Please take a moment…

Before I write the essence of this post, last night I spoke with Julie. As you may know, she lives in a suburb of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Although at least one daughter travels that bridge to and from work, none of her family was on the bridge.

I’m probably breaking at least two internet etiquete rules, but sometimes right and wrong is different than ‘legal and illegal’.

Susan is a friend of mine, a fellow Apso Afficionado, a fellow breeder. She recently relocated, along with Bud, to Fort Collins to be near her grandchildren. She also wrote the moving piece “Like a pebble on a pond” which I posted a few months ago. 

I met Rusty several weeks ago when Ginny, Vickie, Tammy and several others attended the dog shows in Eagle, Colorado. He is a special little dog. Although I’m not the praying kind (Rush Limbaugh would call me a godless heathen), today my thoughts and energies will be directed northward, to this young little lion dog.

Here’s what Susan posted on ApsoBreeders:

Dear All,  

I am one of those lurkers and would like to come out of the shadows and ask for everyone’s prayers. Rusty, one of a litter of five we bred, will be undergoing surgery at CSU vet school tomorrow to repair a liver shunt and remove ammonium urate stones from his bladder.

He is one of those dogs that grabs your heart with one brief look into his “old soul” eyes. He has been a real trooper the past two weeks going through all kinds of tests, being stuck with needles here and there, tolerating it all with a quick kiss to the chin.

The surgery comes with a fair amount of risk – small, poor functioning liver, vascular involvement and of course he is just a little guy.

He represents another reminder of the effects of our shrinking gene pool. Whether his condition is hereditary or developmental is unknown. Yet we have to be reminded how important it is for us as breeders to work to expand our breeding programs beyond our current gene pool.

Please take a moment and say a small prayer for a little snow dog from Tibet who only asks for a chance at life.


4 Comments on “Please take a moment…”

  1. Kathy says:

    In the Spirit of St. Frances: A Canticle for Rusty
    God bless Rusty, surround him with your healing light. Give comfort to Susan and all who cherish the little snow dog from Tibet. Guide the doctors and technicians caring for Rusty. They are instruments of your perfect love and peace.
    Heartfelt Blessings

  2. Debby says:

    Susan phoned last night. Rusty’s surgery went really, really well. The surgeons were able to find the extra hepatic shunt right away. Recovery is a gradual process. It will take 3 – 6 months to make sure everything is functioning properly, but they feel really confident that he’ll be able to lead a normal life!

  3. lhasalhady says:

    Here’s the latest on Rusty:

    I thank each and every one of you who kept Rusty in your thoughts and prayers over the past few days. We were blessed that Thursday afternoon’s surgery went well, and sure enough the little bugger had an extrahepatic porto-azygous shunt.

    What happens with a hepatic shunt is that blood flow from the stomach, intestines, pancreas and spleen passes directly into systemic circulation without first passing through the liver’s filtering system. Rusty was fortunate that the shunt was operable, otherwise he would have eventually suffered total liver failure. It will take 2 to 6 months for the shunt to gradually close and full circulation through the liver to occur. In the interim he will be on a special diet and will be monitored closely.

    He is home now and doing well. Absent the five inch incision down the middle of his belly, you wouldn’t know a thing was wrong with him!

    I cannot say enough good things about the folks at the CSU vet clinic. Rusty’s surgery was the second time we have taken a dog there for a major procedure, and once again I felt assured that we had found the best possible care for our dogs. Not only are they skilled and up to date on current developments procedures and technologies, but their obvious concern and love for the animals is unmeasureable.

    For those of you who will be in Houston this fall, Rusty man will be there full of kisses and love for all. Thanks again for your positive thoughts.

  4. Julie says:

    Susan, I applaud you for talking about Rusty. You are what I consider an “ethical” breeder. In your openess to share Rusty’s health condition, you have made yourself a resource for other people to contact. For unfortunately, there will be other dogs who will be born or develope liver shunt, even though we breeders will say , “not in my line” If only words would make it so!!
    I am so glad Rusty came through the surgery. Let’s keep hearing about his updates, so we may all learn about this disease and how it effects the dog and what the future holds for him.

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