Dispatches from the Swamp – ‘the new dogs’ edition Part 2

Part 1 is here.

Bully Buddies asked us if we would foster a senior pit bull cross who was languishing in a shelter.[1] Jesse’s life had been rough. His owner had difficulty caring for him from time to time and he could no longer. Jesse had 2 botched cruciate ligament repairs that have left his back legs weak and painful. If that weren’t bad enough part of his spine is fused. He saw a vet to determine if his pain could be treated and he was started on Metacam and Tramadol. Jesse arrived at The Swamp 2 weeks ago.

Handsome senior pittie face.

The first thing we noticed about Jesse was his absolute obsession with balls. He had to have a ball in his mouth at all times. He was also desperate to play fetch. Thankfully this obsessive behavior has calmed down. Jesse does have severe separation anxiety. He becomes very stressed when left alone. After 2 weeks we have figured out how to manage this for the couple of times a week he needs to be alone.

Waiting for the ball to be thrown!

We took him to our vet last week, as we were concerned that he may be diabetic as he was sucking back the water and is very thin. He has kidney disease. So we are not sure how long Jesse has given that he has to be on Metacam[2] for pain management. We will not compromise quality of life for any senior dog – he has to be pain free. He also needs to gain about 7 pounds, as he is really thin right now. He received a cartrophen shot[3] and he is getting green lipped mussel to help his arthritis and strengthen his back legs.

You can see how thin he is here.

Jesse is a good dog who has had a rough life; you can see it in his face. He is not used to any kind of comfort. He loves lying on the couch however, he really does not want to go in there without one of us. So every evening he goes towards the living room while looking back to see if someone is going to come with him. Yesterday he had the courage to go and lay on the couch without me going with him!

Here is Jesse’s top 5 favourite things in the whole world:

5. Stuffies – like any pit bull, Jesse loves to rip apart the stuffies. Luckily for him we have a whole laundry basket full of old ones that he can destroy.[4]

4. Bones – Jesse really enjoys a good bone. He works on them for a long time. This probably why his teeth are really clean.

3. Cuz – Oh my god! He loves a good Cuz. I am very happy once he has punctured it and it no longer screams![5]

2. Stuffed Kongs – Jesse gets one of these at bedtime. It takes him a while to empty them. Deb is also getting very creative. Last night it was chicken and cheese microwaved so the cheese melted.

1. Balls – of course the number one thing on Jesse’s list of favourite things are his tennis balls or any kind of ball.

This is one of Jesse’s favourite beds note all the toys!

We hope that Jesse is with us long enough to lose the worried look on his face; he has seen so much adversity. It is our job to make sure this dog knows some comfort and stability before the end of his life. We don’t know how long he has but we will make sure every day is a good day for him. A huge thank you to Bully Buddies for pulling him out of the shelter. It is situations like this where rescue is at its best – pulling a dog that is likely not adoptable but doing it for the dog.

Jesse laying in the sun in my office.


[1] The request did not come out of the blue. I had been involved in a thread on FB about perhaps taking an aggressive French Bull dog. The Frenchie didn’t need our help after all.

[2] Metacam is an NSAID and can be hard on the internal organs like the kidneys and the liver.

[3] He will have these weekly for 3 more weeks.

[4] This behavior has lessened.

[5] Anyone who has lived with a Cuz loving dog will understand.

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