Hi Everybody, Yesterday I went to see Dr. Bretz. He’s the doc who did my surgery. He looked at my incision and checked me out all over. He gave me lots of pets, too! He did an ultrasound to make sure the stuff he put in my liver is still in the right place. It is. Phew! I was worried he’d say I had to stay real still from now on. I don’t think I could do that! But everything looks great! Dr. Bretz said in two months I have to have a bile acid test done. I don’t like that test cos I’m not allowed to eat before it. Once they start the test, it’s not so bad cos they take some of my blood, then they feed me, then they take some more blood. Then they compare my blood before I ate to my blood after I ate. There are some numbers that they look at that show them how well my liver is working. If the numbers look good, I can start cutting back on one of the medicines I take and then stop taking it completely. I’ll have to take the other medicine forever. I don’t mind cos I get my pills in a yummy pill pocket! But my moms will be happy cos the pills cost a lot of money. I’d rather they spend that money on treats and fun stuff! Dr. Bretz said I should not get neutered until after I have the bile acid test done in two months. He wants to make sure my liver is working good enough to handle the anesthesia. I don’t know what all that means. I asked my buddy, Floyd, what getting neutered means. He said “Puppy, you don’t want to know.” Should I be worried?? I’ll have a second bile acid test 6 months after the first one. If I do good on that test, I can stop eating the prescription food that I eat now and start eating the food that Floyd and Jack eat. During all this, my moms have to watch me for any signs of seizures or neurological issue. I sure hope they don’t see any!
Dr. Bretz asked if I had found my forever home yet. This is when I got to share my BIG NEWS!!! I jumped up and said YES! YES! YAHOO! I found my forever family! My foster moms – I mean my MOMS – are going to adopt me! My mom said yes, too. Dr. Bretz said that he thought so, but that a bunch of staff at Hope fell in love with me and wanted to adopt me. They made Dr. Bretz promise to ask! That was sure nice to hear. It feels good to be loved. I love all the folks there, too. I sure am a lucky puppy! I’m a sleepy puppy, too. Night night! Love, Brewster
Hi Everybody, I had my surgery and it went great! To tell you the truth, I don’t remember anything about it. My foster moms came to visit me after my surgery – at least they say they did – I don’t remember that either. I guess they did cos they have these pictures. Yeah, I was out like a light! But when I woke up later, the nurse said I was “all wiggles and wags”! I spent two nights in the hospital. When my FM’s came the second night, I was was WIDE AWAKE! I was soooo happy to see my foster moms. But ya know what? I think they were even happier to see me! Yep. We were all happy. It was even better when I got to go home. And since my incision was so tiny, I was allowed to play and do all the normal stuff when I went home. That was really cool because Floyd and Jack were waiting for me and so was my new buddy, Gus, who was visiting us!
Here’s Gus and me playing tug. We had so much fun! It’s much better if you see us in action, though. Click on this link to check us out. Playing Tug! I have to see the doctor again this week so he can make sure I’m doing okay. Next week I have to have some tests done to see how my liver is working now that there’s more blood flowing through it. And a few weeks after that, I have to have another ultrasound so the docs can take a look at everything they did and make sure it still looks good. I’ll be a busy pup! I don’t mind, though. I love going to see all my buddies there. Everyone says hi to me and I’m “all wiggles and wags”! Love, Brewster
Hi Everybody! Brewster here – just checking in. Hope all you guys are doing good. I’m doing great. I am now 8 months old and I weigh 48 pounds. Know what that means?? Yep, I’m ready to have surgery to fix my liver shunt! I’m going to have it done this Thursday so please think happy thoughts for me, okay? I don’t really know what all this stuff means, but I can tell my FM’s are a little worried about it so maybe you could think happy thoughts for them, too. We’ll be sure to let you know how everything goes on Thursday.
Look! I’m almost as big as my buddy Floyd! Okay… not quite… but I’m getting there! Floyd is extra tall cos he’s mixed with Jack Russell Terrier! That’s what FM says. I made a new friend. His name is Gus and he was a Brookline puppy like me…AND he needed surgery, too. He’s over a year old now and he’s doing great! He told me not to sweat the surgery. He said the doctors will take good care of me and Brookline will make sure I get everything I need. Thanks, guys! Gus is staying with us while his mom and dad are away. We are having so much fun!
How about that snow?! I heard some of the humans grumbling about it, but us fur-kids sure loved it! Check it out!
Click this link to see us in action. Snow Zoomies!
And here we are acting like tough guys! Don’t we look scary? hee-hee! Don’t worry. We’re not really scary. We just like to pretend sometimes.
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you some other big news! I don’t have to sleep in my crate anymore! Nope – I sleep in the big bed with FM… just like the big kids! I told ya I’m getting big!
See ya later! Love, Brewster
Hi Everybody! Guess what? I learned a new game this week. It’s really fun! When FM saw the bathroom after I played, she called me a naughty puppy. But she was laughing when she said it, so I think it’s a good thing. Yep, I’m proud to be a naughty puppy!
Remember how I told you I get to go with Jack when he goes to rehab? It’s really fun cos there are lots of people and dogs and treats there! This is me with my buddy, Sienna. FM says she is really pretty. I don’t care about that. I just like to romp and play with her!
I have a great buddy at home, too… besides Floyd and Jack! My buddy Dandy lives next door… with Ma and Pa! We love to chase each other around the yard. Floyd runs with us, too. Jack hangs out by the door waiting for Ma to come out with treats! Jack is kinda old and he has bum legs… so he can’t really keep up with us kids. We love doing zoomies around the yard. We are FAST! Click on this link to check it out! Zoomies We’re still waiting to hear from the doctors about when my surgery will be. FM left a message for them on Friday so hopefully we’ll hear from them soon. I’ll let ya know when we hear something. FM says we’ll have to ask for lots of prayers and mojo … so get ready for that, okay? Luv, Brewster
Hi Everybody! I had my cat scan today. I don’t know why that call it that. I don’t remember seeing any cats. I did get very sleepy, though, so maybe I missed them. Anyway, the doctor said I did great. I didn’t have any problems with the anesthesia or with waking up afterwards. Sometimes dogs with liver problems have trouble waking up after anesthesia, but not me! The doctor took pictures of my insides so he could measure stuff and order parts for my surgery. The doctor said my liver is a good size for a pup with a liver shunt. Some dogs with a shunt have a really small liver. But not me! Probably cos I was diagnosed so early and got on the right food and meds right away. The doctor is going to order stuff for my surgery and then schedule it with my FM’s. The doctor said I might be sleepy tonight. I don’t know how he knew that, but he was right. It’s a good night to snuggle with FM! Luv, Brewster
Hey Everybody! I have an important question for you. I hope all you guys had a nice Valentine’s Day. Today was my very first Valentine’s Day and it was a good one. This morning my foster moms took me for another appointments with the doctors at HOPE. They said I’m big enough to have my surgery! I weigh 45 pounds now! The doctors said I have to have something called a “cat scan” first. I guess we’ll find out if I’m good with cats. I don’t know what that has to do with my surgery, but I guess they know what they are doing. I’m having that done on Thursday. Then we’ll schedule my surgery. My foster moms are a little nervous, but they are so happy I can finally have it done and that I haven’t had any seizures or other problems while we were waiting for me to get big enough!
This afternoon, I had fun out in the yard. When I came inside, my FM said to my other FM, “Did you see YOUR puppy??” Then my other FM said, “That’s YOUR puppy!”. I don’t know what that was all about, but they were laughing so I guess it’s cool. Tonight I went to school and I did a really good job. Here I am doing an awesome sit-stay. And here I am doing a down-stay on my mat. Oh, another sign that I’m a BIG BOY now – I don’t have to eat in my crate anymore! I eat in the kitchen with the BIG KIDS! I sure am growing up! Love, Brewster 01/17/17 Hi Everybody! It’s me – Brewster! I know it’s been a long time since I wrote. Sorry ‘bout that. My foster moms have had a lot going on and I’m not allowed to use the computer without their help. Things are going great here. I’m getting bigger every day. Last time I got weighed, I was 32 pounds! FM says that is small for a 6 month old Lab, but I’m growing so that’s a good thing. Oh yeah – I’m 6 months old now! Time flies, huh? The doctor says I can probably have my surgery when I am 8 or 9 months old. Just a few more months to go. I haven’t had any seizures or problems like that yet. FM says hopefully I can have my surgery before anything like that happens. Remember when I got my picture taken with Santa? My foster brothers told me how cool Santa is and they were right! He came to our house on Christmas Eve and left toys and treats for everybody! This was one of my favorite presents!
It’s a little hat. It was attached to a snowman, but I took it off the snowman and ran around with the hat. My FM’s laughed at that. They just don’t understand. Best. Toy. Ever. I love to run around! Want to see? Check this out! IMG_7891
I love to play with Floyd, too. He’s my bestest buddy. I love to play with Jack, too. He always shares his toys with me. FM says “shares” might not be the right word. But I’m just a puppy and I don’t know a lot words yet, so I’m gonna say he shares his toys with me! Remember I told you about Ma, the really nice lady who gives all us pups biscuits at the fence? Well, me and Floyd and Jack got Ma a really special gift for Christmas. We signed it from all the other dogs who have lived here, too, cos Ma gave all of them biscuits at the fence! With so many dogs getting treats at the fence, we decided that place deserves a name. So we name it “Ma’s Biscuit Bar” and got a sign made up with the new name. Ma sure did love it. She couldn’t stop smiling!
My foster moms’ brother had a big surgery last week. They were at the hospital all day so I got to spend the day (and night!) with my buddies Buzzy and Gracie. Aunt Dee said me and Buzzy played non-stop! It sure was fun! And I sure was tired when I came home. Uncle Donald got out of the hospital on Friday and came to stay with us. He’ll be here for a few weeks while he recovers. He’s walking real slow and pushing some weird thing called a walker. My foster moms were a little worried about how I’d be when Uncle Donald was here. They were afraid I might jump on him or get underfoot when he was trying to walk. But I’ve been a REALLY good puppy and my foster moms are so proud of me! Sometimes I stand in front of that walker thing looking at Uncle Donald and, when he takes a step forward, I take a step backwards. And we just keep going like that. FM says I’m a really smart puppy! I think she’s right. And I should know cos I’m really smart! Luv, Brewster
Hi! My name is Brewster! I’m 5 months old. You probably recognize me because I’m kind of famous. I was on TV today. If you missed it, check out this link: http://6abc.com/pets/shelter-me-brookline-lab-rescue/1661113/ In October, the man who had me (my foster moms call him the breeder) contacted Brookline to ask for help. My first family took me home when I was a baby, but they returned me to the breeder after their vet said there might be something wrong with my kidneys. The breeder took me to another doctor who did some tests and said the problem is with my liver, not my kidneys. He said I would probably need surgery and it would cost a lot of money. The breeder couldn’t afford the surgery so he asked Brookline for help. The nice ladies from Brookline came to meet me and said they will do everything they can to get me healthy!
I moved to my Brookline foster home in October when I was 14 weeks old. My foster moms said I looked more like an 8 week old because of my medical problems. I’m still pretty small for my age, but I’m getting bigger every day! My foster moms took me to another doctor who did even more tests. One of the tests was something called a bile acid test. It checks to see if my liver is working right. I didn’t like that test because I wasn’t allowed to eat for 12 hours before the test! 12 whole hours! Boy was I hungry!
When the doctor called with the results of that test, my foster moms were not happy. I guess I should have studied for the test cause I guess I didn’t do too good. My foster mom said this is how the test works: The test measures the level of bile acids when a dog is completely fasted and again after the dog eats a fatty, high protein food (like puppy food). In a completely normal dog there should be no elevation in bile acids after the dog eats. However, if the liver is struggling a little bit to process the fat and protein then we will see an increase in bile acids. Before I ate, my levels were normal. But after I ate, my level was 233. It’s supposed to be under 14. Yikes! I really didn’t do good on that test, did I? The doctor said I had to have an ultrasound done to look at my liver.
I had to go to the big hospital for the ultrasound. They gave me something to make me sleepy. And then they shaved my belly! I wonder if my foster moms knew they were going to shave my belly??! I don’t remember much else because, like I said, I was very sleepy. But after the test, the doctor said a bunch of stuff that my foster moms didn’t completely understand – but it made them really sad. It made me sad, too, because I don’t like to see my foster moms sad. The doctor said I have something called an intrahepatic liver shunt. My foster moms did a bunch of research on this to find out what it means. Here’s what they learned: An intrahepatic (inside the liver) shunt is an ‘extra’ vein that allows blood to bypass the liver rather than flowing through the liver. This results in two issues: 1) The liver is not able to filter toxins from the blood before it is recirculated in the body. This can lead to neurological issues, among other things. 2) The liver does not develop normally since it’s not receiving an adequate blood supply. The only way to fix this is to have a special surgery where the doctor put something inside the shunt to block it off so the blood can’t go through there and has to go through my liver. Then my liver will do what it’s supposed to do – get rid of all the bad stuff – so I won’t get sick from having all that stuff in my body. The doctors have to use special equipment – like little cameras and stuff – to do this surgery because the problem is INSIDE my liver. That means the surgery isn’t done at a lot of places. And it costs a lot of money. I was worried about that because I don’t have any money. But my foster moms and all my Brookline buddies promised they will work really hard to raise enough money to pay for my surgery. The doctor said if I don’t have surgery, the icky toxins will cause bad stuff to happen to me – like seizures – and I probably won’t see my 2nd birthday. My foster brothers told me birthdays are awesome days where you get super special treats like cheeseburgers. So I sure want to see lots of birthdays!
My foster moms took me to another big hospital where we met with two really nice doctors who said they can do my surgery. They said we have to wait until I’m bigger because the hardware they use to block the shunt is based on my size. So I’m supposed to be as close to “full grown” as possible. Foster mom says that might be awhile cos I’m still tiny. But the doctor put me on a special food and I’ve been packing on the pounds since then. I’m already up to 28 pounds! I also have to take medicine every day to keep me from getting infections and ulcers. Most days I just eat my medicine in my food. But sometimes I leave it behind in my bowl. When I do that, foster mom wraps it in a pill pocket or yummy treat! Yum! Okay. Enough of the medical stuff! Want to know what else I’ve been up to?
My first week in foster care, I got a package in the mail. I didn’t really know what that meant. I never got a package before. But my foster moms get excited when they get a package, so I got excited, too. And it’s a good thing I did cos my package was really cool! Check it out! https://youtu.be/1SY4EIh3Ogo November 8th was Election Day and foster mom said it was really important for everyone to get out and vote. So I did! We had to wait in line, but it was okay because I kept everyone around me entertained.
I have two foster brothers, Jack, a yellow Lab, and Floyd, a black Lab. They are both really cool. I love to play with both of them!
My foster brother, Jack, goes to rehab to get his back legs stronger. I love to go with him because I get cookies and pets and I get to play with the other dogs there.
I love to play with toys – soft toys, hard toys, squeaky toys – you name it! I never met a toy I didn’t like. We have lots of toys at my foster home… a big toy box full! I love to climb in the toy box to find something fun. I learned lots of new things at my foster home. Like…
Ma, the really nice lady next door, brings biscuits to the fence for all us doggies!
Sweaters keep your shaved belly warm!
It’s polite to sit nicely and wait for dinner. Dog beds and couches are really comfy! I learned something else recently. I learned about Christmas and this really cool guy named Santa! I even went to the mall to meet him!