Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fetching Alanis, day four

In the morning after her night downstairs, nothing had changed. All the kibble was still there and the water bowl had air bubbles clinging to the sides, as it does when sitting undisturbed for many hours.

“Try the pinch test,” a friend suggested when I said that Alanis was still not drinking normally.

“Oh, yeah, I forgot about that." In the pinch test, you pinch up a bit of skin at the nape of the dog’s neck and release it. If it returns to normal quickly, the dog is hydrated.

With very little fat under his skin and his coat no longer as thick as it had been, it was easy to take up a slack between thumb and forefinger and see how slowly it returned to normal. Darwin was dehydrated again. The vet tech inserted an IV type needle just under the skin of his right shoulder and let half the bag of fluid flow in. After she emptied the rest of the bag into the other shoulder, she said, “Now he looks like a linebacker.” He did, indeed, have the look of someone wearing outsized shoulder pads. The fluid would flow through his system, flushing out his kidneys, and he would eat. Until the final day when the subcutaneous fluid did no good and the fever did not go down despite an antibiotic injection.

What was I supposed to grab on Alanis? When I put my hand behind her head, she lifted it, folding the skin into two rows. There was a healthy layer of fat covered by thick, wiry coat. I closed one roll between thumb and forefinger but the skin was too tight to pull up. I tugged and let go. The dog stretched her head back farther and looked at me with those round, dark eyes, as if wondering what I was doing. So much for that idea.


  1. i'm sure alanis has culture shock moving to a new place. she'll eat eventually when she's hungry. i was once starved by mom coz i was naughty and refuse to eat my boring kibbles... :P my fault my fault.

    wet wet licks


  2. You're such a pretty girl, Alanis! Our paws are crossed that you eat your meals today!

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

  3. Hello

    Maggie and Mitch told us about you and we thought we pop over and say hello.

    We are Molly (Airedale) and Taffy (Welsh Terrier) and we live in UK.

    We are sure Alanis will settle, she has had quite a journey to get to you. We are both rescue dogs and are very happy now as Alanis will be with you very soon.

    Have a good weekend.

    Molly and Taffy

  4. Hello Alanis, what a pretty girl you are! I hope you'll soon find your appetite and feel more settled in your new house.

    I am Cassidy and I am 15 months old and I live in England with my brother Harry who is nearly 12.

    Cassidy x

  5. Hi, I'm Finni.
    Mum loves your blog ... it makes her cry (Hoomans!) Alanis is a beautiful girl. She'll settle down soon and you'll have loads of fun.
    Hard headrubs
    Finni xx

  6. Hi Alanis! We just came over from Maggie and Mitch's blog. We are 3 Airegirls that live in Georgia, USA. Patches is our newest girl-dale and she came to us in May from Airedale rescue. She ate right away because she had been starved, but she forgot everything else for a pottying outside. She was very nervous and peed a trail through the house if something strange happened. She finally got over it and everything is okay now. Maybe Alanis is trying to get used to her new life! It is very nice to meet you!

    Poppy, Penny & Patches

  7. hi to Alanis. we came over from Maggie and Mitch's blog.

    Bailey just had surgery and isn't eating either. mom took him to our regular vet today and the vet said that dogs are made to eat once a week. so fine. no worries.

    good luck to you.


  8. Hi, nice to meet you! We just found your blog ... and we will visit often! When Madison first came to our house, 6 weeks ago, she wouldn't eat. Now she is just fine ... maybe you could tempt Alanis with some ice cubes? We are sure she will get it, she just has to get comfortable with everything that is new.