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Hey, I wanted to share the story of my rescue Troy and hope to encourage others to continue rescuing and to hang in there during the tough times.

My Peke Haku died of old age, he was a 5yo rescue and it was tough in the beginning but we got healthy and did well for the next 6 years. After about a year after his death, I felt ready to get another dog but decided against a Peke (even though I love them) simply because the ones at the different rescue shelters reminded me too much of Haku.

So I headed to my city's animal shelter - it was going to be tough since the dogs there are in the worst conditions of all the other shelters in the city. But knowing that it is a kill shelter, I had to go and see if my next companion could be found there. I love dogs of all sizes but because of space issues, I had to get a smaller dog. So I went around and around the small area while ignoring the big dog area (which was hard since I had to walk past them in order to visit the various small dog areas). I found a really cute and friendly Peke mix and wanted to visit with him but he had a long waiting list. I then sat with a Pom and it was OK, but there was no real connection there. So I looked around once more before leaving and that's when I saw Troy and while he was bigger than what I wanted, I just knew I had to visit with him. During our he stuck to me like glue and ignored my friend who was kind enough to accompany me. It was like he chose me to be his mommy. A week after, Troy came home.

I knew from both personal experience and many "rescuers" that there could/would be health issues to be dealt with in the immediate future. What I never expected was how bad it would get. First thing was a visit to the vet's for a routine check, testing, etc. I had all the papers that animal services had given me which listed all the medical work they did on him. Not surprisingly, he had worms and so he was treated for that and off we went home with medication and a follow up visit appointment. However, he did not want to eat or drink water. We had to go to the vet's twice in a four day span for IV to try to get him hydrated. He was tested for giardia, distemper, etc., all they came back negative, except for the worms.

I did a lot of research and tried different things to get him to drink - cold water, warm water, room temp water, dirty water (somewhere I read several people mention how their rescued strays would only drink dirty water in the beginning), water fountains, water with lemon, water with Gatorade, even a little chicken broth, etc. I even tried different types of bowls and managed to get him drink a little bit of water from a bucket. But that was only a little and did not last long.

On the food front, I tried several types of dog food (both wet and dry), kitten food (which was recommended by several sources for cases like mine but only as a short term solution) and baby food. Nothing worked for long, at most he would eat just a little bit and then ignored it. He was wasting away and nothing I did seemed to work. I tried walking him a little in hopes of raising his appetite, but that did not work either.

As for his medication - I tried quite a few things and eventually got him to take it when crushed and mixed with NutriCal. I ended up having to use a syringe to force baby food and PediaLite down his throat. This would be from the moment I got home from work all through the night until I had to get ready to leave. This went on for a couple of weeks.

He was miserable and I as frustrated. I gave him one more week and if things did not improve then I would put him down. It just did not feel right to continue to force things on him which did not seem to work and he was just wasting away. Please note that this whole time, we were going to the vet regularly and that all of this took a span of weeks. We had an instant connection and he was my baby and I would try everything I could to get him healthy. All my friends, family and co-workers were very supporting and were behind me no matter what decision I would take. Other than their support, one thing that kept me going was that during one of our many visits to the vet's, a lady who was there for a check up told me she went through a situation like mine and she stuck it out. Her dog was beautiful, a bit fat, and was friendly little thing. That gave me courage and hope and I tried to keep that in mind during out late nights.

Whether the meds were working, all his sickness ran run their course, or the force feeding and drinking were working, or even a combination of all, he started to get better. Eventually he started to eat boiled chicken breast and plain white rice with a little chicken broth. And eventually he started to drink water. It was very slow going but we were finally on the road to recovery. Unfortunately, he would not to eat anything else and became constipated. That brought about a whole bunch of other issues. I was recommended a pet store called Mary's Lb. that is family run by people who actually know about pets (more than some vets I know). They were a life saver. At their recommendation, I bought Wellness brand food and was able to wean him off the chicken and rice diet.

Now, he is a friendly, happy and healthy dog with a great amount of energy. With one exception. He has a "tick" and the only way I can describe it would be like seeing a steady heartbeat on his head. When his head is up, you will see it dip and when it's resting on something, you can see the on the top of his skull 'pulsing'. From what I have seen, it's something you see in dogs that have distemper (he tested negative for that though). The vet said that it's a left over from all the infections that he had and that as long it does not bother him (which it does not) and he's not having seizures, then there's nothing we need to do other than keep an eye on it in case it changes.

I just wanted to share my story and hopefully encourage others to hang in there. I'm now glad that I did not put him down, but still stand by my decision to have done so had he not gotten better soon. Fortunately for the both of us, he did. When he gets old, that tick of his may become an issue, but I hope he will have a long and healthy life if or when that does happen.
 

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congratulations on you for sticking it out! I hope this had made you both stronger for the long run. So nice to hear happy endings :)
 

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Wonderful rescue story. I am glad you stuck it out. May you both have a long healthy life together. I am sure he will re-pay you many times over in the future for taking the time to rescue him, given him a good safe place to be, and love.

It is great to hear stories with happy endings. :)
 

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Thanks to you both.

I often wonder who was the one saved though :) There's also no doubt in my mind that we both chose each other.

I'm very lucky to have had the support that I did and I just hope that someone will read the post and get from it what I was able to get from both the people around me and that wonderful lady at the vet's.
 

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Wonderful rescue story. I am glad you stuck it out. May you both have a long healthy life together. I am sure he will re-pay you many times over in the future for taking the time to rescue him, given him a good safe place to be, and love.

It is great to hear stories with happy endings. :)
I couldn't agree more. Too much pain and suffering in the world. Thank goodness for people like mas. Troy is a lucky dog.
 
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