Monday, December 12, 2011

Tulip's Amazing Transformation

When I first brought Tulip home at the beginning of April, she was suffering from a terrible case of advanced demodectic mange. Found as a stray, she didn't even have a name, just a number: 01527. The sad reality is that she was never going to make it out of the shelter in the shape she was in. Here is our first picture of Tulip, taken a week after we began fostering her...

She spent the first few weeks sleeping almost around the clock. The poor thing was so weak from the mange and the secondary infections that had invaded her body, that she hardly had any energy to play. It's easy to forget how lethargic she was back then, considering that we can barely keep up with her now!

Our first impulse was to name her Rosie since she was so pink. We even called her Rosie for a few days, but it didn't seem exactly right. I always think that Pit Bulls and Pit mixes benefit from soft names, so we tried out a few more floral monikers including Lily and Violet. At the time, we had just moved into our first house, and an unexpected cluster of tulips popped up in the front yard. Our mangy little friend paused to sniff them one day, and we suddenly had the perfect name...

The mange treatment involved medicated baths several times a week, and Tulip was an extremely good sport. She has always been very stoic, and this quality is something that I genuinely love about her.
By the end of May, Tulip began to noticeably improve. Her playful spirit started to shine through and we enjoyed getting to see her personality emerge. Her immune system improved enough so that we could start visiting dog parks and beaches and letting Tulip have a normal doggie social life.

After several months of providing foster care for Tulip, we needed to make a decision: would we adopt the spunky little pound puppy who had wiggled her way into our hearts, or would we let the shelter find her a loving home and continue to foster other dogs. It was difficult to choose, but ultimately we just couldn't imagine life without our Tulip.

We went back to the vet for one final mange check-up last Friday. After more than eight months of treatment (antibiotics for her secondary skin infections, Mitaban dips, medicated shampoo, and daily doses of Ivermectin), she was officially diagnosed as being mite-free!!!

To remind myself how far our girl has come, I took a look back at all the pictures from the spring and summer. It's really amazing to see how Tulip has transformed since we first met her as a scared, sickly pup. She is a true joy with a thirst for fun in all forms, from frolicking at the beach to chasing sticks at the park, and her infectious good-nature can't help but rub off on us.

1 comment:

Nola said...

Congratulations on your beautiful family member! What a fighter
Dachshund Nola