The Adventures of Willie

All of your notes + message regarding my last blog have been so heart-warming.  Thank you!

I appreciate all the questions and curiosity around Willie.

In a nutshell, we've had him for 9 months, and he is a different dog!  It was a lot of commitment and patience on our part, and certainly worth every minute.

Read on for more…

The short version: Willie today:

His favorite toy.

His favorite toy.

When we brought Willie home from the Richmond Animal Protection Society last February, his scratching, black skin and poor condition was simply what we could see internally.  Truth is, the poor boy has been on antibiotics or steroids for the better part of 3 years.  According to his vet records, which we were very lucky to have given he was a surrender, he was initially brought to the vet for scratching when he was 11 months old.  He was now 3.5 years old.

For all those years, he'd been cycling through rounds + rounds of antibiotics and steroids to absolutely no avail.

Thus begun my education + learning to use my voice.

I devoured online articles, newsletters and the Westies In Need website + itchy skin e-book.  What I determined, was that Willie had food allergies and most likely a low thyroid.  Both are incredibly common in Westies and contribute to skin issues and hair loss.  It also seemed he had yeast overgrowth from years of medication.

I basically went on leave for three months - we couldn't take our eyes off Willie for a second or he'd be biting + scratching and making himself bleed.  I wasn't sleeping or really even leaving the house.  This poor guy was in trouble and we couldn't leave his side.

It was frustrating, heart-breaking and the biggest challenge of my patience. 

After moving through three vets and being told, that he required steroids because the antibiotics didn't work, I asked for a months worth of thyroid medication.  The argument ensued because Willie's thyroid level was "low-normal" for a dog.  Yet, what I had learned thanks to Corrie at Westies in Need, was that his level was low for a Westie.

I bargained with the vet:  please give me thyroid medication for one month. ( I actually may have been crying at this point too)  If there's no improvement, I'll consider the medication.

Thyroid meds in hand, a new chapter began.

Within three days of the thyroid medication, Willie's scratching improved 70%.  I shit you not.  It was fucking unbelievable.  So simple, yet so effective.

Of course, while his itchiness improved, being off of the antibiotics brought an onslaught of health issues to the surface.  (it's important to note here, I'm doing everything I can to not drop eff-bombs)

You see, antibiotics + steroids, simply suppress issues.  Once the system begins to naturally heal + clear…WOW.

One morning at 3am, Willie shaking his ear woke us up.  It did not sound normal.  It was thick, heavy and gross.  {stop reading here if you have a weak stomach}

His ear was oozing goop, and not some, pretty, cute Gwyneth Paltrow type goop.  It was full-on, this has been pushed down for years and is coming our goop.  

Back to the vet…..and guess what, effing steroids for BOTH ears!  Not only that, recommended for 8 weeks.  EIGHT weeks.

After 4 days, I pitched the bottle.

What I know from leading igolu work is that the body is innately intelligent and my intuition leads, ALWAYS.  Every fibre of my being was telling me to get this guy off the drugs, feed him well, provide the proper supplements, get him outside as much as possible + love him to death.

Holding hands with Mike, that's what we did.  

And miracles happened.  Full on, real life miracles.

Honestly, this dog is an angel.

Slowly, he gained more energy, showed his thankfulness + personality by showering us with kisses and cuddles, began playing with toys, then, more recently, barking.  ALL things he'd never done.

His hair started to come back thicker and healthier than ever.

His eyes changed colour.

His skin turned pink.

He became a dog.

It's been the craziest, wildest ride.  I've learned so much from this guy than I could have ever imagined.  

Mike + I are so happy he's in our family and we could give him the home he deserves.

Tracy xo