360 pugs rescued since October, 2005
Kiwi - 11 Year Old Female
At the Rainbow Bridge

At the Rainbow Bridge, December 13, 2018

Kiwi was my foster pug for just over a month. During that time her little paw touched my heart. She struggled with health issues but that didn't let her sass from illuminating the room.

She loved the big space at Pugalug's PugClaus event. She walked in continuous circles around the room as I hobbled behind her. If you met her at PugClaus, but she didn't respond, it's because her brain wasn't quite working right. Just know that she was glad for the attention but had "many miles to go before her sleep".

Those same health issues finally caught up with her. In just a short period of 24 hours I saw the change come over her. I knew she was in pain. After consulting with the vet and Pugalug's foster team, I decided to let her go to the Rainbow Bridge.

She loved her food. Whenever I was getting it ready for her bowl, she would be at my feet making the strangest, urgent, bark. It sounded like "redrum" from that scene in the movie The Shining. So while I got the food ready she would bark and I would answer back in the voice "REDRUM", "REDRUM". The resident pugs couldn't figure out what was taking so long for breakfast. Kiwi would hurl her face with gusto into the bowl and food would fly everywhere.

When she refused to eat her breakfast is when I knew a dramatic change had happened in her condition.

When we got home from our daily walk, she would run down to the end of the hallway in our building and then come running back as I called her. It was her queenly procession. On her last day she could not even walk. I gently placed her in the cart to take her to Downtown Animal Hospital. She looked out for awhile but eventually fell asleep until we got there.

In the end, as she was getting her sleep medication, I looked into her eyes and told her she was loved and that we were taking the pain away. She looked into my eyes and then closed hers.

Run free Kiwi. You were a good girl.

Foster Update, December 8, 2018

Kiwi had her second vet visit. She weighs 11.1 kg and we decided to bring that weight down, given the condition of her hips and back legs. I'm reducing the food amount by 1/3 can. Of course, Kiwi was simply delighted with this diet plan and has expressed her total agreement by barking at my face when it is time to eat.

She had the bile acid tests test and they are elevated. I will continue to monitor her behaviour for signs of ataxia, unresponsiveness, pacing blindness. Also internal signs like vomiting, diarrhea, blood in stools.

Her blood test showed low albumin, which the vet attributes to her liver condition. Here thyroid check was low so she is in thyroid medication and we will recheck it in the new year.

Because of her history with urinary tract problems, we are going to do an ultrasound to check for stones.

She will be going in next week to recheck the urine for the ecoli infection.

She is drinking a lot of water. I can't take her out as often as she should go so there have been some accidents in the house. She does sleep soundly throuigh the night. I figured out that she was barking in the middle of the night at a mirror image of herself. Once I removed the mirror she is no longer disturbed. She needs to go out as soon as she gets up and is good in waiting for me to get ready and carry her down. Once she does her business she is hopping around the back yard like a bunny, exploring all the spaces.

I still need to maintain her distance from the resident pugs at meal times. Her food tends to spill on to the mat and floor so after I take the bowl away, she is sniffing around for leftovers.

There are 3 steps going up to my front entrance way. Kiwi is now able to climb those 3 steps on her own. However, she gets cold easily so we will only be doing limited walks once the snow comes and the temperature falls.

Kiwi attended Pugalug's PugClaus and spent most of the time walking around and around. She would stop from time to time for a pet from someone but then was off again. However, she was startled by other pugs so she will be staying home next time.


Foster Update, November 27, 2018

Kiwi has settled into her foster home. She has a couple of places she likes to sleep at night. I put her blanket in the crate and that is her favourite spot. Then there is the big dog bed in the bedroom. Sometimes she will bark in the middle of the night. Maybe she woke to something she heard or she just wants my company. In the morning, when she needs to go pee, she will bark to let me know. She drinks a lot of water so I take her out first thing.

It is a good thing she drinks a lot because of her medical history with her urinary tract infection. However, her urinalysis revealed an e-coli infection in her urinary tract so she is on anti-biotics and will be retested in a couple of weeks. She was a delight at the vet's office and she charmed Dr. Steed and Downtown Animal Hospital. The x-rays did show a mild to moderate hip dyplasia. Her back leg muscles are weak which accounts for her difficulty getting up the stairs. She is now off the Metacam and seems to be more invigorated. I don't see any indication of pain. In fact, she now has a little routine of when she comes back from the walk, she first bounces down to the end of the hallway and then comes running back when I call her.

She only has about 4 teeth left. When she eats her canned food, she doesn't have the dental to keep it in her mouth so it ends up all around the eating mat. She eventually finds and finishes it all but I have to keep the resident hounds at bay until she finishes. There is some tartar build up around the teeth.

She is still protective of her food and have to keep her well separated from the others whenever there is food. Of course, with only 4 teeth, I'm more worried about her than the others. But it is funny to see her turn to the others during feeding time and attempt to try to gum them. She lowers her head and opens her jaws and tries to wrap them around a leg. I've nicknamed her Kiwi Shark.

She seems to be doing better with her eye sight. When it is dark, I have to shine the flashlight in front of her so she can see the objects. .But she now knows where things are and can navigate easily around the room.

Her second vet visit is planned where we will be doing a bile acid test to check the condition of her organs. And we'll be doing wellness check of her blood.

Kiwi is getting to know some of the people in the neighbourhood. She loves to look up into their eyes and do a little bunny hop for attention.


Introduction, November 11, 2018

Kiwi has come back to Pugalug due to a medical issue in her adoptive home. She is 11 years old now. Kiwi has adjusted slowly to her new foster home. At first she was confused and hanging out by the front door. However, she is now on a regular schedule, knows the routine, and is enjoying the new neighbourhood.

She is blind in one eye and a little unsteady on her hips so we walk slowly and carefully. She often looks and stands in the direction we just came from, so I gently call her and, as she turns to my voice and sees me, starts a little jaunt forward.

She loves attention and is happy to approach people to be petted.

We are still working on integrating with the resident pugs. Kiwi does not like to have other dogs around her when she is eating so we have a separate area for her at feeding times. She is on Royal Canin Renal Support canned food.

As she is a senior, we have a few medical issues we need to investigate. Her bladder, liver, and hips need to be scanned, and she needs wellness blood work and dental work. She has her first vet visit at Downtown Animal Hospital next week. We'll have an update for her after that vet visit.

Kiwi's original page can be found here.