And so this “tail” begins. In early December 2018 Ellie suddenly stopped eating and within a couple of days stopped drinking as well. Regardless of what we offered her (meaty bits etc.) she just wasn’t having any of it. The Captain started syringing water into her to stave off dehydration however when she started to be sick to her stomach we rushed her into town and saw a vet on an emergency basis. At the vets she was put on fluids and xrays were taken. The vet thought that perhaps there was an obstruction in her GI tract but he wasn’t sure from the xrays, but thought perhaps an ultrasound would be needed to confirm if there was or wasn’t an obstruction. Miss E spent the night at the vet and appeared to be a bit better so we brought her home and kept her hydrated and force fed her a bit of food. It was obvious that within another day that she wasn’t getting better so we were off to the vets again. The plan was to re-hydrate her again and then look at an ultrasound or perhaps some further tests.
We thought this through over night and decided we weren’t prepared to spend another $2000.00 Cdn. on a test we thought was dubious and offered no realistic solution. We called the vet to discuss further and on the call the vet advised he had reviewed Ellie’s blood work and now suspected she had a condition known as Addison’s Disease and he was doing confirmation tests. Shortly after he called and confirmed the Addison’s. Addison’s, simply put is a condition where the adrenal gland has stopped functioning. While not terminal it is a serious condition that is treatable by a combination of daily Prednisone and monthly Desoxycorticosterone Pivalate injections. Ellie was started on the medications and gradually over a period of 2 months she managed to return almost to her old self. The cautions for her condition however meant that she needed to be watched carefully as over stressing her could cause cardiac arrest.
Over the next several months we watched her carefully she was able to resume her daily walks and playtime with her friend Sophie. However her ongoing issue of separation anxiety was causing us concern as we unable to leave her alone for more than 20 to 30 minutes without her becoming frantic. We observed this behavior by remotely watching her in the trailer via a “baby cam”. Her distress was obvious and so was ours seeing her like this. And if this was not enough for the poor little girl she had to go back to the vet in Vernon to pull a couple of baby teeth that hadn’t come out on their own. While doing this dental work the vet found she had dental condition that had caused several other teeth to lose their enamel and start to rot and break off. She ended up having 6 teeth extracted and because of the extra anesthetic she did very poorly post op and had to go back to the vet for further hydration and nourishment. It looked like for a couple of days that she just wasn’t going to make it but she did hang in there and started recovering again.
As a result of her ongoing medical issues we thought long and hard about what we should for her as our plans for the next year or so was to continue our travels. This meant Ellie was going to be left alone and stressed quite often or we would be for want of a better term house bound. We had already gone through this for the past year where one of us was always home or staying in the truck with Ellie and our options for doing things together were very limited. We agonized in deciding what to do but in the end we opted to see if we could find a new home for Ellie.
We posted an ad to rehome her on a local website. The ad received over 200 views within the first week but no contacts most likely due to her condition and ongoing costs ($500.00 per year) which we had spelled out in detail. Then out of the blue we received a reply from a very interested family in West Kelowna (about 60 km from us). The very interesting thing about this family was that the mother had to retire last year due to a medical condition that required her to take the same medications Ellie was on so she understood quite well the side effects etc. and she was also able to be a stay at home Mom to Ellie. We both felt it was as about as perfect a match as we could have come up with. In addition the family also had a very laid back 7 year old basset hound named Clover who would be Ellie’s big sister and help to keep her calm. The Captain took Ellie to have a meet and greet with the family and the family’s young daughter of course fell in love with Ellie at first sight and we agreed to having Ellie being adopted by them.
Needless to say we had second thoughts about doing this but believed in our hearts that this was the best thing for Miss Ellie, so on July 23, 2018 Ellie moved in with her new family. We dearly miss our little girl but we do occasionally see pictures of her on the internet and see that she is doing well and loved a whole bunch.
We remember our Miss E as a beautiful, loving little girl that brought us 2 years of love and joy.