Monday, March 30, 2009

Update on Jonas:

Well Jonas is back to his old self. He is running and playing and wagging his tail. He's also been gobbling food like the bottomless pit he is.

His breathing is pretty much back to normal. He has been clearing the fluid in his lungs. Unfortunately, he has been clearing it on our carpet. It's easy to clean up but wow is it gross to step in -- I think I win the prize at 3 times last night. Eeeeewwwww!

But we love him. Thanks everyone for your concern and well wishes.

--Big friendly lick from Jonas to you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Breaking Our Hearts

It's been a difficult couple of days at the Clare house. Yesterday morning when we woke up Jonathan noticed that our new dog Jonas was breathing funny. I wasn't too concerned until I tried to feed him breakfast. No interest at all--and Jonas LOVES food. A Lot! We knew something was very wrong.

I called the vet and took him straight over. Poor little guy. The initial assessment was that it was heart disease. We were devastated. We thought we were going to lose our sweet Jonas. However, after an ultrasound, multiple X-rays, and blood work they ruled out heart disease ($1000 later, grrrrrrhhh). They found a lot of fluid in his lungs but otherwise a clean bill of health. They said his heart has a small defect but it's strong and should not pose a problem for him. Unfortunately they don't know why his lungs are filled with fluid. When I came to pick him up at the end of the day everyone referred to him as the "mystery dog." In other words, there was no diagnosis. The vet's theory is that he probably ingested rat poison 2-3 weeks ago (before we got him). Apparently rat poison causes internal damage but isn't noticeable until roughly 2-3 weeks after it is eaten.

The vet sent us home with some medication to clear up the fluid and an antibiotic--"to cover the bases." Although we are so happy to know that Jonas will be alright it's breaking our hearts to have him home. When I picked him up his breathing was worse than it had been when I brought him in. All last night he was struggling. He refused to eat or drink and would barely move. We tried to make him comfortable. We got him to take his pills with peanut butter (clearly not sick enough to pass up peanut butter!) I got him to drink a little water by dipping my fingers in his water dish and having him lick them. He was clearly exhausted. All his energy was spent on breathing.

It was painful to watch. Both Jonathan and I ended up in tears at different points in the evening. Jonathan was able to give Jonas some relief by holding his head between his hands. Jonas seemed to relax and breathe a little easier. That was about 1:00 am. It was a long night.

Jonas is doing a lot better today. His breathing is still labored but he is eating small amounts, walking a little bit (very slowly), and drinking water. I'm feeling a lot more confident about his recovery. We definitely had our doubts yesterday.

We have only had Jonas for a week and a half but we are so happy to have him. His sweet personality has melted our hearts and we can't imagine life without him. We are so grateful for him and are pleased to know he'll be with us for a long time to come.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Addition!

No, don't go buy us burp cloths and booties . . .

We got a dog! We have been working through the doggy adoption process for a week and we finally picked up our fuzzy pal yesterday. His name is Jonas and he is a 2 year old dachshund. Here are a couple of pictures of me and Jonas.

Jonas has red hair with some dark brown in there two. He has a white chest and white toes. He loves to give kisses and go for walks. And he adores food--the smell of food--any activity in the kitchen--the opening of any bag or container that might contain food--any remote possiblity of food. In other words he is highly motivated by "treats" which should be really helpful for training.

We are so happy to have Jonas in our family. He is a sweetheart! He hardly ever barks. He sleeps on his doggy bed while we are sleeping without whining or trying to climb into our bed. He doesn't need constant interaction (although he loves attention) but he is content to be wherever we are. He also loves to fall asleep in our laps (as you can see above.)

For those of you concerned about our cat Dante . . . rest assured. They won't be friends but they don't seem to care about each other. They can pass by each other without barking or hissing. We think this is a good sign.