Or Why Did They Name Me Lucky Madison?by Dale & Jan Lawrence
Eileen Childress called me the Saturday of the WSSTC Grooming Seminar saying that she had just been called about a Scotty called Madison that they had at the PAWS office in Lynnwood. I tried calling but no answer. I started calling early Sunday morning with no answer and called Lynn and Alan Blotch who were coming down to our rescue meeting that day. I ask if they would mind taking the Edmonds ferry and going by and picking up Madison. Without a question they went to the phone and tried to get hold of PAWS with no success. When they arrive they found Madison to be in terrible shape. They had mentioned that there was a $95 charge for the dog but would wave it for us. They went on to explain that it had been tied to the front door of PAWS by some cowards that had abandon her there, in the cold, with a 30% hair loss. Lynn called from their cell phone to let us know that they had the dog. Lynn was already in tears and noted that they had travel a lot with many dogs in their car and had never had the car smell like it did then.
When they arrived at the house they said that we really needed to get the grooming table out and get as much hair off from this animal as possible. She was itching so badly that we needed to see what was going on. When we looked at this animal we could see that it had serious problems with it's skin, over an inch long nails on all feet, one ear that drooped because it had had infections that went untreated for so long that the cartridge had broken down. They had mentioned when their vet had looked at it they thought that it was a 10-year-old dog, I really had my doubts and really thought more like 12 or 13. The eyes were so sad and lifeless that it would tear out your heart every time you looked at them. Needless to say that the rescue meeting became a save Madison meeting. Alan looked at the animal as he was shearing the hair off and said that we renamed her Lucky Madison Lucky because she found us.
The next day was time to get her to the vet. When the vet came into the examining room, I put her up on the stainless table. She accommodated us by urinating on the table and giving us a fresh sample. Even with my color deficient eyes I could see that it had a very strong red color to it. While she was feeling around the stomach she stopped and said, "Oh oh, I don't like this." She went on to tell me about a large round knot that she was feeling. My heart was sick!! She said that she really needed to do an ultrasound on her and an x-ray that she would not charge us for, to see what the knot was. We decided to leave her at the vets for the night; they could get a blood test on her and the results of the x-ray.
When I left I started thinking of our Bonnie that we had to put down the year before because of bladder cancer. I then started to think about my own dogs and what an easy life they have had in comparison to obviously, what this dog had gone through. I thought about how the biggest worry our dogs have is will they be able to talk me into a dog bone or maybe who will get lifted onto the bed first. I found myself crying for a dog that I had not even known for 24 hours yet, but I knew this is what rescue is all about.
I arrived home to a phone call from the vet and they had found a huge stone in Madison's Bladder that was an unbelievable size. They went on to say that this might run $600 or more. I told them to hang on - I needed to make a few calls. We have eight people on our committee and I was only able to get hold of 4 of them. To their credit they each wanted to go forward with the surgery even though it meant spending over half or more of the money that we had worked so hard to get. Alan and I decide on a couple of criteria to be established first off. One, that in the blood work up that there were any additional problems that showed up that they should just put her down. The second one was they should look around during surgery and just put her down if they found anything further as this poor animal has had enough.
It was a long night of worry for this dog and what the outcome would be. The surgeon called us right after the surgery to say that she was fine and looked great but they had taken the largest stone out of her bladder that they have ever seen in any animal. It turned out to be the size of a lemon and as the doctor put it, “this little girl has been in a lot of pain for a long time.” The stone is still at the University of Washington being studied.
She came home with us that night and into quarantine for the next two weeks. We hated to keep her away from our dogs but just could not take a chance on what the skin problem was. The doctors could only say that they thought it was diet and the infection that ravaged her body was the problem. Once she had the staples out and her second Ivomec shot we started walking her. Every day we could see changes in and her Scottie spirit was definitely coming back. When in the beginning she looked to be a 12-year-old Scottie, now looked and acted more like a 7-year-old dog. She was surely feeling better and on the mend.
During the next week we introduced her to her new family. Maddie was still living with us but wanted to get them involved with her. We had actually sent her pictures the week before as this was not a beautifully groomed Scotty and had some obvious health issues that would have to be addressed in the future. They were ready for her any time that we would be ready to release her. They studied her problems and had a whole list of things that they were going to try to get her hair growing again.
The big day came that next weekend when we realized that she needed the love of her family full time and they were ready. After they picked up Lucky Madison (this is the second reason for the name Lucky) they took her home to introduce Maddy to their 2-year-old Westie that ruled the roost. Maddy walked in and immediately established a 5-foot radius around her, that in any room that she went, the Westie could not come into. She then went out side, found the fenced back yard and said that was hers too, not even the cat could go there. After about a week the Westie and Maddy became the best of friends but that cat still can't go in the back yard when she's there. Oh well, maybe next week.
This one was our biggest challenge with the most rewards – when we look into that face, it is worth every tear, every worry. In the last weeks since Maddy's placement our funds are almost back to where they were before but a lot of us changed. We truly understand what rescue is all about. I just wish I could keep them all.
After Maddy went to her new home, of course I needed to call on occasion to check on her progress. Four weeks after the new owners took Madison and 6 weeks after surgery, I called and was told that all of her hair had grown back. I winked at Jan and said that that is wishful thinking but at least we know some of the hair is starting to come back in and were very excited about this improvement that we really did not expect to happen. The offer was made and quickly accepted by us, that they would bring Maddy down so that we could see her the following Sunday. When they arrive, to our astonishment, all of her hair was back in – not just a little but all and she was so full of life.