Back in March one of my Goals in Life came true. I rescued a beautiful dog whom I named Asher. He was everything I had wanted. A German Shepherd/Malamute mix, and quite the big boy for his 8 weeks *somewhere around 20 lbs when we first met* Gorgeous bright happy and yellow eyes, and cute giant floppy ears that had the promise of standing tall one day. When I first saw him he was walking with his foster mother Taya. "What a beautiful puppy you have." I said to her, "Oh he's not mine. I'm just fostering him. He's actually up for adoption." My words immediately changed, "Oh! So you have my dog, how wonderful of you to bring him to me." He wasn't actually mine...yet. But I knew from the first moment that I saw him that Asher was going to be a part of my life. I made the trip over to Yakima twice a week from my home in Ellensburg for the next month as he grew up a bit more. The rescue I adopted him from was the Yakima Valley Rising Pheonix Rescue and dealt primarily in Brazilian Mastiff's. Also known as Fila's. THey are really big giant babies if trained properly but definitely need a firm hand and an owner who is willing to prove their strength over them. Taya was really great with her dog though I was not so sure about the woman who I was adopting Asher from. It was sort of a backyard rescue but I figured the papers looked alright enough. So when at 3 months old I brought Asher home with a reciept in hand, 50.00 dollars later and the assurance that his hips would be ok *it was obvious he was going to be big. I wanted to make sure* and that they had been x-ray'd when he went in to get neutered I brought my baby home.
The first night I brought him home was VERY rough. Unbenounced to me he had gotten into Two Large cheese and everything pizza's to himself.... I found this out AFTER calling Taya back and only AFTER he had left 5 rather large brown puddles around my house. I was very gentle with him and just tried to figure out what was wrong and how to make him comfortable. He stopped having runny butt the next morning at around 7 and we slowly went from there. I slept in the living room with him for the next week *him in his crate and me on my couch* and when he finally stopped whining for an hour straight I was able to sleep in my own bed again with the alarm set for every three hours so I could make sure he got outside enough to go potty when he needed to. He has always been a very smart boy and always very eager to learn, especially when he known there are treats involved. For another 3 months things seemed to be ok. I was able to walk him a good 2 miles a day once he built up to it *Taya had been walking him up to 3 and I didn't think that right for such a young pup. but we always just went at his pace. At the age of 5 months he was already 78 lbs. QUITE the big boy. when we took him in at 6 months he was 90. But let me back up a moment.
Over the summer we got new neighbors. These people had two dogs. One a Rottweiler Doberman mix, the other a beautiful but highly untrained doberman. In fact. Both of them were highly untrained, skittish, and were BOTH on full giant utility chain as their "collars." This made my heart sink and immediately let me know the sort of people I was soon to be dealing with. Unfortunately my assumptions were completely right. Over the course of the two months that they lived in the house next to us their dogs charged me, my dog Asher, and my cat no LESS than 20 times. Often with me in between them and my dog. Luckily I seem to know how to be intimidating enough to stare down an aggresive tank of a male unsnipped untrained Rott/Doby mix. Yes, I know this was foolish to stand them down time and time again. But Asher was and still to this day is my baby boy. Yes he is first an animal, second a dog, but he is MOSTLY my son. He listens SO well to me, and I can count on him for everything.
Things finally came to a head one night when the neighbors were being loud and obnoxious and partying till 3:00 AM on a Wednesday night. For the third night in a row. Joe went to let Asher out into OUR own back yard and even off leash Asher never wanders off our property. I trained him well with that and am very proud of it. Well, mid piddle their Male came over and attacked Asher. I was in the back bathroom and heard a terrible set of puppy cries and just grabbed a robe and ran out the door. I immediately took Asher inside and even with Joe *the sober one and my boyfriend* there saying that Asher HAD in fact been peeing *a testimate to the wetness on his poor legs* and that their dog had attacked first they tried to make it Asher's fault. I don't hate many people. I hated them so much. we brought Asher inside and he could barely walk.... and then I laid my hands on his hips... It took quite a bit not to cringe at what I felt and my mind started to suspect.
Tears in my eyes I looked up the vets number and left them a message saying for them to call as SOON as they opened. I got a call the next morning at 7:30 to bring him in immediately. After watching him walk, and cry as he did so they said they wanted X-rays and I agreed. That night after he came out of anesthesia I heard the news. His legs aren't even in the sockets and never have been. The reason? His hips don't actually form sockets. His leg bones are a good inch away from the hips and the only reason he COULD walk at all was because of the walks I had been taking him on.
I have tried countless times to get a hold of the Yakima Valley Pheonix Rescue and the woman who gave Asher to me. But ever since I left her a voice message saying "Asher has hip and knee complications. can you give me any tips to maybe help him out" I have heard not scrap of hide, nor puppy hair of them....So much for an honorable rescue society. Apparently they care only for their Fila's and not a puppy who will have a short life due to bad breeding.
Since then I have been lucky and thankful to get him to go on a block long walk. I had even gotten him up to two block long walks and then one day about a month ago now everything just started going back downhill and they have not been coming up. It has been heartbreaking everyday trying to figure out if I was going to have another day with my Baby Asher... He's only 10 months old and I know that he more than likely will not make it to his first Birthday. Now please, BEFORE you make any comments about surgery, or pain killers, or giving him away to someone else who can "actually take care of him" pleas please please just read this part. I have talked to all the Vets in town as well as Vets in Seattle and sent his X-rays along with. I have gotten the same answer time and time and time again. Don't bother. The surgeries will not help him. There is NOT enough bone to actually attach anything that would make it better and they would have to grind down what little was left to do so anyway giving the entire surgery a greater chance of collapse only months after the surgery putting him in exponentially more pain. Pain Killers are used as sparingly as possible as he went most of his life learning how to move around the pain. Pain killers are more likely to enable him to hurt himself since he can't feel it. So I am stuck with making sure he is as comfortable as possible at all times, giving him what I can when i can, and making sure any time he wants to play that we do. I am making sure he gets the most out of his puppy-hood as he can.
I actually found the add in the paper for the weekend after Joe and I came to the conclusion that Asher would not be with us much longer than early December, if that. I immediately called them when I got home from work. After being VERY pleased with the pleasantness and openness that Lonny had when I asked questions about the dogs, their ancestry, and any of their health problems that they may have, I decided that I wanted to go visit them. A half hour later I was in a small room with tiny balls of fluff. One of those was the small pup that stole my heart and is now in my icon for this site and all his puppy pictures.
As November nears with December just around the Corner I pray with all my heart and soul that I get just one more day, one more day, one more Day with Asher, and that the 7th comes soon so my Corgi puppy can be with me....
When I send Asher to the Rainbow Bridge I know he will faithfully be waiting for me there, but for now I just keep thanking the lords and ladies for one more day.... Just one more day. I have tried to stay as happy as I can but I can feel myself starting to slip. Everyday gets harder, everyday I find myself closer to bursting into tears when I even just look at Asher. The puppy who was suppose to be my hiking buddy, my fetching friend, my walking companion, and my happy boy. I don't know how much longer either of us can hold out.

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Comment by Sylvia on November 1, 2008 at 5:20pm
Thank you all for your thoughts and concern *hugs everyone* It's good to know I am in a community of support right now.
Sam: We originally thought about getting him a cart, yes it is just his hind legs that are losing the mobility but where we live now, its just not feasible because of how big he is. We live in a small duplex and due to his size he already has problems turning around. Also, because it would allow his hips to hang it would actually cause him more pain from all that I have been told. :( I also don't have the money to either make the move to a home where he could use a cart, or even buy a cart for how large he is.
to Alicia and Carmen: A part of me thinks I was "meant" to have this dog as well. While it has been extremely hard I have been able to give him the best sort of a chance at a "normal" life as I can. I still allow him to play and do minimal running because he's a puppy and I am not going to not allow him to be what he is.
Gail: I worry about that as well with he new puppy becoming really attached. I just unfortunately don't have the money at this time to also buy his litter mate Wanda or I completely would. Though three in the house would be a bit difficult until Asher did head his way over the rainbow bridge.
Comment by Gail's Lil' Gizmo on October 31, 2008 at 7:00pm
Wow.. I am speechless.. what a terrible ordeal you are going through. Asher sounds like a sweet gentle giant. I am truly sorry for your experience. That is heartbreaking. I think it is wonderful that you are opening your heart to another baby.. of course nothing will replace him.. We got Gizmo too because Chance our lab was getting on in years. Gizmo has become so attached to Chance "Big brother" that our vet told us that he will be heart broken when Chance crosses rainbow bridge.. I will have to get another furr baby to help his heart heal also. It sounds like you are absolutely wonderful with your animals and I wish you all the best with your new baby.. Give Asher a hug a kiss .. i really don't know what to say.. that is just too tragic for such a young intelligent dog. please keep me posted.
Comment by Carmen on October 31, 2008 at 2:01pm
My heart is going out to you during this very hard time. I think Asher was meant to be with you. The hardest thing is letting go of the furkids we love. I do hope that your new puppy will help you through your grief. No other pet will replace Asher, but they can help to heal the hurt.
Comment by Alicia on October 31, 2008 at 9:20am
Sounds like Asher was 'meant' to be with you and have someone love him to pieces in his last days. I understand the desire not to put him through more pain and agony just to maybe get a few more days from those hips. My father is a small animal vet and I've watched people make those tuff decisions daily. Hang in there and just know you're doing exactly what you should be doing and Asher loves you for it. I lost my 13 yr old pek. a month ago and I understand the pain of losing your friend. It does get easier, especially when you know you were exactly what he needed. (Sounds like I"d be moving!!!! I couldn't handle those neighbors!)
Comment by Sam Tsang on October 31, 2008 at 9:18am
Can Asher be fitted with a cart? Is it just his hind legs that have lost mobility?
Comment by Chantel & Princess Bella on October 31, 2008 at 5:29am
I am so sorry to hear about Asher. I was trying my hardest to hold back the tears. He sounds like an amazing dog and Im sure he's having a great life with you. Wish you all the best!

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