Gorgeous, Westbury, NY

Hi! My name is Gorgeous! You may know me from my Facebook: Gorgeous the itty bitty pittie! I was named Gorgeous not because I was. As a matter of fact, I was just the opposite.

In my short life, I’ve dodged the grim reaper. I was turned into the city shelter and put on the euthanasia list. I was doomed — I was swollen and completely bald, my body scabbing from head to toe, covered with mange. Shelter life is very hard…it’s like being in a hospital. There is no rest and it was sooooooo disturbing. Not to mention the crowds. At the shelter, I was just another nameless, sad case on the nightly euthanasia list. Somehow I had luck on my side.

Why I was chosen to be saved is anyone’s guess, only my angel would know that. My looks certainly were not endearing. The one glimmer that likely shone through was my sweet disposition and the almost human expression in my eyes: Eyes that have seen so much despair…and so little hope. And that was the initial fact, and it only got worse.

The mange that I had occurs when mites over-populate and affect large areas of skin, or my entire body as in this case. Truly one of the worst cases my rescuers have seen. My skin was scaly, red so very itchy and smelled sour. Due to my extensive skin infection, my immune system was severely suppressed leading to an upper respiratory infection and pneumonia. This was the first time I was rushed to the hospital.

Once the pneumonia was conquered, I had one more bad hand dealt to me. The shelter workers arrived to find 8” of my rectum had prolapsed. (For anyone unfamiliar with this condition, it can look frightening as the lower bowel simply slips out of the body through the rectum.) Again I was rushed to the vet, but unfortunately it was not quickly enough to save the tissue. I sat for 24 hours in that state. I finally underwent surgery and a section of the lower bowel was removed and the healthy section sutured to my rectum. Of course, there is an extensive healing time that goes with this type of surgery.  If this was human, the patient would likely have a temporary colostomy until the rectum fully heals.

I had to endure the raw reality that I had to heal using all my parts (no re-routing here). A few weeks after the surgery, I was still in the throes of heavy diarrhea with little to no bowel control. I was a mess. I became nutritionally deficient due to the constant diarrhea. My body unable to process proteins I  badly needed and my body condition became weak. The report came in that I was NOT doing well in my recovery and did NOT have the promise of a decent quality of life. This was the 2nd time a vet said there is little hope. I saw the light getting closer and was doggie-paddling towards it when a faint voice, with the hope of a loving future, pulled me back to give this life another chance.

My angel stepped in again: The volunteers who fell in love with a scrappy, scabby, sour smelling little pit. They would not accept my fate and pushed hard for more time. The only solution was to find a foster home STAT. If I had any chance at all, I would need a place where I could recover (slow though it may be), that was climate-controlled, where me and my bedding could be kept clean and be fed a prescription diet specific to my intestinal needs.

My foster mom stepped in and took me as a foster. It was equal parts of her naiveté and that SOS urgency call from a NY-based rescue. What could she do when faced with such immediate need? She offered her home for me to lay my hat. She assumed I would be with her a scant 4 or 6 weeks. Upon my arrival, my foster mom couldn’t have been more flabbergasted.

The diarrhea was non-ending. She always believed it would get better and she prayed we were at the bottom of the mountain just about to gain our footing. (She has never done so much laundry in her life! Her industrial size washer and dryer were whirring away morning and night. Tide laundry detergent became her closest ally.)

Upon arrival, all I could physically do was sleep. I mainly slept in my crate and rested on a variety of beds always with a hospital undersheet beneath me.  Within that first week of foster, it became clear I needed a vet re-check. My foster mom brought me to her vet and it was determined I really needed to see a specialist as a last resort — there was nothing more a general vet could do for me. The constant diarrhea was depleting my energy, my nutrition was suffering too, and I could not gain an ounce.

At Long Island Veterinary Specialists, I received my first follow up internal exam (under anesthesia), where it was noted the surgical site was healing slowly and they found and removed bone shards from my intestines. I was prescribed meds for pain management, meds for Colitis and soothing creams for my very sore bottom (4 pills four times a day!) and a prescription diet. Then finally, after 3 months in foster care, I turned that corner!

At first it was barely noticeable; then came the reality that the washer was whirring only evenings now. Things were truly looking up! The medicines were reduced one by one and my bottom was no longer so sore and uncomfortable. At this time I remained on two meds specific for severe Colitis. Now that I was out of the woods, we could start treatment for mange, which took another 3 months! I no longer had diarrhea (who would think the site of fully formed poop would be so welcome???) Although the diarrhea has subsided, I still can’t go a whole day in the crate without an accident. What works for me is access 24/7 to a dog door where I can let myself out as needed. (Thank goodness!)

My foster mom is committed to seeing me through to finding my forever home. I have come a long way from where I started and my recovery is nothing short of a smashing success!

Now that I’m well, my foster mom says my personality has emerged and that I’m bright and clever. 🙂 The love of my life is my tennis ball, and I carry it everywhere. I’ve learned to walk like a lady on leash, and LOVE my meals. All along the way I had an amazing group of rescuers, volunteers and fans who rallied around me and refused to give up.

My name Gorgeous was given to me as my first bridge toward hope. Hope for a new life, hope for a loving family and the highest hopes for bright new future.

Here’s my stats:
– I used to be a tiny girl (only 35lbs), but now that I’m fully recovered I am a girthy 49lbs!
– Short hair, very little shedding
– A slight Bruce Springsteen underbite that is sooo endearing (you’ll like it too!)
– Ah yes.., my tail makes a slight left turn at the tip. (Someone broke it and didn’t fix it for me. Oy vey, people!)
– SPAYED, up to date on shots …
– House-trained
– I love my leash walks (and I’m mannerly)

Other things I LOVE:
– Tennis balls
– Nylabones
– (Did I say tennis balls!!!!)
– Rolling in a soft grassy patch
– The occasional stuffed kong is always a winner!

And as I was looking forward to my forever home, something great happened! I was formally adopted by my foster mom! 🙂 I remain a special needs dog, in that I will have life long colitis, but it is manageable. My mom and I have our routines in place and with access to a doggie door 24/7, I rarely have any indoor potty accidents. Just like the final scene in LOST when Sawyer was trying to save Julia…my mom realized “I got this.” She knows my routines, my needs and what sets my tummy off. She can’t imagine a better, more informed home for me, her dear girl. She said I’ve been through so much in my short life, why run the risk of any future discomfort? We all sleep very well at night, knowing I am home safe and sound.

See more of me at my Facebook photo album.

Parent: Mary