Thursday, August 28, 2008

God Save the Queen

Nothing feels right when loved ones are in pain. Our ten year old Sally, aka Wasabi Sabs, aka Queen Machine - the dog who first sucked us into this crazy work - had to have her toe removed yesterday.

Her most beautiful, most precious, most exquisite little digit
....... Sob! ........
The result of an angry mast cell tumor.

She's had the friggin' dis-ease for three years now. Some of our lessons learned along the way: 1) Don't over vaccinate your pets. Please. Sally's immune system literally crashed years ago after an accidental double-dose of vax and we're sure it opened a door to this cancer. 2) Don't think that you have to remove every MC tumor you see. Let smaller bumps sleep, but do take off any tumor that grows up angry & fast. 3) Consider diet key to strengthening your pet's vigor. A raw meat & bones diet has kept our girl running strong since she was diagnosed. We swear by it. 4) Cancer is a gift that reminds us how short & precious life is. (Repeat: Sob!)

Cool Things
Pit Ed Campers are Doing

We've been honored to meet many hardy souls & talented miracle workers during our Pit Ed Camps. Here are just a few things that alumnae campers are doing to help the underdogs in their corners....

Leslie Dodds of Mendocino County went home after Camp last summer and hammered together a successful pit bull adoption program at both of her local shelters, all while maintaining a 'real job' in the insurance biz. Besides saving lives of adoptable animals, she brought a group of teenagers together to train and socialize the dogs. We met her Pit Crew last weekend when they brought us a new dog for our program. Lookit what these young people can do: PIT CREW
Make it work, girls. We're SO impressed!

Debbie Eaglebarger (above) knows how to spin straw into gold like nobody's business. She manages a small crowded shelter in Corning CA with only one steady helper. When she's not socializing her dogs in well run play group sessions, she's helping adopters put Canine Good Citizen titles on their pit bulls. NEWS. By the way, this severely under-funded project can always use donations. More info on Debbie's efforts here.

Look at these sensitive photos from Alison Talley of Silicon Valley Humane. Not only was Ali keenly tuned in to the dogs during our hands-on exercises, she has one hell of a good eye. She snapped these pix during Aug 08 Camp while the CGC exam was going on. Beautiful work, Ali. PHOTOS


Anonymous said...

Sally`s headlining the Prayers tonight at this house.

Kirsten said...

Aw, Sally... Feel better soon

I'm on that bandwagon... I went throught the same pet health journey when my cat was diagnosed with kidney failure. I too discovered pets are overvaccinated: vaccinating yearly is vets' bread and butter, but is too much for pets and weakens their immune system. And amen to raw/natural diets: The spread of all these human diseaes in pets (diabetes, cancer, etc.) began with the feeding of commercial processed diets. Processed food = bad for us, bad for animals.

We feel so responsible for our pets' well being, and it's heartbreaking when anything harms them. XO to Ms Sally.

And P.S., big wa-hoo to pit ed campers.

2beemo said...

Oh no, that poor little pumpkin. I hope her paw feels better soon. :( Hugs to her & her parents.

Donna said...

Thanks, guys. I'm bracing myself for the 'lobster claw' look once the bandage comes off. *wince*

Anonymous said...

Dear Donna,

I am sure that it will be the most beautiful lobster claw that you have ever seen! My little girl has a histiocytoma -benign tumor- on her leg right now that I am scared will be come a MC. Luckily, I work in a vet hospital, and will be watching for changes very closely.

Hope your baby is feeling better soon!

Anonymous said...

Poor Sally, we're all hoping she feels better soon and perhaps a pedicure for the remaining digits?

Seriously, Donna, our thoughts are with you, it's so hard when our babies are sick. We just took Scooby in to look at what we thought was a bladder infection, xrays showed an object in his stomach! He had surgery last night and we've had no rest waiting for them to open so we can bring him home. Stupid plastic fish.

Stay well Sally!


Pip said...

Poor Sally :( Luckily she's got wonderful people who are going to take good care of her.

I read the article on Debbie, I can't even imagine the strength and dedication that sort of work would take. I'm in awe (and cheers to Bad Rap for bringing attention to her efforts).

As for the photo set... the god of pit bulls makes them too darn pretty!

And speaking of pretty... check out this pretty girl . Dairy Queen is the sweetest Staffy bull who came to the SPCA after being rescued from a puppy mill. She's been overbred, denied medical care (her teeth are dreadful) and she still has the sweetest personality you could ask for in a dog. I threaten to steal her every time I go in to walk dogs! (And I think there are already adoption apps in on her - yay! I just had to share her pic, since I'm soooo in love.)

Anonymous said...

Good thoughts to you and lovely Sally. My Tiger had osteosarcoma on one of her right rear toes, luckily we caught this nasty cancer VERY early before it spread (mommy daily checks for lumps and bumps)and only the toe had to be amputated. I remember that "look" I see in your Sally, owwweeeee. My Tiger is now 9 years old and 4 years cancer survivor, hope you have wonderful Sally for many more also. She has such soulful eyes.

Uba said...

Dear Miss. Sally,

I am very sorry to hear about your surgery. I hope that you feel better soon and heal quickly. Please give my kind regards to your people, and brothers and sister, as I am sure they are all very worried about you. Please know that you are lovingly in my thoughts.

Very respectfully yours,

Anonymous said...

From one queen to another, Miss Josie, and her loyal 2 legged subjects James and Nafija, wish Miss Sally a very speedy recovery. Sally is such a beautiful girl! Josie wanted Sally to know that she just got a tooth extracted, so they can be toothless and toeless together, just not too close together, because every queen needs her space.

And bully to the Pit Ed campers! Another example of good folks attracting good folks.

Anonymous said...

Pit Ed Campers are just wonderful. These stories about about what the Campers do when they get home makes happy tears stream down my face.

What a legacy Bad Rap has.

Boris said...

Hugs, Prayers and all out support to you Sally and your folks,

No sharing of similar experiences and no comments can help the anxiety. Just be reassured, in a week you'll look natural in your queenly style and all the effort is worth it.

My family is blessed by knowing you and feel special with just the short visits we've shared with you. Your family benefits from your presence even more and enjoys you every moment they have. So, keep-up the good fight down to the last digit if need be.

Be inspired by all who have gone before you -- our hearts break with every tragedy so they can grow bigger with even more love - none greater than your Donna and Tim.

My OEL was also blessed to meet Leslie and some of her crew. He is posting Vid-pictures of them working their beautiful pibbles. Teenagers in spirit they all are, even in white hair.

I'll be checking-back,
Boris e Famiglia

Donna said...

> Pit Ed Campers are just wonderful.

They really ARE. Although many or most have some kind of project already going before they ever come to camp, and our week together helps them try out new ideas, compare notes, get a few new tricks or techniques.

I end up learning as much from them in return. It's a great exchange and it definitely solidifies the network of people who are working hard for positive change.

Anonymous said...

Lots of good thoughts for Lady Sally. My own boy (who I also blame for turning my life over to the dogs) will be ten in two weeks, I know the worry of checking every lump or bump.
She sure looks good in that picture though, despite the sad face and bandage. She looks like a dog with many future plans!

Unknown said...

I have been through the MC Tumor trails twice, already (Have one dog out of the three that has been cancer free) I really think that another contributor to so much cancer is the fertilizers and weed killers we put down in our yards, no seriously think about it. Who and what spend the most time in your backyard??? I know my dogs spend way more time there than I do, especially in the summer when those chemicals are used most frequently. Organic is the way to go and is just as if not more effective :) There is a great book about Natural health care for animals too, obviously in this situation you don't want to take any chances but good for other things!

I love her sweet face and I wish you and her well with recovery, I think that is the hardest part. Trying to keep any dog, let alone a high energy dog calm while the wounds heal was always a struggle. Kisses to Sally from CO!

The Captain said...

As a vet tech, I spend a surprising amount of time "un-educating" people who think they are doing the best for their pets by getting them a full round of vaccines annually. (I'm also a huge raw food advocate)

Anonymous said...

What a cool website! I work at a vet clinic and know there is no such thing as a "bad breed." Breed bans do not work: the kind of person who wants an aggressive dog will find one and make it that way regardless of its breed. We get lots of phone calls asking us if we work with pits because some vets won't. That to me is very sad. We only have one pit that we work with who we consider dangerous -- she was a rescue and doesn't trust anyone except her owner. Luckily she's a great gal who knows her dog well and we've never had an incident while working with her.
Re: the raw food diet. Yes, it can work, just make sure you get your recipes from someone who knows what they're doing. We've treated multiple dogs and cats in the last few years for nutritional deficiencies and food poisoning from raw food done wrong. It can work, but it's not easy, and unless you're willling to put the time and effort into doing it right, don't do it.
Okay, I'll get off my sopabox now :). Thanks again for doing what you do!

Anonymous said...

How`s Sally doing?
She looks so sad in the photo.
Hoping she and her family are feeling better than when the photo was taken.

Anonymous said...

Was just thinking about Sally.
Hope she`s doing ok.
Keeping her in the prayers.
You love one,you love`em all.