Thursday, April 11, 2013

Back Again

So I turned in the book and my lovely editor read it at the speed of light, and now I'm doing the line edits.  Plus working on the synopsis proposal for my next Nocturne and the final book of my six book contract. 

Google alerts notified me of this gem - my April release The Wolf Prince was featured in USA Today as a new paranormal worthy of reading.  Check it out here.  USA Today .   I'm beyond thrilled with this!

I've been so crazy busy lately.  I went to Roses for Rescue, a plant sale that benefited Legacy Boxer Rescue.  I planted not only my flowers, but the ones my Dad bought as well.   I visited my mom who is pretty much housebound with terminal Pancreatic Cancer.  And I took my foster dog Katniss to a second vet appointment.

Foster dog?  What?  You may ask.

That's party why I've been so busy.  Recently, I became a volunteer for Legacy Boxer Rescue.  I have two personal Boxers of my own and love the breed.  They are the kind of dog that are adorable puppies, but can be a lot to handle, especially by inexperienced dog owners.  So a lot of them end up in shelters. 

When Legacy put out the call for an urgent foster needed, along with pictures of a dog so skeletal it was a miracle she was alive, I cried.  My heart clenched.  I put it off for a day.  After all, I was in the middle of deadline, and she was so sick.  And then, I just couldn't stand it, so I volunteered to take her in.  This was Tuesday, April 2. 

The process started rolling.  Legacy runs like a well-oiled machine.  A volunteer pulled her from the shelter and delivered her to one of Legacy's vets.  Another person put out a large metal crate, a 40 pound bag of dog food, a collar and leash, and a feeding bowl for me to pick up.    All on Tuesday.

Wednesday, I was informed I could pick her up at the vet that afternoon.  The vet, a caring man, told us her red blood cells were critically low.  12 when normal is 33 or 37 (can't remember which).  She had weighed 27 pounds at the vet (21 when the shelter found her living in filth and starving).  She should weigh around 50.  The vet said he'd treated her with a topical tick medication, but she was covered with ticks (ewww, gross). He also said she'd need to be crated 24/7, fed 4 small meals of one cup a day, taken out on a leash.  Any excitement or injury could kill her due to the low blood cells.  She couldn't even be bathed since she couldn't be stressed in any way.  She had erlichiosis, a tick borne disease, which could be transmitted by ticks to my other dogs or even humans.  (Luckily, I had the foresight to treat my personal dogs with Frontline plus the day before I picked her up AND constantly had my husband check me for ticks.)  She is also Heartworm positive, so she will need to be treated for that once she's well enough.

So we brought her home.  Scared and trembling and so thin I got tears in my eyes when I first saw her.  I'd put down towels in the back of my SUV and rode back there with her.    Despite that, she was trusting and wagged her little nub of a tail.   She was weak and hungry, of course.

For one week, I carried her up and down the stairs.  She wore one of my other dog's sweaters to keep her rail thin body warm (and I, who hate heat, turned up the heat for her.)  She ate her four meals a day with an intensity that spoke of her immense will to live.  She took her meds and in one week, she grew stronger.   We pulled over 100 ticks off her, most of them live. 

Wednesday at the vet, we learned she has gained 6 pounds.  In one week. She now weighs 33.  Even better, her red blood count was up to 27, so she is no longer in danger of dying from any movement or stress.  The vet said she can have a bath, she can climb the stairs, and begin to get some exercise. 
And she can begin the process of becoming socialized with my dogs.  (It has to be gradual and drawn out, so they will get along.)

I will post pictures below.  These are after she'd been here a few days. WARNING - THEY ARE HARD TO LOOK AT.  But she's on her road to recovery and eventually, little Katniss (named of course, after the heroine in the Hunger Games), will make some lucky family a wonderful pet.  And you can be darn sure I'll make sure they're a good family and will treat her like a princess.  After all she's been through, she deserves it!

I'll post more as she thrives and grows. 

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