Nemo - March 2006

Nemo - March 2006

Postby chelynnah » Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:32 am

Nemo - Whippet of the Month March 2006
Shaldra Mikater Elam
Owned and Loved by Wendy (Greyfind)
Nominated by: Jini (Patch'n'Mike), Ronny (WickaWhippet) and Diane (TruGirlDiane)

his web site: http://www.petget.com/nemo.php

My husband and I adopted Nemo when he was 18 months old. I hate to admit it but I didn't really like him at first. He was weird. He had been in 4-5 different homes, always bounced because of a family problem, divorce, eviction; it was never anything he did. He didn't like to be petted. All he did was sit an arms length away and stare. It was weird, HE was weird. He would panic if you approached him while he was laying down. Try and pick him up and he would explode in a panicked frenzy. He didn't respond to any of his many names, Bud, Red Bud, Kelsey, Data. We decided to start fresh and chose Nemo.

Gradually he warmed up to us. Instead of sitting out of reach he would allow us to rest our hand on his neck, within a few months he was nosing us asking for attention. I'll never forget the first time I saw him tuck his butt and run, it was like all the seriousness melted away and he remembered how to be a happy dog. He all but forgot his unhappy beginnings until the first time we moved. I was carrying boxes to the car and heard this horrible noise. I looked up and saw Nemo screaming, biting the screen and trying to jump out of a second story window. I could not figure out what in the world got into our normally placid dog. Then I remembered, every time he saw things boxed up in his first year of life he never saw his family again. He hadn't forgotten.

Last August we were getting ready to celebrate Nemo's 10th birthday. I happened to look directly at him as the sun caught his eyes and something didn't look right. On closer inspection I could see the bottom of his right pupil was filled with blood. I worked for 10 years as a vet tech and immediately the worst case scenarios started running through my mind, cancer, brain tumor, etc. I called my vet, who is also a close friend and she said she'd be over within the hour. I called my husband on the verge of a panic attack and asked him to come home from work. I needed to talk to someone who would understand; I tried my Mom, she wasn't home. I posted a quick and frantic message to Whippet World and tried not to pace while I waited for the vet. The vet stained his eye and saw no abrasions or ulcers but didn't like the look of his pupil. She recommended a consult with a veterinary ophthalmologist.

The next day we were off to see Dr. Bromberg at South Paws Referral Center. She dilated his eyes and found a large mass in his right eye. We all went down to radiology were Nemo stood perfectly still for an ultrasound of his eye. He was so nervous they had to get him a towel to catch his nose drips, he kept sliding in his own snot. We went home with drops and an appointment in a week for possible laser surgery. Everyone on Whippet World was so wonderful, praying and hoping that he would be okay. It made me feel better that so many people were pulling for him.

I was so worried dropping him off, with all of his past issues and crate anxiety I had never left him anywhere but a relatives house. I looked into his big brown eyes and gave him a hug before I left. I got the call at noon that it wasn't what we hoped, the tumor doubled in size in a week and would not be a good candidate for laser surgery. We had a choice between an iridotomy, where they take a section of the iris with risks of bleeding and possibly not getting all of the tumor, or we could remove his eye. I told the doctor to take the eye. My husband and I went to visit him since he would be in the ICU overnight. I don't know what was harder, seeing my baby with half his face red and swollen and not really recognizing us -- or watching my big tough husband sink into a chair crying.

We picked Nemo up the next day and boy was he ready to leave! His poor face was bruised and leaking blood from the sutures.

He became a very spoiled puppy very quickly. We were so happy he made it through the operation he basically got whatever he wanted. He got an entire strawberry shortcake for his 10th birthday, which was Aug 31st, a day after surgery. I carried him up and down the stairs for about a week after which is no small feat, he's a 40 lb whippet! His recovery was amazing, he was on pain meds for about two weeks and was very careful about anything approaching from the right side. It also took him a while to gauge distances, we knew he was feeling good when he started jumping up the entire flight of steps on the deck just like he used to.As itchy as those sutures were he learned that he was not allowed to scratch them. He raised his foot and waited for one of us to scratch around them gently while he groaned. Two weeks after surgery he got his sutures out and the pathology report came back an iridociliary adenoma, which is benign.

Within a month he attended a whippet meetup where Karen Lee brought racing equipment for practice and Nemo was chasing the bunny without missing a step.


We are so grateful that everything turned out as well as it did. He now looks like he has a permanent wink, they placed a prosthetic in the socket so it wouldn't sink in. It still catches me off guard when I look at him and only see one eye, I think it was harder for me to get used to than it was for him!
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chelynnah
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