Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hamlisch - the hard luck foster

Where do I even start with Hamlisch? Our poor foster boy has had a rough go of it and every day is still a challenge. I discovered Hamlisch's picture on Petfinder.com in May 2009 when he was a resident of the Ottawa, KS shelter. He was found as a stray and his age was put somewhere around 9. He was heartworm positive and would most certainly be euthanized if rescue did not come to his aid. When we confirmed that we would foster this sweet old guy, Italian Greyhound Rescue agreed to pay his health costs to get his heartworm treatment. So, a few months later he has survived the expensive and vigorous treatment for heartworm. With that out of the way, he is able to get a dental (his teeth were in TERRIBLE condition) and finally get a large lump removed and biopsied. He does great with the procedures and hallelujah, his lump is benign!

Well, Ham still has a heart murmur and a thyroid condition, but he's loving life with his new foster sisters and our family! Now we wait for the perfect family to come adopt him. And we wait. . . . And we wait. . . . It is almost a year and half later and not a single person has looked at adopting Hamlisch. He has become a member of our family and is a perma-foster, as they say. Then, to make matters worse, he develops a new ominous looking growth. Sure enough, it is cancer. Hamlisch is diagnosed with a rare form of dermal melanoma. All we can do is watch and wait, but for the short term, he continues to be outwardly very healthy.

Unfortunately, his health took a horrible turn for the worst recently. He lost the ability to walk and was urinating blood. We were sure we were going to lose him. Hamlisch, however, is a fighter, and we took him in for treatment. He was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and is slowly recovering. And I mean SLOWLY.

Vet care isn't cheap. And rescue dogs like Hamlisch, of all ages, are in constant need of financial support. For as long as I am making collars, a portion of the proceeds will either go to the care of our Hamlisch or to help other rescue Italian Greyhounds. Thank you for helping us continue to provide Hamlisch with the best possible life.


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