Gibbs #2 Silver Labrador Retriever Male 3 Months Old ID #2500
December 2, 2021
I had another doctor appointment yesterday. This wasn’t with the special doctor. It was the regular doctor. He’s pretty cool, too. I tipped the scales at 22.2 pounds! Everybody at the doc’s office made a fuss over me and gave me snuggles and kisses. Doc said I look great. He said you’d never know by looking at me that I have a broken heart. He said I look like a healthy pup! He gave me two little needles (FM said those were vaccines) and one big needle (FM said that was a microchip). The big needle made me yelp. But I was brave! I’ve been through worse that that but I was a brave puppy and made it through.
Well, guys – this will be my last blog update. Christmas is coming soon. The other kids told me about this cool dude named Santa who brings awesome presents. They said if I just think really hard about what I want, Santa will get the message. He has some kind of magic. So, I decided to try it out and I wished really hard for something very special. And guess what?! Santa came through! I’m getting my present early. Yep, on Friday, I’m going to meet my very own forever family! My new mom used to be a vet tech and now she’s a critical care nurse. She’s even taken care of open-heart patients. She only adopts special needs dogs like me. She wants to give me the very best life possible. My FMs said they can’t imagine anyone better to take care of me and my broken heart! I’m so glad Santa found my new mom. Santa is one cool dude. ❤
Thanks for all the mojo, prayers, and good wishes! You guys got me through some rough times and I won’t ever forget it! I wish I could give every one of you puppy kisses!
November 25, 2021
Happy Thanksgiving! My FMs said we have LOTS to be thankful for today. I think they are right. For starters, both of my FMs were home today – no stupid work! Aunt Betty came over and we went outside to play. Then we all went next door to Ma’s. Yep, all of us – even Floyd, Rubble and me! We got treats from Ma and got to play with Buster. I sure am thankful for all that!
My FMs are very thankful that I’m feeling better. So am I. Last week I went to the hospital twice. On Wednesday night, FM noticed that my eyes looked weird. One of my pupils was really big and the other one was really small. My FM’s checked with Dr. Google and he said it’s called anisocoria and it can be caused by a whole bunch of things. Or sometimes it just happens and then goes away and no one knows why. But if it comes on suddenly like mine did, you’re supposed to go to a doctor right away. So, FM scooped me up and we went to a place called the ER. It kind of looked like the doctor’s office only bigger. The doctor and nurses checked me out. They couldn’t find anything wrong. The doctor told my FMs that this might be one of those times where it just happened and no one knows why. She said my FMs should take me home and monitor me for 24-48 hours. I told my FMs that means no boring work stuff, no time on the laptops. They just had to LOOK AT ME for 48 hours! I liked the sounds of that. But my FMs said they had to do that other boring stuff, too. Bummer. My eyes were back to normal the next day so we thought it was all over.
I was feeling great on Friday morning. I spent a lot of time playing with Rubble while FM worked. Then I took a nap in the pen in FM’s office. I didn’t get up and bark when FM had a conference call. FM thought that was odd, but figured I was tired from my long play session with Rubble. I was pretty tired all afternoon. After dinner, my FMs noticed I was breathing really fast. Then they noticed that my belly was really hot. FM took my temperature (I don’t want to talk about how she did that!) and said I had a fever. So, we went back to that ER place. The same doctor checked me out. Only this time she wasn’t smiling when she went out to talk to my FMs. She told my FMs that I was VERY sick. She even said something about “making a difficult decision” that made FM cry a lot. FM asked if they could make me comfortable and the doctor said yes. They put me in a special cage where I got extra oxygen so I could breathe easier. They gave me medicine that helps dogs with congestive heart failure. The doctor said I had to stay in the hospital in a special room called ICU. My FMs were really scared. But I was a brave boy and tried to focus all my puppy energy on getting back home with Floyd, Rubble, and my FMs.
On Sunday the doctor said I was much better and I could go back home! I was so proud of myself for working so hard to get better. I pranced out to the hospital lobby with my tail up and wagging and a stuffed alligator in my mouth. FM smiled bigger than I’ve ever seen her smile! I sure do like making FM smile!
On Tuesday I had an appointment with another special doctor – a cardiologist at Penn Vet. We went to see him for a second opinion about my broken heart. He checked me out for three hours. He saw the same problem with my heart that the other special doctor saw. He did another test to see if there were any other things messed up in my heart. He said I have an atrial-septal defect. That’s a hole in the wall that separates the two top chambers of the heart. He talked to my FMs about a bunch of stuff. Together they decided that surgery is not an option for me. My FMs said they were disappointed, but not surprised. The doctor did have some good news for us. He looked over the x-rays from my ER visit and he didn’t see any fluid accumulation in my lungs or my abdomen. He thinks I was NOT in congestive heart failure! This made my FMs really happy. And when my FMs are happy, I’m happy, too. The doctor said I should stop taking the medicine that the ER doctor gave me. I have to go back to see him again in 4 weeks to make sure there’s still no fluid where it’s not supposed to be. That would mean I don’t have congestive heart failure yet. FM said that would be a really good thing. See – lots to be thankful for!
When I’m not busy with all these doctor appointments, I’m just enjoying my awesome puppy life! I love to play with my foster brothers, Floyd and Rubble.
FM says I’m getting bigger – and heavier! – every day. Sometimes when I wake up from a nap, FM swears my legs are longer than when I went to sleep. Silly FM! I am getting bigger, though. I weigh about 19 pounds now! And check this out – I’m almost as big as Rubble!
I think I’ll be as big as Rubble by next week. What do you think?! FM likes that I’m still little enough to pick up and snuggle. That is kind of nice. I like snuggles. I guess having a little body isn’t so bad. But I’m a BIG DOG in my mind!
Hope all you guys had a great Thanksgiving. This was my very first Thanksgiving and it was awesome! I even got some turkey in my dinner. Yum! When will it be Thanksgiving again?!
November 1, 2021
FM is making me work for lunch today! It’s kind of fun!
October 31, 2021
HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I know I already sent an update today, but I just had to tell you about my very first Halloween! FM said the neighborhood holds a Halloween Dog Parade and we were going. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but the big kids told me it will be really fun. First, we had to get dressed up in our costumes. Floyd decided to be a dragon. Rubble decided to be a pirate. He got to carry a cool dagger so I decided I wanted to be a pirate, too!
After we were dressed, we headed outside and walked to the corner where we met all the other dogs and their humans. There sure were a lot. I can’t count that high, but FM said there were at least 25 dogs there.
I met lots of people and dogs. Everybody wanted to say hi to me. That was pretty cool.
We walked up the street and back again. I started to get tired so I hitched a ride with FM on the way home.
It was a really fun day. But I’ve never been so tired in my whole puppy life!
October 31, 2021
A few days ago, a big box came in the mail and FM said it was for ME! This is the first time I ever got a package in my whole puppy life! This box was BIG. So big I could fit inside it – except that it was filled with so much stuff there was no room for me! It had toys and treats and bandannas and bones – all for me! My favorite was my new Star Wars stuffie! Rubble likes it, too, but FM told him he’s not allowed to take it because it’s mine! I also got a cool blue puzzle ball. FM puts my kibble in it and I roll it around and the kibble falls out. Then I get to it! FM said I’m a really smart puppy cos I figured it out really fast.
I went to see another doctor last week. This was the regular doctor, not the special doctor, but he was still pretty cool. The ladies who work with the doctor kept kissing me and snuggling me. They were all really nice. The doctor gave me a shot. FM said it was a vaccine. I also got some medicine to keep the fleas, ticks, and heartworms away. I’m glad cos I don’t want any of those yucky things. And the medicine tasted yummy. I got weighed at the doctor and guess what?! I’m in double digits now! I weigh over 10 pounds. I’m getting SO BIG! FM says I’m still really small for a 12-week-old Lab. But she says good things come in small packages!
I like to go for walks around the neighborhood. I don’t walk too far yet, but I do a good job keeping up with FM. I like to go for car rides, too, especially when FM opens the window and lets me look and sniff. Today I was biting the air that was flying in the window. FM thought that was funny. I like making FM laugh.
Foster mom spoke with Dr. Miller (cardiologist) and his nurse about some questions we had. They confirmed that Gibbs is not in congestive heart failure at this time and does not have any symptoms that warrant treatment. Dr. Miller said there are no medications that can prevent CHF. We discussed this with our primary vet and he agreed with this. I asked Dr. Miller and his nurse about Gibbs’ life expectancy. They both said probably 2-4 years. Gibbs will probably go into CHF by 1 year old. At that point, he will be started on medications to control it. Dr. Miller said that dogs can live “years” while being treated for CHF. His guess is that Gibbs would have 2-3 more years once he goes into CHF. Based on that, we believe Gibbs can be made available for adoption with a family who can focus on quality of time over quantity. The BOD approved getting a 2nd opinion from a cardiologist at UPENN. Our hope is that there may be a surgical option to help Gibbs. I contacted Penn but, unfortunately, their cardiology appointments are booked through February and they are not yet scheduling appointments beyond that. We are on the cancellation list and they will email me to let me know when I can call for an appointment. We plan to make Gibbs available soon so his forever family can enjoy this puppy time. We will ask that the family take Gibbs to UPENN for a 2nd opinion (at the rescue’s expense) as soon as we can get an appointment.
October 25, 2021
FM is providing today’s update because it is too complicated – and too sad – for Gibbs to share.
We saw Dr. Miller, the cardiologist at VRC today. He did an echocardiogram, an electrocardiogram, and an ultrasound of Gibbs’ heart. The news was not good. Gibbs does not have patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) as the vet at Smoketown suspected. This was bad news because PDA could have been corrected with a fairly “easy” surgery. Gibbs does have a congenital heart defect – Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia.
Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia is a malformation of the tricuspid valve and its associated supporting structures that assist in proper valve closure. The tricuspid valve, or right atrioventricular valve, separates the right atrium from the right ventricle. TVD results in a lack of complete valve closure leading to a backflow of blood (regurgitation) up into the right atrium. If the regurgitation is severe enough, the right side (right ventricle and right atrium) of heart becomes enlarged. As the right side of the heart progressively increases in size, right sided congestive heart failure can occur. Fluid can accumulate within the abdominal and/or chest cavity as a consequence of right sided heart failure.
There are no surgical options or medications to resolve this. Dr. Miller showed us that the right side of Gibbs’ heart is already three times the size of the left side. So, his case is severe. Dr. Miller thinks Gibbs will probably go into congestive heart failure within a year. This will be obvious because his abdomen will become distended as it fills with the backflow of blood from his heart. When this happens, Gibbs will be started on medications/procedures aimed at improving his quality of life, delaying the onset of congestive heart failure, and controlling fluid accumulation once heart failure has developed. Once he’s in congestive heart failure, it’s uncertain how much time he’ll have. Dr. Miller said some dogs survive for years. Others don’t get as much time. Dr. Miller recommends a follow-up appointment in 6 months or sooner if issues develop.
Until that time, Gibbs has no restrictions. Dr. Miller said we should “let him enjoy life”.
Our hearts are breaking for this little guy. But our focus will be on making sure Gibbs has an awesome life, even if it is shorter than we’d like it to be. ❤
October 24, 2021
I’ve been really busy this week learning all kinds of new stuff! I learned that if I just tilt my head a little bit like this..
Or like the other way like this…
I can get whatever I want from my FM’s. That’s an important skill for a puppy to learn!
I also learned that if I go to a certain section of the fence in the yard – the big kids call it Ma’s Biscuit Bar – treats come though the fence!
How cool is that?!
The biggest thing I learned this week is that I have a great, great grandfather – and he’s a really cool Brookline dog just like me! He came to visit me on Saturday.
Wow. Great great grandfathers sure are big! But he was really cool and not scary at all. His name is Nicholas.
He enjoyed checking out our whole yard. Then his FM put his leash on so I offered to take him for a walk to show him the neighborhood.
But FM said no. Maybe next time.
I wanted to send a big shout out to my buddies Denise, Pete and Banjo! I met them at the farm last weekend when we did the corn maze and hay ride. My FM’s told them about my bum heart and how I have to see a special doctor and all. So they sent a donation to Brookline to help pay for that. Thanks guys! I’m going to see the special doctor – he’s a cardiologist – tomorrow. FM says he’ll do a bunch of test to see what’s going on with my heart and how to fix it. In case you didn’t know, I saw a doctor before I came to Brookline. She said my heart makes a funny noise. She called it a murmur. And she thinks there’s something broken that a special doctor needs to fix. It’s gonna cost a lot of money but my FM’s said that is why Brookline works so hard to raise money – for special pups like me. They hope the special doctor can mend my broken heart! Did I tell you that’s how I got my name? I’m named after the Bee Gee’s (the Brothers Gibb) cos I made my FM’s think of their song “How can you mend a broken heart?”. I don’t know – but I’ll be the special doctor does! Wish me luck tomorrow!
Now I’m off to do what I do best – and I didn’t even have to learn how to do it!
October 24, 2021
Gibbs got to meet great great grandpa. Nicolas who is also a Brookline foster dog. Click on the link to learn about Nicolas https://brooklinelabrescue.org/blog/nicholas-silver-labrador-retriever-male-8-years-old-id-2994/
October 20, 2021
It’s me, Gibbs! I’ve been so busy since I came to my foster home, I haven’t had time to fill you in. Sunday was another big day for me. I went with my FM’s and Aunt Betty to a farm. But it wasn’t a yucky farm like I used to live on. It was a fun farm with lots of friendly people and cool things to do. First, we went through this thing called a corn maze. Aunt Betty was afraid we would get lost and be stuck in there forever. But I led the way and used my sniffer and my puppy smarts to find the way out!
I walked farther than I had ever walked in my whole puppy life! When I got tired, I hitched a ride in FM’s bag.
After the corn maze, we went on a hay ride. That was really cool. The hay had so many cool smells. I got to sit on lots of laps on the hayride. Everyone wanted to snuggle me and tell me how cute I am. Lots of people took my picture. FM said I must feel like a celebrity. I don’t know what that is – but maybe I felt like one. I sure did feel good!
And I got to check out these BIG orange things called pumpkins.
Pumpkins sure are cool!
It was a really fun day, but boy was I tired. I’ve never been so tired in my whole puppy life! I had to take a nap with duck before I could even finish dinner. I sure did have good dreams, though!
October 17, 2021
Hi there, My name is Gibbs.
I’m new around here. I came to Camp McGee yesterday after being sprung from the farm by some great Brookline people. I went for a long car ride and then I met some more wonderful Brookline people. Another long car ride to a house, and I got to go inside! I played, snuggled, ate and slept! It was a good day. Then I went for another car ride and met even more great Brookline people! And I met 2 big dogs. I was a little afraid at first coz they were BIG! But now I try to get them to play with me.
The big yellow one, Rubble will play tug with me, but I always win. The big black one, Floyd isn’t too sure about me yet. He’ll sniff, but he’s not interested in playing.
My first night was great according to my FM. I slept until 8:00! Yesterday was a really busy day for me with lots of activity and new experiences, and I needed sleep. I hope she doesn’t expect that to happen again. 😊
I had another fun filled day today so FM might get to sleep in one more day. I went to Aunt Lorraine’s coz my FM’s were going out. I got to play and run around her big yard. We went in the house, yes IN the house and she got all of these great stuffies that her dog used to play with. They were full of great smells and some of them made the weirdest noises, but I wasn’t scared by any of it. After all of the excitement, I crawled up onto the stuffies and took a nap with them.
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If you are interested in adopting this Lab or any other Lab from our Rescue, please visit our Web site, www.brooklinelabrescue.org, for more information on our adoption process. If you need additional information about the adoption process or whether you are in our coverage area, please send an e-mail to our Rescue at email@example.com
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