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Thread: The saga of Bertha

  1. #1
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    The saga of Bertha

    We've had Rotties for many years, wonderful creatures that we raised from pups that eventually passed at 13 to 14 years old.
    As the last one approached extreme old age, we adopted a year old rescue Dobie to keep Luger company.
    He's a great boy, hyperactive, but sweet, and just turned 8.

    I had been wanting another Rottie though, and that's when we rescued Bertha last March.
    She came from a high kill local shelter, and had been running the streets, but was a smiling, gorgeous 1 year old.
    She stole our hearts and after checking her out with Fritz the Dobe, we adopted her.

    She went into season her 2nd day home, so we had to spay, as Fritz isn't neutered and I'm in a wheelchair.
    It was the only choice.
    We endured the 2 weeks of the Cone of Shame, and could get back to more normal life for her.
    We started obedience classes, and after one lesson, quit, as the trainer was sadistic and made her cry from her training collar correction.

    She was still in pain the next day, so we got her checked out at the vet, and found that she was low load heartworm +.
    So we started the slow kill method, and she is doing fine on the Doxycycline, expensive though.

    The next thunder storm, we found out how terrified she is of thunder, so we covered her crate and gave her a protected safe spot.
    The next morning, she yelped and screamed as she was getting out of her crate, very unlike her, so back to the vet.
    Xrays show horrible hip dysplasia and 15 shotgun pellets in her!
    Also bad knees.

    No way can I afford surgery for her, her med bills alone are crazy, (Doxy, Rimadyl, Dasuquin).
    Trying to keep her from the zoomies is all we can do, as we are in a small town in East Texas.
    There aren't even any human acupuncturists within 300 miles, let alone a veterinary one.

    She also has completely bonded with my husband, but just barely tolerates me and the Dobe.
    Other than that, she hates everybody.

    I promised her a forever home, but I never expected any of this.
    I tried to save a dog, and all this happened.
    I still love her, but this is the one that's going to bite me someday, just a hunch.
    And, oh yes, she is a fear snapper when under my desk during a storm.

    I know she's had a terrible past, but she scares me a little sometimes.
    Most of the time, she's a sweet girl...

    Thanks for reading, told ya it was a saga.

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  3. #2
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    Gulp... what a great story! Yes, quite a saga.... It is so rewarding to save them, but it is always more expensive... there are always vet bills you never expect... You could try raising money through one of those funding websites to get her a new hip... they are like brand new after they get a new hip.

    I have a scary adopted (between 1-1/2-2 y.o.) girl too, we got her a year last May without checking with our current kids (the rottie/shep mix, boxer and chihuahua) and there was quite an adjustment period. A few souls were bit in the process, if you get my drift (and more than once, ouch, if you get my drift) and that is where my heavy duty vet bills came into play this time, but she has blossomed into a sweetheart who started out super aggressive with everyone and can still be a bit too much... so I do understand your dilemma. It gets better... it has taken most of my adopted Rotties with personalities shaped by ill treatment 7-8 months to be able to calm down and know with certainty they are home, finally home... the really special ones never quite make it to 100% normal, but they can get pretty close. You have a handful!

    Best of luck, thanks for the story!
    Last edited by Steph King; 08-16-2016 at 03:33 AM.
    Sheera'smom and Bertha like this.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Jane's Avatar
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    Good story thanks for sharing this with us.
    Bertha likes this.
    Stay Cool

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  6. #4
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    Sorry to hear about your saga with Bertha. For the hips and knees get her on some supplements...gluc./chond/MSM, wild salmon oil,etc. These may help, and you may avoid any surgery ....and may make her feel better in the future. I've adopted some rescue dogs (foster fails) and it does take time for them to settle in. I would start by not setting her up to fail. If you know she may snap going under your desk...either crate her before a storm starts, or put a leash on her so you don't have to drag her out. You know she is afraid...so start building up her confidence. Get enrolled into an positive type of obedience class with her. She may start bonding with you more...the more you work with her. I do hope things get better with time.

    Gina
    Sheera'smom and Bertha like this.

  7. #5
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    Ooppps! Double post!
    Last edited by big black dogs; 08-16-2016 at 03:51 PM.

  8. #6
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    Thanks Steph and Jane. So there is still hope that she will get friendlier? Thank Dog!
    She isn't allowed to meet strangers anymore, as she either defiantly pees on the floor right in front of them, or silently attacks from behind.
    She IS house trained, this seems to be more of a statement than anything else.
    The silent attacks from behind are scary though.
    She despises women, but is more friendly to men.
    She gets walks every evening with my husband, but is enraged at vehicles going by, lunging and snarling.
    She also hates all other animals, except Fritz, and she keeps him in his place.
    We'll keep her, even if she has to stay away from people.
    I am hoping to learn all her triggers and be able to read her well enough to stay safe.
    I'll keep y'all posted on anything new, good, or bad.
    GoFundMe isn't really an option, as both hips are terribly deformed, and 10k is too much to expect.
    Folks down here are concerned with the human disasters, like the Louisiana flooding right now. As they should be!
    Her life expectancy may be shorter, but we're trying to keep the quality of her life good right now.
    Sheera'smom likes this.

  9. #7
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    Thanks, BigBlackDogs!
    Dasuquin is the supplement the vet suggested.
    Mail order only, it contains avocado extracts as well as the gluc/chondro and is supposed to be better absorbed because of it.
    I do try to close her in her crate when there's thunder, and I just leave her alone when she's under the desk.
    I found out by reaching to pat and reassure her, and got a fast silent snap for daring to.
    My husband has to do the training with her, if I find a better trainer, as I'm in a power chair after a stroke, and can't hold the leash and go forward at the same time. I'm working one handed.
    Bertha spends most of her day with me, and I talk to and love on her all the time.
    When she wants my husband to come downstairs though, she barks as loud as she can, right next to me.
    Talking soothingly only pisses her off more.
    There isn't anything she really *wants*, like dinner or to go out, she's just bored, and wants dad.
    She is Alpha over everyone except dad, she thinks.
    Do I bark back?
    I've tried it, and she will go to her crate.
    Surely this isn't how to handle this though.
    I've never had such a beautiful little psycho before.

  10. #8
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    The saga of Bertha-image-17-.jpgClick image for larger version

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    These are Bertha's hip Xrays.

  11. #9
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    WOW! Those are some nasty hips!!! Maybe there is forum member in your area that could suggest a trainer that could come into your home to observe her behavior, and give you some pointers. Put that Alpha stuff to rest...she just sounds like a pushy Rottie that has been trying to climb up the totem pole..and has been using her poor health, and rescue situation to get away with rotten behavior. I would start with NILIF. Muzzle her if you think she is going to bite someone out in public.

    Gina
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  12. #10
    Senior Member Sheera'smom's Avatar
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    Wow, just wow.... Bless you. Good luck. I got nothing helpful to say for now, just bless you and her.
    Bertha likes this.

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