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Pet safety on planes

Jul. 27th, 2005 | 11:52 am

FYI - we can look up the unfortunate reports on how many pets traveling in the baggage holds of US commercial aircraft are killed, lost or injured while in each airline's care.

This is a new DOT policy for airlines to report. (thanks to animal rights groups!)

http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/reports/atcr05.htm

In the July 2005 report, these stats were listed for May 2005:

Carrier Death Injury Loss
AlaskaAir 1 1
ComAir 1
Continental 2 1
Frontier 1
Northwest 1 1
USAir 1

Total 4 5 1

In reading the report, you can click on each airlines' link to find out the details of each occurrence.

For example, in Continental's case, they reported the TOTAL ANIMALS SHIPPED DURING REPORTING PERIOD: 6,372.
The one injury occurred to a cat, who escaped its kennel. (no flight involved)
One of the deaths occurred to a dog "The dog died of natural causes, not because of transit " on a flight from Hawaii to New York.

The second death was a rat, who "appeared to have died of natural causes, not because of transit. Rat was deceased upon arrival of the 1:15 flight between Houston, TX and McAllen, TX"

(feel free to pass on...)

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Thanks..

Oct. 20th, 2004 | 11:04 pm
mood: sadsad

Thanks so much to all of you who have sent your condolences to me over the past few weeks.

I received a wonderful book from my friends @ Buddies Thru Bullies (English Bulldog Rescue group). Though I have been the webmaster for the group (http://www.buddiesthrubullies.org - that's Nigel on the front page), and a member of their board of directors for over six years, I think they send this book to all members whose dogs have died.

The book is called "For Every Dog An Angel," written & illustrated by Christine Davis. It's such a sweet story, with watercolored artwork. I am most grateful for this book.

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Last entry

Oct. 2nd, 2004 | 05:00 pm
mood: crushedcrushed

This will be the last entry in this journal. I'll keep it active, as long as LJ allows me to.

I have enjoyed writing in it, on behalf of my beloved Nigel.

I miss him madly.

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Nigel Harrison August 19, 1995 - September 30, 2004

Sep. 30th, 2004 | 04:55 pm
mood: crushedcrushed

(Nigel's Mum again...)



We said goodbye to Nigel today.

I played with him, scratched him all over, and hugged him. Then, my husband took him to the vet, while I stayed home w/ the baby.

Nigel looked at me as the car was backing out. It was the saddest look. I'll never forget it.

My husband stayed with Nigel up until they injected him.

I hadn't given him his meds that morning & my husband said Nigel was panting & stumbling. The meds were keeping him alive.

The vet said that it was time for Nigel to go. He was surprised that Nigel could lie down with such a swollen belly.

Oh, poor Nigel. He was such a sweet doggie. I love him so much.

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from Nigel's Mum

Sep. 28th, 2004 | 11:11 pm
mood: sadsad

Nigel's Mum here again.

We made The Decision, and I amde the appointment for Thursday.

I am so upset. But Nigel is not going to get any better...and he jus tlooks up at me with those sad eyes. I know he is uncomfortable & I wish there was more that I can do. But all I'm doing, by giving him these meds, his prolonging this suffering.

I have been in love with Nigel since the day he was born - August 19, 1995. I tried to give him the best life - he certainly was a spoiled bully. I used to take him all over Miami - Coconut Grove, South Beach, and our old neighborhood of Coral Gables. I even took him to work a few times. (Hard to do when you're a high school teacher.)

I've dedicated websites and even created the English Bulldog Webring with his picture. That will go on forever. And, he's also the poster child for Buddies thru Bullies. The website is http://www.buddiesthrubullies.org and check out the t-shirts at http://www.cafepress.com/helpabulldog

Owning a pet can bring years of joy, but it's this decision that is the hardest part of pet ownership.

Nigel, I will always love you. You have been the best dog I have ever owned. I wish my children would have been able to play with you. You have been so sweet & obedient. You have such a personaliy - kids always loved to play with you. You were famous at the Youth Center - the kids always crowded around you...and you loved the attention.

I hope that when you cross The Rainbow Bridge, you will be able to romp & dance like you used to, and that there are tons of biscuits & "Wilsons" for you to play with. I will miss your snoring, your slobber

I love you, my sweet little bulldog.

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From Nigel's Mum

Sep. 6th, 2004 | 09:48 am
mood: sadsad

It's Nigel's Mum again...

I had the baby on Aug 17, an emergency c-section. It's a boy - his name is Jake. He was born 2 days before Nigel's birthday.

Meanwhile, things with Nigel have taken a downslide. Here is the entry from my personal LJ. PLease don't hate me for what I'm writing.

(BTW, "DH" = my husband)

As you know, Nigel, my 9 yr old English Bulldog, is suffering with a heart condition, brought on this summer, probably exacerbated by the move from Miami to Seattle..but it was still inevitable, acc to the vet.

I have to admit - I am feeling very overwhelmed with the baby...and being in a new place, where I know no one. Nigel's condition is not helping, either.

You see, though Nigel is on the meds (4 pills, 3 times a day), he doesn't seem to be improving. He's lethargic - he doesn't even bark to be let out & has been urinating in the house. His stomach keeps filling with fluid, even though I've brought him to the vet to have them drain it. (One time they drained 3 liters!) His gums are white.

The timing of this breaks my heart - I love that dog so much - but I have a newborn baby now. I don't want to sound like one of those people who wants to get rid of the dog when a baby comes....which is why I'm posting here.

I don't want to sound like I'm making excuses, but my new house is 3 levels. Our bedrooms are on the top floor..kitchen, living/dining room on on the middle floor, & Nigel stays in the family room, which is in the basement (it's "finished" - there's also a guest bedroom & full bath down there) & opens up to the backyard. It's difficult for him to climb up the stairs to join me in the kitchen/living room...plus, the vet said to limit his stair climbing, due to his swollen stomach. To top it all off, it's colder in the basement..too cold for me to bring the baby at this point. Not to mention that I am still recovering from the c-section, and I am unable to go up & down the stairs more than necessary.

DH is working all day & into the night, so I am home by myself. My mom was here since the beginning of August, but she left last week because of the Hurricane...she'll be coming back in a couple of weeks or so.

Back to Nigel...yes, the thought that I have dreaded is in my mind. I think about it all the time...and honestly, I am crying a lot. I think I am suffering from post partum depression...but that's another story. To see Nigel so sad & basically immobile breaks my heart...but to put him to sleep if there's still hope wracks me with guilt...esp because I brought him cross country & probably sentenced him to this death. I feel even more guilty when I miss giving him his pills at the right time. If only I had more time to spend with him...but all he does is sit there - he doesn't get his toys to play with, he hardly eats, unless I add canned dog food. He's eating and drinking, which I know is a good sign.

When I come downstairs, he doesn't even get up. Yesterday, I cleaned up his mess 3 times...and we have carpet down there. Because I'm still healing, it's hard for me to bend & clean it thoroughly. LAst month, when he got really sick, he had diarrhea all over - I had to call the carpet cleaner to come twice in one week.

And then there's taking him to the vet. I go to one that the Bulldog Club of Seattle recommended & they're a 20 min drive on the freeway. Though there are vets who are closer, I'm happy with the practice - if I'd gone anywhere else, I'd feel guilty I didnt give Nigel the best treatment. But now, I have the newborn...how am I going to juggle getting Nigel in the car & bringing both him & the baby to the vet? LAst week, DH went with me (I havent been able to drive until this weekend, because I was taking meds), and Mom was here to stay w/ the baby. But now, DH is back to work, Mom is gone, I don't know a babysitter yet (nor do I want one @ this point - Jake's only 3 weeks old)...

So, I think you see where this is going. My brother (he's an MD & a doglover) said that maybe it's time to put Nigel to sleep, because he is suffering...and sometimes, it's good to put an end to his suffering. But, I just feel so bad thinking of that! It feels so selfish. DH mentioned giving Nigel to the rescue here, but I won't go for that. Yes, THAT is selfish, I know, but I'm the only Mom that Nigel has ever known.

How much more time should I give Nigel? What if he stays this lethargic way & shows no improvement? I can't keep going to the vet every week to have his belly drained.

The tears are pouring down my face as I type this...I am so distraught over what to do.

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doing better

Aug. 10th, 2004 | 11:49 pm
mood: contentcontent

Hullo, it's me again. I am feeling much better. As Mum reported, I was very very sick. I don't want to go into details, because it makes Mum very sad (and you know she's typing all this for me), but let me just say THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR PRAYERS.

I have been feeling so good since I got back home, that I am climbing up the stairs to be with Mum, even though the doctor toldme I shouldn't. So, since I'm doing what _I_ want to do, Mum moved my dinner bowl upstairs, and now I get to eat with her. And she gives me food scraps once again.

Twice a day, Mum gives me my medication, usually wrapped in a piece of turkey. I am taking 5 different pills. One of them is for diarrhea, but Mum is only giving me half of that pill each time now.

I am getting used to lifein the new house. I was feeling so good last night that I actually went up to the top floor of the house, where the bedrooms are & where Mum has her computer. There's also this room that has new furniture in it. I saw a cute stuffed lamb on a shelf, and I took it to play with it, but Mum said NO! And every time I went into this room, Mum would shoo me out.

Grandmum came to town a few days ago, and she is in the room down in the basement, next to the room where I sleep. So I go to visit her once in a while. But at night, Mum puts me in my crate. I don't mind - I am getting used to it.

Dad hasn't been around much. I heard Mum tell Grandmum that the project is at the end, so he has to put in long hours.

Mum still has her big belly.

Today, Mum & Grandmum took me to the vet. The vet is a nice lady - I was actually happy to see her. She said I looked great, so I humped her leg! Hubba hubba! I also gave her lots of kisses while she tried to listen to my heart. Mum was very happy with what the doctor said...and I am too. I am feeling good, and almost back to my old self. But I have lost a lot of weight - I am down to 58 lbs and usually, I am just over 60. Mum just needs to spoil me some more!!!!

well, thanks again to everyone for your prayers. they really worked. I am happy to be here.

Love,
Nigel

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NIGEL IS HOME!!!!!!!!!!!1

Aug. 5th, 2004 | 10:21 pm
mood: thankfulthankful

Nigel was @ the vet's last week from Tues-Fri, but when we brought him home, he had bad diarrhea. It was difficult for me to clean up, being 38 wks pregnant. On Friday night, after eating, Nigel vomited, passed out & started convulsing. My husband was there & got Nigel "out of it," but we ended up rushing him to an emergency vet at 1am, just in case. The vet said that Nigel probably ate too fast, vomited, & aspirated some of the vomit, which caused him to pass out.

Saturday, we were exhausted & missed our baby prep class...and luckily, we found a carpet cleaning service who came out that day.

But Sunday night, it happened again. So on Monday, I brought Nigel back to the vet & asked them to keep him until they resolve the diarrhea problem...because my husband is working 15 hr days & I just can't handle the cleaning at this point. I was also hoping they'd drain more of the fluid that had accumulated in his belly.

Tuesday afternoon, they said that it had cleared up - the dr gave him Flagil (sp?), in addition to his heart meds. His belly looks more normal now too. Yeahy! I wasn't able to pick Nigel up until today...and boy, am I glad to have my ol' Nigel back!

My mother is coming tomorrow & staying for 6 weeks. Though she's here for the baby, I know she'll be able to help with Nigel too.

I've never been so happy to hear him snore!!!!!!!

Thanks to EVERYONE who prayed for Nigel. It worked!!!!!

(BTW, the reason why I hadn't updated this LJ is because I didn't have a computer for over a week! Sorry..)

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Post by Nigel's Mum

Jul. 27th, 2004 | 09:51 pm
mood: sadheartbroken

I'm typing this out in my own voice, becaus this is a serious message.

A few days after Nigel first arrived here in Seattle, my husband noticed his stomach swelling. I noticed his fatigue, but attributed it to the heatwave going on here in the Pacific Northwest. (BTW, the houses here have no air conditioning - unbelieveable for us Floridians.)

Last week, the groomer suggested he might have worms, because of his distended belly. So, not knowing a "bulldog-friendly" vet, I contacted the Bulldog Club of Greater Seattle, to see who they recommend. I got the first available appointment, which was this morning.

Now, mind you, I am 37 weeks pregnant & just moved into a new house. We have 500 boxes all over the place & I am unable to lift anythign over 10 lbs.

Anyway, I had to lift Nigel to get into the car. I took along a fecal sample of his for testing. The vet said that his stomach DID look distended, but his fecal was clear. That meant the condition is worse.

After a day of testing, Nigel has heart failure. His heart is enlarged, due to stress (the move & the heat, probably), and it's caused edema - fluid accumulation in his stomach. The vet drained 3-4 cups of the stuff, and will have it analyzed, to make sure there's no cancerous cells. She also called the cardiologist to check Nigel, but that won't be till Friday.

Nigel will stay @ the vet's office till then, because it's air conditioned, the vet can check on him throughout the day, and it will relieve me of having to get him in & out of the car. I will do my best to visit him daily, but seeing as I have 2-3 weeks before I am due to give birth, my time is limited.

Now, if the fluid comes back positive for cancer, then the vet suggested we have to make The Decision. If the fluid is clear, then Nigel's heart condition can be treated - not cured. He will have maybe a few more months to live.

The vet explained that heart disease is congenital - it would've eventually happened. Just that the latest stresses caused it to happen now.

Nigel will turn 9 years old on Aug. 19. That's considered a long life for a bulldog. Coincidentally, our son is due to be born on Aug. 18.

Please, say a prayer for Nigel, my first baby. I love him so much. I've had him since he was 8 weeks old. I truly am devastated by this.

By the way, we are having air conditioning installed in our new home tomorrow. We made the decision before we found out about Nigel.

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Lots has happened in the past month

Jul. 8th, 2004 | 11:46 pm
mood: contentcontent

Mum has been really busy for the past month. Maybe because her belly is getting bigger...or..well, here's the story.

Dad left us for some reason in May. Mummy was very sad. He took his computer with him & some of his clothes. Mummy assured me I'd see him again, but I just didn't understand. I'd go into his office & just LOOK for him...he wasn't there. Little by little, his scent drifted away. Where did he go?

Meanwhile, Mum started cleaning out stuff, throwing things away. She also kept the house really neat, because these people started to come in - sometimes, when she's not home! I wouldn't know what they were doing, because Mum would lock me up in my room & close the door. Other times, she'd put the leash on me & take me for a walk, or sit with me in the patio while these strangers walked all through the house. Since Mum didn't seem scared, I didn't go into "protective" mode.

A few weeks ago, as I wrote, Mum took me to the vet for my shots, and they stuck something in my back called a microchip! OUCH! I don't know what it is. But several days later, we went back for a checkup. The vet tech took out this thing & waved it over my back & it beeped. Mum was happy & said, "Yeahy! The microchip works!" I don't know why she wanted this thing stuck in my back now, when I'm almost 9 years old. But it doesn't bother me anymore.

Anyway, a few days after that, these guys came over to the house & started packing EVERYTHING up. I mean, EVERYTHING, down to the last bit! I couldn't believe it. I don't know what's going on!!!!

Mum packed me up & took me to her mum's house...my Grandmum. I'd been there before, so I know what the story is. But I am still concerned over all our stuff being packed up at our house.

the next morning, Mum woke me up really early. She got that damn squawking bird too. She put my harness on me - oh, how I HATE wearing that. And then we went outside. There was this big van waiting. A nice lady came out, but she smelled weird. Mum & Grandmum walked me over to the door...and I heard barking! And it smelled like ANIMALS! What in the world is this? I didn't want to get on.

Mum started to get sad, and she said she wanted to take me in the house cuz she forgot something. When she wanted to go back outside, I plopped down on the ground. No, there's something about that van. the others warned me. I don't want to go. Mum pulled on my harness, but I was being very difficult. I walked a little bit, because I knew she couldn't pick me up because of her big belly. But I collapsed on the walk outside. uh uh - I'm not going!

The nice lady & Grandmum were on the other side of the bus & finally walked over & saw what was going on. So, the lady came & picked me up...and put me on the bus, in a crate, with a t-shirt that Mummy wore last night & a toy. I was next to some kind of yappy dog...and I was NOT HAPPY. What is going on? I heard that damn bird in the back of the bus, loud as ever. Great, he's here too. And I was surrounded by all kinds of dogs.

Before the lady closed the crate door, Mummy kissed me & told me she's see me in a few days. She was sad, the tears were going down her face. Normally, I'd want to lick them up, but I was just too confused over what was going on.

So, I spent 6 days on this bus, which stopped every 4-5 hours. There was a man on the bus too. The man & woman took turns driving. And the woman was the one who walked us. oh, it felt good to stretch my legs. And they fed us. I didn't eat for the first few days. But eventually, I got used to it all & started eating. They gave us fresh water too, and cleaned out our crates. All the while, I was wondering what was going on...why did Mummy put me on this crazy bus? Who were these people? They were nice enough...but this was just unbelieveable. I miss my "place," my blankie, and all my toys...but mostly, I missed MUM.

Eventually, they moved me to the back of the bus where the air conditioner was colder. There were other big dogs here. Great Danes, St. Bernards..even another bulldog. Poodles, terriers.. we all asked each other the same thing: just what the heck is going on?

Then, one afternoon, they came to get me out of my crate. I walked out of the bus, and who was standing there in front of some strange house?!?!? MUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was kind of out of it, so I wasn't exactly excited to see her. But I did poop on the front lawn of the house. Mummy bent down as much as she could & gave me hugs & kisses. She said I looked great...and told the man & woman that she thought I'd have lost weight.

Mum took me into the new house & took off that harness. Oh, it felt so good to get that off! I explored the house & she showed me my new bowls & a new "Wilson." I also smelled a familiar scent..could HE be here too? A few hours later, Daddy walked into the house!!!! He was so happy to see me...and I was happy to see him, but I was still very tired from my journey.

I heard Mum tell the story to someone on the phone: she took me to the vet to get a microchip, in case I got lost on this transport. The bus is called Feathers & Fur Vanlines. She decided on this transport because the airplanes wouldn't take pets because it's too hot. So, the bird & I got on the bus in Miami and it brought us to Seattle. I didn't know this, but Mum was calling the drivers 2-3 times a day to check up on me.

It's been a week & a half since we've been in this new house. It has stairs & though I don't like to go up them, I like to be with Mummy. So I follow her everywhere, and stay right by her side.

Today, my old toys arrived...including my blankie & pillow!!! Mum didn't wash them before she left, so they still had my old smell on them. Maybe after she finds me a groomer, she'll wash the toys too.

I'm now snoring under her computer desk...just like in the old house. :)

To see pictures, check out my website @ http://nigelthebully.tripod.com

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