Wednesday, June 24, 2009


So many of you have read Brinkley’s story on our Available Dogs Page and have helped us continue the treatment he needed for a full recovery. We thank you so much for your generous contributions to help this precious boy.

I thought it would be appropriate therefore to provide a little background on demodex mange. This information is for informal purposes only and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any animal.

Like it or not, mange comes from microscopic mites living on your puppy or dog as the host! I’ll spare you the million times magnified picture, but trust me; they are mean looking little devils. Also like it or not, almost all puppies and dogs have these little critters residing under their skin. Mites are passed from mother to puppy the first couple days of life through normal cuddling. In most cases, the mites cause no issues to either dog or puppy and everyone lives happily ever after. When something happens that compromises the puppy’s immune system like an illness, stress, neglect, less than sanitary conditions, etc., those nasty mites seize the opportunity to take control. This causes the mites to multiply too fast and to embed in the hair follicles and the result is hair loss and other side effects. It is important to note that sometimes the cause of the mite revolution is not clear or known. You can do everything right with your new addition, and mange still develops. Demodex manage is not considered contagious.

Some puppies are fortunate in that they only get localized demodex mange. This is usually no more than 3 places on the body (including face and feet) where there is visible hair loss. These cases often go away on their own and do not always require medical attention.

Our little Brinkley unfortunately had localized demodex mange and therefore no hair anywhere when he came into rescue. To further complicate the situation, the compromised immune system made worse by the mange made him more susceptible to illness and he caught pneumonia!

Demodex manage can be treated with powerful medicine or with dips. The medicine, called Ivermectin is usually faster but requires careful monitoring by the human involved. Too high a dose can cause some severe side effects. Some dogs such as collies cannot tolerate Ivermectin so the dips are the only choice for their treatment. The medicine is expensive and doesn’t taste very good either!

Once tolerance is established, a vet will usually start at a low dose and slowly increase to the full safe dose. Dosage is based in part on body weight and of course puppies are ever changing their body weight so this must be considered as well. A puppy can be on this medication for months or weeks depending on the severity of the mange, their overall general health and the number of active mites attacking the hair follicles. Eventually the goal is for the hair to grow back and the active mites to no longer show on a slide from skin scraping.

Brinkley has now recovered from a serious case of pneumonia and now has soft baby peach fur all over his adorable little body. His personality is blooming and he now wants to win the biggest prize of all – a forever home to call his own! He has proven himself to be quite the survivor. Maybe he is the match for you.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ever since Riley dropped into my life last September, I have become reacquainted with walking. It is no longer a matter of exercise, but of survival. Any activity which has the potential of wearing a puppy out is to be undertaken as often as possible. I now know most of my neighbors and their animal companions.
Sometimes a walk is just a walk. Then there was our walk two days ago which turned into a play date. We left the house, walked 4 houses down, and stopped to say hello to the schnauzers (Maggie and Scooter) who were also on their walk. We then proceeded around the corner and stopped to say hello to Milo, the English Bull dog puppy who was working on puppy obedience with his person. Further on, a car pulled up beside us and said "he looks like my dogs!"
"Do you have a boston terrier?" I asked smiling back. "Three of them", he said.
"You must be the house down the street, I have seen them in your yard and wondered how it was that we had never met."

Next thing I know, the gentlemen had pulled up to his house, waited for me to get there, scooped Riley up and let him lavish kisses all over his face. Riley is a jack russell terrier in a boston coat on Red Bull. Holding him is not an easy task and I was immediately impressed with the skill our new friend used to make it look easy. He then opened the door to announce to his wife that there was a boston outside so she came out immediately and we repeated steps one and two except she, being a small person, had better sense than to try to actually lift Riley off the ground. A few moments later, the front door was opened and 3 boston terriers popped out and circled Riley. It was the most delightful sea of little black and white dogs. Riley now had 3 new friends to join Scooter and Maggie - Oscar, Butler and Casey! Casey could jump straight up from the ground to my neck and I'm about 5' 8" tall. We hung out on their front porch for about 20 minutes before parting as friends and my lamenting that I would never be able to walk by their house again without being pulled up the driveway.
Making the turn for home, we encountered Lucy, the basset hound - another new friend. Lucy pulled his owner across the street with the agility of a puppy but I was later to learn that she was 7! Whoever said 7 was senior had not been around too many 7 year olds. Lucy and Riley romped to the extent possible on leashes in a larger corner lot for another 10 minutes.
Finally, heading back up our cul-de-sac, my next door neighbors who adore Riley were waiting on the front porch for pats and biscuits.
We came inside, Riley drank the water bowl dry and promptly went to sleep.
The morale of this very different blog entry? Take a walk! You never know who or what you will meet!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


If you look at our blog archives, you will find a feature on Ms. Dolly when she was in foster care and looking for her new home. (January, 2009). If you look even further back in our archives, you will find a blog on Marilyn, the rescue who left ferrets in her original home and was quickly adopted to her new forever home complete with ferrets! (February 2008).

The Boastful Boston did the original home visit for Ms. Marilyn's placement and met this wonderful Mom and Dad who ran a ferret rescue in Virginia and who wanted to add a ferret friendly boston to their family. Marilyn is doing great and we were thrilled that they wanted to do a double dip for another boston baby.

Maybe it was Dolly's name, her adorable face, her age, her bio or all of the above that drew them to her. The Boastful Boston thinks it was Dolly who sent the right vibes all the way to Virginia. Whatever the reason, Dolly is now at home with her new Mom and Dad and Marilyn.
Apparently Ms. Marilyn is having to readjust to not being the only boston. Dolly is working over time to get Marilyn to play. It should not take too long since Marilyn's original home had 3 boston babies. The report from home is that Marilyn has agreed to sleep next to Dolly but draws the line at acknowledging her Mom if she has the nerve to pet Marilyn! Their Mom writes that Marilyn wants to play but first she has to finish letting Dolly know she was there first.

Even if Marilyn isn't thrilled yet - her Daddy sure is! Better watch out Dad, you are outnumbered - Dolly Marilyn and Mom make every night girls night in!

Monday, June 01, 2009


Our former foster Mike, went to his forever home in summer 2007. He was adopted by a private investigator and renamed Deacon. We don't know if Deacon assists his Mom with stake outs or other spy stuff, but we hear that he has a pretty good life these days. He shares his home with another boston, two kitties and an english bull dog. The fearsome threesome they are called and when they romp through the house, it sounds more like 3 elephants. When he was adopted he was skinny and scared. He is now called the King of the Castle and his favorite place to be is under the covers with his Mom.

We receive so many wonderful updates from our adopters. One theme seems to run through most of them. Love! Most forever families including Deacon's mention the love they give and receive in return or the joy their new addition has brought to their family. Deacon is no exception. His foster Mom writes that Deacon is deaf but that makes no difference to her or the rest of the family. He has learned commands and has no trouble being the life of the party with his siblings.

Day is done Deacon - sleep well!