The day before Halloween (2004) we rescued a little 10-pound, black and white female Shih Tzu from an animal shelter where she had been impounded as a stray. Sick, scared beyond belief, matted and smelly we brought her to the Safehouse and gave her a trip to the vet, a bath and shave down, lots of antibiotics and a warm soft bed hoping she would feel safe. Unfortunately, Daisy was afflicted with a severe panic disorder and her fear of the world outside the shelter and everyone except her immediate caregivers continued to cause extreme distress making her an unlikely candidate for adoption. Daisy is a senior citizen now (we guess her year of birth to be 2002) and has come a long way from the terrified, unapproachable, untouchable dog that arrived here so long ago. She is comfortable here at the Safehouse but continues to be terrified of strangers and everything else in the world. On April 5th Daisy was diagnosed with a meningioma (a mass) compressing her spinal cord and displacing it to the right. Daisy was taken to surgery on April 13th. Sadly, during the surgery, the mass was noted to encompass several nerve rootlets and, given the size and location of the mass, complete excision (and therefore a cure) was not expected. Daisy recovered from the surgery uneventfully. A post-operative CT revealed that there was residual disease and on May 7th she began 3.5 weeks of follow-up radiation treatments. Following her radiation therapy, Daisy was started on a chemotherapy drug; this is a drug that she will receive lifelong. After her surgery, Daisy had a moderate weakness to her back legs, with her left more severely affected. Daisy underwent four months of underwater treadmill physical therapy; these sessions were designed to help her strengthen those muscles. Daisy is ambulatory and gets around fairly well now, daily walks are a part of her routine, she can climb stairs and even run like a bunny when the need for speed arises!! We canât be entirely sure what Daisyâs future holds; we can only take life one day at a time. Average survival with this combination of treatments is approximately 18-24 months. Daisy is one of several dogs in our care who would be euthanized in any other shelter environment. Fortunately, S.T.R.A.E.S. values every life - young, old, healthy, and ill - and she will always get the love and care she needs to live a happy and fulfilling life here at the Safehouse. If you would like to help simply click on the âSponsor Meâ link in the top right corner. Your thoughtful contribution will assist us in caring for Daisy and the other pets in our sanctuary allowing them to live out the rest of their life in a safe and loving environment.
Shih Tzu Rescue Adoption & Educ. Safehouse
Homer Glen, IL