About The Foster Zoo

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We have decided to blog our adventures again. So much has changed since we last blogged. Bella and Shiloh both went to their forever homes and they are in wonderful families. June Bug got adopted. We quit fostering dogs after those adoptions because Tanker's epilepsy got bad. We quit doing therapy dog work because Tanker's epilepsy got bad. Tanker passed away June 9th, 2013. We adopted a senior border collie named Shania Tankerbelle in his memory. We still have our two cats, Sweet Pea and Little Bit. Wes has started rescuing pitiful bettas from Wal-Mart and we currently have seven. We have a camper. We camp. We have focused on giving our animals the best lives possible. We are The Foster Zoo Crew and we like to have fun.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Welcome Back

Welcome back to my blog.  I have been too scatterbrained to write lately.  So much has gone on and I have had a lot on my mind.  Sometimes I wonder how I make it through the day everyday without a complete meltdown. 

If you follow me on Facebook, you know a lot of what has been going on in our lives.  Wes was diagnosed with Lyme Disease after being bitten by a tick in Alabama when we were delivering clothes to tornado victims.  After his initial round of Doxycycline, he was still having a lot of problems with it.  He went to an Infectious Disease Doctor at National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda and he started him on a second round of Doxycycline.  Wes feels horrible.  We don't know if it's the effects of the Doxycycline or the Lyme Disease, or a new potential diagnosis....

Wes had a CT scan of his lungs done because a nodule had been spotted on his right lung on an X-Ray.  The CT Scan found a second nodule on his left lung.  That nodule is highly suspicious for Wegener's Granulomatosis.  Wegener's Granulamatosis is an autoimmune disease that attacks your vessels.  The disease starts out with problems in the upper respiratory tract, and then usually the lungs are affected next.  Wes has had upper respiratory symptoms for years, even to the point that he almost had surgery on his septum in Spokane, but he didn't because we were getting ready to move to Maryland.  He didn't have it once we got to Maryland because he was very busy with work and training.  Wes has chronic sinus infections and nose bleeds.  Sometimes he has difficulty breathing because of it.  That is usually the first symptom of Wegener's.  Wes' aunt has  microscopic polyangitis.  It is a sister disorder of Wegener's Granulamatosis.  Wegener's Granulamatosis can also affect the skin (Wes' chronic butterfly rash on his face), the kidneys (kidney failure), the nervous system, etc.  Wes had a small amount of protein in his urine.  I am hoping it was a fluke thing.  I am pretty stressed out about it, not to mention the digestive problems.  Wes has had problems with that for years as well.  He has had two large bowel obstructions in the last two months.  That's not normal for a healthy 29 year old man.

Wegener's Granulamatosis used to be a guaranteed death sentence.  It wasn't until the 70's or 80's that doctors started treating it with a combination of steroids and chemotherapy that people started living longer with it.  I have been doing a lot of research.  Because I have worked in nursing for years, I have a lot of friends who are nurses and doctors.  I could not get through this without them.  They have been so much support for me and Wes.  Wegner's Granulamatosis is such a rare disorder, that many of them don't know a lot about it.  Luckily I have great resources through them though. 

We are waiting for one blood test to come back.  Wes was tested for ANCA antibodies.  They are the antibodies produced by the body in Wegener's.  We were told though that a positive ANCA doesn't necessarily mean he has Wegener's, and a negative ANCA doesn't rule out Wegeners.  It's just one more piece to the puzzle.  Like all autoimmune diseases, there are a certain number of set criteria that must be present for the diagnosis to be made.  So far Wes has at least two.  The rheumatologist will make the final determination of which pieces fit the puzzle.

Now that's off my chest, let me move onto the things people come here to read about:  The Foster Zoo.  First, the puppies are getting BIG!  Bella is 37 pounds and Shiloh is 36.  They are only 4 months old.  They will be 5 months old on July 15th, one day before I turn 29.

Wes asked what I wanted for my birthday.  Nothing.  I want to take the dogs to do therapy dog work.  That's all.  There is one other thing I want to do, but I am not going to write about it until I do it.

Neo went to his new home.  It was nothing short of perfect.  The guy works with Wes.  He is single and lives in an apartment on his own.  He wanted a cat to go home to everyday.  We met him at Andrews AFB and Neo rode off to his new home in a nice new Camaro.  Neo is off to live the Bachelor life, which is what he deserves. 

Topher was sure glad to see Neo leave.


Topher rode in the back and Neo in the seat on our way to Andrews.

Topher moved to his seat once Neo left.  "I am a HAPPY BOY!!!"


We took Tanker and Topher with us because we had been requested to do therapy dog work at a homeless shelter in Alexandria.  We were really excited.  We had been recommended to volunteer there by a highly regarded therapy dog friend.  We had talked to the social worker and had it all set up to be there by 2:00.  When we got there, nothing was set up for us.  The employee working had no idea we were coming.  She didn't know where our forms were at first.  She acted like we were a disservice to her.  The residents had no desire to see the dogs.  We were really disappointed.  I have yet to e-mail the social worker back, but I need to.  It's not worth our time to drive to Alexandria if nobody wants us there.

Since we were up that way, we stopped by a friend's house in Arlington and visited.  It was great to see them.  Seeing them made the day worth it.  Topher and Tanker got lots of hugs and kisses.

I trained the puppies some last week.  Honestly, I have had too much on my mind to do a lot with them.  It's such a stess reliever to me, so why am I overwhelmed with it?  I am frustrated with myself over that.

I used my new Cutco scissors to cut up chicken jerky.  Those scissors can cut through anything.  You can cut through a penny with them.  Seriously, you can.  The guy we bought them from showed us.  The Zoo Crew works hard for cut up chicken jerky.



I have been working on "down" with the puppies.  They are doing well with it.  I am glad I taught them "wait" first before anything.  It has proved to be very useful when training four dogs all together at once.  I can tell one puppy to "wait" while I work with the other.

Everybody in a "down"


Bella is "waiting" her turn to be told to "down".


We have gotten a few storms.  One storm last week brought a lot of wind.  Several limbs came down in the yard.  The puppies thought they were gifts from above.






Bella and Shiloh dug holes in our newly mulched yard.  Shiloh likes to go out and lay in them.





I like to take pictures of bugs while the dogs play outside.  Wes calls these Charlie Brown bugs because they are the same color as Charlie Brown's shirt.




Because traffic is so bad around the Nation's Capital during any holiday, we are not going anywhere for the 4th. 





There was one thing we wanted to do, but we didn't get tickets for it, so we are just staying home.  We will go to the Aquia Harbour parade and festival tomorrow.  Aquia Harbour always puts on a nice parade.  All of the clubs and organizations participate.  They also do a boat parade on the river.  It is neat to watch.  We may even take the puppies because there will be lots of sounds, smells, and sights to learn.  It just depends on how hot it is tomorrow.  We may go to Fredericksburg to see a couple of friends in their 4th of July events tomorrow.  It all depends on how Wes feels and how hot it is.

Today, everybody is resting up for the holiday tomorrow.





We have been busy eating ginormous strawberries from Costco and working on my indoor garden.  Just when I thought I didn't have a green thumb, I actually paid attention to how big my plants have gotten.




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