Friday, July 23, 2010

The Hardest Decision

There have been a lot of people lately asking me about heartworm positive dogs and the treatment process. I had a heartworm positive foster dog last year, even though he has gone from this world, he is still in my heart. Wally was dumped at JCAC by his owners, because at 8 years old they claimed he barked to much. That's him on the right when he was at JCAC. When he was pulled we found out he had heartworms, this was a new experience for me but I knew I wanted to save him. He was very skinny and his hair reminded me of a brillo pad. He had his initial treatment and a few days later started spitting up worms, me being naive about the whole heartworm treatment thought it was the heartworms, well it wasn't he was so infested with round worms he was spitting them up. We got him treated for the round worms and he had to stay on crate rest for 30 days because of the heartworm treatment, the only time he really ever got out of the crate was for leashed potty breaks every few hours. He finally got off of crate rest, and he was able to start living like a dog should. After waiting the 3 months he went in to get tested again for heartworms and make sure they were gone, well they weren't in fact he was STILL a strong positive so basically the treatment didn't work at all. This apparently is a very rare thing, but unfortunately it happened to Wally. We had to redo all the treatment again, including the crate rest. After getting off the 30 day crate rest, something changed in Wally, he was not the same dog.

Wally used to be a big clown, and what a lot of people would call not the sharpest pencil in the box, but he was a lover, and could make you laugh on a dime by his goofy antics. To the left is a picture of him after he had been with us for awhile, his hair was so soft and he gained 5lbs. Wally started having bad behavior problems. Anytime I would correct him he would bite at me, after he bit me a time or 2, I took him to a behaviorist with the help of the rescue. The behaviorist told me basically that I had babied him too much and that he thinks he's in charge and he gave me tips on what I could do to take control back. We worked on this for a couple weeks, but still seen behavior issue's, one day he went to run out the door and I put my hand down to stop him at his chest and he lost it, he attacked my hand and would not let go, I had to pry my hand out of his mouth. That was the day I knew I could never place him in a home. The decision had to be made, it was one of the hardest decisions I have ever been a part of, it broke my heart, and changed my prospective on rescue forever. My biggest fear was that he would be tortured by some cruel person in this world if he was ever adopted out and acted this way. I cried for weeks after he passed and I wasn't sure I could ever foster again and I am convinced that the behavior issues was because of the 2 heartworm treatments and all the crate rest he had. I miss that goofy dog, and I miss my naive prospective on rescue, its easier to get through everyday thinking rescue is always such a wonderful thing but in reality its not all glory in fact there are a lot of days I don't want to do it anymore, but then I sit back and see all these wonderful animals being tortured and killed, they need a voice and a chance. I know in my mind I done the right thing for Wally, but my heart still hurts for this boy, why did his life have to be this way?

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