Little Zee’s vet visit

A little bit of rain did not deter us from making a visit to the vet’s office for a nice thorough exam, a full set of vaccinations, and some compliments on her cuteness. Zee is a bit of a sissy in the rain, but once she got Chick’s waterproof coat on, she hardly even noticed the rain drops that were falling on her head.

When I first met Zee at the shelter, she was 7 pounds overweight and had a bad case of conjunctivitis, some skin inflammation, upper respiratory infection, and a mysterious neurological condition. All we really knew was that she was a sweet girl, maybe eight years old, who would almost certainly be overlooked in the shelter for as long as she lived there. In a shelter full of beautiful, bouncy, happy dogs, it’s hard for a mellow older girl with special needs to compete– people tend to get stuck on her age and apparent depression and move on.

Zee had full bloodwork done when we had her spayed a few weeks ago, but she had not had a chance to bask in the glorious attention of a nice vet who would thoroughly check her vitals and answer all of our questions — until a few days ago. Not surprisingly, she did great, and the vet’s assessment was even better than we had hoped.

Zee’s weight is down to a perfectly healthy 44 pounds. Her ears, eyes, heart, and lungs are all in great shape, and her teeth are in remarkable condition for a dog her age, especially given the fact that she has likely never eaten high-quality food before. The vet was very impressed with her beautiful, thick coat that is as soft as velvet — so different than any of the other dogs we have fostered to date.  He also detected very little arthritis in her joints– so little that he did not even recommend a joint supplement, only a daily multivitamin. He thought that she may even be younger than the estimated 8 years old that the shelter had guessed — possibly 6 or 7. In other words, she is a perfect physical specimen!

The vet was also kind enough to spend some time investigating Zee’s neurological condition, which does not seem to cause her any pain or suffering, but does make her just a tad off balance — as though she were a little tipsy or walking on a boat sometimes. He did a few tests on her reflexes and coordination, watched her walk up and down stairs, and asked her to sit, stand, and follow him around the office in different directions and maneuver around corners.

The observation confirmed for our vet what we had already suspected, which is that Zee’s condition is likely the result of a trauma earlier in her life that has affected her balance and depth perception, and only very slightly her reflexes — it is essentially a form of brain damage. This type of condition comes on at once — at the time of the trauma — and tends to be stable afterward. For Zee, this means that her cute trot, her clumsy way of bumping into coffee tables, and her need to sit down when she sneezes are going to be lifelong traits, but are not likely to develop into more serious issues down the road. From the vet’s assessment, the way Zee bumbles happily through the day now is the same way she will bumble happily in five years.

 Zee left the vet’s office feeling a little off balance but with a belly full of treats and a body satisfied from pets and scratches, and we left feeling so hopeful about our little girl’s future.


My distinguishing features

Hello sweet readers, it’s your Little Zee!

All this while that foster mama has been taking my photo, snuggling me in her lap, letting me stick my tuna-flavored tongue up her nose (ok, I don’t do that very often), and writing about me, I’ve been simultaneously taking naps and tapping my fingers as if to ask: “why isn’t anybody noticing my distinguishing features?”

So I arranged a photo shoot where I could show them off. Not that I’m fishing for compliments — really I’m not — but please tell me, isn’t my coloring most unusual?

I know, I know. It’s hard to get past my perfect bone structure and my cute arching ears. But let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Most people at first think I’m simply a blue pit bull, but I’m not! My back is blue, and the top of my head and my ears, but check out what’s going on below my cheekbones– see that interesting sandy-cream brindle?

I also have that interesting sandy brindle on my chest and the insides of my legs . . .

And seriously, check out these brows:

Mama said she’s never seen a dog that looks quite like me. I thought that was pretty obvious since I’m the only Little Zee around!

Running errands? Bring Zee!

You know that dog who acts like a complete spaz out in public, needs to sniff everybody, jump into strollers, steal children’s ice cream cones, snatch merchandise at the farmer’s market, and knock over entire stacks of VHS tapes if you bring him into Video Americain to rent a movie? Nevermind art galleries or stores with small beautiful things, you wouldn’t even come close to one of those with these dogs because their antics, lack of self awareness, and waggy tails would break everything at knee-level.

Well, Little Zee is not that dog. She is instantly at home wherever she goes, and handles herself with perfect manners in all kinds of scenarios. We have a number of pet-friendly shops right in downtown Takoma Park (a video store, a hardware store, and a very cool new furniture and art store), and last weekend we took her around to run some errands. She liked everything she saw, but Trohv, our cool new furniture / arts store, was her favorite.

The combination of warm, fuzzy rugs and cool, smooth concrete floors gave her plenty of options for laying down and taking a rest — which she was very happy to do anytime we decided to stop and take a look at a neat chair or a cute glass vase. The other customers made her very happy, but not so happy that she had to bounce up and down. She greeted everybody with a polite tail wag and a little kiss if they wanted one, but didn’t go crazy jumping on people or tugging toward them if they didn’t want to say hello.

We think this is a rare asset in Zee’s corner, and speaks volumes of her personality and demeanor. Many — maybe most — dogs have to train for months or years to be able to behave nicely in public, but Zee’s calm personality really shines in this light. It makes us start having big dreams for Little Zee. Could she become a therapy dog? Or maybe she could work with kids in schools, helping them learn to read? Attending to seniors in assisted living facilities? Her fantastic temperament opens a lot of doors for her, and we hope her future forever-family will appreciate it!

Bat Ears and Raffle Results

Hello friends, Little “Bat Ears” Zee enjoyed a lovely weekend with her other foster mama, spending lots of time training her ears to do all kinds of tricks. She is working on teaching them to do a Gonzo pose — so that her bunny ears can match her bunny hopping — but hasn’t mastered it yet. Her favorite so far is the bat ears:

All the while between fun activities, she would lay around like this with her bat ears, wondering . . . who are the lucky winners of my fundraiser raffle?

Well Little Zee doesn’t have to wait any longer! We had 161 lottery entries including more than 120 unique individuals. We drew winners last night using a random number generator, and are excited to announce the results:

But wait– you had your heart set on one particular piece and didn’t win it? Chances are, you can buy one directly from the artist or donor. Just shoot us an email at DCpetographer [at] gmail [dot] com for more info, or click on the links above to get in touch directly. And stay tuned later this week for a special announcement about the mini custom pet paintings.

Congrats to all the winners, and thanks again to everyone for your support!

Little Zee, country mouse

Yesterday Little Zee told you about her love for riding in cars and the fun adventures that brings, but today, she wanted us to show you.

Our good friends recently bought a house on a beautiful 16+ acres out in the rolling countryside, and invited us up for the weekend to visit. So we did. And Zee did. And she loved it!

Naturally, the first thing Zee wanted to do when we got there was inspect the farm equipment. She took a good mosey all around it to check it out, had a great romp and roll around in the nice tall grass, got to let loose her inner tiger roaming the prairie, inspected the tractors, and reported back to us that she approves:

The next thing that any good little Zee does is charm all of the people by making eyes at them (single eyes and double eyes) until they fall desperately in love with her:

Later, while the boys were outside tending the fire and grilling our dinner, we got to spend some good quality girl time together:

We had a nice slumber party, and Zee got to experience the rare privilege of sleeping in the human bed with foster mom and dad, which she enjoyed thoroughly, softly snoring and dreaming of tractors and fields and hopping like a little bunny rabbit. In the morning, she was well-rested and ready to receive additional loving from everybody at the party:

Thanks for the fun, B & M! Little Zee loved your place and slept like a tired little bunny for days after we came home!

Who likes car rides?

Who likes car rides? I do! I do!

I don’t know why everybuddy doesn’t love car rides. For me they mean fun trips to my friends’ houses, visits to the vet (which means more people to charm and kiss), visits to the dog-friendly shops in town (which ALSO means more people to charm and kiss!), and rides out to the country to smell the fresh mountain air.

Stay tuned tomorrow when I’ll tell you all about my big weekend car riding trip!

XOXO, Little Zee

PS- Oh, why thank you for asking! I am feeling much better after my spay and all the icky complications afterward. Mama says she’s never seen a spay scar disappear so fast, and I’m feeling back to my hip-hoppity bunny rabbit self (umm . . . bunny rabbits like to take many many naps, right?)

For more info on adopting Lady Zabora, click here or contact us at DCpetographer [at] gmail [dot] com.

Lady Z’s fundraiser wrap-up

Wow! Lady Zabora’s fundraiser wrapped up yesterday, and we are amazed and proud to report that we raised $4,130 for her rescue and care — a sum greater than we ever could have dreamed. Given that we are just beginning to explore her medical needs, we feel so thankful to have the funds we need to tackle anything that might come up. Here’s where we plan to start:

  • A thorough well-visit to check out her overall health, her joints, her bones
  • A consultation on her neurological issue that is causing her some slight balance problems (it is most likely that her balance issues are stable, permanent, and do not cause her any suffering, but we would like to talk it through just the same)
  • Arthritis meds for life — either preventive or treatment-oriented
  • A high-quality, grain-free food for senior dogs with mild allergies

Our goal is to make sure that Little Zee is happy, comfy, and healthy, and that whoever adopts her has a complete picture of our girl’s preferences, habits, needs, and health. We also plan to transfer a “trust fund” to her future adopter’s vet to cover the cost of future medical care. We don’t anticipate any big expenses in Zee’s future, but we also don’t want the fear of costs associated with adopting an eight-year-old dog to stand between her and her perfect forever-home.

Leftover funds — if any — will be donated to help other older or special-needs pit bulls, and we will poll our generous community of friends and donors on the best way to pass any extra funds along.

We will be working through our lottery entries over the next few days and plan to announce winners for Lady Z’s fundraiser raffle within the next week. If you donated $20 or more and have not emailed us your lottery selections, please do so at DCpetographer [at] gmail [dot] com. The deadline is Wednesday!

Little Z can’t wait to see who wins the two Sirius Collars. She just loves her Rhianna collar!

For more info on adopting Lady Zabora, click here or contact us at DCpetographer [at] gmail [dot] com.

Happy Labor Day from Lady Z

Little Z wishes everybody a happy Labor Day. She is taking the day off from her busy job wrapping herself in blankets and taking naps and walks all day to just sit around looking cute. She hopes each of you has a lovely day off too!

**Our Lady Zabora Chip-in fundraiser wraps up today. We have been so overwhelmed with everyone’s generosity. Thanks to your help, we will be able to help our Little Z with any medical needs she might have. Stay tuned later this week for our lottery results and an update on Z’s story!**

Chix-a-Lot Friday: Adios, amigos!

No no, don’t worry. I’m not leaving blogland, I’m just leaving Merry-land!

Yep, that’s right friends, I’ve been without my cowboy ways for long enough, and I told my people that it’s time to go home — to Texas. Come September’s end I’ll be packing up my cowdog boots and pearl snap shirts and heading west for my motherland.

I can’t wait to sit on dad’s head while I smell that Hill Country air:

I’m also excited to do a lot of back-porch sitting in that warm Texas sun:

So I put my paw down, and we’re on our way! So here’s a list of who’s coming along.

These two:

And this one (can you see how miserable I am in the cold?):

But do you know who just got to my house yesterday but is NOT coming with us to the Great State? This one:

As much as we’d love to bring her along, Lady Zabora is a Washingtonian through and through, and she can’t come. I guess that means we’ll have to hurry up and find her perfect new family before we leave. Do you know anybody who might be looking for their very own Little Zee?

%d bloggers like this: