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Topics - Mom2Sadie

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Hey everyone! You guys may or may not remember us. I'm Shawna and I'm mom to a teeny Newfie named Sadie. It's been ages since I last posted. Things got a bit out of control in my life for a while and I needed to retreat to my own little corner and figure stuff out. Sadie and I have been through the ringer together and we're finally starting to come out on the other side (I think).

Part of the reason I stopped posting was that I was having MAJOR issues with Sadie and as much as I appreciated the support I found here I was starting to worry that you all would get sick of listening to it. Not to mention it almost hurt reading all your posts about your amazing doggies when I was having such issues with mine. Sadie was the cause of a bit of drama in our neighborhood (through absolutely NO fault of her own), which I think is around the last time I posted. It took quite some time to resolve that and during that time I started feeling majorly sick and run down. Also around that time Sadie started developing horrible separation anxiety which then became generalized anxiety. She started having accidents again when she was left by herself. She would howl and frantically paw at the door if I so much as left her by herself to go to the bathroom. She was also amazingly destructive. She'd go to the bathroom in her crate if I crated her, but if I left her out I never knew what disaster I'd come home to. At first I thought that stuff was just her picking up on my not feeling well or reacting to the tension in the house (since I had quite a bit going on personally), but very quickly it became a huge issue. She was fearful of anyone but me - those of you from the New England area who have met her know that she was anything but fearful, it was a 180 degree change and it seemed to happen overnight (although I'm sure it didn't really, I just missed the gradual signs). Thankfully she was never fear aggressive, but I couldn't take her anywhere without her being totally anxious and freaked out and miserable. I was beside myself and I felt like it was something I was doing wrong. We have worked really, really hard with our vet, and a wonderful trainer/behaviorist that our vet recommended but it was pretty brutal for awhile. I was SO frustrated with her and with myself. As much as I love her, I was starting to think I wasn't the right mom for the job. I'm highstrung and a worrier myself and I was starting to think I was making my dog afraid of everything. We kept at the training with our behaviorist and didn't give up and finally, now it seems like we've turned the corner. She's back to her old goofball self for the most part, doesn't need the anxiety meds as much and is OK with meeting new people again. Not to mention that all that one on one work with a trainer strengthened our bond immensely.

Having said that, a big part of the improvement, in my opinion, was a new addition to the family. My boyfriend moved in with us and together we adopted a 5 year old Boxer who was being retired from a breeder after having her last litter of puppies. Sadie loved having a buddy to hang with and it was really good for her. Lady (yes Lady and Sadie - gross) was a better dog trainer than I'll ever be. Despite being half her size, she mothered Sadie and even disciplined her when she got bratty and out of line. She was definitely the alpha and, pardon the pun, but Sadie just followed her around like a puppy. On top of that, Lady was an absolute joy. She was perfect on a leash even without ever having had an obedience class and was such a snugglebug. She was a very special girl. We absolutely adored her. Unfortunately, Lady became very ill, very quickly and within a week of her first symptoms presenting was diagnosed with alimentary lymphoma. It's a type of lymphoma that occurs in the digestive tract and causes intestinal lesions and prevents the dog from being able to absorb any nutrients even when they are able to eat. She lost weight rapidly and within just a few days, Lady was so thin and weak that she could hardly walk. By the time we even knew what it was she had lost so much weight you could see every bone in her body. We had started her on Prednisone to see if we could improve her appetite since our vet didn't think she could survive surgery or chemotherapy without putting on some weight but it became clear very quickly that it wasn't working and she was suffering. We made the impossible decision to put her down last Saturday morning. Our hearts are broken and we miss her desperately. I haven't stopped crying since it happened. But probably the hardest part of losing her is watching Sadie mourn. She isn't eating. She howls and whines a bit at night and paces around aimlessly. Her potty stuff is all messed up - not having accidents but just not going at all (just #2 though, she is still urinating regularly and drinking water). She has no energy. She just isn't herself. I understand how she feels - I'm not MYSELF yet either. I know that she will get over it, or maybe I'm even projecting what I'm feeling onto her and imagining it's worse than it actually is, but I also know she isn't eating or relieving herself and that worries me given her history of anxiety. I took her to our vet who couldn't find anything physically wrong with her but suggested she might be experiencing her own grieving process. I'm wondering if any of you have experienced something similar and if you might have any ideas for us as to how to make it easier for her? I'm at a loss and I figured it was time to crawl back to BPO and grovel for advice. I can use any suggestions you all might have. 

I have missed this community very much, especially when I was going through Lady's illness recently. And Sadie has definitely missed her NE Newf Pack buddies. I just felt like I was starting to be that poster who never has any good news and I know that can get old really fast. And it was too hard coming here every day and reading about all the amazing pups around here when our situation was so difficult and frustrating. I'm hoping that I can get Sadie to feel better again so that I can have good news for you all instead of always being so gloom and doom. Thanks for reading (if you got through all that) and I hope it's OK to pop back in like this. I've missed you all.

Newfoundland Discussions / Happy Birthday Sadie!
« on: November 19, 2006, 10:27:26 pm »
My little girl is 1. I wish I had updated pics of her to share. I'll have to take some this evening with her birthday bows on (she hates them, but they so amuse me) and her special birthday treats. I can't believe she's a year old already. Time flies when you have a Newf.  ;)

Medical Conditions & Diseases / Sadie's turn
« on: July 11, 2006, 07:27:11 am »
My bean is at the vet being spayed. They said they'd call as soon as she's done. How long does it take? I'm a nervous wreck.  :-\

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / My Dad is such a punk!
« on: July 08, 2006, 06:34:54 pm »
He taught our German Shepherd to sing years ago and thinks it's hilarious. I had Sadie over there this afternoon to play with the boys and he decided that Rocky (our GSD) and him should teach Sadie this wonderful trick. Sure! It took her months to figure out that taking a dump in the living room is not the way to Mommy's heart, and she still can't figure out how to walk by a shoe without putting it in her mouth and gnawing it to shreds, but she learns this OBNOXIOUS trick in about 2.5 seconds!

But if BPO ever hosts a Big Paws Idol competition, Sadie is in it to win it  ;)

But feel free to point and laugh. Pictures from the production of CATS I just did in New Hampshire.  ;D

I am the brown kitty in the second pic. The rest of the pictures are, unfortunately, much too dirty to post here.  ;)

Newfoundland Pictures / Further Evidence
« on: June 22, 2006, 10:22:02 am »
That Sadie is a few Brady's short of a bunch if you know what I mean...It's the kitties tunnel. She got it stuck on her head and walked around banging into walls for several minutes before it finally fell off by chance.

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / Sadie's Uncles
« on: June 22, 2006, 06:35:28 am »
My other Big Paws. The ones my parents have custody of.  :( Rocky is a GIANT German Shepherd who's ears never stood up. 140 pounds of goofball. Bailey is my Golden boy.

Games & Jokes / One way to avoid Credit Card debt...
« on: June 22, 2006, 06:30:49 am »
It's a little blurry, but that would be my credit card shredded to bits. The good credit card. The one with the GOOD limit. I guess Sadie thought I was charging too much. ::)

Medical Conditions & Diseases / She forgot to get in line...
« on: June 20, 2006, 09:34:34 am »
...when they handed out BRAINS in heaven!!! I love my little girl but she is SUCH a donkey! Sadie decided to eat a Mercury thermometer this Sunday. I don't even know how she got it since it's been in the back of the closet in the bathroom for months. Thankfully the cover was still on, but the thing was broken right in half. So we rush to the vet where they do an x-ray to see if they can see the mercury. Nothin'. They said it's actually not as harmful when ingested as it is when it's inhaled, but pumped her full of charcoal just to be on the safe side. There've been some interesting poos since then, let me tell you. She's absolutely fine, and the x-rays actually looked great in terms of her joints which made me relieved. What's funny is that she did this on a little area rug in the living room, which was good in terms of cleanup. But I called the Health Department because the vet said she didn't think you could just throw Mercury away and they could've cared less! They still haven't gotten back to me about what to do with the rug. It's in the garage right now in a tupperware container and about 9 million trashbags. If I have radioactive children or something in a few years or if Sadie starts glowing in the dark - I'm gonna be pi$$ed. Anyone have any experience in this area, or is my dog the only dope who likes to eat toxic elements?

Puppyhood is such a blessed time isn't it  :P

OK. Maybe I'm being ridiculous, but I'm aggravated so I figured I'd vent it here because if I talk about my dog any more with my friends they may institutionali ze me.

I've been involved with a production of the musical CATS for the last 6 months, it just ended. That's 6 long months of some of the worst music you've ever heard for those of you who aren't familiar with the show. At any rate, this past weekend we finally closed the show in Concord NH. I had to stay up there for the weekend and needed to board Sadie. I had an acquaintance from doing theater who boards dogs with her husband on a huge farm and the dogs are kept in the house and treated as family rather than put in a kennel. I thought this would be much better for Sadie since she's used to being the center of the world  ::) We agreed on $35 per day when I brought Sadie by to look at the place which is more expensive than most places around here by $8 or so, but I figured she'd be well taken care of and it was worth it. They asked for detailed instructions about diet and behaviors, which I willingly gave them. I was very up front about the fact that she needs to be supervised constantly or confined to a place where she can't get into trouble. They asked me where she slept and I said she sleeps in a crate. They asked me to bring the crate with her.

You may be able to tell from my posts ( ;) ;) ;) ) that Sadie is a bit of a handful and I am a bit of an overprotective mother. So when I called to check in on Saturday morning I was informed that Sadie had demolished their study in the middle of the night (in other words, she ripped up lots of books  :)). I asked why she wasn't in her crate and they said she had just settled in with the other dogs so they didn't want to separate her. When I went to pick her up, they charged me the "puppy rate" because of the books - the first I heard about them having a puppy rate and I don't know why they wouldn't have asked for it up front considering she's 6 months old and I flat out told them she's a little terror. It amounts to $10 more per day than we agreed to and I have to tell you I was a bit ticked off. Why ask me to bring a crate and then not use it and then make me pay extra because you didn't follow the instructions? It would be one thing if they said, this is where the dogs sleep, that's it. But they asked where I'd prefer her to sleep and I said she needs to be in a crate. I'd never have left her there if I knew she'd be out all night. Although, to tell you the truth I was more proud of her for not having an accident sleeping outside of the crate than anything else! Then the proceeded to tell me I shouldn't 'let her' jump on counters. I said I don't "let her", she does it and gets corrected every single time. Unfortunately she's as stubborn as an ox and was probably testing boundaries in her new environment. I was just so aggravated with these people. I wouldn't have minded paying the puppy rate as I have a PUPPY but just tell me that up front you know what I mean? Am I being unreasonable?

Anyway, I'm very glad to have more time for BPO, I feel like I've missed so much. And I'm glad to be home with my kiddos. I missed them SOOOO much this weekend, I felt like a psycho!!! And the cast totally did NOT understand like you guys do. Hope you're all well. When I have time to upload pictures, you can all laugh your behinds off at me made up as a kitty.  ;)

Anything Non-Dog Related / Flood pictures from Lowell, MA
« on: May 26, 2006, 12:02:10 pm »
Hello all,
Now that we've dried out up here I can relax a bit. Here are some pictures from the flood. My neighbor took these. I was inside where it was safe and (sort of) dry. I still have to get the pics I took of the flooded river after the storm developed since Sadie decided to eat my digital camera. She's so lucky she's cute or I'd have killed her by now.

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / Could it be?
« on: May 13, 2006, 10:32:03 am »
As soon as I type this, she'll have one, but I just realized I can't remember the last time Sadie had an accident. She doesn't really let me know when she needs to go, but she seems to be holding it until I take her outside. Could she finally have gotten it, and I didn't even realize it?

Now that I wrote that, she'll pee on the rug.  ::) :)

Games & Jokes / Hot Seat # 29..........Tim! (Tspanos)
« on: May 05, 2006, 07:22:08 pm »
Since you kept me from falling off the board....

Do you hate me now?

What's your biggest pet peeve?

What made you want a Newf?

If you could live anywhere where would you live?

Favorite food?

What's one thing you've always wanted to do, but haven't yet?

Gus is home!!! Absolutely FILTHY, starving and visibly shaken up, but otherwise ok! My best friend from college had the day off and without my asking her to decided to go looking for him. She lived with me when we first found him, so she was almost as upset as me when he was gone. She found him hiding under my neighbors grill and held him in her car until I could get home from work. Longest 10 minute drive EVER! We think he must have come home and then found a hiding spot when he didn't see me. I'll never be able to thank her enough. He is a mess, but he seems ok. I checked him for ticks and I don't think he's got any. I'll be running him over to the vet tonight just to make sure he's ok, but I think he's fine. Just a little scared. I didn't know whether to hug him or kick his dumb butt but eventually decided on the hugging. Sadie was so happy to see him she didn't even eat anything. Gus on the other hand, wanted to eat everything. Sadie just couldn't stop kissing him and jumping around. Maggie was a little more standoffish. Not sure what that's about, but I'm sure she'll come around. Maybe he smells different or something. She could be mad at him I guess.

He's getting a bath tonight too, so I'll make sure and take before and after pics. You won't believe the difference! He's so dirty, I almost didn't recognize him. Had to check for his scar from his surgery just to be sure. His belly is normally all white, but it looks grayish brown with all the mud. But it's definitely him. I'm SO relieved. I didn't know what I was going to do without him. Thank you all for your prayers. It really worked. I am so grateful that he's home safe and sound. This was a good lesson for me that even indoor kitties need collars with ID. Maggie's got hers and Gus is getting his tonight.

I'm so happy I'm shaking! My boy is home! That was the longest 40 hours I have ever spent!

Anything Non-Dog Related / I need your prayers
« on: April 29, 2006, 07:37:01 pm »
I know you all are probably thinking I really am a drama queen because this much crap just doesn't happen to a person but I need your prayers. My baby Gus got out last night as I was bringing in groceries. By the time I got all the bags out of my hands Maggie was out the door too. I found Maggie within the hour, she doesn't go too far and she comes when she's called. Gus is another story. He came back once around 3:30 this morning and by the time I got downstairs and out the door he was booking it for the back of the complex. I chased him because I'm an IDIOT and he of course ran. Stayed outside looking for an hour or so and still didn't find him. Around 5:30 I heard scratching at the front door, looked out, saw him, and by the time I was at the door he was gone again. I haven't slept at all and I've been bawling for almost 12 hours straight. I left a bowl of food at the front and back door hoping he'll get hungry but he hasn't come back. I'm so afraid for him in this neighborhood. Busy streets and lots of shady folks. If someone finds him, he's so friendly they'll probably just take him in and he needs special food or he can die. He has FLUTD that produces struvite crystals in his urine and he needs to eat this food in order to break those up or he can become blocked and die. I'm printing out flyers right now and trying to call the Humane Society around here, but I don't think anything's open on a Sunday. My heart is in my throat. I don't know what I'll do without him if he doesn't come home. Is there anything else I can be doing today that anyone can think of? I'm going out to look around the neighborhood and put flyers up now, and hopefully that will help. Maybe he'll just be waiting at the door when I come back. I am so afraid for him. Please keep him in your thoughts.

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