We received this email from Bostons By The Bay and thought we would share. Bostons By The Bay is selling holiday cards to benefit Miles, a Boston who has not had an easy go of it…
Due to the continued bad economy, Bostons by the Bay Rescue has seen a tremendous increase in the number of Bostons who have been abandoned with serious medical conditions. California shelters are experiencing record numbers of dogs coming in while having their budgets slashed. Rescues are also overloaded with shelter requests, owner surrenders, and far fewer donations.
This year, we are again holding a holiday card fundraiser to benefit our foster Boston, Miles. He is a 7-10 year old Boston Terrier who came from the Fremont shelter at the end of July. Brought in as a stray, his history was and remains unknown. The shelter released him to Bostons By the Bay Rescue two days early due to concerns about his health. He was quite emaciated, to the point where we were frankly amazed he was able to stand. His coat was in very poor condition – dry, brittle, almost “singed”-looking, and missing altogether in a few large patches – and he had a purulent skin infection. In other areas, thin, dry skin was peeling from his body.
Miles underwent veterinary testing to determine his health status, and it was discovered that he had uncontrolled diabetes. He obviously had been battling its effects for some time; starving and unable to draw nutrition from food, his body had digested first his fat and then his muscle tissue to obtain fuel. “Extras” like healthy skin and fur had been expendable in his body’s attempt to sustain his internal organs and his life.
Not unlike a person with Type I (juvenile) diabetes, Miles began receiving twice-daily insulin injections. Because too much insulin can be immediately life-threatening, his beginning dose was very low, and although it has taken several months, we’re close to regulating his diabetes. Miles has gained 5 lbs. of fat and muscle, his skin has cleared up, and he has soft white and brindle fur growing in.
Diabetic dogs often develop cataracts, and this can happen quickly. Miles showed signs of this when he arrived in foster care even though he still had reasonably good vision. In early October, he suffered an acute glaucoma attack and his right eye was removed in a middle-of-the-night emergency surgical procedure. Further visits to the ophthalmologist showed that his left eye is now completely blind with a “mature” cataract. He receives two kinds of eye drops to prevent glaucoma in that eye.
Due to his diabetes, Miles is at greater risk for infections and these can also develop rapidly. Miles was successfully treated for a bladder infection (another common side effect of diabetes), but recently developed a severe corneal ulcer in his left eye. He is being treated with oral antibiotics and five kinds of ointment in an aggressive attempt to save his remaining eye, with his foster mom’s (somewhat idealistic) hopes of eventually having cataract surgery performed to restore his vision.
Despite his health challenges, Miles is very easygoing, companionable, and affectionate. He loves belly rubs and sitting in people’s laps. He has also been adapting pretty well to being blind and goes on two walks a day. He gets along with the other (five) dogs at his foster home, is happy, and has good quality of life. He tolerates his injections and ointment applications well and has soldiered through all of his testing and treatment. Miles is the type of dog who, absent his health conditions, would be considered highly adoptable and sought after.
Nevertheless, we realize that Miles may be overlooked by potential adopters and remain indefinitely in his foster home. As you might imagine, his veterinary expenses thus far have been considerable – even with a substantial rescue discount, the emergency eye surgery alone cost $1,200. And, he will require ongoing care, including (at a minimum) insulin, syringes, and test strips for his glucose monitor. He is on an expensive low carb/low fat diet, and he must adhere to a rigid schedule; the financial commitment as well as the diligence this requires may dissuade adopters who might otherwise be willing to care for a dog with a chronic health condition.
We are committed to providing Miles with his necessary care and treatment, but could really use (and appreciate!) help with his vet bills.
Bostons By the Bay Rescue received a donation of an adorable holiday painting by artist Dasha Goux (www.frenchbulldogworks.com). A copy of the painting featured on the cards is attached (watermark is removed on the cards). The card’s inside greeting reads “Sending warm wishes of peace and happiness this Holiday Season”. Dasha owns both a Boston and a French Bulldog! She was touched by Miles’ story and offered us use of the painting for our holiday cards.
We’re offering the same program as last year’s card sale. For a donation of $25, you will receive a gift pack of 10 cards; a $40 donation will bring you a gift of 20 cards. Payment can be made via the PayPal link on the lower right hand side of Bostons by the Bay’s website homepage. We will email you to confirm your shipping address once payment is received. You do not need to make any notes on your payment. USPS priority mail shipping is included. The cards are being shipped to us and we should be able to mail them sometime next week.
For those who may not know, we lost our beloved Trixie on November 10th. Despite surgery and chemotherapy treatment, she developed a large, inoperable abdominal mass and stopped eating. We had to make the gut-wrenching decision to help her cross the bridge. Trixie was loved by so many and will always remain in our hearts.
Bostons By the Bay Rescue, and Miles himself, appreciate your support and wish you the happiest of holiday seasons!