The second and final leg of Winston’s “freedom” flight was flown by Sarah, a long-time Pilots N Paws volunteer. She is awesome and her love for dogs is clearly evident! Winston met Sarah (with the help of his temporary foster mom, Michaela) at the airport in Omaha, Nebraska late at night, and about 4 hours later they safely landed in Denver. You can read about his first flight at this link.
Because of some obvious health concerns (including possible kennel cough) which we were aware of long before he arrived, Winston visited the doctor his first day in Colorado where he received a thorough exam which included lab work and x-rays. These were the findings:
- Missing right eye; limited vision in left eye due to immature cataract which vet feels is treatable without surgery
- Partially deaf
- Poor mobility; weakness in all 4 legs
- Urinary tract infection
- Slightly elevated kidney and liver values which may be due to untreated UTI; will be rechecked after treatment of UTI
- Severe dental disease
- Mild bronchitis and tonsillitis, likely due to dental disease
- Extreme curvature in his spine due to arthritis, collapsed discs and old injuries
- Heart looks good; no significant enlargement, and no discernible murmur
Winston is receiving appropriate medications and treatments for what ails him, including laser therapy, and we are optimistic that he will be well enough to undergo a dental sometime in the next month or so (as long as he gets an okay from our cardiologist). He doesn’t have a lot of teeth left, and we suspect he’ll lose what teeth remain, but he will feel so much better once they’re gone. Winston’s back and spinal issues seem to be the worst of his long-term concerns at this point (assuming the antibiotics do their job on his UTI and the infection from his horrible teeth), but we expect improvement in those areas and that his pain level will decrease with the medication and therapies he is/will be receiving in the coming days and weeks.
Overall, in spite of his medical issues, Winston is a happy boy who loves playing in the yard and is quite active in spite of his mobility issues. He loves the outdoors and exploring his new surroundings, both inside and out, and when he’s tired he loves nothing more than to curl up in his foster mom’s lap. He seems to be feeling better as each day passes. His appetite is good and he loves his soft food … and peanut butter for his meds. He loves peanut butter! He seems to know that he’s been given a second chance, and he’s taking full advantage of it.
Dan and I had prior plans to be leave town about 16 hours after Winston arrived, so our time with Winston was not what we would have wished for, but we had arranged for our good friend (and fellow dog rescuer) Mary to manage Winston’s care during our 2-week absence. Mary has kept us updated daily and we’re grateful for that, and grateful for the photos she’s sent us.
After several days of proper medication, good nutrition, and of course LOTS OF LOVE, Winston is doing well and wagging his tail. The glimmer of hope in his eye that was first noted by the volunteer at the shelter in Chicago, where this little old dog was first discovered, has changed from “hope” to “thank you.”
You’ll never suffer again, little Winston. Welcome to your new life!
(be sure to look at the photos below)