Jan

28

the birthday that nearly broke my heart

adelaide

It was my birthday a few weeks ago, and I had it all figured out. Birthday time would begin with a ladies’ night drink at one of my favorite new restaurants. The next day my boyfriend and I planned to go to New York for a long weekend to celebrate with friends. We were going to take a pasta-making dinner class at Eataly, something I’ve always wanted to do. We were going to try to eat dinner at The Water Table in Brooklyn, a seemingly amazing place for a night out. Food and friends are top of the list I guess!

So the week before all this I took my puppy, Adelaide, to the vet for a vaccine which her daycare now requires. The next day, while making her dinner, a little voice in my head told me to look in her ears because I never really have a good look in them (they stick up and are fairly wide open, flopping over at the tips, pretty adorable). In them I saw two blood purple scratches, which seemed not too out of the ordinary because on our walks she runs with abandon through the fields and woods around our house. But then I saw similar spots of blood under her skin on her temples. I followed this under her fur, across her forehead to the other ear, seeing increasingly larger patches as I went.

I’m not going to say I’m not a hypochondriac (she’s my first dog and has definitely already had her share of “situations”, like when we stumbled into a bee’s nest last summer.) But this seemed not right in a meaningful way. So after a google search and a phone call we were at the emergency vet. It turns out that she had a very rare reaction to the vaccine which caused her body to kill her platelets – she had almost none. The marks that I was seeing were from her body essentially hemorrhaging because it couldn’t clot. She was started on medication to suppress her immune system to stop it from killing her platelets. But this can be slow to start working. Days were going by and she had no platelets. That means that she was in constant danger. If she fell, bruised, or cut herself it could be catastrophic. She couldn’t play with balls or bones, wear collars or harnesses, go for walks, run or jump, or even eat hard food – she had to be handled with kid gloves. Even the vet visits were dangerous but we had to go daily for blood tests. And, during all of this she had no idea because she felt fine, except for the fact that I never left her side.

After no immediate improvement we saw a specialist who gave Addy a chemotherapy drug which could help flush some platelets out of her bone marrow, and then we waited. And waited. And had a number of blood tests that returned no better, and sometimes worse results. And then finally, after nine days of watching, monitoring, researching, hugging, loving, holding, praying, and trying to believe in the positive, her count rose into the safe zone. She is not completely back to normal, and there is a fairly long road ahead to wean her from her medications, but she is out of danger and returning to a normal life. I am the one who is having a hard time at letting my guard down. It is a terrifying experience to deal with such fragility.

I am writing this to hopefully help other dog owners. Though this is a rare reaction to a vaccine, it can also happen as a result of a tick-borne disease and certain types of cancer. Quite often it is not discovered until too late because the blood spots (petechia) are hard to see on a dog covered in fur. So please cuddle with your dog and give them a good inspection on a regular basis, and especially after vaccines and unusual situations. I am so thankful that I heard that little voice in my head.

So though it was the birthday that nearly broke my heart, it is the one that I got the best gift I could have ever received. Adelaide.

To learn more about this condition click here: Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia (IMT)

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May

31

yes please – found my animal

Found My Animal dog collars, leashes, and accoutrements
About a year and a half ago, I got my first puppy. Adelaide. She is a rescue dog – a border collie, black lab mix. It took a long time for me to feel that I was ready to have a dog, after years of traveling for work and living in small apartments. I finally decided that it was time to stop waiting for the perfect time because I could be waiting forever. This is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I spent a while looking for the right puppy. I wanted a smart, athletic dog who could be by my side all the time. Nothing could have prepared me for this little 10 week old border collie, lab mix. I guess when I finally jump, I  jump right into the deep end. But we got through that, and I can’t imagine my life without her.

So when it came to finding her a new collar recently, you can imagine that, yes, I spent a while looking for the right one. I wanted something that was stylish (obviously), durable (because we are always muddy or swimming or knee deep in snow, depending on the season), and something which spoke to Addy’s singularity. And finally I found it.

 

Found My Animal waxed canvas and canvas collars

 

Found My Animal is a Brooklyn-based company which makes accessories for adopted animals and their people. The founder, inspired by a family member who was working as a fisherman, made her rescue pup a 3-strand, hand-spliced and whipped nautical rope leash. Nothing like it existed in the market, and after many requests for duplicates, she found her calling and launched Found My Animal.

It began with a nautical-grade rope leash, but has gone on to include so much more… waxed canvas collars and dog coats, rope collars and matching bracelets for owners, best friend charms and compasses, waxed canvas collapsible bowls and bags, ombre dyed leashes and collars, and new favorite, the new girl scout green canvas collar. All are made with rugged, all-weather materials and can be hand or machine washed.

 

Found My Animal Collars, Bowl, Leashes, and Bags

 

 

And in addition to making the best pet accessories that I have seen, Found My Animal’s goal is to help raise public awareness of the urgent need for animal adoption. To learn more about how to support them and to read some really inspiring and touching stories visit them here. Now not only have I found my animal, but I have found a company which shares my love of great design, quality materials, and rescue puppies.

Found My Animal Collars, Bracelets, and Charms

 

 

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