| Winston's Story
Winston came to stay with us in 1994 when he was 8 weeks old.
He was so tiny. He arrived
to find he had a big sister, Hopper, who was a Shar-pei, and a big
brother, Kodi, who was a
165 pound (not overweight) Rottweiler. Winston was SO TINY!
Within the first few days
with his new family he started acting lethargic and visited the vet.
They could find nothing wrong
but 2 of his litter-mates were also ill and went to the Bridge.
Since he was so weak I took him
to work with me so I could keep a close eye on him, and at home Kodi
started nurturing him,
Keeping him close and cuddling him. Winston started gaining strength
and became very active,
climbing on Kodi's head, pulling his ears and even putting his whole
head in Kodi's mouth. Life
was good. Then in 1997 his gentle giant of a brother developed
osteosarcoma in his jaw.
He had surgery 3 times to debulk the tumor but finally succumbed to
Winston and Hopper became closer and gradually started enjoying life
On August 15, 2002 Winston was moaning and seemed to be in pain.
I put my hand out to
comfort him and noticed his hind quarters were skin and bone.
Just 2 weeks earlier he had
been several pounds overweight! I immediately thought the worst,
remembering what we went
through with Kodi. I got him a baby aspirin in a bit of bread
to ease his pain and he snatched
it out of my hand as if he was starving, so I got the rest of the slice
which he wolfed down.
It suddenly clicked in my sleep deprived brain that the symptoms were
those of diabetes, so in
the middle of the night, armed with my glucometer and a lancet I proceeded
to try to get blood
(from a dog? Where on his furry little body do even try?) His
glucose was 272. The vet was
called in the morning and Winston went in for blood work. We
were advised to go back the
next day for results but by 11:30 that evening he started acting lethargic
and his glucose had
gone up to 525. By 2:00 AM he was weakening by the minute, panting,
with a bloated, painful
belly. We loaded him in the car and went to the vet ER in Salt
Lake City, a 45 minute drive of
agony and prayers. He was diagnosed with pancreatitis and diabetes
amylase 2160!; alkaline phosphatase 1087!; glucose 424.4) After
one day and night in
the hospital they sent him home (with detailed instructions) Because
they didn't have a vet
available for the next day. The other animals were transferred
to a different hospital but they
figured since I was a physician for humans I could manage his IV at
home. I actually think he
improved faster having mom and dad pampering and loving him, and his
beloved Hopper at
his side! He started out on Humulin R 3 times a day with 3 small
meals, was switched to
Humulin N and then to Lantus twice a day. He is now up to 8 units twice
a day with meals
and we check his glucose twice a day. During all this we decided
to test Hopper's glucose
(she was acting goofy at times) and discovered she was hypoglycemic,
with levels ranging
from 40 to 60 (once up to 64). Life became very interesting indeed.
Hopper had gone blind about 2 years earlier from a condition causing
a film over her eyes
and Winston went blind from cataracts in October, 2002. Hopper
was his guide dog even
though she could only make out light and dark. Several times
Winston got turned around in
the yard and couldn't find his way. He would just sit down, let
out a single yelp and Hopper
would go out to guide him into the house. The blind leading the
blind! They were so good
together, bumping into each other, tripping over each other, loving
Hopper Passed to the Bridge on 5/22/2003, lying in her favorite spot
on the deck.
Lynn came home and Winston took him to her.
Winston started having severe attacks of pain 3 days later and was diagnosed,
after a week
of tests and x-rays, with a bladder stone. He had surgery to
remove it on 6/3/2003 and is
healing well but remains very sad. His veterinarian feels he
needs a companion as he has never
been alone before. We agreed with this and started a search of
the shelters when Judy posted
an alert on Rainbow Bridge about a little girl in Ohio who was
in need of a home where her
newly diagnosed diabetes could be cared for. She was dropped
off at the Forgotten 4-Paws
shelter with no information, not even a name. They determined
she is a Brussells Griffon/Lhasa
Apso mix, about 5 years old and the called her Kadee. She is
now called Chupa after the
Mexican version of Bigfoot, the Chupacabre, because she "talks" to
her foster family. The
adoption is progressing and we are very excited to think that we may
have Winston's new
little sister with us in just a couple of weeks. What a privilege
it is to be allowed to care for
these wonderful babies and receive their unconditional love!
Everyone on the Rainbow Pet Diabetes Email List is praying that Kadee
have her forever home in Utah!! We will be looking forward to pictures
Kadee is Home
for Chupa's Webpage
Kadee/Chupa and Winston have a new sister!!
If you know what breed of furchild Molly is post your thoughts to the
Rainbow Pet Diabetes Email List!
June 17, 2003
These are pictures of our new addition Mollie. She is not diabetic
that we know of,
vet appt is tomorrow. She isn't really dry from her bath but I thought
maybe if you could post them someone might recognize the breed.