Walter Update

Walter is doing very, very well. He’s much stronger and his gait has radically improved. Just a few days ago, when we walked, he wobbled all over the place and I thought he was going to fall over half the time, but now he walks along at a nice leisurely pace, and is much stronger. Took him up to the general store and tied him out front while I went in for a sandwich, and he was very excited to see me when I got back out:


If you will notice behind him, he left another softball sized present, and I had to walk back up with a shovel to clean it up. That is in addition to the two presents he left on the 200 yard walk to the store. Operation Fatten Walter is so far working.

His coat looks SOOOO much better.

*** Update ***

Since some of you remembered that I FELL THROUGH A GOD DAMNED DECK, I am healing quite nicely. I heal like Wolverine or Deadpool. Scabs are already falling off.


Quick Walter Update

He’s doing fine. Definitely has more energy and his coat is looking better. Had some loose stool today, but not runny diarrhea, more like a thick pudding, which I figure is a result of his getting a lot of rich wet food.

Currently a friend is taking him on a decent walkabout. Walk a couple hundred yards, sit in the shade and tell him he’s a good boy for ten minutes, rinse and repeat. He needs exercise and I don’t want to overdo it, but most of all, he needs human interaction and petting.

Sometimes when we walk he gets a little whiny and looks around hopelessly, and I think he is still looking for his scumbag owner. Just heartbreaking the dog is still loyal after what that bastard did to him.

Now that he is off my hands for a little bit, I’m going to go take a solid nap. I’ll post some pictures tonight.

Your Morning Walter


Went and fed and watered Walter earlier this morning, and he is doing very well. Inhaled his food, and I think I am going to increase his portion size. I don’t know if you can tell, but I swear his coat already looks shinier and better:


I got him to lie down, and did a slow look through his entire body, and the places yesterday where you could just see swarms of fleas moving, there is no activity, and there is a lot of flea dirt and evidence of dead fleas, so I think the flea treatment really did its thing. Later on this afternoon I am going to give him another bath, this time in the big tub in the basement instead of using a hose, so I should be able to get all the junk out of there.

Took Walter for a walk, and we were, I’m sure, quite a spectacle. My leg is really sore today (moreso than yesterday and I might break down and take some ibuprofen), and he has three bad knees, so between the two of us we’re rocking two good legs. If you looked at us wobbling down the street together you would notice a definite hitch in our giddyup as we’re both basically a crutch away from a telethon. Walter took a break every hundred yards, so he needs to get his strength up and used to exercising. And while all the pics today I think are wonderful, here’s the best picture of them all:
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It’s Olympic Season, So Why Not a Walter Relay?

Seems like commenter Debit and his Ellie are keen on adopting Walter, so instead of him driving 14 hours or me driving 14 hours, in a couple weeks after Walter is ready to travel, we could do a Balloon Juice/Walter relay. Map out a route, I drive several hours west and meet someone, they advance the drive a couple hours and meet someone, until Debit meets someone for the last leg. Walter seems like he’s tough as nails and I won’t do it until the vet says he is ok for the trip? Whatcha think?

Could make for a good story.

John and Walter’s Excellent Vet and Human Doctor Adventure

Spent the day on the phone with the real estate attorney and getting a locksmith and DOING MORE ADULT SHIT, so I got behind on things and didn’t get around to getting my tetanus shot when I wanted to, so I had to combine our doctor visits. I went and picked up the dog (I named him Walter, after Walter Matthau, which I will explain later), and gave him a long bath with a shower hose. I used the Natural Chemistry flea and tick shampoo that my dogs and my parent’s dogs just love, and gave him a good scrub down and got rid of layers and layers of filth. He immediately looked better an I got a chance to get a good look at his coat.

After I got him cleaned up and dried off, mom was kind enough to sit with him at her house (we used their hose because Thurston would have been freaking out at my house and I think Walter needs calm for now) while I went home and showered. Threw some comfy blankets in the rear of the car, and off we went:


We went to my doctor first, and rushed in and got a tetanus and pertussis shot. I had called ahead and said I would have a dog in the car, so I just left Walter in the car with the AC on. Then went and picked up some more baccitracin w/ zinc, which took longer than it should have because the pharmacists demanded to see Walter after I explained what happened. After that we headed to the vets.

It was packed when we got there, and everyone looked horrified at his condition and looked at me like I was some kind of super villain, so I told everyone the story and could see all the people there mentally grabbing pitchforks and torches to go after the guy who did this to Walter. Decided since I was sure Walter still had fleas and tapeworm that we would just sit outside until everyone was done. We sat under a shade tree and Walter lay down next to me, which was a first because up until now all I had ever seen him do was pace nervously (although I think he was smiling in the back seat picture above).


They finally called us in, and first things first- Walter is a trooper. Just a good natured and gentle dog, and very trusting despite what he has been through. And he has very expressive eyes and eyebrows We weighed him, and he was only 63 lbs, when he should probably be around 100.

I told them the story and the background info I had, and told them I just wanted “the works” to get the old fella back up on his feet and healthy so we can find his forever home. They poked and prodded and did all sorts of tests on his hips and joints, and he never complained and was just amazing- better than any of my animals except Lily. In fact, he is a male, older, bigger Lily when it comes to temperament. He smiled the whole way through:


So here are the details, starting from head to toe:

1.) His eyes are those of an older dog, perhaps 10-11 was the vets best guesstimate.

2.) His teeth and gums are in good shape, and he has this adorable underbite with these teeny tiny teefus that you can make out in the picture above, and the nurse quipped he has very kissable lips. His breath could use a little work, but I got some dental treats that should fix that right up and much of it might be caused by the digestive issues created by the neglect.

3.) His left ear has a mild hematoma (think cauliflower ear on a wrestler), and his right ear has had multiple hematoma that makes the earhole very, very tiny and really hard to clean, but he let them anyway despite being in pain. His left ear was “yeasty,” so they treated that, and the right ear had a different type of infection, so they inserted a tube and gave him a different treatment.

4.) Despite my bath, he was still littered with fleas, so we treated him for worms and gave him a nextguard flea treatment. His coat, overall, is not too bad and should grow back nicely. He doesn’t have a typical lab coat- it is a thicker hair, so he is mixed with something but I do not know what, but he has a very “houndy” Roman nose. He has a couple of fatty tumors that dogs just get with old age, but they are nothing to worry about.

5.) His nails were a mess, so we cut them.

6.) No anal gland issues.

7.) He has three arthritic knees, but his hips are fine (which was my main concern because he walks so gingergly).

8.) His bloodwork was, for his condition, great. He was anemic from the fleas sucking the life out of him and the malnourishment, but everything was fine or within normal bounds for what he had gone through. Most important, kidney and liver functions were good, and, drumroll…. NO HEARTWORM!

In summary, not too damned shabby. Because his bloodwork was so good, I decided we should give him some pain meds to make him more comfortable and he got an injection of rimadyl and some chewable tabs for the next week. Also, I asked if they would give him some antibiotics just to clear up anything we might not know about, and since his digestive system is probably messed up, we went for a two week shot instead of daily tablets, which was more expensive but I think a much better option. We have a checkup next Friday when we will do the rabies shots and other vaccinations. We didn’t want to give them to him today because we wanted a week of good food and water, walks, and to get his immune system back up.

All in all, he is in remarkable shape considering, and I parked my car on the street and quarantined him in my garage with all sorts of blankets. I have some samples of good prescription high protein prescription food for a couple days, and I am going to go to Petco tomorrow and get him some chewbones, good canned food, and a nametag and a collar worthy of the dignified old guy. All in all, this is why this is the best vet in the world- they not only worked on him for an hour and a half primping and preening him (an hour of which was after closing), but every nurse stayed just because they wanted to. And it only came to $420.63, which I think is downright amazing.

Now, the important part. This is where I decided to name him Walter. I couldn’t decide on a name (I had just been saying “hey buddy,”) and we were just going to put him on the chart as “stray” until I came up with a name or homed him, when my favorite nurse went on about his kissable lips and I got an awesome picture:


IMMEDIATELY after that picture, he turned and looked at me and shot me this goofy yet also lugubrious sly look and instantly reminded me of Walter Matthau.

And thus he became Walter. Commenter Debit- email me. Trust me, you want this dog. He was made for a couch or a nice dog bed on the front porch. Really pretty remarkable dog considering what he has been through.

And that was my day, which ranks up there as a pretty good one and I’m glad I can share.

Dog Rescue Open Thread

Went over this morning about an hour ago and brought some water and more food, carefully navigating the deck so I only stepped on beams, and made it past the scene of the crime without another incident. Beneath all the hair loss and the hideous hip bones poking out, he’s such a sweet and good natured dog with deeply soulful eyes and a mature grey beard. He’s good people. I wonder how he behaves around cats.

At any rate, I called the vet, and I didn’t want to take him during the day when other clients would be there, because I really don’t know anything about the dog and whether he is carrying any infections or diseases and I would hate to get someone else’s little buddy sick, so they agreed to let me bring him in this afternoon at about four.

I still don’t know his name and am trying to come up with one that fits. I was thinking LZ as short for Lazarus, but that would imply I am Jesus and that is too pretentious.

I’m feeling fine, a little sore and bruised but I will make it.

Monday Morning Open Thread: “Answers to ‘Lucky’… “

lucky Khampha Bouaphanh - Fort Worth Star-Telegram

(Khampha Bouaphanh – Fort Worth Star-Telegram via the Washington Post)

Speaking of shaggy-dog stories. I love the expression on the smaller guy’s face, and that’s not even the heart of the story…

Corky went missing in August of 2009, when he somehow slipped away from the Montez family’s fenced-in yard in Texas.

The family spent months looking for the little terrier, whom they had adopted that year. He was wearing his collar when he went missing…

The family moved from their home near Boyd, Tex., to Fort Worth, and added two dogs (and more kids), but they never forgot about Corky, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Then, this month, the Montez family got a phone call.

Corky was microchipped, which was lucky for all parties involved here. Because that’s how he was reunited with the family, after he and another dog were brought into the Humane Society of North Texas.

Staffers discovered the microchip after Corky and another dog, named Captain, were brought in, according to a Humane Society post on Facebook. Kim and Jimmy Montez were contacted and when the family arrived, they took home not only Corky, but his pup pal, the one-eyed Captain…

More pics & details at the link. ‘Scuze me, it’s been a terrible season for allergens (that’s my story & I’m sticking to it).

What else is on the agenda as we gear up for another week?