The life of a foster mom is tough. You always love your foster, and you feel a pang when your foster goes, but every once in a while you get a foster who wraps little tendrils of herself all around your heart. That's how it is for Thalia's foster mom. Here's a note from her about Thalia. The photos are from a recent hydrotherapy appointment.
"This little lady arrived on our doorsteps on February 13, 2009. She was found in a shelter in St. Bernard Parish (outside of New Orleans). Full of heartworms and with a very obvious problem walking, she was set to be put up for adoption. Luckily, FBRN was able to scoop her up. Her name was Ophelia which seemed too tragic, so she was rechristened as Thalia in honor of the Muse of Comedy - however, after gazing on her precious face with her pink cheeks and ears, she was very quickly given the nickname Pinkie which suits her to a T.
Little Pinkie (weighing in at a very thin 18 pounds) was quickly rushed to the vet where she had x-rays taken to determine the cause of her unusual walk. It was then that we discovered an old injury to her spine. I had been told that she may have been bitten by another dog when she was a puppy. This could be possible - she could also have been hit by a car, or a million other things that are in her past now. It was determined that while an orthopedist or neurologist may be able to help, the best course of action for her was physical therapy. But first we had to tackle the heartworms.
Again, because she is so thin and her heartworm disease was pretty advanced, we decided to go with a slow-kill method which involves giving her Heartguard in small doses over several months building her up to be able to take her regular monthly dose. In order to get her ready, she was placed on multiple vitamins and supplements to strengthen her heart and her body.
We have just completed the last split-dose of Heartguard - she will take a whole dose in June. The Heartguard kills off the microfilariae (baby worms) so they can not grow into adults. She does still have adult worms but they will die off over time which will be easier on her system that a fast kill with lots of worms dying at once. So our hope is that she will be completely heartworm free within the next 6-9 months.We were told to expect coughing, lethargy, loss of appetite - not with this girl. She just kept going - she has an amazing little spirit.
We have also started her in physical therapy. Her first visit was last week - she had range of motion and muscle measurements taken, she got some massage, and finally she got to walk on the underwater treadmill. She exercised for a full 12 minutes. We are hoping that this week she will go for 14. While this will not cure her injury, our hope is that it will help her build muscle and improve her coordination. Thalia/Pinkie also receives daily massages at home on her shoulders and neck and has her back legs and joints exercised.
I believe we have seen some improvement and hope that after her initial visits we will go to a maintenance schedule (maybe once every two weeks, or once a month to maintain).
Here is the best thing about Thalia/Pinkie - she just wants to be a good girl. She wants to be close to you, wants to know where you are and what you are doing.
She is so very appreciative of any attention she receives. People ask me all the time how I can give her up - I tell them that she deserves her own special home with her own MaMa and Daddy (she shouldn't have to share with my two bad Frenchie boys). I just don't want her to be overlooked because she may still have some heartworms hanging around or because she walks funny. She is an incredible little dog and with so much love to share.
Right now, Thalia/Pinkie is keeping it real in New Orleans where she enjoys walks along the bayou, sniffing around the French Quarter and sharing an oyster po-boy with her foster dad. Pinkie also likes chewing on nylabones, watching basketball, and sleeping in the big bed. Pinkie does not like the beagles who walk down the street every evening (seriously, she hears them coming from two blocks away). Sadly, we have been told that she sounds like she has been debarked - but she does have the cutest tiny bark I have ever heard - very fierce! Beagles Beware!"
A fiesty little Cajun she is! Keep it up, chere! Keep those streets clear of those floppy eared, long tailed menaces, eggs on
The Frog Princess