Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mandy's story

Hi my friends!

Today I would like to share with you the story about beautiful Mandy, a sweet pooch who is fighting a courageous battle with canine myelopathy. The story is told by her kind human, Mary.

Our Spunky Hairball Mandy

When we moved into our house it was a joyous time. Our two boys were so excited to move from our small townhouse into a big house with a fenced in yard to run and play in. At that time we had two dogs, Samantha and Molly. But within eight months of moving into our new home, tragically both dogs had passed away. We were devastated! Life was so empty without our cherished pets.

We soon adopted a little hairball Border Collie/Sheltie mix and named her Mandy. The first few weeks she slept in a box with a blanket by our bed. I slept with my arm hanging over the bed into the box to help her adjust to her new home and let her know she was not alone. Life began to get lively! Being that Mandy was part Border Collie, she would run after the boys nipping their ankles to get them to behave. She was full of spunk and the boys loved it.

Through the years she had several serious illnesses and we are so grateful she made it through with the help of our veterinarian. One illness we thought we were losing her. She wouldn't leave the bathroom, so I slept on the floor with her, praying she would pull through. She is a fighter and we were so happy that the next day she was a little better and several days after that, she was back to her loving self.

Mandy is now 14 years old but still a big part of our life. Around five months ago she started having very scary and strange symptoms. Her eyes were moving rapidly as if she was speed reading. She had problems standing and she stopped eating. It was very scary. We contacted our veterinarian and after seeing her he said she had Vascular Vertigo. With several prescriptions and a special diet she started to recover.

Just when we thought the worst was over, Mandy started new scary symptoms. She started falling over. Her legs would give out and her head had tremors. We drove to the veterinarian's office. We were sure this was the last ride Mandy would take in the car. We thought she would not be coming home with us. I sat in the back of the car trying to keep Mandy comfortable as Randy, my husband, drove the car sobbing all the way.

When we got to the office, our vet came out and sat on the floor next to Mandy in the waiting room. He examined her as we watched his face very closely as if maybe we could read his thoughts through his face, looking for some hope. He looked up at us as we sat on the bench sobbing and the tears began to well up in his eyes. The seconds seemed to be hours till the exam was over. He began to explain that Mandy had Degenerative Myelopathy and explained that it's a disease of the spinal cord. He said there is no cure and will continue to progress but with steroids maybe we can slow it down a little. He said she is not in pain and if we are willing to help her through her days he does not feel euthanizing her is necessary. We were scared with the diagnosis but relieved that we had more time with her.

We have a wonderful veterinarian. We have known him for 31 years and put our total trust in him. Mandy has good days and bad days. She can no longer go up or down stairs. At night time my husband and I take turns carrying her upstairs too bed. Some days she is able to take a slow walk around the house and other days she stays next to us in the family room. We don't know how much time we have with her. So we make sure to give her lots of hugs and kisses. She has given us so much love. So we will do whatever it takes to make her comfortable and the rest of her life filled with love. We are not ready to say goodbye to our spunky hairball.

Wow, that is a beautiful story. Thank you so much Mary for sharing it with us. I hope that Mandy has many, many, many more good days and years to come.

Well my friends, stay tuned for part two of this blog where I go a little more into detail about Canine Degenerative Myelopathy. I will talk about the symptoms, treatment, and care of the disease.

Love and Peace,


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