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Calla's Foster Journey - At the Rainbow Bridge 1/20/05


Calla on left 9/30/04

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Pertinent Information
6 month old  Fawn Female Boxer
 36 lb. Owner Surrender
Natural Ears and Docked Tail
Not  Spayed or UTD
Being Fostered near Honesdale, PA
Adoption Donation $350 + $50 spaying deposit

1/20/05 - We regret to inform everyone, that our little flower, Calla, has gone on to the bridge tonight. Calla has been very sick over the last fewmonths and while we made a valiant effort to save her, she lost her battle. By we, I mean our exceptional vet who saw Calla any time we needed her, our directors that forged ahead in the hopes of finding a treatment that would work for her and everyone who ever thought of Calla and hoped for the best. Our vet spoke with Cornell last night and they agreed that while they could treat her current symptoms, she was unlikely to recover. Her prognosis was poor. So, with the guidance of two wonderful directors, we made the very difficult decision to let Calla go. So, my last gift to her was her freedom. We all wanted Calla to survive. I wanted to see grow to adulthood and go on to a forever home, that would love her to the ends of the earth. Some things are just not meant to be.
We loved her as if she were our own. We all loved her. My sweet girl, may you rest in peace. Your suffering has ended. You will be missed.
Without the support of Tina and Gary, we would have had a more difficult road with this foster. I can't thank you enough for all your kind words of encouragement, your patience and your understanding. This family is proud to be a part of this rescue.
Sadly, Larry, Allyson, Kyra and Sam

1/16/05 - Well, as you can see by her pictures, Miss Calla has been doing fairly well. You can see that her joints are still quite swollen and you can only imagine how that would feel to us, let alone this poor pup. She is getting stronger each day, but this last bout of inflammation really threw her for a loop, so it's taking her a bit longer to get back up and running. Although, she is starting to play with her sister and when she gets tired she retreats to her crate, which is always open, and rests there until Rizzo's incessant barking at her, makes her get up and play a bit more. We are going to have to put some weight back on Calla. This last time she lost a bit of weight and she really can't afford to lose any. So, we'll give her some extras in her food to replace that. I wish I could donate some fat to her, heaven knows I have way more than I need. Calla goes to the vet in about a week. She's been pretty good these last few weeks. We expect her to get lame now and then and we are used to it. Other than that, she's coming along nicely. Now, I just wish she could teach her sister to go outside, all the time, like she does and we'd be in business. So, when she sees the vet, I'll update again. Till then...

1/10/05 - My dainty little flower is having such a tough go of things. She had started to improve, but a week ago, she was down again. It happens very quickly. She will walk in the evening and by morning, she's swollen and in too much pain to stand. Then she'll go through several days where she cannot so much as, pull herself up, let alone move. Gradually, she begins to improve, by kicking her back legs and then pulling her front up and eventually, she'll begin to walk again. She did in fact start that today. She is very wobbly and weak, but she's moving. Up until now, I had to "walk" her myself and hold her up to pee. She has lost some weight because of all of this, but hopefully she'll pick that up soon. The prognosis is fair at this point. The vet stated that this is the most severe case of this condition, she has encountered. We will continue to help her through this and hope for the best outcome for Calla.
And, through it all, she remains that sweet little puppy.
She manages a wiggle now and then and a kiss or two.
As a matter of fact, the other day, all the girls got baths. I made the water very warm and let her lay in the bath tub. I know when our joints are sore we soak, so I thought she might like to as well. Boy, did she ever. I washed her beautiful coat of fur and let her rest, with all fours emerged in the water. Of course, she couldn't stand, so my husband and I kept watch and chatted, while she relaxed and when it came time to come out, she looked at me like we were nuts. She wanted no part of getting out of that bathtub. But, she was fine after I wrapped her in a towel, fresh from the hot dryer. She laid in my arms like a princess.
We will talk to the vet about getting something stronger to keep the swelling down, but for now, we just need to keep her comfortable until she gets past this. We will hope for a full recovery for Miss Calla because I know there is some spectacular forever home out there, waiting to add her to their bunch.

12/30/04 -Ok, so here's the good word. That's right, I said good word. Calla saw the vet and she is holding her own. Nothing new to report, except improvement on her mobility. She continues to take her medicine like a trooper and she is more and more mobile every day. She still tires easily, but thankfully mom plays a lot with Rizzo, so that Calla can get her rest.
Anyway, Calla will continue with her meds through Jan, at which time she will see the vet again, for her first skin scraping. So, unless something comes up, she will get a break from the vets office for a while.
We will continue to nurse her back to health and hope for a full recovery. I would have to say that her pain has improved although, still present. She is such a sweet girl. She is obedient and smart. Very much her sisters opposite. We enjoy the two different personalities and have lots of fun with Calla when she's feeling well enough to play.
That's about it, I'll have to post more pictures again because she looks even better than the last ones.
When it's time for this girl to move on to her forever home, I will miss her terribly after all that we have been through. Now that the holidays are over, that first skin scraping is right around the corner and before you know, she'll get the ok to go:0( I shall enjoy all of my time with her.

12/27/04 - I don't know where to begin with Calla. There's been so much going on with her and regretfully, it's kept me from updating properly. Calla's joints began to swell two weeks ago. She became very weak, lethargic and not at all herself. After several trips to the vet, she was being treated for a condition associated with large breed puppies, that grow too quickly. This causes a variety of problems, including, but not limited to, swelling of joints, lethargy, loss of appetite, etc. She became quite sick and Mon. 20 she went back to the vet because she was stiff and not really moving, at all. She said that perhaps she was off the mark with this girl and she should go to Cornell. At six that evening, my husband and I made the 2 1/2 hr. drive to Cornell and met with a Dr there, whom was very nice. She confirmed our vets, diagnosis and said she could have underlying genetic conditions associated with the poor breeding and she should have a panel of blood work done, but other than that it was just a waiting game. We should give the meds that our vet prescribed, at least two weeks to work and if anything changed, call. We got home at 2:30a.m, discouraged. Two days later, she wasn't moving, at all. She couldn't even eat. I sat with her for ten minutes and she ate 4 pebbles of food and a spoonful of cooked ground beef. I wasn't sure which direction this was going, but I know, we wanted her to recover, if that's what she was meant to do. Now, I don't want to
brag because we are never sure if she's really going to be ok, but she actually got up the other day. She is eating, drinking and walking slowly, but more and more. She started a slow recovery, beginning with just kicking her back legs, but it progressed to pulling up her front and ending in standing. We are going to be aggressive with her recovery, she's a survivor and I am too. I won't let her go. We've done too much and come too far to lose it now. I don't know what will come of all of this or how long we can expect to see her like this. The vet indicated 4-6 weeks.

12/14/04 - Calla has taken ill, which took us all by surprise. It's unclear the exact cause of her illness, but she is running a fever and having some trouble walking. The vet thinks it could have been something that seeded from her original infection and is now coming out. As I said in previous updates, we just can't be too careful with these girls and wouldn't you know, she's sick. She is still wiggling her little tail and full of kisses. Even when she gets her medicine. She is getting fluid here at home and that is administered with a needle. She's even sweet then. I actually had to make up a chart for all the meds that she and her sister are getting, but I know it will all pay off. She's just too sweet a girl and we're not going to let her go. We'll get her better and she'll go on to a very happy forever home. Keep her in your thoughts and we'll keep you posted on her status. She is just a doll and even though she's not feeling well, she still won't go in the house. I have to hold up, outside for her to do her business. The training is paying off. Now, we just have to get her better. So, I'll let you know of any changes in her condition. We hope for a full recovery.

12/1/04 - So, this is the good word. Not exactly, a week from the last one, but I did get the picture I promised. Calla's front feet are really doing well and will probably not need splints. Same goes for her heart murmur. It seems to be clearing up all on it's own as her health improves. She'll go back in two weeks for weigh in, shots and then not for another month for a scraping. Yup, no forever home just yet, but good things come to those who wait. Calla is doing superb. She is really a very bright gal and just amazes me. She goes outside for her business very well. We are just moving along with the housebreaking and will continue to reinforce that. She sits wonderfully for her treats and meds. She is learning stay, but I read in a catalog, on a plaque, that raising a teenager is like nailing jello to a tree. Well, training puppies is very much the same. This is one great pup and when she is ready for her forever home, she will be one well trained dog. I look back on the pictures from when she first came and she's just not the same puppy. And what a puppy she is!! Just look at that face.

11/17/04 - Yippee!!! GOOD NEWS!! Calla is on the mend. My husband took her to the vet last night and she is gaining some weight, good, healthy, body weight and her front paws actually started to come up on their own. Her heart murmur has settled down to a much more impressive level and the vet even thinks that this may go away completely when she is all better. Of course, that's not a guarantee, but a big step in the right direction. She will continue to get the mange med for several months and the dose will increase with her weight gain. She is getting a new oral supplement, tablet form and this should help considerably with her orthopedic issue. One final note, she was actually well enough to get, one, of her second round of shots. She will be given one at a time, as we are not out of the woods yet and with this pup, you just can't be too careful. Her hair has come in so nicely, that you can pet her neck and head and feel only soft fur. She is just lovely, her skin is smooth and improving daily. I promise that by the next update, in one week, I will have pictures to share. The vet said to use common sense, but that we could take her out. What a relief!!! She was really catching on to that whole poopy outside thing. Calla continues to be such a funny gal. I know I have a cute story to share, but at this moment I'm experiencing a brain fart. So, when I think of it, I'll share it. I'm just so glad that she's coming along this well. Calla was so, so sick and I am relieved to know she's getting better. Not ready for her forever home yet, but working on it.

11/7/04 - So, never a dull moment. Not with this pup, anyway. We took Calla to the vet last week for follow-up and splinting. She has a heart murmur, but was doing well overall. She responded wonderfully to the mange medicine and antibiotic. She has such a beautiful face. Well, they splinted her, but they were a bit tight and her toes started to swell significantly and off they came. We will discuss what to do with the vet tomorrow. On a whole, Calla is coming along nicely. Due to their weakened immune system, it was recommended that she not be taken outside until she is nearly out of the woods. Hmmm, easier said than done. They were getting quite used to going outside because she pooped right in the treshold of the front door!!! She is quite the sassy thing these days. She is definitely on the mend, but her condition is guarded. We will continue to be careful with her as we do not want to expose her to anything, unnecessarily. As always, she continues to show her fabulous personality. She decided that she wanted to go out with Daddy tonight. I heard my husband call me from the front porch, when he took Darlah out. I paid no attention and then I see him cross by the front window, two pork chops in hand!! Evidently, they were resting quietly in their crate when he opened the door and the next thing he knew they were trotting along side him, down the ramp. Ooopps. It was dark, no collars as they were washed after bath time yesterday and boy did he have a bit of trouble corralling them. They didn't want to come in. Thankfully, they didn't make it too far from the porch light and he snatched them up. Man, she's a handful. I'm beginning to think I named the wrong one, Rizzo! Nah, she's still my little flower.

10/31/04 - Extra! Extra! Read all about it! One really terrific puppy, makes complete turnaround!! If you've been keeping up to date on our little flower, she's not been doing so hot. She has been very sick and just not getting better. Last Tuesday she went to the vet. After the vet spent 1 1/2 hrs with us, we went home with an arm load of medicine. Turns out, Calla was "down on her front", meaning due to illness, poor breeding and poor nutrition she was walking on the wrong joint. It actually looks like her front legs have fallen. She will get splints to support her and hopefully avoid further long-term damage to her joint. Calla takes her medicine without a problem. She gets several things in the morning and the evening. We have no trouble getting her to suck down a piece of cheese
with her antibiotic in it. She takes her oral med for the mange, from the syringe and her nutritional supplement in yogurt. She just loves a strawberry/banana go-gurt. She was given different medicine for the mange and wouldn't you know, about four days later, she's a real puppy. She got a special bath in new shampoo and this pup doesn't even look like the sickly little thing on the site. She is eating, playing and doing great with going outside. She still goes in the house, but less and less often. The other day, my husband was trying to wipe up a bit of peepee and she thought he was playing, so she tried to bite his hand and the paper towel and "box" with him. She has become more like a mischievous little puppy. She thought that it was a good idea to pull my basket of potatoes off the shelf and roll them onto the floor. Then she found peepee pads neatly in place and thought they looked nice and messy toys, so there she was tearing up the paper, everywhere. Evidently, that was a lot of fun for her because it just wiped her right out. She is still the more dainty of the two, but without a doubt has a wild streak. Hmm, don't we all?

10/24/04 - Ta-Dah!! We have poopy outside:o) After foster Mema, my mother, was kind enough to crochet a sweater for my hairless little friend, we were able to take her outside for longer periods. Well, I said she was a smart pup. Guess what? I was right. She has done SUPER with going outside. She still goes on the pads, but she ALWAYS goes when we take her outside. That's no easy task, we take the two of them out at the same time. So, I stand arms wide open, one peeing and one pooping, obviously in opposite directions. The point is, she's going. She gets lots of praise when she goes outside and in return we get lots of wiggles. I know she's very proud of herself. She finished her antibiotic this week, but I'm not seeing a great improvement, so we will be calling the vet on Monday, to make an appointment for follow-up care. She is still eating terrific. That has never been an issue. She is playful with the children, climbing on the gate to gain their attention, which of course, she always does. She is such a dainty gal taking her treats from the kids. They'll sit and play with her on the floor and she just jumps up on them and licks them to no end. Calla just loves her new sweater. She never pulled at it or bit it. She was just an angel. She is sure to be a fine companion, once she's well enough. First, let's get some fur on her!!

10/19/04 - Calla has virtually no hair left. Foster Momma is crocheting her a sweater so that she can go outside. She shivers if the front door is open too long. She has done very well going on the paper. She's still not housebroken, but she is trying. On one of the only warm days last week, she pooped outside. Otherwise, she's inside until she gets her sweater and her wheeze goes away. She is still getting her antibiotic two times a day. She just loves it rolled up in cheese. Calla is real playful, but I would say she's more of a lover. She just wants to curl up in your lap and call it a day. Don't misunderstand me, my kids can get her going in a heartbeat. She loves to play with just about anything. She's a little peanut. She does terrific in the crate. So well, in fact, she didn't want to come out. The other day I was mopping and cleaning their little area and I put her and her sister in the crate to keep them out of my hair, literally. If I bend down, she's crawling up my back and licking my hair. So, when I was done she didn't want to come out. I don't know if it was because she was warm and cozy or what. So, I left the door open and she finally made her way out. This little gal just needs some TLC. She will make a fine addition to one very special home, one day. But, for now, she is making a fine foster baby. I love having her here. I can see so many changes in her in just these past few weeks. She is getting better every day.

10/15/06 - Calla continues to do very well here. She is much bigger than when she first arrived. Go figure, she eats like a little piglet. I played with her for a bit tonight and she has such a funny personality. You can see her open up a bit. If she were a tv character, she would be Ethel Mertz. She is kind of quiet, but once you get her rolling, forget it. She just needs someone to instigate and she'll take care of the rest. Unfortunately, it has been chilly here and with her being nearly completely bald, I haven't had her outside much, but the one time I did get her out, on the leash, she POOPED. Who would have thought puppy pooh could make a grown woman so happy? She' still young, so there's lots of time to train her. She gets it on the paper, most of the time, in the house. I don't think her forever home will have too much trouble with this girl.

10/11/04 - Calla has made great strides since being treated for her mange. She has been such a trooper. Calla's condition had worsened just days after arriving at our home. Our vet gave her a shot and some antibiotic and this girl has done fantastic. Pretty Calla was a very good girl tonight.  Tonight I gave her a bath and sat for hours with her on the couch warming her and combing through her scabs and dry skin. Calla has very little hair left due to the mange. But, the sores on her skin are drying up, her eyes are no longer swollen and draining and her spirit has lifted. She was very playful this evening. I grabbed her face and paws while she sat on my husbands belly and she playfully bit at his hands. Hee Hee Hee. I guess her teeth were a little sharp, so he says. She has improved ten fold and I am so happy to report her health is on the mend. Calla is quite a lovey girl. She is sure to make her forever home very happy.

10/06/04 -My sweet little flower, is truly a Venus fly trap in disguise. Calla, after a dose of good medicine, is letting herself be known. She is a take no crap kind of girl. Her sister will antagonize her to no end and she just barks at her. She has an incredible appetite. She is learning to pee on the paper. This is going to be one smart cookie. Calla is a little love. I sat on the floor last night and she just came crawling up to me and curled into my lap. She went to the vet this evening because she sounded a bit congested. She is on another course of antibiotics and still the shots for the mange. Although, it has improved, she still has a lot of healing. She gained a pound in a week. This is good because they're a bit underweight. This little princess is going to make one beautiful queen.

10/03/04 - Well, this little gal is starting to let her true colors shine. She was once a sweet, quiet little flower, like her name indicates. But, along the way, she received proper vet care and WHAM!! She's a true puppy. She is definitely the more reserved of the two, but she barks her little head off at her sister. Calla loves to be with people. She is full of kisses and wiggles. She is so cute when she stands up at the gate and her little hind end, is just a' goin'. Calla will make a great addition to someone's home, one day. She is not terribly thrilled with walking on a leash, but we will keep working on it. As she is healing, I will send better pictures. That way you can see how little
tubby is growing.

9/30/04 - Well, Calla came to us on Saturday evening. We have taken our time getting things settled here. Calla, as well as her sister, has demodex mange. It is very advanced. Her eyes are quite swollen and she has sores on her head and body. Evidently, she and her sister were not being treated for the mange itself, so after a visit to the vet here, she's been given medicine to come home with. She'll get a shot once a week, antibiotics every day and a special bath two times a week. She will return to the vet in about two weeks, at which time he will determine when she will get her second set of shots. Calla, like the lily, is a dainty girl. She's a good size pup, but is sweet like a flower. Calla remains in excellent spirits. She is a very sweet little thing. She's quiet, but playful. She just loves all the lovin' she can get. Calla is very good in her crate. She doesn't mess in there, but the second she's out, watch where you step. Stay tuned for more about this little peach.

Calla 1/16/05

Calla 1/8/05

Calla 12/1/04