Many of you weren’t around for Little Zee’s story. It was two years ago, far before this blog reached any sort of popularity. I was totally new to fostering, and decided to participate in her rescue from the shelter only because I had the help of one of the most knowledgeable, kind families I know: Love and a Six-Foot Leash. I remember driving Zabora home from her spay surgery, a drugged up, wide eyed dog in the back of my car, thinking, “What the heck have I gotten myself into?”
What I had gotten myself into was a remarkable story of how a community came together to save a dog who otherwise probably wouldn’t have had a chance. She was older (we guessed anywhere between eight or nine at the time, though now we know that estimate might have been a bit old), she wasn’t in great health and she had what we guessed was a neurological problem that gave her poor balance. The odds were against us, but our friends at Love and a Six-Foot Leash stepped forward to save her life and never looked back.
After just a few weeks bouncing between my home and L&ASFL’s home, Zabora found herself an amazing family. The couple she landed with are perfect for her, and she for them.
They named her Medivka and brought her in as their new family member. She has since gone on to become a big sister, too! Medivka’s family has been so great to keep us updated on how she is doing, every once in a while sending us an email with an adorable photo or quick update (seriously love my adopters). One email recently, though, had a different kind of update.
When she was with us, Medivka’s balance issues had us all stumped. We were unsure if it was vestibular disease, a really bad ear infection with permanent damage or a traumatic one time injury that had long lasting effects. The vet believed it was perhaps the last one on that list, but no one could know for sure. After her parents recently realized she was getting a bit worse, they took her back to the vet. She was diagnosed with cerebellar ataxia, which is a deterioration of nerves in the cerebellum. It explains her loss of balance, and why it has gotten worse (unfortunately, it’s a progressive condition).
Interestingly enough, the disease is a recessive genetic disease in American Staffordshire Terriers. Medivka is a purebred (determined by a DNA test) Am Staff, which explains why she is prone to the disease. Luckily, though, because it showed up later in her life and hasn’t been progressing at a rapid rate, everyone has hopes and expectations that she has a long and healthy life ahead of her.
Like I mentioned in my post last week, I’m feeling especially nostalgic these days. After going back and forth on email about little M’s newly diagnosed condition, I realized how badly I wanted to see her again. Mark and I talk about her all the time. Before Johnnie, she was the one Mark secretly wished we had kept. We often reminisce about how cuddly, friendly, outgoing and silly she is.
Medivka’s family was so nice and let us come by and visit on Saturday afternoon. We spent our visit on the floor with Medivka, petting and loving on her just like we had the chance to do two years ago. Her family told us how her daily routine is to observe the household happenings and hang out with her little sis, with some walks in the neighborhood and sunbathing in the yard sprinkled throughout her day. She is a very lucky dog – and, this past Saturday, we were lucky former foster parents.
Thank you, Medivka and family, for letting us visit and remember why we loved this little monkey so much! It’s crazy to think that it’s been two full years since we first met. . . and yet, not much has changed :-).