My Little Boy is No Longer A Baby
Today is Max's birthday! He is officially one year old and no longer a "puppy". We've been so much this year ever since Bunny and I adopted this little rascal. When we first got him, he was so skinny and addicted to pot (he would search out the reefers on sidewalks and follow suspicious people smoking weed on the street). Yes you just heard it. Max was addicted to the smell of weed as he was born in Oakland from some marijuana grower who wanted two giant dogs to guard their grow op. Well those two giant German Shepherd and Husky got a little too busy humping and resulted in many puppies.
One of them turns out to be Max.
As the story went, a girl rescued Max from the negligent grower and wanted to raise Max in her rented studio guesthouse along with two adult cats and a litter of four new born kittens. Any logical deduction thinking will point to the direction of "this isn't going to friggin' work out" zone. So after a week of rescuing this puppy, she had to throw in the towel and posted an adoption post on craigslist (for that I thank the creator of craigslist!) About two hours after, Max was already in our arms all happy to come home with us (I think he was bullied by those cats and really wanted out because he literally leaped right into my arms the moment I saw him).
So here began the whole crazy phase. At first we just thought that Max was the runt of the litter and accepted he was small and skinny to begin with. Soon we realized that he had constant diarrhea. The first thing we thought of was worms. So we began the whole fiasco of bringing him into the vet and taking his poop sample to be tested. Nothing came up positive and the clinic was clueless as to why he had the diarrhea (anyone living in the Santa Rosa area, do not go to the Human Society clinic there! I'll tell you the details of our super bad experience with them). At the end, they just gave us an iffy explanation that perhaps he was allergic to the shots they gave him.
Nope. That wasn't the cause and he continued to lose weight from the constant diarrhea. We were pretty much left in the dark with this sick puppy on our hand. So we started to Google about any possible solutions to Max's mysterious illness. We first targeted on food allergy. We basically tried from the most expensive organic puppy food down to the most basic puppy food. Yet he still pooped like the exorcist poltergeist attacked his butt. We even went as far as cooking the sick puppy diet for him which consisted of chicken and rice. At the moment of our desperation, I came across an illness called Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (short for EPI) that is rather common in German Shepherds and Huskies ,and especially Husky German Shepherd mix. As we went through the checklist of deciding whether Max might suffer from this illness, one thing really stood out.
Max was a horrible shit eater! He would basically eat any poop he found on his walks. As a matter of fact, it got worse to a point where he would eat pebbles and those lava rock bits in our flower bed. After reading that article, we were pretty sure that Max suffered from EPI. It means that his pancreas is failing to provide enough enzymes for his body to absorb any nutrients from his food no matter how much he eats. He was literally starving to death in front of our eyes and he was desperate to get any nutrients from anything and everything even other dogs' poop. There was that one day where he was so depleted from nutrient that he could barely walk and still tried to play with us.
Right away, we bought some of the pancreatin supplement pills and followed the website's instruction as to how to feed the pills to Max. Even though there were still some minor diarrhea, Max was getting better. Still we could tell he was underweight and malnutrition. We then realize that all the dog food was too processed for his sensitive digestive system. Even though we were really skeptical of the whole raw dog food diet, we had no choice but to try it. We mixed in raw minced turkey meat with cooked rice and minced raw spinach along with the pancreatin supplement. That's when wonder started to happen. Max was finally gaining weight and size! Ever since then that has been his diet.
As we moved here to Colorado, by chance our next door neighbor told us that they once had a German Shepherd mix that they had to put down after two years of struggle. They told us that their dog was also a shit eater and was very aggressive. When we told them our story and the explanation why their dog got so aggressive (how would you feel if you are so hungry all the time and nothing can satiate that feeling of hunger?), they got really quiet. My heart went out to them as Bunny and I knew so well the struggle we've been through ourselves. Yet, in the back of my mind, I was so glad that I didn't leave it up to the clinic to find out what was wrong with Max and I didn't give up on finding the answer.
It is just such a great reward to see him leaping and running around our yard with joy.
So here's to you, Maxipoo, my puppy.
I wish that you will be happy and healthy for many more years to come.