September 3, 2004
I can't believe it's been two years since my husband and I adopted Lilly from the LIGRR. I thought you might like to know how things are going. First let me say that she's about 85-90% improved, and she's a joy! The last I wrote, we were waiting for the results of her allergy tests, and as it turned out, the question is, what isn't she allergic to. She has so many food and environmental allergies.
Since she's allergic to both corn and rice, the lab provided us with a list of all dog foods she can eat. She still doesn't drink water, but she loves the vegetable, egg, dog food and warm water "soup" that I make for her. In between meals when she's thirsty, she has her favorite drink, tepid skimmed milk. She gets a daily chewy and/or a crunchy treat to help keep her teeth clean, and her once brown teeth are now almost white. She occasionally gets her absolute favorite treat, Frosty Paws.
She's also allergic to grass, weeds, and trees. Not all varieties mind you, just enough to make life difficult for her. For these, she gets daily doses of Benedryl, Cefalexin, and Gold Bond Extra Strength powder. She also gets two allergy shots once a month. Her scratching has been enormously reduced, and she's growing beautiful fur in areas that were once black, red, and bald. She gets eye drops twice a day, and although one of her eyes is still a bit puffy, her eyes are clear with no sign of goo. Even though she's blind, she gets around astonishingly well. She's at ease in the house, the yard, and the neighborhood.
She still enjoys her walks (thanks to Rimadyl) and likes visiting her very good canine and human friends along the way. She has one special friend, "Chance", a black lab, who lives a couple of houses away. I don't know what the connection is, but this very quiet old girl, who has some difficulty walking, actually gallops to Chance's house, barking all the way. When they meet, they exchange a couple of barks, a sniff or two, then they totally ignore each other, and we go on our way. This happens exactly the same every single day. "Wanna go find Chance?" actually gets more of a reaction from her than "Wanna go for a ride?". And she really loves car rides. My husband and I take here with us to run errands, and sometimes when the weather is really bad and she's bored, I'll just drive her around the neighborhood for a while. That perks her right up.
One day recently when we were visiting Chance, something really incredible happened. Now keeping in mind that Lilly is blind, she always leaves Chance's driveway and takes a right to go back home. On this particular day, leaving his driveway, she took a left. I was a bit surprised, but I thought she just wanted to take a longer walk. Then she diagonally crossed the street and stopped on the other side. When I looked up, low and behold, there was Bennett, my Siamese cat, walking towards us! He's an indoor cat who somehow escaped when we left for our walk. I called him over, picked him up and we all got safely home. I never would have even known he was missing if Lilly hadn't led me to him!
The bottom line is, she's a wonderful dog who loves everyone, and everyone loves her (including Bennett). We've never regretted for an instant bringing her into our home, and I tell her every day that she's the best and most beautiful girl in the world.