Little Miss Madison has definitely changed since she arrived here but she also definitely lives life here on her own terms. We don’t know anything about her life before coming to the Manor other than she was surrendered to an rural KY shelter because she was “just too old to take care of anymore”…honestly I don’t want to know what her life was like. We can guess…because she is not socialized to animals or humans that she was breeder and most likely spent her life alone in a cage. Some dogs bounce back from a life like that…some don’t. In Madison’s case she will probably never be normal. She is the most nervous dog I have ever met. She is afraid of everyone and everything. But Madison has definitely changed since she arrived…she eats great without getting sick (she was chronically stomach sick for the first few weeks). Our go to tool when we get a dog with major digestive issues is probiotics. They may take a bit of time to work but creating a healthy gut flora for the dogs makes everything better for them…not just their stomachs (their skin especially improves) and its been a game changer for Madison. We love watching her chow down…she knows our meal schedule and comes and finds me if I am even a few minutes late with dinner.
Madison eats like a little piggy now. And she can enjoy things like treats and chews without getting sick. She still does not drink from a water bowl. I even tried using a water bottle (like you would put in a hampster cage) to see if she would drink from that…no go. To get enough fluid in her every day I make her meals in to a soup and serve it on a plate with a deep enough edge. It’s unconventional but it works.
Definitely one of the most exciting changes has been her improved mobility and lack of pain/discomfort. Madison clearly was uncomfortable (back and hips) and she moved sooo slow…turtles move faster than she did. But in just a few months she moves at a pretty good clip and instead of having to ride in the stroller for her whole walk she trots around on her own. Park time is her favorite time! We used a typical basket of tools to get Madison feeling better…supplements, laser therapy and vibration therapy.
Hands down Madison’s favorite things to do are nap and watch me work. She has beds in my office and my studio…she is either sound asleep or staring at me. If I move…she moves. She likes to sleep in a sling on my chest while I paint…I haven’t had a dog do that since my Luna.
One of our biggest concerns for her was her nerves and anxiety…I have never met such a nervous dog. We started her on Solloquin right after she arrived. I have used this supplement a lot over the years and have had decent success with it. It has really helped Madison and unlike pharmaceuticals it does not have side effects. Like any natural remedy it takes a while to show its impact (usually 4-6 weeks).
It took weeks for Madison to lay on a dog bed here. Trust me there are dog beds literally everywhere in my house…she would only lay on the floor. It is like she didn’t realize that the beds were for her too. It’s odd how much this bothered Bret and I…thinking about this tiny little sweet thing not having basic comforts for most of her life…heartbreaking.
She still does not crave any physical touch. She will snuggle with me in bed or on my recliner and loves to get her back and belly scratched but she is not a dog that will initiate any human contact. When she snuggles with me she does this goofy thing where she rubs her head really fast on my stomach and then her whole body relaxes on me and she let’s out a sigh…it is so cute…I have no clue what it means but it is so sweet and melts me every time.
Every body has things they do in life that genuinely make them happy…not things that make you laugh…or entertain you…or even make you feel safe and secure…but moments that remind you that life is simple and full of love…it does not have to be grand, fancy or noticed by anyone to be fulfilling and amazing. For me…it is simple things like watching Madison sleep peacefully in a warm bed at my feet that genuinely make me happy. I don’t know if Madison remembers the hellish life she must have lived before…I hope she doesn’t…but she is incredibly content now to just be who she is and enjoy the life we can give her.
Every night at bedtime we have a whole routine to get everyone ready for bed…it takes a good 30 minutes for me to get everyone pottied, medicated, lasered…and finally in their designated sleeping position. Everyone has a spot…my own bed is surrounded by co-sleepers so we all can sleep together…I crawl in last. That last look at them before I fall asleep is the best moment of each day. I was put here to take care of these precious souls and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
On the journey,
Nancy & The Misfits
P.S. Don’t forget our Misfit Manor Shop if you are planning a Pawty or looking for great gifting ideas for the holidays. If you want to support the Misfits we have both a GoFundMe for Sophia’s surgery and an Amazon Wish List.