My foster/rescue, what to expect?? ((loooong text!) - Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums


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Old 12-01-2012, 07:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
Bow
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Default My foster/rescue, what to expect?? ((loooong text!)

Hi everyone!
I have never been too familiar with malteses - I've seen them in the show rings and admired the beautiful hair but never thought of them that much... Until yesterday!

As this is all fresh thing, due to security reasons I can't give you guys too much information about the circumstances (yet), but I will do my best to explain this.

The dog is coming from a puppy mill/hoarder, and the person who looked after her (temporarily) in the first place couldn't keep her any longer because they have a very, as they describe it, jealous dog already. (they only had her for a couple of days). I saw the dog for the first time yesterday when I saw the person at work, and agreed to help and take her until she finds a good home with enough experience. I volunteer in rescue sanctuaries anyway and know the people, so I know they could find a good home for her.


Let me tell you now, that I have a long history with all sorts of dogs, I work, study and spend pretty much all my time with them. Because of the condition of this dog, I thought the person I got it from couldn't probably offer as much as I can at the moment to get it all healed, mentally and physically, and they actually agreed.


Now let's get to the condition of this girl. She is (apparently) 2 years old, very skinny and weights only 3.7 lbs. Bones sticking out and belly doesn't exist in any way, I can almost get my fingers (of one hand) reach around her waist, and my hands are pretty small... She is ridiculously small sized anyway. Apparently her hair has been cut short a while ago, as at the moment it is about 1,5 - 2 inches. I've washed her yesterday and the condition of the hair is very... puppyish? I don't know how malteses hair normally is, but her hair is like fluff and wool, very nice and soft! It's also shiny, which I can't stop wondering as usually underweight dogs do not have a good hair.

She hasn't apparently eated hardly anything since last Wednesday, only drinks normally. However, ever since I brought her home and gave her peace and quiet enviroment she actually ate very little yesterday. Today I went to book an appointment with the vet, and bought high protein, good quality food to feed her, which she tasted and then left. I keep occasionally offering her the food, and today she actually ate a good amount of cooked chicken, which proves she is able to eat and it stays is!! so I'm guessing it's the stress that makes her not want to eat. Tomorrow she is meeting the vet and we will find out her true condition. According the original breeder (haven't met personally and know nothing about them, trying to find out as much as I can to report them to the animal services) she has recently had puppies, but couldn't feed them as "she's too small", however I believe she is just too unnourished to produce milk. I'm hoping her lack of weight is also only because of recovering from the puppies, god knows where they are now! Apparently the one I have has been replaced with her puppy, I hope this is not true.. Though, if I'm thinking with the brains of a puppy mill owner, this little girl is not very good for maximum amount of puppies and therefore not good for money.

Her teeth seem like they could do with a vet's cleaning, which she's going to have as soon as she's strong enough to go through it, but apart from that she is physically in ok condition, clean ears, eyes and skin, apart from the weight and mental scars...

When I saw her for the first time on Friday, she was just lost. Her eyes had this pretty empty look, like she just wouldn't care, although they were still very bright and full of character! I looked after her for a couple of hours, and this is when I personally fell in love with her. There is something about this dog that I can't explain, under all that sadness and worrying. I gave her lots of warmth and attention (she gets cold very easily) and she just.. I don't know, seemed to get a little bit of hope. Ever since I took her home with me, she is starting to show more and more interest in life, she is quite weak but follows me all the time, and wants to be close. Last night I took her to my bed to keep her warm, and she must be exhausted as she slept 8 hours without moving at all from my arms, under the covers, just sleeping without waking even once. She just slept like she'd never done before, and after going out quickly we went back to bed, and slept more. Today she has still been sleeping lot, but I believe she got tired after going to the vets too.
Everything seems to be new for her, for example her reaction to a leash it's like she'd be a puppy - she stares it and refuses to move.

Sooooo... I'm not that worried about getting her back to healthy weight and mental state, but I need someone to help me understand the breed!

She seems to adore me, it's like she doesn't see anyone else but me and wants to be with me constantly, and only then she can relax. I've heard that malteses tend to show their affection, but I'm worried that she'll become overly attached, that's why I try not to hold her all the time and ignore her staring/eye contact every now and then. Am I doing the right thing, or just being too careful? Most of the time she is getting all the love and cuddling in the world, as she needs it at the moment.


Are malteses bad eaters? Looking at her it occasionally seems like she just doesn't want to eat, it's like it just doesn't please her! I also find it strange that dog food was just worth sniffing, but chicken meat after that went down veeeery quickly!


Do your malteses get cold very easily, and what do you do to keep them warm? At the moment she is wearing a warm jumper, which she doesn't seem to mind at all.


What other things there is, that you think I should know about the breed? Tomorrow is the vet check, I can't wait to hear what they say about her.

I have already 3 dogs, and did not plan on having a 4th one, but this is really hard for me - we have the room, love and experience for her, it's just.. I've never been a big fan of having a dog without proper planning before getting it!


This is really hard, I like her very much and just want the best for her, and also worry that she will lose her faith in people for good if now I "abandon" her to a new home. Please people, give me your thoughts and opinions, I really need them!


Thank you!!
-sweetypie and the little girl
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You certainly came to the right place to find out all about the Maltese Breed. There will be plenty of advice for you here and please avail yourself to all of the different sections here on SM.

It sounds as though you will have your work cut out for you but it will be well worth all of the effort that you put into caring forr this little Malt. Sounds as though you have found yourself another little Dog. She apparently has attached herself to you already. And Malts are so very loving and affectionate too. You sound as though you are a very caring person and I am sure that she feels the love that you have shown to her since you have had her.

As far as a high protein dog food, I personally do not find that all to good since a high protein content can put on weight. However, since she sounds as though she is underweight, them a high quality dog food would be best for her. There are so many different foods that are high quality that you can choose from. I know that others will come along and suggest some of their favorites for their Malts. I give our two (Yorkie and Maltese) Blue Buffalo Longevity and they do very well. Some Malts can be picky eaters and I guess I can say that I have been pretty lucky with mine. Keeping her warm is important and a good thing that you have put a jumper on her. They have some really cute sweaters too that can be purchased as well.

Please keep us posted as to how she did at the Vet's tomorrow. You can be sure that more advice will be given to you here on SM.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I hope your vet will do blood tests. The skinniness might be due to a medical disorder.

Most Maltese are so affectionate and really attach to people. If you're worried about her getting too attached to you, then maybe it would be good to have her get to know other human beings, too. I've fostered a few, and I've heard that when they went to their new home, they attached themselves to their new people quickly. Don't withhold whatever affection you feel she needs and that you can give at the moment.

I hope the results of the vet exam are good, and that she just needs more good food and TLC.

Hugs to you for taking this little one and caring for her!
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi and welcome to SM. thank you for fostering that little one. Hopefully the vet visit will be OK, and she just needs good food and care. Their hair stays puppy like, so soft and fluffy. Some will have a silky coat and others a cottony coat. They love to be with people and love to sit on your lap. They do get cold,like after a bath, I blow dry their hair. their hair will also tangle and mat, if not brushed or combed daily. Wishing you all the best of luck with her, and pop in to update us.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome to SM and to the wonderful Maltese breed

Of course like other dogs, they are all different, but in general the Maltese are very people oriented, that is what they were bred for after all. Some more than others. My Lola won't let me out of her sight, if I shower she is waiting at the door, if I am in the loo then so is she, funnily enough she pretty much always eliminates at the same time too as her pee pad is in there. LOL. If I sit on the sofa, she is usually on or beside me. Penny isn't quite as clingy as Lola, but close she is very kissy. If Hubby is home they are happy to take turns though. Eating wise they couldn't be more different. Lola will eat anything but Penny needs a lot of choices and encouragement. She is 5lbs lighter than Lola though.

I hope the vet visit goes well. Maybe we will be seeing you on here as an owner.
I am sure the rescue people on here have good suggestions for you.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have a rescue Maltese also. She was very thin (but not as tiny as yours) when I got her. As for food, she didn't want to eat when I first got her either. I was worried sick because she was already so underweight. Is the food you bought dry or canned? Lucy magically started eating when I gave her high-quality canned food--you know the kind with chunks and gravy, like Merricks stew and stuff like that. As far as the affection, frankly, this is my first maltese (or maltese mix--not sure) too. I don't think I've ever met another dog who attaches quite so much and is quite so...well...just plain loving. (Lucy is trying to climb on top of my laptop in order to get on my lap as I'm typing this--lol). She, too, won't let me out of her sight. I, personally, think that this little dog you have NEEDS love and attention right now--I would give it to her as much as you possibly can. I think once she learns to love and trust YOU, she will be able to easily transfer that to a new owner. IF, and I think this may be a very big IF, you find that you are willing to let her go. I'm telling you, these little dogs just worm their way right smack into the middle of your heart and attach there. Good luck with her. Can't wait to hear about her vet report.

Last edited by LoveLucy; 12-01-2012 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi again... Well, today has been good and bad - I woke in the morning just to notice that one of my dogs has an eye infection or a possible cherry eye... Great, even more money for the vets!

Well, girl's gotta do what girl's gotta do, took both of the dogs to the vet and the little maltese got microchipped, wormed, flea treated and checked - the vet listened to her lungs and heart, which were fine, and agreed with me that it is probably just her recent past, puppies and stress that made her so skinny in the first place. The plan at the moment is to feed her as much as possible, as ideally she'd double her current weight, and then have a new check in a few weeks time and if it still seems like the weight is not going up, we'll do the blood- and other tests... I'm going to get her blood tested eventually anyway, just to double check, but at the moment this is the plan and looking good.

She ate yesterday a whole little handful of dry food, which is brilliant. Her appetite is increasing all the time, and slowly she is coming out of her shell, although she is very attached to me - last night she slept in my arms again..

Well, she is definitely going to stay with us. We don't know what the future has to offer with her, but whatever it is, we are taking it. She deserves this so much, this poor little girl didn't know what is like to be loved or part of family, and I'm going to show it for her, hoping in the end she learns to trust us.. I just recently saw her tail wagging a little for the first time, and that was when I came back home after walking one of my dogs.

This was love at the first sight, at least when it comes to me and I'm so looking forward to getting to know the breed and the dog! I'm also a dog groomer, so once her hair grows a bit longer it's time for us to buy some pretty bows to make sure those pretty eyes aren't hidden behind the hair


Well, this was today's experience. Thank you everyone for your posts, it felt good to have support in this situation! I will keep you updated how things go and probably soon start posting to other places too to learn more about my new girl, might soon share here a few photos of her too, so you can tell me what you think...
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Aww bless you bless you! Her personality will come out and evolve gradually. And it's so wonderful. Malts are notoriously funny picky little eaters so just keep trying with the food, she'll get there. I don't know what it is but these little dogs just embed themselves into our hearts. Mark my words you'll be a crazy dog lady just like the rest of us!


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Old 12-02-2012, 10:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetypie View Post
Hi again... Well, today has been good and bad - I woke in the morning just to notice that one of my dogs has an eye infection or a possible cherry eye... Great, even more money for the vets!
.
I'm sorry to hear about the eye issue. My Madison got up with that yesterday. We ran to the vet and found she just had conjunctivitis. She will be on eye drops for a week. It already looks much, much better this morning.

Best wishes!
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Sounds like things are progressing and under control. And CONGRATULATIONS on your decision to keep her, not that it came as much of a surprise! She deserves a person like you. Good luck with her and keep us posted. And and I don't think any of us would complain if you posted some photos.
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