Stanley is a sweet, senior gentleman. He is 13, has had back issues for some time, and his larger fur companion died the day before he was surrendered to the shelter. He has been well loved, but his family could no longer afford to look after him properly. They had contemplated euthanasia, but surrendered him to the Humane Society instead, in hopes that someone else could take up his care. He is a frosty faced, chocolate standard (small standard - 20 pounds with his atrophied hind end). Besides having almost no use of his hind legs, he is also incontinent. Girls and diapers are easy to handle, this is my first venture into belly bands and diapers combined (Stanley is both urine and fecal incontinent). There will be a learning curve for both Stanley and me. Being a standard, I am not sure about diaper sizes for Stanley. I found a part package of human Depends (size small) at our local Value Village. We started with the belly band last night, so I will try the Depends tomorrow night on Stanley and see how he reacts to them (and how the sizing fits him).
Stanley will be the third cart kid in the house (wear your steel toed shoes if you come to visit us, lol. Someone is bound to run over your feet with their wheels). Once he settles in, we will see about getting him a cart. He has minimal movement in his back legs, but his tail does wag a little and he has deep pain sensation. I am hoping a walking cart may help him to regain some strength in those back legs.
The poor boy is rather sad and depressed right now; but who can blame him. In the last two weeks, his buddy had died, he lost his family and has been living in a shelter. Now he has this strange lady putting funny things on him and a bunch of barky dachshunds running around. I do get little kisses from Stanley as I am cleaning him up, putting cream on his urine burns, etc. It is so strange to have a dachshund who does not wolf down his food. Stanley picks at his kibble during the day and just lays on his blanket. I am hoping as time passes (and his urine burns heal) that he will start to perk up a bit and his appetite will improve.
I am also having to adjust to the size of a standard. Stanley is small for a standard, only 20 pounds, but man he feels like a ton of bricks to handle after the minis. I expect he would go about 25 pounds or so if his hind end was not atrophied. Although it is preferable to keep the handicap kids particularly lean, he could stand about a pound or so of "meat" on his ribs.
I will post a picture of our newest boy in a couple of days. Right now, we are just letting him rest and get used to his new surroundings. My gang have pleasantly surprised me. They are curious about Stanley, but aren't their usual rambunctious selves. They approach Stanley's expen quietly and sniff him out. I took Heidi with me to meet Stanley at the Humane Society and he gave a little wag of the end of his tail when he met her. Our frosty face seems to be something of a "ladies man" :-)
The Humane Society did their best by Stanley. Before I came to see him, they were about to start looking for a palliative care foster home for him. In the 10 days that Stanley had been there, no one had expressed an interest in him; or as soon as they saw him, they moved on. It is sad to see how many animals they have there and especially the large number of seniors. It was about 10 minutes before closing when we were leaving, and I was surprised at the number of staff and volunteers who came out to say good-bye to him as we left the shelter. Apparently, one of the volunteer dog walkers was making a walking sling for Stanley, so he could enjoy his time in the exercise yard.
I have to haul my butt out of bed about 15 minutes earlier now to have time for Stanley's needs, but it is a small adjustment, indeed, to give this sweetheart a happy retirement.
UPDATE - next morning
Stanley is not doing well at all. We went to the vet last night to get something to help heal Stanley's raw bum. Stanley has lost 4 pounds since his admission to the shelter, and he is not eating for me. Picking at his kibble has dropped off to ignoring kibble, canned food and people food. Yes, a dachshund who does not want people food. He reluctantly ate one small piece of my chicken breast last night. He also refused the canned Gastro prescription food the vet sent home with us last night. We have a call into the vet now (who did not like Stanley's colour last night), so if you can spare a prayer or two for Stanley, he sure could use them. I am sufficiently concerned about Stanley, that I have brought him to work with me. They will just have to lump the doggie smell. Right now, he his laying too quietly in his laundry basket, under my desk at the office. I got a few ounces of diluted milk into him a little while ago and will try again in an hour.
Getting old sucks.