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  •  Three years ago, we made the best decision in deciding to adopt another ESS.  Zoey then came to us and is the BEST dog ever.  She is not only beautiful but so well behaved and is loved by everyone. We can't thank MAESSR and Debbie enough for giving us Zoey.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Judy Minnick, NJ              

Customer Testimonials
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Entered: 03/17/2021
Status: Permanent Foster
Age: 13; born April or October 2007
Color: White Spanish Water Dog
Weight: 32 lbs.
Gender: Altered Female
Location: Altoona, PA
Health: UTD, HW-, receiving medication for renal failure and anemia, an appetite stimulator and subcutaneous fluids to be added to her regimen, receiving treatment for a recurring UTI, benefiting from supplements for osteoarthritis/lameness in rear legs and urinary incontinence, treatment for conjunctivitis completed
Temperament: Good with adults—sweet but timid, no history with children but could be fine with tweens and older, good but shy with other dogs, unknown with cats

Loulie's Story . . .

Update 09/01/2021:  “Loulie is such a little trooper that her mobility issues don’t keep her from trying to manage the situation.”

In the last five months, sweet Loulie has adjusted well to her new life circumstances and is enjoying life despite her health issues. Overall, she is a laid-back senior, but her little stub will wiggle a mile a minute when she gets excited. Plopping down in the wading pool during trips outside is her third favorite activity, and she will do it multiple times a day. Towels are hung on the deck rail to be available to dry her off before going back in the house. To her foster mom’s chagrin, Loulie often chooses to lie down in the dyed mulch or dirt following a dip in the pool. C’mon, Loulie – you’re a white dog! (At this point, foster mom is happy if Loulie is happy.) Foster mom put off bathing Loulie until the day before her vet visit to avoid her looking like a little dirt ball and was still nervous that she would show up at the vet’s office with an off-white dog. Sometimes Loulie needs assistance getting out of the wading pool as her back legs get stuck while going over the edge, and despite her best efforts she just can’t do it. Loulie is such a little trooper that her mobility issues don’t keep her from trying to manage the situation.   

Second on her list of favorites is going for a short walk and sniffing along the route. About a half-mile continues to be her limit. Walks have been limited due to hot and rainy weather, so she has to be content to engage in her very favorite activity in the whole world which is going for car rides. She is deeply disappointed when foster mom goes out and leaves her at home. If the car is parked in the driveway, Loulie will huff and puff at the fence and keep looking at the car in hopes that foster mom will load her up and hit the road. She was in heaven on the Fourth of July when foster mom took everyone on a two-hour ride on the interstate to escape the loud and close fireworks.    


Loulie has the house routine down pretty well. Each night before bed she waits patiently for foster mom to put on her doggy diaper. Since recovery from her second UTI, it has been dry every morning – way to go, Loulie! There was a five-day period when Loulie awakened foster mom with a single loud arf between three and six o’clock in the morning to go to the bathroom. It turned out to be due to a heat wave that caused Loulie to drink large quantities of water which she couldn’t hold all night. Good girl for waking foster mom!  


Loulie just had her three-month checkup for her kidney failure, and, unfortunately, the numbers don’t look good. The condition is progressing with anemia as well as another UTI. The biggest concern right now is loss of appetite since she began medication. Despite foster mom’s best efforts trying/cooking various foods to encourage her to eat, Loulie is sometimes refusing meals and/or eats very little. Recently getting Loulie to eat rather than strictly following her renal diet has been the priority. Sometimes she will eat if she is spoon or hand fed, but it’s often a conundrum in figuring out what she will eat. A check on the scales at the vet’s office found that she has lost significant weight since her arrival. Medications for her UTI, appetite stimulation, and subcutaneous fluids were prescribed. 


Loulie’s foster mom is heartbroken that this disease is progressing and will someday take her away. Until then, every effort will be made for Loulie to enjoy her life to the fullest until the inevitable day comes for her to cross the Rainbow Bridge.

Update 05/30/2021:  “The good news is that Loulie appears to be feeling well at this time.”

Loulie has recovered from her most recent urinary tract infection. However, bloodwork has revealed that her kidneys are not functioning, and she is in the early stages of renal failure. She has been prescribed blood pressure medication and will be following a renal prescription diet to keep her healthy as long as possible.

The good news is that Loulie appears to be feeling well at this time. The incontinence associated with her UTI has cleared up. MAESSR will be doing whatever it can to support sweet Loulie during her medical issues.

Update 05/11/2021: “She is spending much more 'family time' now rather that her 'alone time' which initially was most of her day.”  

Since Loulie’s arrival at her foster home, she has become a permanent foster, in part to prevent the need to transition to yet another home since her current transition was difficult at her advanced age. There is also the possibility of continued health issues as evidenced by another UTI. Loulie recently had a urine culture which diagnosed the UTI and is on medication for a two-week period. Bloodwork will be completed as follow up because her vet is concerned about proteinuria or other kidney issues. Due to frequent accidents from the UTI, Loulie has been wearing disposable pull-ups and/or reusable cloth doggy diapers full time. She is cooperative in wearing them and is very patient having this protection removed or replaced when going outside and coming inside. The frequency of accidents has improved with medication.   


Although generally laid back and quiet, Loulie is becoming more animated at times, especially when she is outdoors. She really enjoys going for walks although a half-mile is about her limit. She is spending much more “family time” now rather that her “alone time” which initially was most of her day. At night she is coming into her foster mom’s bedroom rather than heading into the bathroom to sleep. She remains enthusiastic about mealtime and getting treats.    


Loulie and the two resident Spanish Water Dogs are still peacefully coexisting. The two younger dogs do occasionally try to engage Loulie in play, but she is not able due to her arthritis. The joint supplement has been helpful; when she falls down, she just gets up and shakes it off. A couple times she let the male SWD know in no uncertain terms that she did not want to play!  There appears to be an unwritten rule between the three dogs as Loulie seems to have taken over the wading pool and the other two have not been going in. She will hop in the pool and lie in the water, get out and shake off the water only to get back in another two or three times. She is good about being dried off before going back in the house.    


Loulie has had several baths since arrival and is cooperative in the tub. Trimming her toenails takes a little extra effort, but she is allowing her foster mom to trim nails with a little persuasion…provided she receives edible reinforcers for her cooperation. She was good about getting the ointment for conjunctivitis applied in her eyes.  


Currently Loulie is enjoying life despite all the changes over the last couple months and her health issues. She is feeling more secure and thinks retirement is swell!

Original:  “Loulie does enjoy her alone time and can often be found upstairs doing so.”

Loulie came to MAESSR when her elderly Pennsylvania owner was unable to take her outside of her apartment regularly due to the owner’s physical impairments.  She reluctantly gave up her companion of almost fourteen years so that Loulie could get the care she needs.  Everything has been a big change for Loulie, one that she does not understand, but to which she is, surely but slowly, adapting.   


A determined gal, Loulie spent her first week as a MAESSR dog hoping her foster mom would open the back gate so she could go up the driveway and head on home.  Fortunately, Loulie is feeling more comfortable in her new surroundings now and will now come back into the house without being led or called up the steps. Foster mom has no doubt if Loulie got out the front door or gate, she would be hightailing it down the street despite her limitations.  Little does she know how far away from home she is.    


Loulie is sharing her foster home with two other resident Spanish Water Dogs, her nephew and great niece, who are in the lower range of senior status.  At her advanced age, she is a low-energy, arthritic gal who is somewhat leery of these two whippersnappers into whose company she has been thrust.  Loulie hasn’t shown a lot of interest in them although both have tried to initiate play with her.  The resident dogs have made sure that they got in some good sniffs, and Loulie is starting to feel more comfortable sniffing them and getting closer.  They all peacefully co-exist.  Loulie does enjoy her alone time and can often be found upstairs doing so.  She is always happy to see her foster mom when she checks on Loulie and will generally follow her back downstairs for a short while.  Her foster mom hopes she will continue to increase time spent with the “family” but for now she is given her space while she adjusts.     


A visit to the vet went well.  Loulie had her nails trimmed and her overdue vaccinations were brought up to date.  She is on medication for incontinence; Cosequin was added for her osteoarthritis, and a salve for conjunctivitis was prescribed.  She enthusiastically takes pills in a spoonful of liverwurst or canned dog food.   The first night in foster care Loulie had an accident on the dog bed so foster mom purchased pull-ups for her to wear overnight.  This was extremely helpful while Loulie recovered from her UTI.  Also, there was leakage/accidents due to urinary incontinence the first three nights but none since.  Fabric doggie diapers were purchased, and Loulie now comfortably wears them during the night just in case.  During waking hours, foster mom has been taking her out every two to three hours so there are no accidents.  


Loulie had been living in a first-floor apartment so she has not had to deal with stairs for quite a long time. She does have difficulties navigating stairs due to her weakened back legs and has balance issues when she changes direction on the stairs.  This good girl is managing the elevated deck steps and carpeted stairs in the house.  Her foster mom has placed a dog bed at the bottom of the steps which helps when she gets a little teetery on the way down.  She takes it like a trooper when she falls into the pillow.  What a gal!  If her foster mom heads to the basement or the attic, Loulie is interested in finding out what is going on and wants to follow along.   The backyard is on two levels with a bank and stone steps separating the two.  Surprisingly, and to foster mom’s relief, Loulie has generally handled walking along the edge without falling off and has managed to find the safe ways down.  Smart girl, Loulie!    


When Loulie first came to her foster home, she was a picky eater but now is getting back her appetite.  Since Loulie is not very active, her foster mom cut down on her rations to a healthier amount.  For the first week she would not accept the treats that were sent along with her but finally and enthusiastically she has accepted her Greenies.  She looked at foster mom as if she had been holding out on her!  According to vet records, Loulie has slimmed down ten pounds in the past year.  Way to go, Loulie!  


Loulie has nice house manners and has not displayed any negative habits such as counter-surfing, trash diving, or inappropriate chewing.  The first couple nights Loulie was restless and had a difficult time calming down -- howling, barking, and walking around for part of the night.  Now there is not a peep out of her during the night or even during the day for that matter.  (If only her niece and nephew would follow suit!)  Loulie enjoys belly rubs and being out in the yard, sniffing around to see who or what may have been in the yard.  Loulie will go into the bathroom to sleep on the hard floor but is open to suggestion that she take advantage of the comfy dog beds upstairs.  She has been choosing to sleep in the upstairs hallway but hopefully someday she will choose the master bedroom for more than half an hour.  Her foster mom is finding her more often on the bedroom dog bed during her alone time.  


This senior miss will come when called but does not seem to know any other commands.  She walks well on the leash and enjoys her short walks and car rides.  She hasn’t played with any of the toys which accompanied her.  Due to the pandemic, there have been no visitors since her arrival.  Foster mom has left Loulie home alone on several occasions, gating her away from the male SWD who is loose as Loulie would be easy to knock over if he started his zoomies.  She is always upstairs when foster mom arrives home, happy to see her when she calls her name.  


Although SWDs share a lot of personality characteristics with Springers, many are not social butterflies.  Loulie is fairly timid and is slow to adapt to others outside her intimate circle.   She chooses to self-isolate at times but is spending time with her foster mom and the resident dogs.  After the first couple days, Loulie started showing some joy, wagging her little stub as foster mom would interact with her, and coming when called for meals or going outside.  She is just a sweet ol’ gal and even gave foster mom a kiss one day which surprised her breeder as she said Loulie has never been really affectionate.   


Considered a rustic breed, SWDs are not brushed and are normally clipped down twice a year, sometimes more often if there is matting.  That does not necessarily mean they are low maintenance.  There are nails to be trimmed, mats to be broken up as needed, and, of course, they always bring some of the outdoors indoors so there is also some picking out of foreign objects or food stuck in beards.  Foster mom has bathed Loulie twice to work on her urine stains.  She was good for her baths and will probably need several more baths to take care of the staining.  Clipping is also an option once Loulie is more comfortable and the weather is a bit warmer.    


Loulie is looking for that laid back retirement home where she can quietly and peacefully live out her final days.  A home without many stairs would be ideal, but she can manage the steps as long as there is a safe place for her to land if needed.  


Don’t’ hesitate to adopt a senior dog; they are the best!