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Joan of Ark – Joanie’s Story

Joan of Ark

Joan of Ark, “Joanie” was discovered near a roadside in Denton and picked up by Animal Services, who transferred her to Noah’s Ark Animal Shelter in Gainesville.  She was nearly starved to death, dehydrated and was so weak she could not even stand up for more than a minute or two.  The vet said she was the worst case of emaciation he had ever seen in a living dog.  She has no visible muscle mass and is literally skin and bones.  We don’t know how this happened, but Joanie is one tough little dachshund.  She’s learning to trust people again, and has learned that everyone who encounters her now wants to shower her with love and compassion.  Because she is so thin and frail, she eats small meals throughout the day.  She will need some dental work at some point in the future, but that will have to wait until she’s whole again.  Her blood work came back showing anemia, but amazingly there were no signs of illness or renal failure.  She is also heartworm NEGATIVE, much to everyone’s surprise.  She is now taking short walks outside for brief potty breaks, then she settles down for a nap in her soft little bed, covered in blankets.

So many of the abused or injured animals taken in by shelters require medical attention, medication, love and patience to become healthy and happy again.  This is where ATDR stepped in.  A loving and experienced foster family has welcomed Joanie into their home where she will be closely monitored and cared for around the clock.  Little Joanie has a long road ahead of her and she will require extensive blood work, a special diet, gradual exercise and lots & lots of TLC to see her through the next few months.  If Joanie has touched your heart like she has ours, please consider making a donation toward her ongoing care.  We will post frequent updates on this precious soul so that all who have fallen in love with her can follow the progress of her journey.  Our heartfelt thanks to Debbie Lhotka, Noah’s Ark Animal Shelter in Gainesville for taking the first brave step to save this special life, and for trusting us to do the rest.

Joanie in sunshine
Joanie enjoying the sunshine

Resting
Resting after her walk
Resting

April 16, 2009 – Joanie had her first visit with an ATDR vet today.   She is in a catabolic state which is preventing her from gaining weight – a result of severe starvation where the body starts breaking down to produce energy/calories.  He prescribed an anabolic steroid to reverse the condition, but it’s a controlled substance and not readily available.  Cindy, Joanie’s foster mom, called and visited about 20 pharmacies before she finally found one who will compound a special chicken flavored dose for Joanie.  It will be ready Monday, April 20th.  While at the vet’s office they weighed her – she weighs 7 pounds, but this INCLUDES HER BED.

Joanie’s doing as well as can be expected.  Her menu today consisted of two good sized hamburger patties (with cheese); 1/2 can of IVD brand Duck and Potato canned food (all spaced out throughout the day in very small portions), and she enjoyed a few very tiny licks of cherry vanilla yogurt for dessert.  She remains alert when she is awake, but she has been sleeping a lot, which is a good thing.

April 18, 2009 – Joanie is more alert today and resting comfortably in her bed, covered up with her fleece blanket in true dachshund fashion.  Cindy thinks she saw a little tail wag today, but can’t be certain.

April 19, 2009 – Cindy had some gardening to do today & it was such a pretty day Joanie came out for some fresh air.  She was very “active”, sniffing the air, soaking up the sunshine, even walking the rows of the garden for a bit.  All this activity made her sleepy so she rounded out the day with a nap under the apple tree.

April 21, 2009 – Joanie had her first dose of the anabolic steroid Winstrol yesterday.  Veterinary Pharmacies of America in Houston prepared it in “chicken flavored” liquid form and she’ll get it twice daily.  She has a very good appetite and her drinking has definitely increased since she started the Winstrol.  Cindy says she’s more alert today and has gone for two walks in the garden.  Her bark is a little stronger too.  She was weighed using a baby scale and it registered 3.56 pounds yesterday.  Today she weighs 3.58 pounds.

April 23, 2009 – Today’s update comes from Joanie’s Foster Mom, Cindy.  “Joanie has shared a week of her life with me as of today. Despite the fact there is very little change in her appearance, there have been very obvious changes in her personality and overall being.  She is stronger,  more alert and, though she rests a lot, she does not sleep as much. She does not growl when I go to pick her up like she did at first and I think that is because maybe she just feels a little better overall.  Her appetite continues to be good and her water intake is steady.  I put up a puppy pen outside under one of our big trees and she has spent the majority of yesterday and today hanging out – watching the birds come to the feeder above and over just a bit from her, enjoying the breezes and filtered sunlight and putting out an occasional much healthier bark when one of my crew gets too close to her pen for her liking.  I am pleased to report that she weighed 3.6 pounds this morning, before breakfast so she is going in the right direction so far!  I am going to need to get her a bigger bed too (actually two new beds – one for inside and one for outside).  She really enjoyed stretching out on a pillow today while outside.  She stretched out and put her little foot up in the air towards me as if to say “scratch my chest”, but we just did not quit there.  The absolute best part of the day today was when I picked her up to bring her inside she actually gave me a little lick on the cheek – I GOT A KISS!!!!  How great is that!?!?”

Resting 4 23 09Stretching 4 23 09
Resting 4 23 09

April 29, 2009 – Joanie had a small setback just after her 1 week update.  She became a little aggressive and it was obviously from the steroids, so her dose has been reduced and she seems to have leveled off now and is more like her former self.  She is so much stronger already and doesn’t wobble or fall forward nearly as much as she did only a week ago.  She’s up and moving around more and even played a little with her blanket today.  She went to back to the vet this morning and she weighed 8 POUNDS (without her bed)!!  The vet’s notes show she weighed 6 pounds on the 17th so she’s gained TWO pounds!  (Note – The baby scale was not right and we apologize for the inaccurate information.)  All the prayers, good thoughts, boiled chicken and steroids have made a significant difference in Joanie’s life.  Please keep the prayers and good thoughts coming; Cindy will take care of the chicken and steroids!!

Joanie 4 29 09
Joanie 4 29 09
Joanie playing 4 29 09

May 13, 2009 – Hi everyone!  So sorry for the delay in posting an update on Joanie; our webmaster has been on vacation!  All the news on Joanie is good, as she continues to thrive and soak up plenty of TLC, good food and relaxation.  A few days ago she spent a big part of the day outside helping her foster parents, Mike & Cindy “work” in the yard.  She must’ve worked up quite an appetite because when she came inside she discovered her foster brother’s food dish and proceeded to eat the entire bowl of Wellness kibble!  As you can imagine, Wellness is now on her list of foods!  Her weight hasn’t changed much, but she has gained about a 1/2 pound.  Her attitude is wonderful, she’s much stronger and she’s moving about more & more to explore her surroundings.  We are all so touched by the outpouring of support and emails we’re receiving for Joanie!  Thank you all for your good thoughts and prayers for this tough little girl!!

May 21, 2009 – Look at the Glamour Girl!  The news continues to be good for little Joanie.  While she hasn’t gained much weight (she’s holding steady at 8.5 lbs) her coat is looking better and she’s feeling GREAT!  She’s alert, active and is pretty much Cindy’s shadow around the house.  What Cindy does, Joanie does; if there’s yardwork or gardening to be done Joanie’s right in the middle of things; and she has a bed set up in Cindy’s office so she can monitor all activity in there as well.  When she’s not with Cindy, she’s set up in the utility room with beds and several piles of blankets & sheets so she can hide in different parts of the room – and she does; she goes from pile to pile!  Her energy level is good; she can trot down the driveway and does it almost daily!  This past weekend Joanie attended a local animal event with Cindy and she spent some time visiting our volunteers while they worked the booth.  She got plenty of laptime as they took turns holding her in one of her new beds.  Here are some photos taken on Sunday, May 17th.  What a beauty!

Joanie Glamour ShotPoser
Glamour GirlGetting ready for a napBurrowingThis is not my color

May 28, 2009 – Joanie continues to grow stronger and Cindy says, “she’s extremely happy!!”.  She has so much rebuilding to do internally, but if you look closely you can see the improvements in her coat and overall appearance.  She’s grown quite comfortable in her new surroundings and has plenty of outdoor space to explore and enjoy.  Of course she also gets plenty of lap time and TLC when she’s not outside soaking up the sunshine!  Here’s a couple of photos taken a few days ago when she was out surveying the property.

ExploringExploring


June 14, 2009 – Joanie’s progress has been, and will continue to be extremely slow.  Her body is unable to digest food properly.  While she was on her own, starving, her body did the only thing it could do – it began digesting her own intestines and her pancreas in an effort to survive. The lining of her intestines and her pancreas are badly damaged because of this.  The vets have determined it will take about a year for the lining of the intestine to repair itself.  In the meantime, she is being given pancreatic enzymes to assist her in digesting and absorbing more of her food.  We will post updates and pictures as frequently as we can while she continues to improve.  Her activity level is getting better every day and hopefully, one day soon she’ll start to look like a normal dog. Should anything major occur and we have anything new to report, we will surely let you all know.  Thank you for all the prayers and good thoughts that have been sent her way!

June 7thJune 7th

July 8, 2009 – This update comes from Joanie’s foster mom. “Joanie has been on pancreatic enzymes for a little over a week now.  She’s been very interested in eating, along with getting up and around more.  She has varied her menu and is dining on two different brands of kibble, Wellness still seeming to be her favorite.  The dry food is down all the time for her, and 3 times a day she also gets her serving of wet food with the enzymes mixed in.  She recently took possession of a huge dog bed – it actually belongs to one of my Lab rescues, but she found it one day and has made it her own. The center pillow has been replaced by one of her favorite comforters though, because she was having a tough time burying herself under that big pillow!  It stays under the desk in the office, right next to the computer station and she can peek out and check on me periodically.  She had lost a little weight, but is back up to 8.5 pounds. Her first rib, closest to her chest, is almost gone from sight!

We continue the Winstrol only once a day now and just this week when I had the Vet call in a refill for her, the young lady at Veterinary Pharmacies of America said that the owner had read her story and was so touched by what we were doing for her that he instructed them to refill Joanie’s prescription at no charge!”

Joanie Jul 4 09Joanie July 4 09

Donate to Help Joanie:  All Texas Dachshund Rescue

Source: Facebook/All Texas Dachshund Rescue, Inc

Posted:  Just One More Pet

“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

…Mohandas Gandhi

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July 10, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pet Adoption, Pet Blog, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments