customs the clerk took back the crate assuring me Ivanna would be taken good care of, not to worry just go take care of the customs and return soon as possible. The process was surprisingly fast within 5 minutes everything was inspected, stamped, validated and with a smile and wish for good luck and enjoy the puppy I was back to the Air Canada Terminal. When I arrived the clerk went to the back to retrieve the crate and I found out that during my absence, all the employees had her out of the crate and having a grand old time playing with her! When it came time to leave, all 40 of the Air Canada employees came out from behind the wall lined up in inspection formation and began waving and giving well-wishes telling me she a wonderful girl I'm going to love her she's just great. The way they were acting You would swear it was the Queen of England that had paid the terminal a personal visit (All due respect to Her Majesty!)! I had to back out of the place; they didn't want to see her go! Ivanna made an immediate hit with the friars at home and the first memory I have of her there is when I took her from the refectory where she made her first public appearance to my cell and placed her bowl on the floor with some food in it and put on the floor near the bowl she toddled over to it sniffed the bowl and promptly put her right forepaw firmly, deliberately and directly into the bowl and stared up at me as if to say, "This is MINE!! No one is going to take this from me!!" As a pup she was a chewer mostly people's fingers and hands she latched onto one of the secretaries at the front office, an elderly lady whose skin was very thin and because of the needle point of baby teeth did break the skin and cause some bleeding. A bit of cotton and peroxide with a touch of antibiotic ointment took care of it but the secretary remembered that encounter ever after . . . amazingly to me, when she began to grow in her adult teeth the biting stopped immediately! It was as if she knew that she could inflict real damage with those choppers. If she did take a hand in her mouth it was with great delicacy and then copious licking afterward. She was always a talker. the constant Woo-woo wooing she had to tell you everything that went on during her day and if you didn't listen to her she'd dip her head swing her right paw upward and swat you several times in whatever part of you anatomy was closest to her and then she'd throw her head back muzzle pointing skyward and Woo-Woo Woo you to make sure you got the message! She had the ability to be extremely petite and gentle with an adorable way of folding back her ears against her dome and gazing upward with her beautiful Ice-blue eyes in a look that could melt granite in a matter of seconds. Simultaneously, she could be a tom-boy and rough house the guys having learned how to be a husky from Apollo, the greatest teacher of canine behavior I've ever seen. In three weeks he had her out of herself and knowing exactly what and how to do what she needed to do. A wonderful teacher. Throughout her life her gentle and talkative nature endeared her to everyone she met. It got to the point that for some of the visitors to the run every husky I had was named "Ivanna" proper gender notwithstanding!! She was strong with a will of iron and held her own among the boys often sitting on top of the flat roofed dog house surveying her realm. When Children approached the run she would hop off the roof saunter over to the fence climb up onto the fencing and stick her fox-like muzzle through the chain link to sniff the kiddies' faces always managing to get an affectionate and gentle lick into a nose or a cheek or even a pair of lips or two. In her later years she never lost her vigor but could hold up with the best of them. In the last two years her coat began to gradually change color. It started toward the end of spring of two years ago as red highlights among the black coat that began to deepen and spread until she became totally red-haired the only thing that remained black was the dome of her head and behind her ears, the rest of her was red and white, She was beautiful, slim, well proportioned and strong in body, spirit and mind. Willful she often had me at wit's end when I would call her to come in from her perch and her ice-blue eyes would throw me a frozen stare and she'd stand there as if to say she didn't understand my "dialect". She did what she wanted to do when she wanted to do it. Indeed a real princess in her own right! She was joy, an inspiration, she was my very first dog that I ever owned I never had one as a child the family couldn't afford one. I got her for company and protection having to live in a huge rectory alone in a changing neighborhood where the crime element was moving in. The other huskies were added to the family as company for her all the rest were rescues. She became the alpha-female and along with Apollo as her Dad and Hero as Granddad they set the tone for a pack that in my estimation was memorable. She taught me much about loyalty, unconditional love, the necessity of working cooperatively for the good of the pack, accuracy in reporting details she was very good at doing that with her chatter whenever I returned from a mission visitation and how to enjoy life to the fullest. She danced and pronged like an antelope in the run when she played with the boys and she danced into paradise when she fell asleep for the last time in my arms. She has left her pawprints indelibly in my heart and forever is part of the fabric of my life. I was privileged to have her for the time I did and I am privileged to share with you some of the memories I have of her. I hope by this short tale you too are touched by her specialness and your life is made a bit brighter because of her memory. Thank you for reading this; May the Lord give you His Peace! Fr. Carmen Scuderi OFM