Reba is now a 12 year old Lab/Chow/Shepherd spayed female, who came
to us at
6 weeks old from the local SPCA. My daughter Debbie had just
school, and was already working; she had hoped to go to the beach after
graduation, but couldn't get off, so she consoled herself with a new
Reba was a solid black ball of fluff at that time, and just adorable,
so we didn't fuss TOO much when Debbie brought her home!
To appease mom & dad, she named her 'Reba'
after our favorite country singer at that time, Reba McIntire.
Like many of you out there who acquired your pets this way, when
the children leave home, the fur kids stay behind. Reba knew no home
ours, and when Debbie moved out to an apartment, Reba truly became
OUR dog. Debbie has since moved back home, and is a great help to me,
as well as helping care for Reba. She is able to do everything, which
a lot more freedom to come and go than those of you who have just
yourself to depend on in caring for your pets.
Other than the usual stuff dogs seem to go through, and a really bad
absessed tooth prior to her diabetes, Reba was healthy. Just before
birthday in 2001, we noticed Reba was losing weight. And the
seemed to always be empty. We weren't sure about the excessive peeing,
because Reba stays outside all day long, and comes in at night to be
us, and to sleep. [We have almost 10 acres for her to run and play
Also, she had started 'leaking' urine at night months before this,
already on PPA to control that, so I assumed the greater urine output
night was from that condition. I feared the worst, and took Reba
vet; I said, 'I don't know what's wrong, I just know she's sick; please
bloodwork on her, check her out,and see if you can find out what's
When I went to get her that afternoon, the vet called me into his office.
just KNEW it would be cancer. He said 'Reba's sugar was over 500; she
diabetes.' Diabetes? A dog? My first thought was 'Oh, no ...
I'll have to
give her SHOTS!!!' My next thought was ... then if that's what
I have to
do, I'll do it. So, armed with enough knowledge to know I knew
I set out to learn. Surfing the net that night, I found the web
diabetic pets, and proceeded to go to the chat room to get info. Luckily,
Louise Ciddor was then watching the chatroom for newbies like myself,
chatted with me for several hours about Reba. She directed me
to sign up
for the email list, and so I joined the group, and started my education.
Reba was fairly easy to regulate, and soon became a more healthy girl.
weight loss was actually good for her, as like many diabetic pets [and
people!], she was overweight at 106 lbs. She lost down to 86
lbs; and is
currently about 95 lbs. She now eats Purina One mixed with canned
usually a little beef or chicken broth defatted, and if she's being
obstinate about eating, a little 'goody' such as roast chicken, cheese
lean beef; once she gets started eating, she will go ahead and finish
whatever is in the bowl, unless she isn't feeling well.
I put off learning to test her blood until January '02, but finally
I had to learn. For those of you who don't do it, please try. It is
invaluable tool in regulating your pet. I was really stupid, and didn't
urine test her before this, so I had no way of knowing whether she
or low, other than how she acted. Since she is a lab mix, she
lips, and I usually prick there to get sufficient blood to check her;
use her elbow callous.
She is battling arthritis now, as well as diabetes, but is otherwise
healthy girl. We love her dearly. She also has 2 brothers: Duke,
Rhodesian Ridgeback mix [Great Dane, maybe?] who weighs 140 lbs, and
came to us as a stray at 10 months old [he is now 7yrs old]; and Leo,
cocker/beagle who is a hefty 40 lbs, and came to us when our niece
hubby had marital problems and needed to find homes for their 7 dogs;
he is now 8yrs old.
Susan Sandridge & Miss Reba.
Please note that the picture used on this page was sent to me by
and she said that Nick Prout took the picture of Reba.
Miss Reba's Photo Album
||Duke is the big guy ... he is Rhodesian Ridgeback/Great Dane???
mix, and weighs 140 lbs; He is 8½ years old. We got him as
a stray in 1995, and the vet said he was about 10 months old at the time.
He was hanging out in our neighborhood, and Reba brought him home!
She will never do that again, because we fell in love with this big lug,
had him neutered [!], and kept him.
|Leo is a Cocker/Bee,
which is Cocker Spaniel and Beagle mix;
he is about 38 lbs, and 8 years old.
We adopted him 2 years ago from my niece
and nephew, who were having marital
difficulties and needed to find homes
for their 7 dogs.
All of our dogs have been
'throw-aways' or rescues;
we never have to go far to find one!