Well, I have some fabulous news to the members of EBN who do not have access to our Hospice Sponsorship board. Very recently, both Honey and Butch were adopted! It is unusual for older bullies to find fur-ever homes, so this is extremely exciting news for both of them.
All Butch Sponsorships will be transferred to Bandit, and all Honey sponsors will be becoming sponsors of our newest bulldog in the program, Olive.
Welcome Olive to Hospice Sponsorship!
In this scenario, Olive was the worst. Other than biting my hand she could have not been worse. As the volunteer lifted her out of his front seat and placed her on the ground I was shocked and horrified. She was very small, emaciated, her brows were scrunched in what appeared to be a permanent scowl and she had a left front tooth that looked like it might just jump out and bite my face. I sat down on the parking lot to let her sniff my hand. Now that I am writing this I can look back and almost laugh. Her reaction was so “Olive”. She looked at me with those grumpy eyes and that one tooth sticking out, growled, and turned her head.
I put her in the front seat and turned on the radio. She turned her head and faced the door. She was too small to see out of the window so she just sat there like a defiant child. During the entire 45 minute drive home she only looked at me once. It is kind of funny now when I think of it because she slowly turned around, looked at me with those eyes and slowly turned back and faced the door. She was done with me. I continued to sing to her. I did not pet her on the way home because by then I was pretty sure a bite was in my future.
On our way home I stopped by the high school so my daughter could meet Olive. That proved to be unsuccessful. My daughter came over to the car and very softly said, “Hi Olive.” With that Olive hoisted her tiny little body up in the air and went after Courtney. Thank God for electric windows or Courtney would have lost a finger.
Once home Olive’s disposition did not change. She was mean, nasty, and rotten. One of the first things she did after being with us a few days was to attach Emma, my Lab. There was no rhyme or reason for the attacks. If Emma was laying down and sleeping quietly that was enough reason for a full blown attack. After a couple of rounds I put Olive behind a baby gate.
She stayed behind the baby gate separated from the other dogs for the entire winter. She could not be trusted. Her disposition was so nasty I just knew something had to be wrong. Two days after her arrival I had her to the vet for a severe upper respiratory infection and she was covered with flea dust. Two antibiotics and many other meds later I think she felt better but her disposition was still nasty. All winter long the minute it got dark she was a totally different dog. When the sun went down you better not look at her much less think you were going to talk to her or take her outside. Courtney and I would go in to talk to her and she would growl, snap at us and bark at the wall. It was a miserable 6 months. She did not want to be bothered but the hard part was she would not go outside. Many nights she did not even go out because we could not get near her. I kept her harness and leash on her all the time hoping I could grab the leash without her seeing me. I even had to stoop so low as to get a hanger and grab the end of her leash with the hanger. I needed the extra 24 inches to keep my hands away from her mouth. She was like an angry alligator, ready to snap at a moment notice.
As the days got longer she seemed to get a little better. She was finally starting to trust humans again. She started warming up to my parents, my neighbor, and she fell in love with my nephew. I told Nikki with Indiana Bulldog Rescue I felt she was ready to be adopted to someone with no kids, (she snapped at a 7 year old at my house and broke her glasses), no pets (she attacked Emma on a daily basis and then viciously attacked my new foster Hazel). But, all in all I felt she was the best she was going to be.
We adopted her out to a lady not far from me. The perfect situation. She had experience with bulldogs from working with Chicago Bulldog Rescue. We felt she was perfect. She came to my house, met Olive and fell in love. It was a done deal. Olive was moving. Olive was only there a couple of weeks. She had misbehaved badly and growled at her new Mom for no reason. She took her to the vet and he said she was not in pain anywhere that she just had a nasty disposition. So with that, she was shipped back to me.
Here’s where the interesting part comes in. Thank God for Nikki Schoolcraft, Melissa Hardesty, Deb Tahara, of Indiana Bulldog Rescue because they suggested I take her to a behaviorist. Without their help, guidance, and bulldog expertise I guarantee Olive would have been a prime candidate for euthanasia. The closest behaviorist to me was at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
So, Olive and I set off for Columbus for a day of enlightenment. Our day started with Dr. Herron. Fifteen minutes with her and she immediately decided Olive had some issues and she did not think it was behavior. We discussed how Olive’s body was not symmetrical. She looks and walks like a broken truck frame. Her body goes forward, but at an angle. She does not pick up her feet when she walks. They kind of slip across the floor like an old lady in slippers. Her toenails are misshapen from the way she drags her front feet when she walks. So Dr. Herron arranged for Olive to see the orthopedic group. After an hour or so she came back with a report a mile long. Olive had torn ligaments in her two front legs, arthritis in her hip, back and feet. They suggested that she needed to see the neurological department. Three hours later they came back with their report. The prognosis was 1. Brain tumor, 2. Tumor on the brain stem, or 3. A systemic neurological problem. The left side of her face draws up like a person with bells palsy. That is why her face is crooked and that front tooth is always exposed. She also had “knuckling” which is when she stands with her paw bent backwards with all her weight on it but her foot does not tell her brain---this hurts.
We were given a few scenarios for her treatment. 1. We could have an MRI and a spinal tap to rule out the tumor. Dr. Herron said it was around $2,000 and there would be no guarantee they would find anything. The second option was to bring her home, give her medication, and make her as comfortable as possible. The rescue, being short on funds due to so many dogs in need, decided I should bring her home and take care of her as a permanent foster. Dr Herron doubled her Prozac dose and added Deramaxx for pain.
Slowly over the next few weeks Olive got better. Raising the Prozac dose was monumental in her allover well-being. When time came for me to go on vacation in Michigan I did not want to leave her with the others so I took her with me. Grandma broke the long-standing club rule of “No dogs unless you are an owner.” Olive did great on the ride up. But, the best part was when we got there. The air was cool and a breeze was coming off the lake. What I witnessed was like something in a dream. Olive got out of the car, lifted her head, and sniffed the breeze. She then began walking, which is something she does not do. She began walking, and walking, and walking. She was not headed in any particular direction she just wanted to walk. At that moment I realized her meds must finally be in sync and working.
Olive spent her first vacation being treated like a princess. Neighbors came to visit her daily. She had her first boat ride and trip to the beach. One day my dad took a video of her laying on her back in the soft grass wriggling and scratching her back. She had never done this before. For the first time in her life she was starting to act like a dog and I think she was loving it. My mom fell in love with her. Every morning Olive would meet grandma in the kitchen. Olive would sit down in front of her, raise her white paw and dance around in a circle like a ballerina. Grandma got the biggest kick out of her and told her friends daily how sweet this dog was. This coming from someone who asked me in the beginning, “What do you see in that dog? How do you even know she likes you?”
So, thanks to the love and support from Indiana Bulldog Rescue, Dr. Meghan Herron, of Ohio State, and my vet Dr. Shane Hodson, Olive has been given the gift of a good life. She is as happy as she can possibly be. She is cared for, happy and loved. Her medications have taken away the pain that used to control her life and make her unmanageable. Olive’s medications cost between $100.00 and $120.00 per month. Donations of any size would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you EBN for your support!
Judy Casey, Volunteer
Indiana Bulldog Rescue
Here are a couple of pics from Olive’s first vacation: