The definition of insanity, according to Albert Einstein, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Which I guess means that my serial foster dog adoption habit isn’t as insane as all that.

After all, my expectations are always the same: Get the mess cleaned up and find it a forever home. And I’ve not yet failed to elicit the same desired result.

But when you look at each individual dog I’ve taken on, you might get to thinking I’m one egg shy of a dozen. Take my newest project, for example. She arrived last week, liberated from a backyard by a client whose neighbor had been neglecting her. In addition to being left out in the sun and rain with three other dogs who bullied her out of her meals, this one-year-old pit bull mix was crawling with mange. But that’s not all. Here’s the list:

  • Separation anxiety (bad!)
  • Storm phobia (mild-ish)
  • Bad manners (counter-trolling, people-jumping, fence-breaking, goat-barking, shoe-chewing, etc.)
  • Not housebroken (but I’ll admit, she’s a quick study)
  • Not crate-trained (screamed bloody murder at first, but she’s learning)
  • Demodectic mange (generalized)
  • Allergic skin disease with secondary infections (severe)
  • Fleas aplenty (gone now, of course)
  • Low body condition score (2 out of 7)

Her bright pink skin, coupled with her cotton candy disposition, earned her the name "Pinky." Here’s a pic of her three days after initial treatment. Despite the obvious itchiness and hairlessness evident here, she looks and feels tons better now that she gets daily medicated baths, antibiotics, antifungals, parasiticides, nutritional supplements, and a reasonable amount of high quality food.

Yeah, it’s bad. But she’s so sweet how can a veterinarian resist? Hmmmm … I could always say no. But I’ve obviously got a soft spot for skin cases. I can’t remember the last foster I took on that didn’t have one. At least this one’s orthopedically sound and — apart from her generalized demodicosis and atopy — isn’t one ginormous genetic mess. Isn't she sweet-looking? Here's Vincent putting her in her place:

Oops … unless you count the fact that any dog of her breed mix is illegal in Miami-Dade County, where I live. Because everyone knows pit bulls are evil killers, right? But here’s a catch: When you look at her closely, she looks more like a Viszla bred with a Boston terrier than a pit bull, right? And I’m about to order one of those breed testing kits to help prove it.

Insane? Maybe the breed test, but otherwise I think I’m kinda normal … for a freaky animal person. But go ahead, you decide.

Dr. Patty Khuly

Pic of the day: "Pretty in Pink" by me