|Laddie's Original Story
LIFE WITH LADDIE
(A Diabetic Scottie)
My husband, Scotty & I have been together 14 years. In all
this time he’s wanted a “scottie”. I had never seen one in person
before but I had lots of “scottie” things because of my husband.
I really didn’t want a dog at the beginning as we had been living in
an apartment & just didn’t have the room or time to devote to a dog.
I also preferred cats over dogs as to me they were just easier to take
care of. Scotty, on the other hand, doesn’t particularly care
about cats & was very adamant about me not having any.
Several years later when Scotty had to have some surgery done &
was recuperating this stray black/white cat found me outside our apt. complex
one day & of course, I decided to keep him against Scotty’s wishes.
We had many a battle over this cat, but now after 6 yrs. Checkers is
very much a part of our life.
One Christmas 6 yrs. Ago, Scotty informed me that we were going to
have to move to Gulfport, MS because his Mother was no longer able to take
care of herself. Well, needless to say, I was definitely not happy
about this decision. I didn’t want to leave all my family & friends,
but regardless, we moved anyway.
About 18 mo. ago we were in the mall & I suggested we go look in
the Pet store where we bought fish supplies for our aquariums. While
there we just happened to see this little “scottie” for sale. I wasn’t
the least bit impressed by this little scrawny puppy, but then, all
puppies are cute, aren’t they? The girl that worked there told us
she could put a 24 hr. hold on him & we could think about it.
We talked all the way home & could think of a million reasons why we
shouldn’t buy him. We just knew we didn’t really have that kind of
money to spend at that time as the house needed so many repairs done to
it. Well, we decided not to get him so I called the Pet store
& told her to take him off the Hold List. We just couldn’t stop
talking about him & I kept saying, he really was a cute little thing,
wasn’t he? I could fix my backyard just for him. You have to
understand that when we moved here one of the first things I did was have
Scotty build me a fence around a portion of the backyard so his Mother’s
German Shepherd & Dobermann weren’t allowed. I didn’t like these
dogs as they were always tearing my flowers up & I didn’t like having
to take care of them in the first place. I wanted a place to go with
my cat & I was tired of stepping in dog poop. It was a constant
source of irritation to me. I tell you this because for me to offer
my backyard with all it’s lovely flowers, etc. would be really something
for me to offer. Well, Scotty said he would leave the decision to me.
I said no, it had to be a mutual decision & he would have to promise
me that he would help housebreak him, etc. Anyway, we drove back
to the mall & all along the way we said that if he was still there
we would get him & if not, then it just wasn’t meant to be. At first
I didn’t see him & Scotty said my face looked so crestfallen.
Actually, in away I was thinking well good the decision has been taken
away from me. Wrong!! He had just been moved to another cage.
After getting food, & supplies we all headed home.
Laddie-Me-Boy was to be his name. Scotty had visions of him
being in dog shows, & becoming a stud. This was to be his
dog, his buddy. Well none of his plans worked out. Laddie,
you see, turned out to be a very sick little dog. He had Diabetes.
He would have to have insulin in order to live. What a shock this
was. I think we were both numb. I wasn’t afraid to give him
shots as I had to give my son allergy shots when he was little, but to
just know that for the restof this little dog’s life. I was going to have
to do this was a scarey thing.
How do you get it across to a little puppy that you don’t mean to hurt
him by sticking him?
Now he doesn’t even act like he feels them anymore,he’s so used to
The Pet store offered to give us another puppy in his place.
I refused. I only wanted Laddie. They finally gave me a complete
refund, but even if they hadn’t, there was no way I would have given
Laddie up. I guess I should tell you how we found out about his Diabetes.
I started Laddie out in the kitchen as it had tile on the floor. He had
his own bed & of course his own dishes. Trying to housebreak him was
just going nowhere. After 3 wks. of his constant drinking & urinating
just as much, not gaining weight like he should I just knew something wasn’t
right with him. I kept asking the vet about it & at first everybody
just kept saying, well, he’s a puppy & they go a lot.
Then we started discussing the possibility of Diabetes or Cushings
Scotty came home from work one morning about 3:30am & woke me up
saying Laddie was paralyzed in his back legs & couldn’t lift his head.
I flew out of bed. Ran & gave him a little Karo syrup on my finger
& that helped him a little. I immediately called the vet &
he met us at his clinic. He checked Laddie’s blood sugar & it
was 29. He was going into a diabetic coma, or Hypoglecemic as you
would call it, also. A normal blood sugar
range is considered to be around 80-180. The vet gave him something
called “STAT” a thick brown sugar looking stuff. Laddie was
fine almost immediately. I got to bring him back home but had to
take him back at 8:30am & leave him so he could be started on insulin
to see if he would respond to it. He did & so I got to go get
him that afternoon. Several months went by before we could really
get his sugar level fairly decent. He
would go way into the 400’s, finally we’d get him in the 300’s, down
to the 200’s & today & for the past 9 mo. he stays between 70-230
which is pretty regulated. Each time he would drop down
to a more acceptable range it was like a celebration time. Each battle
we won was another gift.
At the beginning of his Diabetes I couldn’t find not one single Dr.
that had ever heard of a puppy with diabetes. I took Laddie to several
different vets & some even said I should just put him to sleep as I
was going to be in for a very tough time. A lot of expense, an emotional
roller coaster as he would be up one day & down the next. They
just didn’t know how to deal with a diabetic dog. Well, I cried all
the way home from one such
visit & I vowed, I would not put Laddie to sleep, that I would
somehow find away to take care of him & make him well. I called
everybody I could think of. I called Dr.’s out of state.
I went to the library & read everything I could possible find on Diabetes
So much of the way Diabetes is treated in pets is the same as in humans.
Nothing was easy about dealing with this problem at the beginning &
even now you still are always very much aware of the problem. You
never outgrow the need to be overly-protective. You are always aware
of anything different. You watch when he’s outside to make sure he
isn’t eating something he shouldn’t. You make sure his stool is normal,
his eating & drinking habits are ok. You just know when things
are going as they should.
I have learned so much over the past 2 ½ years. I decided
I didn’t want Laddie eating the special food the vet had him on that also
had the bad preservatives & chemicals in it. I had a special
recipe made up for him that consists of all good things like, chicken,
barley, fresh string beans, broccoli, squash, zucchini, &
carrots. Sometimes I might add some peas or piece of sweet potato.
I also have added oats, millet, amaranth & apple at times. This
is all fit for humans. He gets what amounts to ¼ c chicken,
¼ vegetables & ¾ c barley twice a day. He gets
lots of supplements to make sure he gets everything he needs.
Cataracts is almost a certainty with Diabetes so you really have to
watch their eyes.
Laddie goes to an Optamologist in New Orleans, about 1 ½ hrs.
away from here.
His cataracts are still very small & the Dr. is very impressed
with just how well he’s doing.
She said that he might never have to have surgery if they stay like
this. She said she has never seen a dog with Diabetes so well controlled.
It made me feel very good to know that just maybe I’m doing everything
right for my little guy.
Scotty always kids me saying that when I’m in the room there’s no question
Laddie wants to be with. He said that someday he’s going to have
his own dog. Laddie thinks of Scotty as another one of his many,
many toys. He loves to lay on Scotty’s foot as we eat supper or watch TV,
but if I’m in another room, he’s always right there beside me. He’s
been my constant companion & never ceases to bring a smile to my face.
My backyard is his domain when he’s outside. Our bed that was suppose
to be off limits is his, too. I now also have another cat, named
Tiger that was a stray here. He & Checkers keep each other company.
Needless to say, neither cat is thrilled about having Laddie as part of
their lives, but they all get along fairly well. Checkers doesn’t
take any crap from Laddie but Tiger makes the mistake of running from him
& to Laddie, he thinks this
means game time so he chases him. I had to block one of
the front bedrooms off so the cats could eat & use the litter box in
At this time Laddie is a very happy, spoiled little “scottie”.
I would have never dreamed that I would fall so in love with this little
dog. He has done some weird things like the time outside when
he actually swallowed a whole Hummingbird. I just couldn’t believe
that until he threw it up a few minutes later. Unfortunately, the
Hummingbird didn’t make it.
I think the one thing I would like to get across to everybody is that
Diabetes is not a death sentence. You just have to be willing to make the
commitment it takes in dealing with this problem. In my case I wouldn’t
take a million dollars for Laddie.