Pet Diabetes Presents Stories from Around the World!
Of Owners and Their Pets with Diabetes Mellitus


Ten years ago I promised my daughters, Carli and Gigi, that we could get a puppy. 
Gigi, being the determined soul that she is, immediately sat on our deck, started 
reading the classifieds and began her campaign. She zeroed in on the ad that said 
“little bears” and asked what a Keeshond was. I told her I had no idea, to call and 
find out if these little fur bears were good for kids with allergies. The breeder said 
that they were perfect, most got no bigger than your knee and were almost no 
upkeep (what a fib!). After a constant barrage of “can’t we just go and look mom?”,
we were in the car and on the breeder’s doorstep.

 Soooooo, even though I firmly said “we’ll just go and look at them”, we were soon
all in the car and on the way to the nearest store to pick out a collar, get puppy food
and a bowl. “Doughnut” also got re-named Keisha on the way home.

Over the next year Keish became the most spoiled and pampered Keeshond
in history. With a houseful of the girls’ friends and then the crazy musician 
mom started to date, Keish was also being hugged, played with and getting treats. 
The girls finally grew up and went off to college and the crazy musician (who Keish 
adores) is now her dad (yup, I married the crazy man!) She also has a brother now 
that’s her best friend, a little black cat named KC (short for kitty cat) that was a 
malnourished abandoned kitten that Michael brought home.

The next few years were a flurry of moves for our little foursome. I had a terrific job
offer in Denver so off we went. We were in Denver for almost two years when I got 
the phone call we all dread, your Dad’s in the hospital. After a frantic flight and two
days in ICU it was time to say goodbye to him. Michael and I quickly decided that it 
was time to move again. Being 10 hrs away from your Mom isn’t a good thing.

So off we went again. Our biggest concern for Keish with the move to Florida was
the heat. Everyone told us she’d be fine and would adjust but to make sure she always
had a lot of water because of dehydration. We settled in, found new banks, dentists,
doctors and two of the best vets you could wish for. Keish and KC saw Dr. Frankie 
and Dr. Rick a couple of times a year as norm and everything was going great.

Like most of us though, the signals and symptoms came out of the blue. Michael and
I were talking one weekend while I made dinner and as we talked, he filled Keish’s 
water bowl 2x’s. She was drinking so fast I thought she was going to choke. We 
asked each other at almost the same time “have you been giving Keish a lot of water
lately?”. She also had had a few accidents that week which was strange. I thought 
maybe she had a cold or something and said I’d call the vet on Monday.

All hell broke loose that night. Between Keish frantically gulping enormous amounts 
of water, she woke me up 2x’s to go outside. Something BIG was wrong so I had 
at the vet as soon as it opened Monday. From there it was three months of blood 
tests, Cushings tests, coaxing her to eat, learning to give shots and at one point 
thinking that she wasn’t going to make it. 

Keish lost over 15 lbs. And we couldn’t get her under 500 (she was over 800 that
Monday). Turning Keish around was a labor of love for the whole animal hospital. 
She is so good when I take her there- she actually gets excited even though it 
means a lot of poking and prodding. She simply knows how much they love her!

I’d come home and Michael would just look at my face and know it wasn’t good. 
He actually started asking what we were having for supper, think about it for a minute 
and then say “ good! – Keish likes that, make sure you make extra!” At that point 
we would have cooked her anything just to get her to eat and gain weight.

Finally after three months, lots of tears and gray hair, Keish hopped on the scale and 
Dr. Frankie and I let out a whoop! Keish had gained a pound! We knew it was a 
long road ahead but we had finally stopped the weight loss. Today, eight months 
after being diagnosed, she is where Dr. Frankie wants her. A wee bit heavier than 
what was ideal before diabetes, but he wants a little “jiggle room” to work with 
in case she goes south on us.

Michael is my official backup for Keish’s care. The first time he gave her insulin I was
a wreck! But, he actually did a better job at it for his first time then I did. We still have
problems getting her to eat in the morning and we keep a really close eye on her. I 
dread thinking about Cushings but I think you have to be prepared. Both of her vets go
beyond the call of duty where Keish is concerned, so we just take it one day at a time.

What a truly lucky person I am. I’ve been blessed with extraordinary parents, two of 
the most wonderful daughters a parent could wish for, a wild and crazy husband that I
love to death, many new friends because of Judy and her Queenie and my sweet Keisha
(lovingly called Keishi) that loves me no matter what. Can’t get better than that!

 Keisha's Little Brother Milo


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