Sugar-Free Pets are Very Sweet Too!
Once upon a time, there was a pretty little Maltese/Havanese dog living in the DC area. When she was about 10 years old, this little dog, Latka, was given to the animal shelter by her human parents because she had “lost her housebreaking. Poor little Latka was then sent to two other homes after her humans turned her in, and both of them said "she lost her housebreaking" just like her original owners, and returned her to the shelter. The United Maltese Rescue angels took her to foster and renamed her Sweetie, because it was absolutely the best description of her temperament, and she was one of the sweetest dogs ever. None of Sweetie’s humans had ever taken her to the vet to see if anything might be causing her accidents in the house. Well, yeah. . . Sweetie had a bladder stone the size of a quarter!  When UMR fostered her, she had been trying to pee about every 3 minutes, and she also begged to go outside to potty each and every time!  In March, she had surgery to remove the stone. 

Cathy, a member of the RainbowBridge list sent an email to RainbowBridge, asking if anyone in the DC area wanted to adopt her. As part of the explanation she wrote, “now it looks like our girl has diabetes (she is in the vet today for testing, but based on the symptoms, I am 99% sure we will get the news that she is ‘one of us.’” She had been eating a lot, drinking a lot, peeing a lot, and her puddles were sticky. 

Something about Sweetie’s story just pulled at my heart strings, but I don’t live in the DC area and had deleted the email about her, thinking it was a lost cause. I sent email to the list about it, and Elizabeth responded by sending another copy of Cathy’s email to me and suggested I contact Missy, the Trash Monsters’ mom. Missy had been living in the DC area and just happened to be moving back to Dallas in early July. Missy the Savior volunteered to bring Sweetie with her, and I would travel to Dallas to pick her up and bring her back to Houston to live with me. 

This picture was taken by Missy of Sweetie/Nyssa
from her carphone when she picked her up
to take her to her forever home in Texas

Look at my new Texas haircut!!

Once UMR knew I had a way to get Sweetie here, they agreed to let me adopt her. Cathy said they never adopt outside of the area, but she knew that this little Sweetie was meant have a forever home with me. I eagerly awaited her arrival. Finally, the big day came on Thursday, July 7 when Missy, the Trash Monsters, and Sweetie began their almost 1500 mile trip from DC to Dallas. Then on Sunday, July 10, I drove the final leg of her long journey - 262 miles from Houston to Dallas and met Sweetie for the very first time! She let me pick her up right away and love on her. At first, Loki wasn’t too sure of this new furry person, so she scrambled into the front seat to sit in her Uncle Tommy’s lap. After several miles on the freeway, we came to a city named Hillsboro where we stopped for gas, and I put Loki into the back seat. Loki at first tried to bury her head in my side, but she soon started to learn that her new sister wasn’t going to harm her. We arrived home in Houston at 9:30 p.m. without any quarrels in the back seat. Since Sweetie was making a new start with a family who would give her a forever home, I named her Nyssa (from Nysa meaning “a new beginning”).

It appears now that Nyssa may not be diabetic after all. We will keep a close eye on her since she is overweight and will continue to have UTI problems due to the bladder stone she had. According to Charls on our list, the Havanese are prone to UTI problems. UMR said that Nyssa weighed 14 pounds when she was in their care and probably ought to be 12 pounds. When I took her to the vet for the first time, she weighed in at 16 pounds! I’ve been trying to limit Nyssa’s meals to two a day, feeding 1/3 can K/D (which is high in fat) each meal. Nyssa has other ideas and wants to eat about four times a day. Because it is so difficult to distract her from her desire to eat, I have been giving her an in-between meal of broccoli. She eats the broccoli like it is delicious, and it seems to satisfy her and enable her to relax. Since she was a shelter dog and not much of her history is known, there is always the possibility that she wasn’t fed regularly, giving her an overeating anxiety.

We are all getting to know each other better now. Nyssa would like to play with Loki. Perhaps soon. I continue to let Loki know that she is always First Dog (but not Best Dog) in my heart, and she is starting to wag her tail at Nyssa. Sammy Cat takes everything in stride. He came nose to nose with Nyssa, then sauntered on. Today, he tapped Nyssa twice on the paw. That means he’d like to be petted. 

Merlin, who became a white cat when Nyssa barked,is now a black cat again and is very happy with his color. He has also stopped singing MrrrrrRRRRRRRRRrrrrr” whenever Nyssa walks by. So, it looks like we are all becoming a nice little family.

Sweetie/Nyssa in the back of Karen's Jeep
I am on my way home!!!

My sister Loki!!
She is Diabetic!!



Read about My Diabetic Sister Loki

Nyssa's Rainbow Bridge Page

 Read More Stories about Sugar-Free Pets

  Read More Stories about Other Diabetic Pets

Page updated on May 11, 2008


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