What could be sweeter then a pet with diabetes!
Who am I?
A weekly feature in the pet diabetes email support group.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Hi everyone, My name is Stacy and I was privileged to share my home with two very sweet girls, Gretchen and Hanna.

Gretchen’s Story

It was a Saturday afternoon, summer of 1996,  and I was to meet my husband at the local auction house. I arrived before him and right inside the door was a huge box with nine puppies in it. I picked out a fuzzy female and went and sat down. When my husband arrived he asked if I had seen anything I wanted, I handed him the pup and said, “yes, this, her name is Gretchen.” Of course he said NO, but sat there and cuddled with her until the auction was over (she fell asleep in his pocket). When we were ready to leave he said: “I guess if you named the damn thing we are gonna have to take her home.” He thinks he is so tough, I already knew he would not leave her. 

Gretchen was a Lab/Newfoundland mix. She never had much energy, play for 15 minutes, sleep for ½ hour. At six months of age she started losing the skin from the pads on her feet. She was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Once on soloxin she started to thrive and became a registered Therapy Dog, she was a natural and seemed to love working. February 14, 2004 she was diagnosed with diabetes. She continued her Therapy work and even had her own favorite diabetic patients at the VA hospital. One man even attempted to share his supper with her, I told him she could not have it, he insisted it was diabetic food and would not hurt her. We lost Gretchen in May of 2006 to a polysystemic immune mediated disease. 

Hanna’s Story

I’m a sucker for big dogs. Someone told me there was a Newfoundland at the animal shelter so, off we go to check it out. Funny looking white Newfie, Hanna was a Great Pyrenees! She had been purchased as a companion pet for a day care and when she got too large for the kids, she was relinquished to the animal shelter. She was one year old and most likely had never seen a comb. She was also extremely under weight. We took her to a groomer who bathed her six times and said she would have gone for seven but ran out of time. Once she was clean and combed you could count every rib on her body. 

Hanna also became a Therapy Dog and went on visits with Gretchen. My husband played Santa for the local hospital for a couple years and Hanna was Santa’s dog. Everyone had to have a picture of Hanna with their child. One day we were walking in our neighborhood and a young boy came running from his house to visit with Hanna. He asked my husband what he was doing with Santa’s dog. 

In July of 2005 Hanna was given a very small dose of prednisone for the limp. In early August she was diagnosed with both cancer and diabetes. Hanna, who weighed 140 lbs, was never on more than 9 units of insulin and was very well regulated. She underwent surgery to remove cancer from the ulna in her leg, followed by radiation and chemotherapy. She did great for 14 months then a mass showed up in her lung and we had to let her go. 

A little bit about who we share our home with now.

Jag, a cattle dog rescued from the shelter just days before he was to be put down. A real sweet heart and the only male dog we have ever had.

Bebe and Carma, the Goofy Newfie girls. They once lived with 14 other Newfie’s and were afraid of anything that did not look like a newfie. They even hide behind me when they saw their first Papillion. Both are now registered Therapy Dogs but Bebe is the natural and loves to visit with the patients. 

Gretchen's Diabetic Information

Diabetic Pet's Name: Gretchen Bisset

Breed: Lab/Newfoundland Mix

Birth: 9/28/96

When Diagnosed: 2/14/2004

Age Diagnosed: 8

Weight: 80 lbs

Kind of Insulin and Amount Per Injection: NPH/22-25 units

Food: Purina DCO (for Diabetes and Colitis)

Do you hometest? (blood, urine and/or observation)  Yes, blood 

Other Health Problems? Hypothyroidism, Colitis, Horners Syndrome, Allergies to medications

Webpage of Pet:  http://www.caninediabetes.org/gretchen.html

Rainbow Bridge Date and Webpage: May 8, 2006 http://www.caninediabetes.org/rbgretchen.html

Your Location: Cheyenne, Wyoming

How did the diagnosis of diabetes in your pet change your life? I began to keep a strict schedule. To this day our non-diabetics are still on the same schedule.

Hanna's Diabetic Information

Diabetic Pet's Name: Hanna Bisset

Breed: Great Pyrenees

Birth: 1999; Adopted: 2000

When Diagnosed: 8/4/2005

Age Diagnosed: 6

Weight: 140

Kind of Insulin and Amount Per Injection: NPH/7-9 units

Food: Purina DCO when she would eat it. Otherwise, whatever she wanted.

Do you hometest? (blood, urine and/or observation) Yes, blood

Other Health Problems? Cancer

Webpage of Pet:  http://www.caninediabetes.org/hanna.html

Rainbow Bridge Date and Webpage: September 25, 2006 http://www.caninediabetes.org/rbhanna.html

Your Location: Cheyenne, Wyoming

How did the diagnosis of diabetes in your pet change your life? Not much change as now I had two diabetics. 

Thanks Stacy for taking time to participate in this weekly feature.

If you would like to participate in the Who am I? emails
then contact one of the members listed at the bottom of this email
Write an introduction, send a picture of your pet
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Michael will take the email and turn it into a pdf file and upload it to the file section in the yahoo group and I will turn it into an html file and put it in the who am I section of the website.

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Judy Dick
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