Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue
Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue

Gender: Female
Age: 11 Years
Height/Weight: tbd / 44 lbs
House-trained: Yes
Fenced yard required: No
Location: SE Michigan
Foster Home: Peggy
Crate-trained: tbd
Treat-motivated: So much YES
Toy-motivated: no
Likes Car Rides: Yes
Good with cats: Yes
Good with kids: Yes

December, 2014: Merry Christmas from Avery and the gang at the Senior Center!

November, 2014: So I have this low-end down comforter that is too hot to put on the bed, but perfect for the living room (napping, watching television, etc.). Avery has quickly become a fan. Every time I deploy it, she is right there, claiming as much as she can on the floor, or pulling enough off me to make herself comfortable. It is a battle of wits I may not win.

When the alarm went off this morning, I grumbled, turned on the light, and put my feet on the floor. Only I didn’t feel carpeting. I felt something much softer. I looked down, and there is the comforter, all balled up, with a little gray nose sticking out one side, and a little gray tail tip sticking out the other side. Girlfriend had hauled my queen-sized down comforter out of the living room, into the bedroom, made a nest, and bundled herself up, all without waking me up. And I am not a sound sleeper.

Looks like I might have to buy a second comforter.

I’ve realized that I haven’t posted an update on Auntie Avery in a while, so here is the latest from Granny Land.

At the end of January, I took Avery to see another vet at the same full-service clinic that took such good care of Laddy for us last fall. The results of Avery’s x-rays and mobility tests were inconclusive and mildly concerning – yes, she has arthritis and spondylosis and hip dysplasia and there was this troubling patch on her hip socket that might be bone cancer but then again might not be. Those were the vet’s exact words. Did we want to do a bone biopsy?

Well, no, because what would be the point? If it was bone cancer, there wasn’t anything we could do about it, so why put her through it? Besides, the only other dog I’ve known that had bone cancer was miserable and while Granny may be gimpy, she certainly isn’t miserable.

Rather than take her back to the clinic, GLBCR approved having my vet perform a much-needed dental on her at the end of March. I was nervous about putting her under at her age, but she sailed through with flying colors and no extractions. She does have one tooth that is essentially “dead,” but it was solidly in place and not bothering her, so my vet opted to leave it.

Which brings us to last Saturday, when I had an appointment to take Avery, Laddy, and Ellie in to see my vet for their spring tune-ups. Yes, all three at once. Apparently I am a glutton for punishment. And since Avery has been shedding like a musk ox, I decided to give her a good once over with the brush the night before. The more I brushed, the more hair came out, and the funkier she got. Not only did she look like a musk ox, she smelled like a musk ox. A musk ox that had rolled in sweat socks tossed out at the local dump. During August.

Which is how, at one thirty in the morning, I came to be giving Granny a bath.

And guess what? Avery is shaped like a real dog! I knew she had a metric ton of coat, but like every fluffy dog before her, once you wet her down, you can see the dog under all of the hair. All this time I thought she was some sort of food-seeking footstool, and it turns out, there’s an actual Border Collie under there!

Which my vet confirmed when we saw him on Saturday. He actually said that she could stand to lose a few more pounds, but I shouldn’t push it beyond that, because he didn’t want her losing any muscle. And that – get this – she didn’t actually have that much abdominal fat. I’d had the x-rays from January sent over, and he agreed with most of the diagnosis. Her hip dysplasia isn’t all that bad, and the “odd” spot that might have been bone cancer, almost certainly wasn’t, because if it was, it would have progressed by now, and she would be showing other symptoms. Which she isn’t. His diagnosis – good old-fashioned arthritis. He recommended that I continue with the pain meds (Meta Cam) and get her on a good joint supplement. Which I have done.

So that is basically my long, roundabout way of telling you all that I will be marking Avery as “Available for Adoption” on the website.

And then I’m going to adopt her.

Auntie Avery had her teeth cleaned and is now flashing a winning smile. For her, the worst part of the experience was that she MISSED BREAKFAST. Can you believe it? There was food in Ellie’s bowl and food in Laddy’s bowl but there was NO FOOD IN AVERY’S BOWL.

Avery would like everyone to know that it was very traumatic and she still has not completely recovered from her ordeal…..

PS: Avery wants to know if the impressive amount of shedding she is doing counts toward her weight loss.

Avery would like everyone to know that she has lost NINE WHOLE POUNDS.

She would also like everyone to know that her mean ol’ foster mom is DEPRIVING HER of MUCH NEEDED COOKIES and KIBBLES and assorted PEOPLE FOOD. Seriously – only getting fed twice a day? What kind of room service is that?

What is a girl to do?

“Lose ten more pounds and we’ll talk, Avery.”

On a more serious note, Auntie Avery has been to the vet. Her blood work looked very good, but the x-rays of her hips showed dysplasia on both sides. The vet started her on non-steroidal pain medication, which seems to be helping. Due to her age, she is not a candidate for surgery, so the plan now is to get her weight down and build up her muscles a bit to help support her back end.

“Hear that, Avie? That means exercise to go along with your diet.”

Fortunately, her spirits remain good and she enjoys “playing” with my two dogs. She has, on more than one occasion, pestered Laddy so much that he had to hop up on the bed to get away from her. In return, he will sometimes take her outside and roll her around in the snow. They’re buds.

Avery's original owners moved out of the country, and the home they had lined up for her fell through. When she wound up on Craigslist, GLBCR stepped in to offer her a safe place to land. Avery is a sweetie with a stubborn streak -- if you try to make her do something she doesn't want to do, she will go limp and flop over on her side like a cranky toddler. She lived with kids and cats and bunnies in her previous home, and she is getting along great with my dogs, so "playing well with others" won't be an issue.

Avery does have some mobility issues - we're not sure if it's because of her age, her weight, or some other underlying problem. She can certainly move when she wants to, especially if her food bowl is involved. Avery's New Year's Resolution is to become fit and trim, and we'll keep you up-to-date on her progress!