This is the story of Keller
Keller is an 11-12 year old, blind, Shihtzu who was found wandering around Greenville. When a couple found her she was matted, had a skin infection and looked as though she had been wandering for some time. We didn't have room in the dog kennels for Keller, so a neighbor of the couple who found her was willing to foster Keller in her home. The woman's name is Robin. Robin had a soft spot for Shihtzu's because she had previously had one. Keller was with Robin from September 2008 until Keller was adopted February 2009.
Following is a letter received from the man who adopted Keller:
Kell (shortened from Keller) is very smart and a quick study. She had me trained in no time. Our first month together has been much better than Obama's!
Her limited vision varies with available light but she offsets that with her hearing, you just have to be loud. Sometimes I think it is selective! She knows her way through the house by the color and feel of the flooring and rugs. Outside she is doing good but it is bigger and ever changing. She recognizes the cement sidewalk, brick walk and rock driveway. She gets out at least four times a day now and knows why....A++++.
She had her first visit to her new vet (I decided to change from Hawthorne) to evaluate her allergy itching. We have several options we will be trying.
A trip to the beauty salon today was a treat (is that not true for all women?). Kell's coat is thin so we won't be cutting short, just trims. She is agreeable to baths but is a little bothered by the blow dryer. She has chronic dry eye and I use artificial tears several times a day although she really fights me on this. She forgives quickly.
I could argue her estimated age of 11. We get into some heavy wrestling and hide and seek with her comforter. She has one in the basement (picture) and in the living room. I like to watch her making a "nest" to sleep in.
I let her regulate her eating. Besides the Nutro Max, she gets her medicine mixed with cheese in the morning and a dog treat (breath) once a day. She reminds me if I miss this routine.
If you remember that day at Pet Smart (Valentine's Day) there was little hesitation on my part and I have not looked back since. Kell and I were in the right place at the right time.
Thanks for taking her in and caring for her until we were united.
July 2009 email letter update
Updating Kell's (the Shih tzu formerly known as Keller) new life, I found lumps on several of her mammary glands a few months ago and they continued to get larger. On our last vet visit, Dr. Olsen said they needed to be removed as soon as possible. A total of 4 were removed by laser last Tuesday and a few days later the pathology report came back as malignant. The doctor says he got it all but I will be watching closely for any other lumps forming. It was a day or two for Kell to come around but now she is herself again. The stitches will come out the 28th.
The skin irritation is ongoing but we have gained ground. A final round of Prednisone to get the steroid levels up and then switching to Atopica, a steroid that works on only the skin irritation and does no harm to the liver, etc. Everything from diet to shampoo to steroids has been tried. This is her first real relief in some time.
Kell has also become more affectionate lately. I suppose her growing trust in me is part of the bonding process. We have only been together 5 months. She appears to have been well trained. She will stop or reverse travel by calling her name or saying no. I have to be quite vocal as her hearing is weak and her eyes are weaker. Some daily fish oil has helped her chronic dry eyes. She likes to be in the same room as I and most often close to my feet. If she is napping and I come to the computer in the basement, I most often find her at the top of the stairs later. She had only one tumble down the carpeted steps to learn where that first step takes her! Likewise, when going outside, she walks to the top step of the porch and waits for me. Kell likes her play times and her cuddling times. She loves to bury herself in her blanket and growl, bark and paw her way out. She is a dear little girl and I hope her remaining years are good. She is making my retirement better!
February 2010 email letter update
Hello Rachael and all at Bond County Humane Society,
It is hard to believe that Valentine's Day will be the 1st anniversary of Kell coming to live with me (I guess the honeymoon is not over!).
These are pictures of her 'shaggy' look. Her coat is different and looks this way no matter what shampoo with weekly baths and brushings.
Holistic food has helped some but not entirely. Her sight and hearing continue to deteriorate but she adapts and moves right along.
The snow really disorients her as there is no contrast to find her pathways. But, with loud encouragement from me we always find our way back.
She still enjoys her playtime with her comforter and barks happily as she burrows under it. That is when I sneak up on her and continue the fun.
Some afternoons she will get in the recliner with me and we have a nap. Actually she is not in the recliner but on me.
She is still just shy of 15 pounds and I am just shy of a lot more.
I will always wonder what kind of life she had until I adopted her. I know what her life is now.