Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tell it Like it Is

Brooke, a Border Collie, has come into my life through a contact with True Blue Animal Rescue in central Texas.

I have a soft spot for Border Collies. I was first told Brooke's owners were moving to a new house with an unfenced back yard and they couldn't take Brooke with them. I was told she had a food allergy to protein and had scratched off a few patches of her hair. I agreed to drive to the owner's home to see if I wanted this dog and solicited a friend to go along with me.

Upon arrival at Brooke's house, I found she had been spayed, but she was obviously burdened with more than a few patches of hair loss. I was then told that because of their financial hardships, the owners had neglected her medical care. She was due a rabies vaccination, the last one being given by the dog catcher who picked up Brooke after she escaped her yard in 2004. She had not been tested for heartworms in four or five years nor had she been given any heartworm preventative. The stench of her was almost unbearable.

It was more than I expected, more than was revealed. Still, I could not leave this once beautiful dog behind. She had greeted me cheerfully when I entered the house, stayed by my side, and did not hesitate to leave with me. Brooke, my friend Betty and I rode home with the air conditioner on full blast and all the windows down to blow out Brooke's foul odor.

After seven years, Brooke's owners loved her enough to let her go ... with all her health problems that include sarcoptic mange, flea allergies, hook worms, and those dreaded heartworms. Brooke was treated for hook worms. After weekly paramite dips and being put on a strong antiobiotic, she is recovering from the mange and secondary bacterial infections, but the heartworm treatment is a greater challenge.

PREVENTION IS SO MUCH EASIER AND LESS EXPENSIVE than the cure. Please take care of your pets! If you can't or won't provide effective medical care, then leave pet ownership to someone else who will.

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