Diary entries from the rescue dog Estelle documenting her journey through her heartworm treatment and how being in a loving foster home changed her life. Please stay tuned every Thursday at 5 pm for a new diary entry.
Dear Diary – I think I’m going on an adventure…
I’m sitting in this kennel and I heard someone say I have heartworms. Not sure what those are, but by the sound of their tone, they don’t sound good. Then I see this lady appeared, crouched low in front of me who sing-songy said, “Come here, pretty girl.” Frightened by this strange person, I tucked my tail and cowered in the corner furthest away from her.
All of a sudden I hear, “I think we can foster her.” I wasn’t sure what that meant either, but soon, she and another lady looped this rope thing, I think they called it a leash, around my neck and tried to get me to leave my kennel. I balked and pushed myself back even further into the corner of my kennel. The only way I was leaving this safe kennel was in someone’s arms… and that is just what they did. They carried me through HSNEGA and hoisted me into a car I’ve never seen before… and I’ve seen my fair share of cars after living on the streets. As the car started to move my heart was beating out of my chest and my mind was racing. I’m going on an adventure… or a nightmare? I’m wasn’t quite sure.
Signing off for now, Estelle
Dear Diary – That was the longest night ever…
Last night felt like it would never end. I was so scared in this new house. I couldn’t help but howl and cry ALL NIGHT LONG. That lady who brought me to this new place must’ve heard me crying. She turned on the lights and played me some calming music. That helped a little, but I still didn’t sleep well.
When the sun finally came up all I could hear was someone singing, “good morning,” and then that same lady appeared. Again, she tried to get me out of my safe kennel. Not sure why these people want to keep taking me out of my kennels…
She made kissy noises and then opened the door to the outside. She even threw some stinky things called dog treats near me… I guess thinking it would get me out of my safe space. I had NO interest in leaving. Besides, the “treats” didn’t smell like anything appetizing. The lady came back with some grilled chicken. That actually smelt pretty tasty and the smell somehow took over my brain and convinced me to leave my kennel. Slowly of course. Can’t be too cautious. She took me outside and told me what a good girl I was. I even gave her some doggy kisses.
This lady they call my foster mom may be kinda nice but I’m still a little unsure about this whole foster home and heartworm thing. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.
Still slightly confused, Estelle
Dear Dog Diary – It’s been a crazy, eventful week…
I figured out what this leash thing is and WOW, I LOVE IT. When it goes on, I get to go outside. And nothing gets my tail wagging, I discovered, like a walk outside… well, besides chicken! This foster mom lady took me all around her neighborhood. I had a blast!
I “MAY” have panicked when my foster mom left me alone in the crate after one of our walks. I ripped the dog bed into shreds and busted out of the bottom. Whoops. You can’t blame me though. She’s awesome and I couldn’t see her, so the fear kicked in and took over. I “MAY” have chewed a wire too. Lucky for me, my foster mom didn’t get mad. She wrapped me up in a hug and soothed me with her voice.
After I calmed down, she walked away and I heard her talking on the phone with the HSNEGA Foster Team. It sounded like they were talking about me. Whatever they were talking about, I now have this new plastic crate and toys to keep me entertained when my foster mom is gone. Best news yet– my new crate is now in foster mom’s bedroom, so it’s not as scary as before. She told me not to worry, we’ll practice crate training. I’m sure I’ll learn what that is soon.
So now, it brings me to the fact that I also overheard I’m going in for this heartworm treatment. Sounds like I didn’t have anyone to give me a preventive medicine so I got these worms in my heart from a mosquito bite. Gross! I’ve heard the procedure is not easy, but that when I’m done, I’ll be able to live a long and happy life.
~Trying to stay positive, Estelle
Dear Diary – I think I’m starting my heartworm treatment…
My foster mom told me I was going in for my first heartworm treatment. AND have you ever seen a heartworm treatment needle before? 😳 I hadn’t either – UNTIL TODAY. All of a sudden my foster mom and I walked into a familiar room. It was dim and loud. An overwhelming feeling rushed over me as the flashbacks hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew exactly where I was.
They were trying to put me back in the same kennel my foster mom first took me out of. It’s weird. Just a few weeks ago I didn’t want to leave, and now… I don’t want to go back in. Please don’t make me go back in there. My foster mom picked me up and told me it was going to be ok. I trusted her and just hoped she would be back to get me soon. I couldn’t tell how much time went by but it felt like an eternity before another lady came to take me out of the kennel for my heartworm treatment.
The needle was like 10 feet long… ok, so maybe not that long. But it’s defiantly GINORMOUS and YOUCH it wasn’t a pleasant experience at all. In fact, after my injection, I stayed all day in the care of the HSNEGA Medical Team to make sure I didn’t have any bad side effects to my injection. This heartworm treatment is big stuff. The good news is I made it through this step of my journey. The bad news is all these yucky heartworms aren’t gone quite yet. Extra bad news… any pup who has one of these injections is on activity restriction for a month! YIKES! No walks, no roughhousing, no playtimes for a month.
So I’m taking the time to remind anyone reading this – PLEASE GIVE YOUR DOG HEARTWORM PREVENTION!!! This treatment regime isn’t for the weak and is totally preventable!
Please keep me in your thoughts as I battle these things.
PS, Thank you for everyone who donated to my care and made it possible for me to get this life-saving treatment!
Dear Diary – It’s me again, Estelle…
I’m on activity restriction now that this heartworm treatment is starting to get rid of those yucky heartworms. If I move around too much the heartworms could get dislodged in my heart and whatever that means, I hear it’s not good. So, it’s short potty breaks outside for me and lots of R&R. Luckily my foster mom has some comfy dog beds.
Yes, right then and there I dropped into the white fluffies and started to roll around. My foster mom’s kids came outside and started sledding and making snowmen. I really wanted to play too but she brought me back inside and told me to “go lie down” so I could rest. I wanted so badly to go back out and play but I listened to my foster mom because she knows best and because I’m a good dog. de. We do this routine at least four times a day because I’m housetrained! At least that’s what foster mom calls it. I call it, being a good dog! =)
Imagine my surprise on Saturday when I went out for a potty break and the ground was covered with WHITE STUFF. Fluffy white stuff falling from the sky. Fluffy white stuff on the ground. Fluffy white stuff everywhere. It was beautiful. My tail uncontrollably started to wag and then, activity restriction or not, I couldn’t resist making snow angels.
Yes, right then and there I dropped into the white fluffies and started to roll around. My foster mom’s kids came outside and started sledding and making snowmen. I really wanted to play too but she brought me back inside and told me to “go lie down” so I could rest. I wanted so badly to go back out and play but I listened to my foster mom because she knows best and becauses I’m a good dog.
Still, that white fluffy stuff was awesome and I have to say, it was the BEST POTTY BREAK EVER!
Signing off for now. ~Estelle
Dear Diary – I think I’m a PAWcasso…
Still no walks or playtime for me while my heartworm treatment medication has a chance to get rid of all those yucky worms in my heart. Since I can’t go for long walks, I’ve been learning some new tricks; like giving kisses, loading up into the car with no help and sitting. In fact, as long as I’m asked in a super sweet voice I will sit, come, lay down, load up, kiss and kennel up. Foster mom asked me in a firm voice to COME the other day… I tucked my tail and slunk into the closet. She says I’m sensitive… I say I just DON’T like firm or loud voices….
Bottom line, I LOVE chilling out with my people and spending time with them. If my foster mom is watching TV – I flop on the floor in front of her and take a nap. If shespends time painting, then I’m right there with her. She told me that there is this ART with HEART event this weekend to raise money for me and all the other rescues. So I picked up the brushes right with her and painted a self-portrait… Found out I’m a real PAWccaso. I think I missed the donation deadline, but maybe they’ll sneak it in. The heartworm treatment takes time and $$$, I’d like to feel like I helped out in some way. If it doesn’t my foster mom says it will go home with my future PAWrents!
The best news is that I am feeling a bit better. Foster mom says, “You’ve got a spring in your step.” That means I’m now counting down the days until my second and third heartworm treatment next week. Feeling even better = WOO. Needles = BOO. Foster mom says that also means if everything looks good – I’ll be available soon for adoption too. That word adoption sounds a little scary but she said that there is a forever family out there who will take things slow, help continue to build my confidence and love me a whole bunch. I’m hoping they will also give me heartworm prevention so I never have to go through this treatment and recovery ever again.
Signing off for now. ~Estelle
PS, I’m not available for adoption quite yet but if you think I’d be a good fit for your family, please email Foster@HSNEGA.org to set up for a meet and greet. I look forward to meeting you!
Please stay tuned every Thursday at 5 pm for a new diary entry.
If you’re interested in becoming a foster please visit HSNEGA.org/outreach/foster-family-volunteers or email Foster@HSNEGA.org for more information.