Karissa Yellow Labrador Retriever Female 6 Years Old ID#2682
Karissa is fresh off the farm, and ready to live the good life in a home of her own. Karissa and her friend, and fellow Brookline foster, Vivie came from the same farmer, and are finally finished with their breeding days. Please read Karissa’s blog from the bottom up.
January 7, 2023
Sadly I don’t have the best of news for this update, Karissa went for her surgical consult for the lump on her tail and unfortunately the vets found another lump in her neck that wasn’t there, the week prior. They took a sample which was sent to UPENN for cytology however both vets agree that they are concerned she has metastatic lymphoma based upon the lumps and how rapidly they are forming. Her blood work results, weight loss and other symptoms over the last two weeks also lead them to believe thats it’s much more serious than an initial diagnosis. The cytology results should be in within about a week but both vets agreed we are likely past the point of successful treatments, so while the vet said there are options for treatments, it will not improve her quality of life or provide a cure. So with that, she will be staying as a permanent foster. I’m very thankful to be able to foster this sweet girl and give her the best life compared to what farm life offered her! She will get all the cuddles, belly rubs, pup cups, and all the cheese sticks she can dream of while she can!
December 30, 2022
Since the last update, Karissa has been a complete angel! She only had one accident over the last two weeks in her crate and I noticed that she likes to find a hidden spot to go so I move the trash cans over and created a little space that wasn’t out in the open and now she runs right out to her spot and goes with no problems. She enjoys her walks and is still curious about the sights sounds and smells around her. She loves everyone she meets and gives loads of kisses and tail wags. She is certainly becoming more outgoing but still enjoys time in her spot by the door and her new spot on the couch. I went to the store and got a few different types of toys and chews to see if I could entice her to play since the stuffies she only carries in her mouth and sleeps with. The harder chew toys and Himalayan cheese chew mad her teeth and gums bleed fairly quickly so I took them away but she did show a lot of interest in them. I was able to fines a beef filed marrow bone that she enjoys licking and playing with that does not further damage or irritate her teeth. She will lay and lick that bone for hours on end so I’m really excited I found something she enjoys! (And if anyone has any suggestions feel free to send them my way!). She still doesn’t really “play” with my resident labs, she goes over gives them boops and kisses and then comes up on the couch and either cuddles up to me or cuddles up to her stuffie in her spot.When she did have her one accident she needed a bath and this was the first bath she received at home and not a self wash dog wash. She was afraid to get in the tub but once I got her in and sat down with her she calmed down. So much so she laid down and was lazy the entire time I tried to wash her! I tried putting peanut butter on the shower wall to keep her standing and came to find out very quickly that she does not at all like peanut butter which blew my mind. Unfortunately during this bath I did find a lump on the base of her tail. She did go to the vet this week to get it checked but since it is such a sensitive area where it’s located she has to go consult another vet which will be done on January 5th. So until we get that checked and get more information her spay is on hold and it will likely take a little longer for her to become available. Other than the lump and small issues we already knew about with her teeth and ears the vet said she’s perfect and looks great! She was also super sweet at the vet and with everyone in the waiting room, she was the most well behaved dog in the place.
December 15, 2022
I was waiting until today to do another update on Karissa because she was scheduled to get her spay surgery today, but due to the inclement weather the appointment was cancelled. So now she likely won’t get scheduled until the first or second week of January. (So she likely will be available once she heals up after that). Since our last update Rissa picked the cut out by the front door and spent 2-3 days just laying there and hanging out by herself. She would pick up toys and carry them over and drop them in that spot and lay with them. I think she thinks the stuffies are puppies because she has cuddled up to them by her belly. Resident pup Remi tried to entice her to play but she still doesn’t quite understand how to do it so she instead chose to take a nap on Remi. For a quick minute I thought she was missing farm life and just didn’t know how to dog but she quickly came back out of her shell and started laying back on the couch again and snuggling up to me and both resident pups. She is still pulling a bit on our walks and trying to teach her commands is interesting because she doesn’t really get it other than sit and no. She much rather give loads of kisses or run away to go lay down and nap. She does take correction very well and has tried to steal my food twice but stopped on “No”. Though I was not quick enough to catch her shredding up my Dunkin’ Donuts bag. She has also done extremely well being left out of the crate over night and do believe she would do fine outside the crate unattended as long as no Dunkin bags are in sight! She has had two more accidents but when she did she went into the crate to do it so honestly I am very thankful to her for not going on my floors and instead choosing her crate! For the most part she is good at going out in the yard but I suspect she’d do really well with a doggy door and the ability to go out on her terms. She hasn’t figured out the bell system we have on our door and instead she jumped up and took out the most of the blinds with her (you can see her handy work in the photo of all 3 dogs out back below lol) This week I have also noticed some little things that spook or scare her that she’s not used to. She was pretty afraid of a trash bag when I took the trash out and had to show her that it was ok and let her sniff it and paw at it before she came back around. Also sudden noises seem to be a big thing for her. Jets flew over head for the Army Navy game and that freaked her out a bit but she settled in after awhile. This week I plan on introducing some new types of toys/chews and a peanut butter kong to see if it helps her learn how to play and “dog”. She still remains to be an absolute sweet heart!!
December 8, 2022
Since our last update, Karissa has continued to be an absolute sweetheart! She still has her quiet nights in her crate with no accidents! I tried to let her sleep outside of the crate but she snuggles up and periodically wakes up and pants heavily because I think she’s still nervous. The panting keeps me up so she sleeps in her crate. Once she settles in more and the panting subsides I will try letting her stay out over night but I do think she will be fine out of the crate.
An ambulance went by the house and she had the cutest little howl I ever did hear! She seems to hold her bladder for very long despite being let out multiple times a day she only goes morning and night right now, I’m not sure if this is just a nervous thing from a new environment or if it’s just what she was used to being kenneled on a farm. She did bark at 7am and when I got up and let her out of the crate she ran right to the back door and waited for me to let her out to potty. I do believe she is learning that she goes out there. She did have another accident in her crate after eating again, it seems to be her routine to pee immediately after her food is done so I just have to try and let her out immediately after she’s done to prevent the accident. Otherwise, she’s been great with going outside.She is starting to open up a little bit and show more excitement and energy briefly here and there. She grabbed a ball and carried around in her mouth and now she will pick out a toy and carry it to the couch where she will then lay down with it. She still very much prefers to snuggle up on the couch and will either try to snuggle in behind me or curl up on my legs. Currently as I write this she is snuggled on my legs snoring!
She went for her first walk yesterday since the day before it rained all day, and she did very well! She pulled a little initially but eventually settled in. Her pulling wasn’t terrible to begin with and I think it was more excitement with all the new sights sounds and smells. She was very intrigued by a cone and spent 15 minutes smelling it, pawing it, and looking at it side ways. During our walk she would constantly look back and make sure I was still there and would occasionally wait for me and walk by my side. She did great with everything on the walk, the only thing the scared her was when someone slammed their car door shut. My dad came over to visit and she met him and did great. She was excited to meet someone new and have lots of rail wags and kisses! She had better manners than both resident pups in meeting him and waiting for pets and treats. She didn’t jump or get too hyper or excited. I will update more as we try new things for now she remains the sweetest snuggling couch potato!!
December 5, 2022
Karissa had another peaceful night in her crate! I woke up around 4am to what I thought was the smell of an accident but to my pleasant surprise there was no poop, she was just gassy likely from new food, but man would it if cleared the room. I brought her outside and she quickly pottied and came back in. She settled right back down in her crate. She doesn’t like going in without being lured by a treat but she settles down and doesn’t make a sound while she is in there. And based off of these last three days I am more inclined to see how she does over night now without being crated as it seems like she will just lay by your side the entire night.This morning she finally picked up her toy bear and carried it around in her mouth after watching resident pup Remi do the same, they were like two peas in a pod. Karissa or as I have been calling her, Rissa, has been much more exploratory today as well and tried getting up on two paws to see the counter tops. She was corrected with a stern no and immediately jumped down. She figured out how to get up on the sofa today and has been glued to my side all day. If I got up to go do chores around the house or go upstairs she remained in her place on the sofa until I got back. I’m not sure yet if her personality is just a couch potato or if she’s still just shy and needs to decompress, either way she’s been the perfect house guest.She had a great interaction with the resident cat today, while laying on the couch he came up to her and they sniffed nose to nose and both laid down unbothered by the other. I do think she is still a little shy and uncertain as she tried to squeeze in and lay behind me all day. She was more inclined to snuggle all day even while resident pups Remi and Gunner horsed around and played a game of tug.Both dogs tried to get her to play but I still don’t think she understands how. Tomorrow I’m going to take her on her first walk to start seeing new places and things if she seems more up for it. She also has had no accidents in the house still and is getting much better going up and down the steps!
December 4, 2022
Last night was pretty uneventful for us. Karissa settled down into her crate and slept soundly all night. She didn’t make a single peep the entire night or morning and waited patiently for me to come let her out. She has been going potty out in the yard though she does struggle with the steps with her shorter legs, so she is still nervous about going outside. She only had one accident so far and it was inside her crate immediately after she ate her dinner. (And I’ll blame that one on me not her cause I couldn’t tell who peed and who didn’t while we were outside before they went in their crates for dinner). Speaking of her dinner, she probably would have housed the entire bowl too if I let her! I switched her into a slow feeder when I noticed how quickly she was scarfing down her food. Not sure if this was just from not eating yesterday or if that’s just how she eats, time will tell but we’ll use the slow feeder for now. Karissa was very interested in all the people and things on the tv screen and was even curious of the bed laying on the floor. She was afraid to step onto it but once I kid on it and resident pup Gunner laid on it she gained the courage to try.She finally realized what exactly a bed was and once she laid down she was inseparable from the bed for hours! She snuggled right on down and napped the day away. I gave her all of her new toys but sadly she doesn’t know what a toy is! She had no clue what to do with any of it and just licked the bear as if it were a puppy!After watching Remi and Gunner horse around, chase the ball, and play Karissa became much more curious of the toys. She even carried the ball in her mouth briefly. I can’t wait to see her once she figures out toys are fun! She continues to give loads of kisses to me, both resident pups and even got the cat! When she’s not napping or trying to figure out what Remi and Gunner are doing, she is glued by my side with a smile on her face.She is the sweetest thing! She is starting to understand “sit” and I’m sure with time and patience she will know all of her commands! Today was the first dose of her ear medication and despite not liking it she let me put the medicine in with no problems and sat very nicely.Right now she’s currently trying to figure out how to play with the resident pups but it’s mostly been her just inserting herself laying down and snuggling up! I’m sure they be showing her the ropes in no time! I will update more of her progress tomorrow!
December 3, 2022
Karissa was sprung from the farm today ready to start the best years of her life! Let me tell ya, considering she doesn’t know her name or seemingly any commands or training, Karissa is the most well behaved dog I have ever met! She loves giving kisses, being near people and is such a sweetheart! She didn’t quite know how to get in and out of the car but inside the car she was a complete angel and napped for the entire hour ride to the vet clinic.Once at the clinic she strolled the aisles of the attached pet store and found a stuffie she really liked. We grabbed the stuffie and got her loaded up into the self serve bath station since she was dirty and smelly.She was hesitant of the bath but she let me wash and dry her with ease giving loads of kisses the whole time. Once her bath was done she saw the vet and got a thorough exam! The vet praised her for how well behaved she was and how sweet she was despite everything the vet was doing. She has a double ear infection and some wounds on her legs that the vet wants to see again in three weeks but other than that she’s a healthy girl!She went potty on the grass outside before napping for the hour long ride home! Once home to my surprise she handled the steps like a champ and met resident cat Harris at the door. She was very shy and hesitant of the cat but loved meeting resident dogs Remi and Gunner. O nce home she went potty outside and then got introduced and settled into her crate for some much needed rest. She did eventually bark when she was ready to come out and she went potty in the yard again! Though she was a bit clumsy going down the steps to the yard so we’re going to have to work on that! She is currently trying to figure out who the people on the TV are! I will update you all tomorrow as she continues to settle in!
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