- Rosie is a lurcher bitch.
Her story begins in early August 2009 but what happened to her before that we may never know unless someone recognises her from these pictures. I still work part time as a veterinary surgeon in a busy mixed practice in Dumfries. One morning whilst I was operating in the theatre, Helen, one of our nurses presented an unimaginable looking animal on our prep table. It was a black dog or should I say a dog skeleton with skin and hair. It was covered in a vast quantity of smelly faecal matter. It, the dog that is, was breathing still and the deep sunken black eyes were half open but not seeing or focusing. The local council workers had been assigned to clean up some of the roundabouts surrounding Dumfries. Karen, one of the workers noticed a black bin liner pushed under some rose bushes and that the bag was moving. She pulled it free and discovered that it contained the body of a curled up dog which was still alive, just. She wrapped it in her jumper and shouted for help.They rushed it to our surgery just a few miles away. Our nurses set to, cleaning up the little body with warm soapy water. Intravenous fluids were prepared and I introduced a catheter into one of the veins in her front leg. All the while we were talking to her and stroking her hoping that the stimulation would encourage her to live. This was not the time to die! The warm fluids started to flow into her malnourished withered little body giving her immediate life support.
ONE YEAR ON
Now nearly 17 kg, Rosie lives life to the full with her two buddies Biddie and Inca. She torments them a bit, egging them on to play but the oldies are content just walking on. She is very much a thief and loves anything that even resembles food. She took a liking to candles for a while – we now have to keep them all locked away unless they are alight. A small local hill, Dalmun is still her favourite climb, always beats us to the top and has a mad session when she gets there. She will be trying a bigger mountain soon I hope so I will let you know how that goes. She is also a bit of a poser in front of the camera so watch out for more images on her showcase.
TWO YEARS ON
She is 18kg now and a muscle machine. She is lean and fit, runs like the wind. The troop of three, plus me set off most mornings early early. Biddy, the old collie has had a major set back with her kidney function but still manages to keep up with the other two. Rosie is still a thief given the opportunity of unattended morsels or whole steak pies. She is getting quite gray around the gills though but I think that is as a result of her history rather than her age. She still loves everybody and wants to play and chase most of the other dogs she meets.
BIDDY PASSES ON
October 2013. We, that is Rosie, Biddy and myself took off to the Outer Hebrides for fun and photographs. We did have some fun on the wide open beaches of UIST until Biddy decided to try out some of the local mushrooms. At the moment I am too upset to tell you about the rest.
TIME MOVES ON
In the years that follow Rosie continues to be one of the most friendly and faithful dogs I have ever had. She is now 18.5kg and as fit as ever.
2016 ROSIE IS NOW 9 MAYBE 10 YEARS OLD
She has enjoyed the last few years at Levers Lodge and hopefully for several more years to come. She has had her setbacks and most recently two have threatened her already traumatic life as you will have already read earlier in this text. Two months ago I found a small somewhat insignificant nodule in her left axilla ( armpit) I thought nothing of it at first other than it was probably a small fatty tumour. A few weeks later however I checked it again and found that it had doubled in size (about the size of a barble) I thought it best to operate and remove it, which I did. Not being absolutely sure what it was at that point I sent it off to the laboratory for analysis. A few days later the report came back indicating that it was a mast cell tumour, not a fatty one as I thought. Fortunately it was what the pathologists call a 'low grade tumour' ie. one that is least likely to cause further complications. This still meant a further operation however to remove more tissue.
Having just about recovered from this operation Rosie started making little yelping noises occasionally when she moved. Again this did not bother me too much at first as she still happily came out for her morning walk and rabbit chasing escapades on the local golf course. After a few days however the yelps suddenly developed into loud screams of pain followed by shaking and looking as though she had done something terribly wrong. I gave her some immediate pain relief and something to relax her. The following morning I Xrayed her neck and found at least one if not two signs of disc protrusion in her neck. These can of course be potentially very serious and certainly very painful. I contacted my old college in Edinburgh for advice and decided that an MRI scan was in order. This would give us a measure of the severity of the prolapses. Luckily for me there had been a cancellation on that day so I was able to take Rosie straight up to Edinburgh's amazing State of the Art Vet School at Bush Estate. Katia the Neurologist ( a delightful Italian Vet) was already there waiting for me to arrive and after our initial discussions and workup Rosie was taken through for her MRI scan. Later that afternoon I returned to discuss the results with Katia. Rosie has what is called degenerative disc disease and this was affecting several discs in her neck. We discussed the possibility of surgery but decided to give the condition a chance to settle by giving Rosie total rest and pain releaving drugs. So far this seems to be working. Currently in our kennels at Dumfries she has fallen in love with all our nurses especially Clare who looks after her most of the time. We will be withdrawing some of the medication shortly to see if the pain returns or not. Fingers crossed. Meanwhile she is a happy dog.