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Well, Emmy’s been back since January 31. When she arrived she had well-furred ears (!) and looked great. She, naturally, was a bit shaky on her cues, but we finally got those pretty straightened out.

Now, after 2 1/2 months, and the onset of deep Atlanta spring, Emmy is back to itching, licking, gnawing, and scratching. I’ve started wiping her off, especially her feet and legs, when she comes in from being outside. I have tried a wet washrag, dog wipes, and baby wipes. The baby wipes work as well as the other two, leave a slight fragrance that doesn’t seem to bother Emmy, and are easier than the wet washrag. They help some, but not enough. Emmy has also had her first yeast infection (R ear) of the season – despite cleaning and drying ears daily – sometimes twice daily. So, I’ve added Posatex to the grooming routine – again. She is taking Hydroxyzine Pamoate (one of the older antihistamines) and it works better than the (cheaper) benadryl. She is less groggy, doesn’t sleep as much, and can function fairly well despite it. But she still has some problems with paying attention while under it’s influence. I give her a cue, and she stares me (or off into space) as if to say, “I’ve heard that before, I know I should know it, but I can’t get it together.”

We have talked with my liaison at PAALS, and we are looking at a “re-career” move for Emmy – to being a pet with my youngest son and his family. As for me, we have a lot of thinking to do. A smaller Lab from this year’s class, or wait for a Golden Retriever from next year’s class. We have decided to not go for this year’s class because I really need a larger dog, so that will make it next summer before I can be partnered again.

Another option our liaison mentioned is to apply with another service dog provider who might have a larger breed. Well, that’s certainly an option, BUT – we are very strongly attached to PAALS, it’s programs, what they stand for, and the people who are there and who train the dogs. Our liaison said PAALS will understand whatever decision we make because we know what I need and how soon it will be critical.

So, here we are. Already grieving about losing Emmy as my partner – after only 4 1/2 years together. But she’ll be with our youngest son and we’ll be able to see her from time to time.

SIGH! It’s a big decision any way we look at it.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Suzanna
    Apr 13, 2013 @ 13:28:54

    I’m so sorry that the situation has come to this, Elizabeth. 😦 It’s hard to break a real connection you have with an animal, whether working or pet. I hope your search for another service dog will be brief and productive. {Hugs}


    • turtlemom3
      Apr 13, 2013 @ 15:33:10

      Thanks, Suzanna – I’m bearing up. Himself reminds me that Emmy is an employee, and is not functioning up to requirements, so a lateral-arabesque is a good option. We know our son, his temperament, and his relationship with former dogs and his relationship with his wife and their boys. He was a vet asst (not a vet tech) while he was in high school, and he remembers nearly all he experienced there. So I’m not too worried about her. I’m just doing anticipatory grieving over missing her. They live about 35 miles away. Although that is a difficult distance for us, we can do it on occasion – and visit Emmy as well as our grandsons! 😉
      It will be close to a year, perhaps more, before I’m partnered again. It will not be an easy time. Himself will be filling in, again, and I’ll be trying to not overwork him, again. It’s a hard time for us!


  2. Barbie Rench
    Apr 14, 2013 @ 19:42:27

    Oh My. I am so sorry you have to go through this, Elizabeth. Bless your heart. ❤


  3. Mimi
    Apr 16, 2013 @ 18:54:45

    Oh man, I’m so sorry. Sigh.
    I think re-careering her with your son will be a good decision, but I know it’s hard.


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