Yesterday I went to the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and adopted "Cricket" the Boston terrier.
She looked at me when we met and said loud and clear that her name is Gracie Rose.
She gave me a kiss to seal the deal.
I took her immediately to our vet across town. He kept her over night and started her on a 30 day dose of Doxycycline for her heartworms and the upper respatory infection or kennel cough that dogs in confined shelters often have. She is still in his kennel and he is watching her. She had a large mass removed at the shelter and I wanted him to look at it.
I took our four other Boston terriers in to see him this morning to get a Bordetella booster and their nails trimmed. One of the dogs, Sam, needed a Leptospirosis booster, too.
Gracie Rose is going to get some good food this evening and some mild exercise. She is going to gain some weight. Her skin felt slack under my hand as if she had lost muscle mass. She was once very proud and muscular. Her recent turn of events--her family surrendered her to the shelter because, as they said, she didn't get along with their new dog--has hurt her. She could be suffering from cancer, too. She looked older than her reported seven years. She doesn't look well.
Her mass may not have been malignant. We won't know for perhaps two weeks. She can spend the time eating and getting to know us and playing. She can get stronger to fight her illness and loneliness. She looks sad. But she was happy to ride in the car with me yesterday. She has a lot of life in her.
If she has cancer, and it is slow growing, we will give her a good summer with us. One day at a time. We won't let her suffer needlessly. And if it is a rapidly advancing cancer, we will help her die with dignity and love.
She will be loved. She won't be alone.
All of our Bostons are shelter and animal control rescues. They came to us underweight and sad. They have blossomed and bloomed. They get along with each other remarkably well. I worry that Gracie Rose won't fit in but I am optimistic.