On Enjoy the Range of Dog-Based Emotions

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Posted on December 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm 2

On Enjoy the Range of Dog-Based Emotions

Good God, I need this right now.

My husband and I found our mostly-hound mutt on Petfinder.com after I was drawn to her sad story; she was found running wild with another dog in very rural Tennessee. The rescuers thought the other dog was either her mother or her sister; they were both very pregnant. I'm not sure of the timeline -- if this happened while they were in Tennessee or after they were brought to New England -- but at some point they both caught distemper and lost their puppies. The mother/sister dog, "Maddy", was also diagnosed with heartworm.

Amazingly, both dogs survived, though our dog, then named Addy, was left with a chronic twitch in her facial muscles. (Sometimes it's called chewing gum chorea because it looks like they're chewing gum - it's apparently a classic sign of distemper.) Because of it, she was advertised as a "special needs" dog with a reduced adoption fee. Both my husband and I were surprised by how mild her chorea turned out to be; based on the description, we were expecting a hideous deformity, but sometimes we can't even see it. When she's stressed, you can hear her jaw clicking a bit, but so far it hasn't seemed to affect her quality of life. We really feel like we won the dog lottery; she's simply the sweetest dog in the world. We do think that the distemper might have affected her intelligence, a little bit -- the dogsitter has been trying and failing to teach her to shake paws for at least a year now, and she'd definitely get distracted and wander off if one of us fell down the well. But she makes up for it all with her sweet squishy hound face.

Posted on December 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm 6