What could be sweeter then a diabetic pet?

 Dwarf Golden Retriever
In January of 1998 the northeast U.S. suffered a major ice storm.  We had just moved into a BIG 
new home and after everything had semi-settled down (about 3 weeks)I decided that I would go over
to the local SPCA to see if they needed anything (people were weeks {some months} without 
electricity and water). While I was there I decided to look at the dogs...all of them were barking
furiously---except one, Betsy...she was just sitting there "smiling" at me and acting as if nothing was 
wrong in the world.  I asked the attendant about her and she told me that she was rescued during 
the ice storm and came in with frost bitten paws.  I asked to take her out for a walk--she was driving 
her muzzle deep in the snow (looking for food I assume:)) and kept holding up oneleg or the other to
keep from getting her feet cold.  I went back in and started the paper work to take her home--
we have a 24 hour waiting period to check references here.
I was told that at best guess they thought she was around 7, she was a little over weight (75 pounds!!!)
but had been spayed and was very well mannered, good with cats, dogs and children--no 
aggression noticed (someone had taken very good care of her and they couldnt find her home). 
She was microchipped to me the next day.  The attendant said thank you to me and I said 
"no problem she is great"--she said "no thats not why--she was due to be put down in 2 days
and it was killing all of us"...I replied "Well she has just been granted a pardon." and I took her home. 
She must have been taken care of by elderly people because she fell in love with my mom.  She 
has no sense of direction and accidentally got loose and ran off--a neighbor 1 street away called the
tag number and found out who she belonged to and then called us and said "Are you missing a dog?" 
I was never so frantic as I was that day!!  She loves bunnies, birds, sitting in the sun, cats, eating, 
meeting people and their pets.  She has never gotten into trouble, ie..eating trash, peeing on the floor,
chewing up my stuff...she doesnt even beg at the table..she does let me know in one lough "horph"
barking sound that its time to feed her....In may this year 2002, she was dx diabetic.  We thought she
was just getting old as she was losing her ability to negotiate the steps, getting up was a struggle, she lost
weight, seemed confused a bit, and then on a saturday morning she started drinking and begging to 
go out...she peed gallons and drank gallons all weekend, but would not eat...On Monday I brought
her to the vet in tears as I thought this was going to be the Big Shot day and through my tears asked
him if it was possible that she was diabetic and before putting her down would he please check 
her blood.  Her BG was 58?!! I couldnt believe it...he told me that due to her age it was probably
best that we go ahead and put her down...diabetes was costly and time consumming...I informed him 
that I was staying at home now due to a severe back injury/surgery that didnt work out and would 
do whatever it took to keep her alive as long as she wasnt in pain.  No pain, she was started on U.
and home we went...It felt like forever getting on the email list but in all actuality it was only a 
couple of days...Ed helped to convince me that all vets were not specialists in this area and I called 
my vet back with enough questions to confound him---I learned to do curves and changed her 
to N..she is stable now and on 9 units 2 times a day--she was high for a bit so I increased it
to 10  units BID but after about a week realized that was too much as she was having a 
low of 20--so I backed down to 9 again...she has slight cataracts but her eyes still see...
I homecook for her (a recipe that Ed gave me) and she scarfs it down...even though she is 
between 12 and 14 years young and sleeps alot (snores like an old man) she likes to play 
tug and wrestle and see how loud she can growl while she is playing, she enjoys walks and looking.

Puppy's Thank You

My name is Puppy and I understand you all know me,
"There's a whole crew of sugar-babies", says Momma Jeri.
I have diabetes as I am sure you are all well aware,
But that's not the whole story, so I'll take you there.

I am a ghetto dog and from Cleveland I came,
My previous humans were not too humane.
One day I got sick and went to the vet,
He poked me with needles; I was scared you can bet.

The news wasn't good, wasn't good nosiree,
The humans said "Big Shot" and I almost peed!!
I wasn't ready to sleep for all of eternity,
So my Guardian Angel found a home just for me.

But it was so very far, very far, far away,
In another state, by car a whole day!
Momma Jeri wrote, "Help, We need your assistance",
Everyone wrote back and there was no resistance.

Auntie Margo said, "Fly her, I will get you out of this jam",
She wrote out the check and rushed it to Pam.
While arrangements were made I needed somewhere to stay,
Angel Rescue to work-- I got a nice place to play.

Aunt Janet is a sweetie, who watched over me daily,
She talked to me nicely saying "Good job, young lady".
Aunt Janet has a human and his name is Frank…
He is a hottie, you can take that to the bank!!

Together they loved me and taught me to play,
They told me I was moving to a place I could stay.
I made a quick friend there-Jasper the cat,
Hottie Frank called him Lil Fart. What's up with that?

Uncle Ed checked the airlines and then told Aunt Margo,
That US Airways would take me into their cargo.
So off we went in the night and rushed down the pike,
Looking for Pam who was taking me to the flight.

Aunt Janet said "Be a good girl and have a safe trip",
Hottie Frank gave me huggers and I snuck in a lick.
Pam loaded me up with no time to spare,
She said, "Puppy girl we gotta get you in the air."

I was nervous as ever as I boarded the plane,
But in no time at all I landed in Maine.
Mom Jeri said "Puppy, you are a queen,
Aunt Barbara's dad's Mercedes will be your limousine."

I rode in the back with my head in a lap
Of another Hottie Mom Jeri called Dad.
I have sisters and friends and my own set of Humans,
And Momma Jeri keeps saying "Don't forget list-ones".

Sister one is Betsy, she's a Golden Retriever,
She hunts for food like she is a beaver!!
Sister two is Mollie and she's quite a sweetie,
We are great friends and share similar stories.

Sister three is April Fool Burgles the Castle,
She is a Mini Pin and geez what a hassle!
Pandora the Maine Coon cat met me at the door,
She said, "Hope you sleep well cuz Betsy can snore."

The backyard, Oh WOW, There's acres of land,
A Pup can get lost without a human at hand.
I am so excited, so happy and content,
The journeys been long, the money well spent.

I love my new kids, Momma Jeri and her human Jim,
But I will never forget all the places I've been.
So thank you my list-ones, I am doing quite well,
You all are my Angels, You saved me from Hell.

Written by Jeri 2002

In August the email list received an emergency plea for help to rescue and older dog that 
had diabetes and whose owners were going to have her put down...I responded that I would be
willing to take her.  She was in the ghetto part of Cleveland Ohio. Her owners were given Humulin U 
and pee strips to test her and work back and forth with her numbers/units....I knew this was dangerous 
and would result in a hypo situation.  The male owner was mean and was giving the rescuer (Deborah) 
a deadline or he would put her down.  On a Friday she was taken in to check her BG levels and 
as I expected she was too low to fly...68...she was also in heat.  They thought she was about 12 years 
old...and at somepoint was abused. Janet and Frank agreed to foster her.  Once she got to them
I asked Janet to put her on Humulin N and because she was 40ish pounds to go ahead and start 
with 7 units BID...still spotting a bit...but eating and playing and learning all kinds of new tricks 
with Janet and Frank....I didnt have the money to fly her to me, as I was in the process of moving
a 3 generational household (my 76 yr old mom lives with me as well as my 3 daughters) --so I posted
to the list for assistance--Margo stepped forward and paid that bill...Ed coordinated the flight for us--
to make sure that she would be on a straight through flight she would have to go to Pittsburgh PA 
and fly to Boston MA...both of these areas required considerable driving times on both ends...
Janet and Frank were put in touch with Pam Roudebush (non  member but animal lover 
extraordinaire) via Ed--and they met in the middle of the night to get her to PA---This was in 
the middle of a heat wave and drought in the northeast--we were afraid that it would be too 
hot for them to accept her but that wasnt the case--the Airlines (US Airways) stated she would 
be on the ground before the heat set in--2 hours later she landed in Boston and Barbara 
Gunvaldsen (spelling?) took us to get her in her father Mercedes.  It only took us 2 1/2 hours 
to get to Boston but it took us 5 hours to get home (due to the pee breaks that Puppy needed)...
I noticed that she was bleeding quite heavily...but never having a dog that went into heat I didn't 
know it wasnt normal...This was Augsust 19th , Sunday...When we got home her BG was 
about 135 so I kept her on the 7 units of N and for a week ran around cleaning up blood...
The following Sunday night I realized that she was digging her ears furiously--so I tried to flush
them out with foaming ear wash--I noticed a god awful smell coming from her ears and realized
that she had ear mites pretty bad...On Monday I called the vet and they saw her that afternoon...
it wasnt the ear mites they were concerned with but the "blood" coming out of her was actually pus
and she had pyometra--a severe uterine infection that happens when a dog in heat get bacteria
in her vaginal cavity.  If left untreated the cervix will close up and the infection will blow up the 
dogs uterus in a matter of hours...obviously with a internally hemmoraging organ she would die 
before we knew what was wrong with her...She needed an emergency spay....$418.77...
well I didnt have it but the vet was allowing me to make a payment arrangement...
I talked to one of my friends online (Todd) and told him what was going on---he paid the bill!!
I didn't ask him to do it and he doesnt even have an animal...he is just a great human...
When they did the surgery they found that she also had mastitis (sp), they cleaned her ear
mites out....sent her home 2 days later in an Elizabethan collar, with a drain in and stitches 
from stem to stern.....longest incision for a spay that I have ever seen...her uterus was the 
diameter of a big banana--it should only have been the diameter of a pencil....
the vet was hopeful that her diabetes was gestational in nature and would go away with 
the spay--unfortunately, she had been givin so much insulin over the course of a month 
that her Beta Cells were damaged and that is not the case...so now we are trying to regulate 
her--I believe she will need around 6-7 units BID when all is said and done...I also homecook
for her...her current weight is 35 pounds....She loves to go for walks and loves attention--she 
has a slight jealousy issue regarding the other dogs in the house but we are working on that...she 
loves to fetch and play---and the vet is certain she is around 8 years old as all indications ie ears,
eyes, internal organs and bones are pointing to that....she also has slight cataracts due to high 
sugar levels but she can see really good even still...The one thing I be said in Puppys story is that
had she been spayed from the onset--she would never have been a diabetic  (as hers was 
gestional in nature and because she was given insulin HUMANS gave her this disease) let alone all that has happened medically... among obvious other things a non spayed female can develop Pyometra
which will kill them.  That old wives tale about letting them have a litter calms them down is a lie---
and it can be deadly in the interim---also not having an animal spayed or neutered can lead to 
cancer which is also devastating..to the animal as well as its human companion...
Much love and many hugs

 To Read More Diabetic Pet Stories - Click Here!