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We were able to get the Echocardiogram done and Grimmy’s heart is COMPLETELY NORMAL!!! The doctors were shocked. We’re relieved to know the damage oftentimes associated with her disease (Mucopolysaccharidosis – Type VI) has not surfaced.

Dr. Beth giving us the good news!

Dr. Beth giving us the good news!

Now we move forward with the important things this tiny dogs need to do. Important things, such as… reminding me to start every day with kisses.

Wake up kisses.

Wake up kisses.

Important things, such as… alerting the family when it’s time to eat!

Lunchtime!

Lunchtime!

Important things, such as… bone quality control.

Bone noshing!

Bone noshing!

Important things, such as… laying in the sun.

In the sunbeam.

In the sunbeam.

Important things, such as… caring for a best friend when she doesn’t feel good.

Caring for Gertie.

Caring for Gertie.

Important things, such as… being Grimmy. Living. Loving.

Being Grimmy.

Being Grimmy.

This unique, special dog has been part of our family since November. It’s obvious something is wrong with her but our veterinarians were all perplexed. We’d resigned ourselves to simply knowing she was born with deformities. Despite them she is thriving!

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In the past few weeks we’ve found what it is she has. Mucopolysaccharidosis VI (MPS-VI) is extremely rare. It afflicts humans and a few known dog breeds. Most dogs do not survive. They are euthanized early on due to pain. * Grimmy has shown no pain in the 6 months we’ve had her. *

In MPS VI certain large sugars (polysaccharides) of the body are not properly broken down. In MPS VI, the deficient enzyme is arlysulfatase B, which is responsible for degrading dermatin sulfate. MPS VI is autosomal recessively inherited and has been seen in cats, humans, and more recently in dogs (including the Miniature Pinscher).

MPS VI results in skeletal deformaties, including defects to the sternum, vertibrae, and particularly the hip joints.  To various degrees, they may also experience corneal cloudiness and facial dysmorphia.

Diagnosis is done through a blood test done by PennGen.  At this time, there is no effective treatment for this disease.

This is an excellent site for more information: MPS-VI in Miniature Pinschers.

Once we were certain MPS-VI is what Grimmy has our thought was to reach out to the researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Let’s have her tested. After a long talk with her wonderful vet, Dr. Beth from The Animal Hospital of Lake Mary it was decided our money would be better spent toward an echocardiogram. Potential heart defects are clearly on the horizon. Dr. Beth has clinically diagnosed her with MPS-VI. Her x-ray speaks volumes. Back in November her blood work indicated organ issues along with severe anemia. Through love and proper nutrition we’ve been able to improve those lab results. Now in May she’s only slightly anemic and her organs are functioning normally! If we knew where she came from (other than being found stray in Sanford) then testing would be essential. Stopping the breeding of dogs who carry this gene is crucial to the well-being of all Miniature Pinschers.

You see the malformed spine, displaced trachea and jumbled sternum.

You see the malformed spine, displaced trachea and jumbled sternum.

Grimmy & Dr. Beth

Grimmy & Dr. Beth

Our original plan when we brought her home was to give her the best quality of life possible. That has not changed with our new information. The fact she has improved is amazing! Now we know about this disease we are taking necessary steps to keep her comfortable for as long as possible. She has a great life! She sleeps in bed under the covers between Scottie and me every night. She loves lounging in the sun. She is a professional bone chewer. Grimmy has an extensive wardrobe. She decided early on she didn’t want special treatment. I tried to keep her safely in a crate when we were gone. She was having none of that. She wanted to be a dog like everyone else. Grimmy somehow knows where every comfy dog bed is, though she cannot see. She chases the cats. She “protects” me from my Blue Heeler when we’re on the bed! She is a hoot. We adore her.

Grimmy in one of her many outfits.

Grimmy in one of her many outfits.

Grimmy has her own Facebook page. We hope to inspire and educate.

Go to: https://www.facebook.com/GrimmyLivingwithMPSVI

 

Sam was only three years old when he was headed for a horrific fate. The cowboys who’d bought him to actually work cows gave up on him when his training wasn’t coming along like they wanted. As is often the case in the horse world, the horse was sent to auction. On this particular day a group of ladies were in attendance who had only one thing on their minds. (Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue) Saving horses from going to the kill buyers. The kill buyers who buy to sell to the slaughter houses don’t want the old and infirm as we are led to believe. They want horses like Sam. A young, healthy muscular horse who’s had some training so he’s easier to handle.

That happened to be Sams’ lucky day. One of the ladies had been asked by Gayle to save a brown horse. She was giving herself a birthday present by honoring her long-lost horse from her youth. Her intention was simply to pay for his refuge from the horrors of slaughter. Fate had other ideas. Once in the custody of the rescue, Gayle went to visit the horse she’d help to rescue. He made it abundantly clear he intended to live with her! So that’s what happened. Sam has been a major part of Gayle’s life for the past six years.

Sam & Gayle

Sam & Gayle

There have been many ups and downs on their road to partnership, trust and respect. Fear makes all of us, human and horse, do stupid things. They’ve overcome every obstacle and naysayer. Gayle and I became friends the weekend we both brought our terrified horses to live at the same boarding stable. We’ve all been through a lot. I can say I’m extremely proud of both of them. What I’m most proud of is watching Sam show us his true destiny.

sam_ride2

These are Gayle’s granddaughters. They help take care of Sam. The greatest thing is, Sam understands he’s to take care of them. He will be a huge part of their lives for the rest of his life. Girls who grow up with horses have such a special advantage to those that don’t. They learn confidence, empathy, responsibility. Little girls learn how not to get stepped on or pushed around. Think about that for a minute… If a thousand pound horse can’t do it, do you think they’ll let some teenage boy do it?! They learn just how capable they really are. They learn an incomparable love.

His little girls.

His little girls.

sam_bath

They are family. They bring one another joy. There are many more Sams out there. Waiting. All it takes is the right person at the right time. I believe there are no unwanted horses – as proponents of horse slaughter want us to believe – there are horses who need to find their destiny. People need to take responsibility, rather than taking the easy way and easy buck out.

 

smokeybear2

Dear Florida Black Bear,

You need to understand you are under assault. Run as far and as fast as you can back into whatever little amount of woods you reach. You may find some safety there. I know it’s confusing. People beg you to come closer. They build huge homes on what used to be YOUR home. Generations of your family have roamed those same paths where today you find concrete and swimming pools. If you aren’t careful now, you will run straight into the path of an armed FWC officer. He’s out to get you. He wants to prove his point. They say the Florida Wildlife Commission is all about conservation. Killing SEVEN of you is certainly not very conservation-minded. And they’re not done. They’re setting traps using donuts and other delectable goodies. Don’t fall for it! There are mornings I’d be acting fairly aggressive over a donut, too, but they are going to kill YOU. The FWC is made up of macho yahoos claiming to be outdoorsmen, in other words, they are hunters. Please, please go far away.

You need to understand people are sloppy and lazy and that’s what has now put your very life on the line. I certainly don’t blame you for taking advantage of the easy meals residents put right under your nose. Bird seed, cracked corn and cat food is pretty tasty to a hungry bear right out of hibernation. And those big things on wheels at the end of driveways seem to be rolled out right for your pleasure – but they’re not. It’s easy pickings but it’s going to be the death of you. SEVEN of your brothers and sisters are already dead. Please, please go far away.

You have the ability to think, reason and make a decision. Most of the time you decide humans are not worth bothering. You could easily crush us and you decide not to. Instead you saunter on your merry way. Now there have been incidents lately where someone was injured and that’s not good, not good at all. Please tell all the other bears no matter what, run the other way instead of defending yourself against a perceived threat. When a mere human gets on the wrong side of scary, things go terribly bad. And YOU will pay with your life. Please, please go far away.

I have been a few steps away from you. I looked upon you with awe. You looked at me with innocence and we each went about our business. Me to walking dogs and you to foraging for food. That is what you do with the majority of your time. You forage for food. If we had not taken away your wilderness and replaced it with gated neighborhoods you would be kept busy with fruits, nuts, plants and insect larvae. Those are your natural dietary selections. I’m so sorry we’ve done this to you. I will do my best to help educate and bring awareness to your plight. There are many others like-minded who feel honored you walk among us. There are many others who know we can coexist if things are done the right way. Each time I see you I say a prayer for your safe journey. Please, please go far away.

Sincerely, 

Kathleen Prince

For Facts about Black Bears please check out http://bearwithus.org/understanding-bears.

To get involved go to Bears of Wekiva on Facebook.

Today is Opening Day for Major League Baseball. My die-hard-Cardinal-fan Mother is very excited! Thought it appropriate to make it our Opening Day, as well… our Opening Day into the Spring Pasture! WhooHoo!!! Cass and Becca have been kept in the back pasture all Winter to allow the front pasture to rest. It’d gotten eaten down pretty bare. For some reason, when given the choice to be wherever they want, horses, cows and goats seem to have always preferred the front pasture. It’s a little smaller than the back but there just seems to be more delicious grasses and weeds.

Cass grazing

Cass grazing

Becca choosing her favorite.

Becca choosing her favorite.

I had hoped for a bit more excitement from them. They’re Fjords, after all, and those delicious grasses are right here in front of me… why run all the way over there?!

The girls said they'll take care of the mowing.

The girls said they’ll take care of the mowing.

Cass cannot be distracted.

Cass cannot be distracted.

They also said, “Go CARDS!!!”

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a Pookie Booth at a dog event. The last time may have been as far back as 2006! Yesterday’s SCAS Adopt-A-Thon was the perfect setting to get back in the groove. We were happy to set up behind our friends Gary & Lexy of Natural Instinct Dog Training. They had all sorts of fun taking dogs through the agility course. Looks like Ollie is photo-bombing at the bottom of the pic! She was such a good girl.

Setting up Gary's tent.

Setting up Gary’s tent.

We still had all our booth supplies in 3 bins, had 2 chairs and a tent. Once we got a new banner made, we were set. Lots of volunteers were on hand to help carry stuff from the car and set up the tent. I’d forgotten how! The volunteers for Seminole County are a dedicated and caring bunch. Most people may not even think you could volunteer for the “dog pound” but you can – and you should – they are the best!

Manning the Pookie Booth

Manning the Pookie Booth

We had brochures from all those years ago but at our old rate. So I just took a pen and started changing it. No sense wasting them.

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This was an adoption event so lots of rescue groups were on hand. Lots of different breeds and even a parrot rescue were in attendance. I’m sure some love connections were made. It was a bit strange being at an event and not having one of our dogs, especially Sam. He was known far and wide for being the cute little thing in our famous Pookie Kissing Booth! He must have given out millions of kisses. He took his job seriously until he hit his teens and his age started catching up to him. We have no one to fill those paws.

Sammy Dean at 16, shortly before we lost him to bone cancer.  never met a face he didn't kiss!

Sammy Dean at 16, shortly before we lost him to bone cancer. never met a face he didn’t kiss!

There were lots of cute pups… little pups, medium pups and biguns! We were set up near a swimming pool loaded with ice. The ice mostly melted but the dogs enjoyed splashing in the cool water. It’s easy here in Florida for dogs to overheat, even if it feels comfortable to us. I’m always watchful of this and ready to jump into action.

A recent track rescue greyhound partakes of the pool.

A newly off-the-track greyhound partakes of the pool.

Some of our faves from the day:This girl is an Australian Cattledog / Blue Heeler mix! Only about 15 pounds and just a doll! Good thing she had a home.

Most Adorable Mini!

Most Adorable Mini

Buddy is one of my regular clients. He knew if he sat good for me he just might score a bite of my sandwich. He did.

Most Likely To Get A Bite

Most Likely To Get A Bite

This tall drink of water is Rachel. She’s also a retired racing Greyhound. I talked with her foster daddy for quite a while. I was pushing him toward keeping her. She’s really a lovely girl. Greyhounds are lovely dogs.

Most Likely To Be Seen On The Fashion Runway

Most Likely To Be Seen On The Fashion Runway

I didn’t even catch this boy’s name but I was a victim of love at first sight. His momma was carrying him around and she said that’s pretty much his favorite thing to do, be carried around. Look at that FACE!!!

Most Likely To Melt My Heart

Most Likely To Melt My Heart

Little Fu-Man-Chu (name I’m calling him) wasn’t impressing his brother. He said he’s capable of walking around on his own, thank you very much!

Most Likely To Roll His Eyes At His Bro

Most Likely To Roll His Eyes At His Bro

Godfrey is one of the SCAS dogs needing to find his forever family. How has this adorable boy NOT been adopted?! I’ll tell you why… people are stupid. Yep. Just stupid. Godfrey came into the shelter injured. T.E.A.R.S. of Seminole County paid to have all his medical stuff done. He’s now healed and ready for a home. His foster dad told me people are afraid he’s going to cost a ton of money… that makes no sense! His leg has been fixed. Problem solved. Any pet, at any time, can potentially need costly medical expenses. His person has just not seen him, yet. So let’s help Godfrey find his person! He’s a cool boy.

Most Likely To Demand A Belly Rub

Most Likely To Demand A Belly Rub

Our next event will be in a few short weeks. Come see us at the 11th Annual Doggie Arts Festival! Join us for one of Winter Park’s most beloved events!

doggieartsfest

*Poster art by Shari Sherman

This family & pet friendly event will be held Sunday, April 13th in North Central Park, Park Avenue and will feature pet-related artists, vendors, & adoption organizations. Proceeds benefit the Sebastian Haul Fund – helping Central Fl greyhounds reach their new families.

For the love of an old dog… our nightmare is soon to be over.

Last week I picked up a check to cover the balance of what’s needed to save our home. The couple who did this wish to remain anonymous. The only reason they would give is they wanted to repay the kindness for the wonderful dog they adopted from us several years ago.

We are at a loss for words. The couple want only for us to be happy and all our lives to be better again. I pray we can continue to live as to deserve such kindness.

For the love of an old dog.

funky-pink-heart

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