I get loads of questions about Rosie, far too many to answer at once but here are answers to a few of the most frequent ones.
1. How old is Rosie? Rosie was born on Valentine’s Day 2-14-2010.
2. Is Rosie in pain? No. She feels pain like any other living being but she isn’t in pain unless she hurts herself. Her ears and mouth are very tender and she will squeak in protest when those areas are cleaned but other than that, she is fine. When I clean Rosie’s ears or cut her toenails, she squeals. I don’t think she is necessarily in pain, but she is uncomfortable. When she has had surgery, she has been in pain (as anyone would be) for a day or two afterward. I’ve learned that when she doesn’t feel well she won’t look at me. She wants to sit in my lap under a blanket and be left alone. When she is better, she pokes her head out and makes eye contact. She also will stay on her stomach and not turn on her side when she isn’t well. Lately she has been sleeping on her right side snuggled as tightly to me as she can – all’s good in her world.
3. Can Rosie see? Dr. Lupo examined her eyes and determined they function normally but we think her vision is probably not as sharp as it could be. Having said that…she follows skaters, surfers, skate boarders, and runners with the eyes of an eagle. She is fascinated by active people or animals, and will sit quietly with her little head moving back and forth, as she tracks their movement. Her eyes were very light sensitive for the first few months after rescue but they adjust quite well to indoor/outdoor conditions. To be safe, she does have doggie sunglasses that she wears if we are going to be out for more than an hour.
4. Can Rosie walk? Rosie’s bone conformation prevents her from fully using her legs. She has adapted, and walks balancing on her forearms and with her hind legs partially bent. She moves quite quickly when she wants to get somewhere. Her legs, chest and jaw configurations are due to genetic issues and there really isn’t any way to repair them. Her physical therapy sessions are primarily for social enrichment and to preserve the level of movement she has now.
5. Is Rosie a “normal” dog? Rosie is a stinker. If you try to eat something when she is in your lap or within snout distance, she will poke her face into your dish or the package. She growls at other dogs if they try to get into my lap. I tried to take some photos of her with the bunnies at Hope Ranch Animal Rescue today and she tried to chase them. Instead of getting some cute pictures, I got a Rosie covered in sawdust and some very terrified bunnies. So yes, Rosie is a normal dog in mind, if not body.
6. How do you know she is happy? Rosie doesn’t bark or make much of any noise. She expresses herself via her ear movements, with her eyes and her tail. When her ears are up and/or her eyes are wide open, she is curious, happy, engaged, and so forth. When her ears are flat and/or her eyes are squinting, she is asleep, frightened, tired or worried. When she is really ticked off, she gives me the stink eye. She is very easy to read once you get to know her. Rosie’s tail wags when she is happy, when she is playing, when we are getting ready to go out, and when she sees her meal is about to be served!
7. What’s wrong with Rosie’s skin? Why is she bald? We treated Rosie for mange last June – mange she probably had most of her life. She has hair on about 75% of her body at this point but it doesn’t appear that she will ever get much on her head, legs, neck, or tummy. Although, her immune system is improving, her skin is still very sensitive and easily scraped. If you look at her photos, you will see that this has been an issue all her life, she has a scar on her forehead and tiny scars on her legs from injuries she received before she was rescued. A tiny scrape for Rosie can turn into a serious issue – like the one we are dealing with on her ankle right now. To keep her safe, she wears clothing or is wrapped in a blanket when she is out of the house or exposed to any possible “danger” for her.
8. Does she have a good quality of life? I’d trade places with her…she gets anything and everything I can possibly provide. She has so much love in her life from friends, family, the world…and she never stops being curious. She is smart, loving and most of the time very content.
9. What’s with the whipped cream? I drink a lot of coffee and I like whipped cream on it. One day, Rosie stuck her nose in my iced mocha cup and helped herself. It is the one food item in this world that she will fight me for…she has tried to leap off the car seat to reach my mug…you see her legs…that’s no easy feat for her. Her digestion is weird, cow’s milk normally upsets a dog’s tummy but not hers. It gives her joy and it isn’t harming her…so why not.
10. Does Rosie need anything? Rosie has more toys, clothes and other goodies than I have room for. I put a bunch of my things in storage to accommodate her things and we have been sharing the bounty with other rescued dogs. That said…Rosie’s skin is so thin and her fur is so sparse, she always has to have a layer of protection between her and the outside world. Because a tiny cut can turn into a wound if not monitored, her blankets are washed and changed daily – I can’t risk her getting an infection. I spray her beds with antiseptic between uses and wash or sponge-clean them weekly. When she potties, she goes on wee pads or old towels that I put on the floor for her. I wash two loads of Rosie items and hang them out to dry every day! We were getting low on blankets and towels but she got a couple of truly fabulous presents this week – we should be good for now!
11. What’s the story with Rosie’s Zazzle store? Zazzle is a great way to provide cups, t-shirts etc without laying out the money to make, store and ship them yourself. However, it is not a great way to make money. For example, a mug that sells for $18 on Zazzle earns Rosie’s fund $1.69. It was not set up to make money, it was set up because people asked for things with her pictures and artists were wonderful enough to donate their artwork. The way I look at it, if you use or wear a Rosie item, there’s a chance a friend or a co-worker will ask you about her and you have the opportunity to educate them about hoarding, unethical breeding and the joy of caring for dogs with special needs.