Last week I posted that Oreo had completely destroyed the carpet in our master bedroom after breaking out of a very heavy duty metal kennel. Well here’s the whole story and what we’ve been up to recently.
Adopted Oreo March 25th
As I posted, we welcomed Oreo into the family on Sunday, March 25th. She was completely calm, sweet, and loved hanging out with Mr. BFS. She and our Pug fought for the first evening, but everything calmed down by Monday. Since she could climb the baby gates we use in the kitchen for Mr. Pug, she slept in her doggy bed in the upstairs guest bathroom. That worked great Sunday and Monday night.
Since she seemed to be doing really well like that, we left her in the upstairs guest bathroom while we left for poker night Tuesday evening. Four hours later, we got back and found out that she had chewed on the towel rack above the toilet and eaten through the interior door trim on both sides of the door. Crap.
Okay, so now we knew what the HSPCA meant about separation anxiety. That said, we had a heavy duty plastic kennel that we used for our 90 pound lab about 4 years ago. Since we were going to see The Hunger Games with friends on Wednesday morning, we put that kennel in the guest bathroom with her doggy bed in it, and placed Mr. Pug and Miss Doxie in the bathroom too to keep her company.
Well, we got home 4 hours later and there was a small hole eaten out on the side of the kennel and Oreo was out with Mr. Pug and Miss Doxie. There were a few more bites taken out of the trim and a little one on the wall. Oreo coughed a little but we made sure we found every single piece of the kennel that was missing so we were sure she wasn’t choking.
Okay, so plastic doesn’t work. Mr. BFS picked up one of those black metal wire travel kennels Wednesday evening. We placed that downstairs Wednesday night with her bed inside again, but she literally popped the sucker open in less than 20 minutes and ended up sleeping upstairs.
Now Comes the Pneumonia
At this point, we were freaking out a bit. We knew we had our bowling league Thursday evening for 3-4 hours, so I looked around online to find a heavier duty kennel that should hold up to everything from pitbulls to a small Bull Mastiff. I found a great, screw together, metal one that looked like it fit the bill. But while I picked it up from the other side of town, Oreo’s little cough from Wednesday turned into a big hacking cough so Mr. BFS took her into the vet again that did her basic checkup on Tuesday.
After some tests and a few false guesses, they figured out that Oreo had pneumonia and kept her Thursday night to give her a few nebulization treatments of some antibiotics. We also saw on the xray that Oreo had been shot at by a BB Gun before enough times that one was lodged in her back. It wasn’t a medical problem, but it said a lot about her sad past.
By Friday afternoon, they sent her home with 6 different medications after 5 nebulization treatments. Two were antibiotics for the pneumonia, one was for her stomach, and 3 were anti-anxiety meds and sedatives since the vet had seen her separation anxiety up close and personal. She also sent home a bunch of paperwork explaining how to start kennel training a dog and slowly desensitize it from separation anxiety.
We started the training regimen Saturday and continued through Tuesday evening. We tested her for 5 minute, 10 minute, and 30 minute increments over and over. She even spent the whole night in her new kennel Monday night with the help of the sedatives and the fact we were in the room.
The Ultimate Destruction
Since she seemed to be coming along so well, we decided to try out the new kennel along with sedatives for poker night last Tuesday, April 1st. We gave her the maximum double dose as prescribed 20 minutes before we headed out and she walked into the kennel. We left on the radio and the kennel was in our room like it was the night before.
When we got home 4 hours later, we saw this at the top of the stairs.
Yep, that is our Berber carpet with runs in it like pantyhose for a good 3-4 feet. We knew we didn’t want to open the door, but we sucked it up and saw this.
That is a big ball of ruined carpet, shredded carpet padding, and the white part is our subfloor. Everything that was on my dresser or my jewelry armoir was on the floor in a pile with the destroyed carpet. Further investigation showed that she had scratched up the top of my jewelry case and drawers a little with her paws…she was literally on top of them. Then we found that she tore up another corner of carpet just a little, chewed on this interior door frame trim too, and ruined the bottom of our bedroom blinds.
She had literally pulled off a couple of the metal kennel’s bars…
Since we had run out of ideas for anything to keep Oreo in while we are out the couple of times a week we leave, we drove Oreo back to the HSPCA Thursday morning. We just couldn’t come up with ideas to keep her and our home safe while away. And I was already having nightmares about what she could do to other people’s homes if they were kind enough to watch her for us while we are out and then had to leave for some reason.
The volunteer that had us fill out the return paperwork acted like we were just whiny. She didn’t actually look at the photos and blew off my description with “she’s a rescue”, like that explained it all. Our other two dogs are rescues too…what BS. So I upped the ante, explained the entire situation including the fact that we work from home and she was never kenneled for more than 4 hours, and I explained that she could call the vet on file to get a professional’s point of view. I left crying from some guilt and angrier than I have been in a long time.
The original owner of Oreo should hope to whatever he/she believes in that they never meet me. If I ever meet the person that shot her with BB’s and damaged her so badly that she couldn’t be alone, I would have to be restrained. As bad as I feel, I just can’t come to any conclusion that would have meant Oreo could stay with us.
The last bit of this saga is that even though Oreo is no longer in our home, Mr. Pug and Miss Doxie contracted the not-easily-contractable pneumonia strain. They are both on antibiotics now and recovering but they sound awful. We are hand feeding them to keep up their calorie intake. It has not been fun.
In the last 2-3 weeks, here is the my best rundown of our expenses:
- Adoption Fee plus Small Donation – $20
- Dog Food (35 pounds) – $40
- Dog Bed (yes, now washed and adopted by Miss Doxie) – $35
- Harness – $10
- Toys – $10
- Non-skid food bowl – $5
- Vet Visit for Checkup – $0 thanks to the one free visit you get from the HSPCA with an adoption
- Vet Visit for the Pneumonia – $596 (the HSPCA covered 25% after also covering the first $500, but that still left us with this bill)
- Interior Door Frame (estimate) – $70
- Other Interior Door Frame Trim (estimate) – $70
- Metal Crate off of Craigslist – $85
- Vet visit so far for pneumonia for other two dogs – $175
- New Carpet – $1760
So, our grand total has come to about $2876. That truly sucks. And we actually got a great deal on the new carpet that is being installed this Wednesday, but I will cover that in a different post.
Anyway, goodbye Oreo. Sorry it ended the way it did.
And before anyone asks, yes, I still think pet ownership is worth it. I truly wish this didn’t happen, but I know we will adopt another dog in the future. I also know that I will continue to stress that pets can be extremely expensive, so please take that into account before getting a furry cutie. We had money set aside for something like this (well, I thought it would be for vets, not carpet and trims, but at least it was there…) and I would suggest that for anyone with pets.
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 a year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $80,000-$100,000 through blogging, a rental home, and professional pet sitting. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you). I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page - I hope they help you too. This all gives me the time to be with my aging family members, the flexibility to stay close with my friends and family, and it should help if we finally get pregnant too! Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!