Skylar Yellow Labrador Retriever Male 1 Year Old ID #2802
September 11, 2021
Please enjoy this video of Skylar playing “find it”. He loves using his labby nose to snuffle through the grass and find things so why not give him something to look/sniff for! You will notice the leash on the little guy. We were in a non-fenced yard and when he wants to move in his wheelchair, he has surprising speed. He nearly outran his foster dad the other day. Since the yard is next to a street, although a dead-end street, we wanted to make sure he was safe. He felt like one of the big dogs around here going out on a leash! 😉
August 31, 2021
Skylar turned one-year-old on 8/31/21.
We celebrated with yogurt (Skylar’s favorite!), Himalayan chews and new stuffies! We are currently down the beach, so we took a birthday picture to commemorate his big birthday. Happy, happy birthday little guy!!!🥳🎂🦮
August 23, 2021
Skylar still loves his stroller and going for his version of walks. If I get busy and we haven’t taken a walk yet for the day, he will scoot over to his stroller and nudge it to “remind” me it’s time for a walk. Gotta love this little guy! ☺
August 12, 2021
Skylar continues to do well in foster care. He’s been getting himself up and “walking” around the house more and more.
This little guy never ceases to amaze me! His foster family has company staying with them again and of course Skylar is getting lots of attention from everyone. The newborn baby that visited last month came back for a visit. Skylar has been trying to convince us that he needs her bottles after she’s finished with them. He LOVES to play with the empty drink bottles his foster family finishes, so he thinks the baby bottles look like a lot of fun. He did manage to pull one out of the diaper bag and happily brought it to me. What a retriever he is! 😂
We recently noticed some behaviors from Skylar that appeared seizure-like. After discussing with his primary vet and showing her a video of the episode we decided to put him on anti-seizure medication as needed. He only has these episodes when he gets super excited and/or overstimulated, like when we have a playdate with a friend’s young lab mix. The vet explained this isn’t unusual as the parasite caused some scarring on his brain that causes the seizures. It presents as teeth grinding, jaw clenching and staring. It is short lived and he bounces right back, thankfully. He is handling the medicine very well too. It’s working and we’re not seeing any side effects, which is great.
Skylar still loves going for walks in his stroller.
He loves playing with the resident labs. He loves food and treats. He loves affection and attention from his foster family. He loves life and he is an inspiration to everyone he meets! He really is a special little guy!!!
July 18, 2021
Skylar is now 10-months-old, wow, time really does fly! He continues to do well in foster care with his foster mom, foster dad and fur siblings. Skylar got to experience big fireworks recently during the 4th of July festivities. At first, he wasn’t so sure about them, but we hung out in the back of the car with the hatch open and he was fine chilling next to me.
We’ve also had plenty of thunderstorms recently. I am happy to report that Skylar is not fazed by them. If there’s a big rumble, he may pick his head up to see what the commotion is, but he’s generally not concerned about it. Good boy Skylar!
A bonus for Skylar with the storms is that we’ve had some branches come down in the yard. He loves chewing on sticks so he’s always excited to see new ones. The bigger the better to this little guy!
Skylar and his foster parents are really enjoying his doggy stroller. He accompanied his foster family to the Home Depot recently. After a few barks (he’s such an alert barker!) he happily rolled around the store. He even got a treat at the checkout counter from the nice woman working there. He LOVES treats! 😋
June 27, 2021
Skylar’s foster parents went away for a week and Skylar got to stay with his Aunt Patty and her Brookline foster dog Rocky. The boys got along well and Skylar even motivated Rocky to eat his food before the paralyzed pup could get to it. Do not underestimate this little guy, he’s all lab, very food motivated and can scoot faster than you think! 😂
Skylar came home to a houseful including a newborn baby that was visiting. He was curious, but mostly indifferent to the baby. He did like all the new people in the house willing to play with him though. He also got to get in his stroller and go to the local park that was having a pop-up beer garden and yappy hour. He saw another local Brookline volunteer there. To say he was a hit strolling around in an understatement!
June 10, 2021
Skylar wanted to share his newest version of wheels with everyone. He got a doggy stroller this week. He LOVES it!
He always got so excited when the resident dogs got their harnesses on and the leashes came out for a walk. Due to his lack of vaccinations and his mobility issues, he couldn’t come with us. It always made me sad to leave him behind. Now we don’t have to. He gets to roll in the stroller on our walks.
To say he is the hit of the neighborhood is an understatement. I will say we’ve gotten some surprised looks when a person realizes it is a dog and not a baby in the stroller. It does make a good conversation starter! 😂
May 29, 2021
Skylar experienced his first big thunderstorm this week here. Resident lab Pepper does not like thunder and prefers to ride out the storm in a safe space. Resident lab Colin is unphased by thunder. I was curious to see how Skylar would react. It was evening, and Skylar was snoozing on the couch. There was a large rumble of thunder and Skylar woke up very alert. He proceeded to bark at the thunder like it was an intruder. After I finished laughing at the little paralyzed pup who was going to take on the big bad storm, I reassured him that we were fine and it was just thunder, no big deal. He titled his head as if to question my certainty, saw Colin still snoozing and decided it was safe. He went back to sleep. I do love seeing the personalities of dogs. They are so unique!
Skylar had a strawberry for the first time this week. My neighbor’s garden has a plethora of strawberries. We were invited to pick some. I brought a handful home for the dogs. Pepper and Colin lined up licking their lips. Skylar came running across the backyard in his wheelchair. He curiously sniffed the strange object, aka the strawberry, being offered to him. When he realized the other two had already eaten theirs, he was afraid he was going to miss out so he took it in his mouth. He quickly realized that he really liked this strawberry thing. The second strawberry I offered him, he gobbled up without hesitation! So now we know Skylar likes strawberries!
Skylar is still looking for his very special furever family. If you are interested, or know someone who is, please reach out. I am happy to answer questions!
Enjoy the video of Skylar and Colin, or the boys as I often call them, playing bitey face.
May 19, 2021
Skylar wanted to say hi to all of his blog readers. We know how many people read these blogs and we’re hoping that they can help spread the word that he’s still looking for his special forever family.
We have been watching the brood x cicadas hatching in the yard this week. Skylar seems unimpressed. Resident lab Colin agrees, while Pepper thinks they make a tasty treat, minus the wings, which she spits out. Pepper is being redirected from her unapproved snack habit!
I recently made a trip to the local Trader Joe’s. When I carried the bag into the house, it ripped. I was about to take it out to the recycling bin. Skylar saw the paper bag flapping as I walked by and he lit up! I gave him the bag and he very happily proceeded to shred it. Always the simplest things that provide the most joy to this little guy!
I know I’ve mentioned that when Skylar is ready for a break in his wheelchair, he will kind of “melt”. I finally got a picture of it. This is how I know he’s done. I came around the corner and snapped the picture of his front-end melt. It’s hard work moving around in a wheelchair!
Oh, and he recently got his new big boy wheels for his chair. They are much bigger and provide more stability, which is nice, less tipping. However, they stick out much further than his previous smaller wheels so he’s learning how to navigate doorways again. Sometimes he gets a wheel caught and needs a little help. It’s a process, but he’s learning!
Skylar still loves romping and wrestling with Pepper. If you watch the video, you can see how he scoots around when he isn’t in his wheelchair. It’s kind of amazing how he can move.
May 5, 2021
Skylar is now 8 months old, wow! He continues to grow and get stronger every day. He’s still petite, he was 30lbs last week at the vet. While we can’t predict the future, we think he will always be undersized for a lab. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for a dog who needs assistance with his mobility.
Skylar got to visit his primary vet for some diarrhea issues. We tried the typical home remedies, bland diet, pumpkin, etc. with no improvement. He was then started on a medication for diarrhea which is usually very effective. Unfortunately, it did not help Skylar. His primary vet consulted with a veterinary internist and he was started on a different medication. He is doing much better now. We don’t know what caused the stool issue, and you would never know he wasn’t feeling well. He was still happy, playful Skylar! His foster family and his vet both are pleased knowing that the little guy is feeling better now.
Skylar continues to work on his wheelchair skills. Some days he’s ready to go and surprises me with how far he can go and how long he can be in the chair. I’ve started putting the leash on the wheelchair when we go out front to keep him nearby. That’s a new one! Other days he gets tired more quickly and needs more breaks. That is to be expected and we happily oblige.
He’s content laying nearby when I have some work to do. He did find the corner of the rug recently so we’re learning what can and cannot be chewed. He’s pretty responsive to a firm voice and redirection to something he can chew, like a bone or antler. Oh, and he recently decided that my empty Gatorade bottle was great fun. It’s always the simplest things that bring the most joy!
We are working with Maximus, the company that provided his back leg booties and braces with wheels. Since he’s now started his “walking”, we’re encouraging that by taking off the wheels and using the paws up braces and booties to help him correctly use his back paws. Since his one back leg is significantly shorter than the other, the company has offered to make adjustments for him. We are so appreciative of how helpful they have been!
Please enjoy the video of Skylar taking his bottle for a “walk” in the grass!
April 23, 2021
While Skylar patiently waits for his furever family to find him, he’s been working on his strength and mobility. He’s able to pull himself up on his two front legs and do a kind of handstand. Impressive! Well today he outdid himself. He was laying in the grass nearby while I was picking up sticks in the yard. I turned around and I saw Skylar “walking” towards me. I pulled out my phone and grabbed a video.
To say I was shocked is an understatement! I shared the video with his physical therapist and we both had tears of joy!!! This little guy continues to amaze us, wow! All it took to get him really motivated is Pepper and some sticks. They are, after all, two of his favorite things.
I hope this video makes you smile as much as it did me!!!😊
April 14, 2021
Skylar is still waiting for his very own furever family. Anyone who has met this little guy knows how special he is. His joy for life is contagious! He is not hindered by his back leg paralysis. He rolls around on his wheels, trying to eat sticks and dandelions just like any other puppy.
When he is getting time out of his wheelchair, he scoots around the house using his front legs.
He loves to play with resident tri-pawed Pepper like that. They romp and wrestle together. It’s pretty cute and always puts a smile on my face!
He got his new back leg braces and booties, thanks to Maximus Skates. https://maximusskates.com/
He’s been rocking them around the house and sidewalk!
March 26, 2021
Skylar had a big week this week. He graduated from physical therapy! Check out his graduation photo! Watching his progress has been so incredible. I am constantly amazed at the resilience of the dogs I foster, and Skylar is no exception. Way to go little guy!
Skylar, the 6-month-old purebred yellow lab is now available for adoption. I post this with mixed emotions as usual, but even more so with Skylar. On one hand, we didn’t know if this little guy would make it this far. I’m so pleased that he has reached this milestone! On the other hand, I will be so sad to see him go. We’ve been through a lot together and letting a foster go is always so hard for me, but especially those that need a little more, or a lot more, as is the case with Skylar.
Skylar is a special pup who beat the odds and survived his bout with neospora. It has left him with back leg paralysis and he will likely need more physical therapy as he grows and develops as his body is changing. Any person or family interested in Skylar will need to be committed to his daily needs, including getting him into and out of his braces, booties, and wheelchair multiple times per day. He cannot do stairs, so a home with mostly first floor living would be best. If you have steps to get outside, he will need a ramp or to be carried. These are the things I want potential families to consider about his daily needs.
Skylar cannot currently be vaccinated as the parasite, while treated and dormant, could re-activate per his vets if there is an issue with his immune system. Since vaccines trigger the immune system, they want to wait until he is fully mature 12+ months, to revisit a discussion about vaccinations. He has a state certified medical waiver currently. The vet wants him to keep his testosterone to help him build muscles and strength, so his adoptive family will need to be willing to revisit the neutering discussion after he’s a year old too.
Skylar is growing and as such will need to have a bigger wheelchair once he outgrows his current one. Eventually, when he is full grown, it would be best to have a custom wheelchair made for him. There is an amazing custom doggy wheelchair manufacturer called Eddie’s Wheels https://www.eddieswheels.com/. They have provided a lot of insight and support whenever I have reached out to them with questions. Lovely and very knowledgeable people!
Skylar will also need a continued relationship with a local physical therapist, at least as long as he’s growing. So, any adoptive family must be committed and willing to do that for him.
Skylar is an amazing pup who beat the odds and survived his parasite infection. He surprised quite a few vets! I know I’m biased, but I think he’s a fantastic pup. Of course, he’s absolutely adorable too! He is easy to fall in love with and he tugs at your heartstrings, but even though he is a special needs pup, he doesn’t realize it. He is happy playing bitey face with the resident dogs. Chewing on toys. Finding and trying to eat sticks. Bouncing and licking his lips while I pour his kibble in his bowl. And most especially curling up with his family on the couch in the evenings. He’s really just a happy puppy! So, while there are absolutely special needs to consider when adopting Skylar, there are many typical things about him too. If there are any questions, I am more than happy to speak with potential adopters directly. I want to make sure this is the right decision for them and most importantly, for Skylar. I’m going to miss this little guy soooo much!
March 17, 2021
Skylar wanted to show everyone his photo shoot from his physical therapist. Isn’t he just the cutest leprechaun?!
March 2, 2021
Skylar is now 6 months old. Wow, time certainly flies when you’re rehabilitating a paralyzed puppy! Skylar continues to improve and amaze all of us with his use of the wheelchair. He’s rolling around both inside and out with his rear wheels only. He does get tired quickly, so he gets lots of time out of the wheelchair too. It’s a process, but he is definitely going in the right direction.
This week we had another major milestone. Skylar is now going potty outside in the wheelchair. He had been reticent about going potty in the wheelchair and preferred to be taken out and placed in the grass to go pee or poop. Well, this week that changed. We were visiting my dad down the beach where everything is very flat. He was rolling around in the driveway getting some exercise and practicing his skills in the wheelchair. He rolled himself over to the grass and pooped. Yay! That might not seem like much, but it was a pretty big deal and one of Skylar’s goals. Later when we were back in the house, he rolled himself over to the door and whimpered. He usually whimpers when he has to go potty. We went outside and he went pee in his wheelchair in the grass. Woo-hoo!!! We are so proud of him!
Skylar recently, along with his foster fur siblings, got a bath and brushing. None of them were thrilled with it, but they all smelled so good. Well, for at least a day or so! Skylar has learned the joys of the whipped cream here. In this house, you cannot take a can of whipped cream out of the fridge without the labs running from all corners of the house with their tongues ready for their treat. He is right in line with resident labs, Pepper and Colin. They all get a squirt of whipped cream and get to lick it off my finger. It’s so cute to see Skylar licking his lips in anticipation of his turn to lick the whipped cream! 😋
Enjoy the video of Skylar and resident lab Colin, playing bitey face!
February 22, 2021
Ok, the video is not the best, but I just have to share Skylar’s breakthrough today. He’s figured out his wheelchair! No turning back now for this little one. He’s rolling around the house and even chased Pepper down and stole her Nyla bone! 😂
In some super exciting and unexpected news, he is actually using his back legs to hop a little while he’s in the wheelchair. This may not seem like much, but it’s way more than we ever expected from his back legs. Go Skylar GO!!!!
February 20, 2021
Skylar continues to make progress with his ability to use his wheelchair. After consulting with a doggy wheelchair expert and his physical therapist, we decided to try him with just back wheels. He is making progress! He’s taken a few tumbles, but it doesn’t faze him and we keep on trying. Here is one of his more successful attempts!
In non-mobility news, Skylar continues to be a happy puppy. He loves other dogs. Resident lab Pepper is his daytime playmate and Colin takes the evening shift. They’re all really cute together! He enjoys eating snow and ice, even though foster mom is over the whole winter thing.
Skylar is quite the little alert barker. He cracks me up with his “fierce” bark when he hears a car pull up or the mail carrier approaches. He thinks he’s so big!
He loves his food now. For a while when he was on the antibiotics, he had less of an appetite. He’s making up for it now. He gets excited when he hears the kibble hit the bowl. He starts bouncing and licking his lips! 😋
February 10, 2021
I wanted to share Skylar’s success today. We are working on encouraging him to move himself forward in his wheelchair. Today we had some great success with a little help from resident labs Pepper and Colin. So happy for this little guy and his progress!!!🥳💪🏻
February 7, 2021
Skylar continues to make progress in foster care. He is gaining so much strength in his front end. He still does not like the wheelchair. He is the most STUBBORN puppy ever! He will willfully turn his head to the side and just refuse to move when he doesn’t want to do it, which is often. We, along with his PT team, have used all manners of bribes. He cannot be swayed when he’s decided he’s not doing it. He needs to WANT to do it, then he can do it.
This past week at his PT they worked specifically on getting him to move himself forward in the wheelchair. They are so amazing about using toys, cheers, treats…you name it, to motivate him. He did walk a little bit all by himself on the tile in the wheelchair. That’s where we have the most luck with him here, on the tile. The carpet he gets better traction on his front legs, but he also gets more traction on the wheels. That makes it harder for him. They gave us rubber “booties” to help with his traction. They’re basically like deflated balloons that slide onto his front paws. They do help with his traction and that’s when he started moving himself. Baby steps, but steps, or rolls as the case may be, in the right direction!
Skylar saw the neurologist last week. Dr. Tracy was beyond pleasantly surprised by the progress he has made. He was in awe of how well he’s doing compared to what he looked like that first week in foster care. He took blood and we’re waiting for the neospora titer results now. It was a long wait last time, and this time isn’t looking to move any faster. His recommendation for now is to keep doing the PT. He said it will absolutely give him the best chance at regaining strength and mobility. We know he won’t ever gain use of his back legs, but his front legs are definitely going in the right direction. We want to continue that progress.
We will follow up with the primary vet after we get the titer results back. We have not vaccinated Skylar to give his body the best chance at fighting this parasite. I’m hopeful we can move forward with his puppy vaccines. Who knows, we may be able to get him out in the wheelchair for a “walk” someday soon. Wouldn’t that be nice!
January 25, 2021
Skylar finished his antibiotics this past week. That was a major milestone for us here. It now seems strange to not give him medicine twice per day. We were told to watch him to make sure we weren’t seeing any negative changes or regression. I am pleased to say that we have not seen any of that. He continues to get a little stronger each day. His stamina is growing too. Part of that is probably his age, but part of it is probably because we have treated those nasty neospora parasites. We have a recheck with the neurologist later this week. He wants to run another titer test and see what Skylar’s neospora number is now. It was “sky high” when we originally ran the test.
Skylar continues his weekly PT sessions with his therapy team. He also gets daily PT at home with his foster family. He is still just as stubborn! Resident lab Pepper went to his therapy session last week. We were hoping that she would be good motivation, but other than motivating Skylar to eat a few more treats he could not be bribed. Not even with his favorite furry friend. Pepper enjoyed the treats and the reunion with her former therapists. She gave out plenty of kisses!
Skylar got fitted for a help ’em up harness this week. It’s really helping him and his foster parents when they lift him. He also got some wrist supports because his front wrists are hyper flexing. We need to stop that, so the wrist supports are helping with that. He’s a good sport about not chewing them. He only wears them when we’re actively working though so he doesn’t get much opportunity to chew on them.
In some more milestone news, Skylar lost his first tooth today. Or at least the first tooth I’ve found. He was playing bitey face with his best fur friend Pepper and I noticed something small on the blanket. It was a little puppy tooth! I always think it’s so exciting when they start losing their puppy teeth.
Skylar really loves playing with Pepper during the day. When the sun goes down, so does Pepper. Skylar is still confused with that one. However, our other resident lab, Colin (also a Brookline alum!) picks up the puppy play slack in the evening. It’s so cute to watch Colin roll over on his back and play with Skylar. Colin’s head is the size of Skylar, but he’s so gentle with the little ones. It really warms my heart to see. 🥰
Skylar sends his love and some wiggly puppy teeth to everyone in Brookline blog land! Please enjoy the video of Pepper and Skylar playing with some squeaky toys!
January 14, 2021
Skylar got half of his wheelchair this past week, thanks to a very kind donation from Joey’s P.A.W. They are an organization that provides prosthetics and wheels to dogs in need, like Skylar. https://www.joeyspaw.org/
We are waiting for his front wheels to arrive, which should be any day now. Today Skylar had PT with his rear wheels for the first time. Please enjoy the video of Skylar learning to use his wheels today, I know I sure did!
Skylar continues to lack motivation to move forward during his therapy sessions. In discussing how we could motivate him with his therapists today, we decided that resident lab Pepper is his biggest motivation. When he sees her across the room, he always tries to pull himself to get to her. That’s what we need him to be doing in PT. So next week, Pepper will be attending as a therapy assistant/motivator for Skylar. It will be a little reunion of sorts. Skylar’s therapists were also Pepper’s therapist back when she came into rescue with a twice broken leg. Now she’s the fastest 3 legs in town!
Here is a video of Skylar and Pepper having some playtime together recently. Skylar adores Pepper!
January 5, 2021
Skylar recently turned 4 months old on New Year’s Eve. We thought it was so nice that the community decided to mark the occasion with fireworks at midnight! 🎆 The good news is the little guy was not phased by the fireworks. He did turn his head to see what was going on, but other than that, he was fine. For a pup born into a pandemic, he is getting a lot of socialization. Especially with his PT, vet visits, and field trips with his foster family.
Skylar continues to be a happy puppy here in foster care. We have been doing physical therapy with him 1-2 times a week. While he has made progress, especially in his front end, we feel that he will need a wheelchair to help him be mobile. Foster mom did some research and found a group willing to donate a temporary wheelchair to Skylar. Since he’s young and still growing, he doesn’t need his permanent one just yet.
Skylar’s therapist wants to start him out with a quad wheelchair. That will help him support his front and back end while we continue to increase his strength and mobility. There is no predicting the future, but we are hopeful that his front end will continue to improve. Ideally so would his back end, but that is looking less likely. In my conversations with wheelchair makers, who were very helpful and informative, one had experience with a lab with neospora. He too was a yellow male lab infected when he was a pup, just like Skylar. They made him a custom wheelchair and he was adopted by a wonderful family. He lived to 14 1/2 years old, which is a great life for a lab. That made me so happy to hear!
During Brookline’s break, Skylar made some trips with his family to the beach. Since he’s not vaccinated, he gets to travel in his super awesome snuggle sack that his Aunt Dee made for him. That keeps him protected from any possible contaminants and also adds to his cute factor. He got lots of awww’s from the passersby. He is pretty adorable!
Skylar is fantastic in the car. He will just snuggle right into his bed and watch the world go by while chewing on a toy. His favorite toy of late has been his stuffed lamb. He’s figured out how to make it squeak, which he loves! Oh, and paper products, like napkins and paper towels. He loves to shred them. I might indulge him every now and again. 😊
Skylar sends his love to everyone and promises some super cute wheelchair photos once we get them!
December 17, 2020
Skylar had a recheck with the neurologist today. Skylar weighed in at 20lbs. He is getting bigger! Today was the first time the neurologist saw Skylar in person in about a month. He was pleasantly surprised by the improvement in the little guy! Skylar is much more bright, alert and responsive than he was at last visit. He has movement in his front legs and more general strength. The neurologist said we were doing amazing things for Skylar!
Skylar’s got a team of helpers, his foster family who provide his daily love, care and exercises. His physical therapy team who works so hard to help Skylar relearn how to use his muscles and gain strength. His vets, primary, specialty and the ones who, without ever meeting him, have weighed in, offered advice and support. While life has not handed Skylar the best medical diagnosis, he has been gifted with an amazing support team!
Skylar has another month of the two antibiotics. We are halfway through the course now. The neurologist wants us to continue what we’re doing and then bring him in once he’s been off the antibiotics for 1-2 weeks. At that time, we will check his titers to see how his body and the treatment responded to the neospora caninum parasite. We’re hopeful he’ll be all clear then. Fingers and paws crossed!!!
In non-medical news, Skylar sleeps through the night and keeps his bed dry. He is truly grass trained and has control of his bladder and bowel movements. I do have to carry him out to the grass, but he goes potty outside. I can’t tell you the last time he had an accident. He has house trained so much faster than most of the puppies! He did have foster dad shovel the snow off the grass for him to go potty in the recent snow storm. I, foster mom, may have stood over him with an umbrella to keep him dry while he went potty. He has us wrapped around his little paws! Oh, and he likes the icy snow balls that are outside now. He bites them and tosses them around! 😂
Skylar’s personality is really coming out. He’s a bit of a spoiled pup in the food department. He decided recently that he was no longer going to eat the kibble he had been eating since coming into foster care. Who ever heard of a lab turning up their nose at a bowl of food?!? I ordered him a different kibble and he’s eating that one now with some mix-ins. He still likes lunch the best because he gets yogurt with that meal. For breakfast and dinner, I’ve upped our mix-in value and he’s getting a little wet food in it. He is spoiled! 😝
Skylar has no negative side effects from the two antibiotics, thankfully. The only drama there is that he has decided the pills are disgusting and he now spits them out. I used to give it to him tucked into some string cheese. He now separates it from the cheese, swallows the cheese and spits out the pill. He’s keeping me on my toes! I tried putting peanut butter on it or putting it in a pill pocket, etc. Nope, the little puppy monster was smarter than that and was eating the good stuff and spitting the pill out! I have now resorted to making a homemade “pill pocket” with a pat of butter. He LOVES the butter and hasn’t figured out the pill is in the middle. Let’s hope it stays that way.
Skylar sends his love and littlest of licks to your chin. That’s his move when I pick him up! Keep sending the well wishes and positive thoughts his way. He’s got a long road ahead of him, but this little fiesty guy has the will and spirit to do it!!!
December 3, 2020
Skylar first wanted to thank everyone that donated to Brookline’s Giving Grid this past week. It is truly appreciated! Your donations make helping dogs like Skylar and so many others possible. Thank you from Skylar and from all of Brookline! 🤗💕🐾
Skylar has been very busy with all of his PT visits and at home exercises. He kind of wishes he wasn’t so busy, but it’s a good thing! He thinks PT stands for “puppy torture”! 😂
Here are some of the latest achievements I’ve seen from Skylar:
He is able to practice standing on the pile of towels with less help from me and he’s able to do it longer. I told his PT team that he was even able to wiggle himself off the towels in a forward motion. Not that I want him to “escape” his PT, but I was kind of impressed he was able to do that!
He is able to bring his two front legs together. Previously they kind of splayed out in a V. Now he’s bringing them together.
Also, in the front leg department, he’s starting to try to push himself up with his front legs. When I’m coming to pick him up to move him somewhere, he will now try to push himself up on his front paws. He doesn’t get far, but I can see him trying!
He is also able, with some help from me, to hold himself up on his front paws in a kind of sitting position. I usually have to brace him while he does this, but he can do it!
I am not seeing a huge improvement in the back legs, but when we do the towel standing, his back legs are more stable than they were originally.
His neck is much stronger and I’m seeing him use it more. We play gentle tug as part of our daily exercises and he’s stronger with his pulling. He’s trying to stretch with his neck and reach for things. His problem there is he also uses his tongue and often flicks the things further away. He’s trying!
The left front leg seems to be more mobile and he’s able to use it more. The right front leg hasn’t quite caught up yet, but we’ll keep working!
Here’s a video of Skylar using his front legs to kind of sit up.
November 24, 2020
Skylar had his second session of PT this week. Due to covid restrictions, foster mom was not allowed in the building. They only allow a person in for the evaluation session. So, I do not have any cuter Skylar PT photos. I’m sure he was adorable though!
Skylar came out wrapped in a towel as they did a little more water treadmill at the end of his session. He is able to use his left front leg a little bit on the treadmill. The right leg hasn’t caught up yet, but we’ll keep trying! He also got laser treatments, which I’m sure he appreciated as he’s got to be sore working that little body so hard. He worked on his stretching and Breanna, who was working with him this week, said she allowed him to chew on her shoe laces as a distraction while she stretched him. Puppy concessions!
I sent Dr. Kate the video of Skylar rolling over this week. She cheered with me! This little guy has a whole team of cheerleaders and supporters.
This weekend Skylar got to visit another Brookline foster home for the evening while foster mom and dad had a night out. He had a great time at Aunt Patty’s house and she spoiled him shamelessly! He’s pretty easy to spoil with that cute little face!
Skylar is growing and as such, his bark is growing too. He no longer aaahhh-wwooooo’s, he has a little (don’t tell him I call it little!) puppy bark now. I already miss the baby aaahhhh-woooo’s but it’s good to see him thriving and growing. He uses his vocalizations to let me know when he needs something. Sometimes it’s because he has to go potty. Usually it’s when one of his toys has gotten too far away from his baby shark teeth. I know the feeling; I too am one of his favorite “chew” toys!
November 20, 2020
We have an official diagnosis. The neospora caninum (parasite) test came back and it is positive. We also got the genetic testing results for centronuclear myopathy and it is negative. We now know what we’re dealing with, which is good. We had already started the treatment for the parasite since it was looking more and more likely that’s what he had. The treatment is two antibiotics twice per day. We will stay the course there and continue the antibiotics. It is a minimum 8-week course of antibiotics, so we’ve got a ways to go, but we have a path.
Skylar continues to handle the antibiotics well. No negative side effects and he loves the yogurt he gets with his lunch for a daily dose of probiotics. After discussing with the neurologist and the primary vet, it was recommended that we not vaccinate Skylar during the treatment. We want to give his system as much of a chance to fight this parasite off and don’t want to stress his immune system with any vaccinations.
In non-medical news, Skylar met a cat this week at my dad’s house. While he was curious, he was calm and then nonchalant about the cat walking by him. He’s such a good pup!
We continue to work on Skylar’s daily physical therapy exercises. They are not his favorite, but I think the meds and the PT are helping to increase his strength. Just yesterday while laying on the floor in the kitchen I watched Skylar roll from his one side, onto his back and onto his other side! He did this twice in a row. That is HUGE! Previously he has not been able to do that at all. Of course, when I got my camera out to video his new trick, he stopped rolling. Today while laying in the grass I got a video of the little guy wiggling and working to line himself up for the roll. Then he did it, he rolled over! Progress! 💪🏻
Here is the video of Skylar rolling.
We will continue to care for and treat Skylar for the parasite. It’s a long road, but I’m seeing a light in the distance. Keep sending that mojo and sending positive thoughts Skylar’s way. It’s greatly appreciated!!!
PS-Skylar said if anyone needs help with their leaves, he’s great at eating them!
November 17, 2020
Skylar had his evaluation and first session of PT with Dr. Kate yesterday. It was a big day for the little guy and he was exhausted after, but it was a good kind of tired. Or at least so says foster mom who enjoyed a little down time to get some things done that she’s been putting off!
Dr. Kate gave us homework to continue working with Skylar daily at home. Lots of extension exercises, and flexing and stretching and strengthening. We are working that cute little puppy body! Skylar’s favorite exercise involves him working and stretching his neck and body to follow and get the treat. The treat is a small piece of string cheese. Skylar will work for cheese!
We are still waiting on test results, but this weekend both foster dad and I noticed that Skylar is able to hold his head up longer. He’s also able to right himself when laying on his side. He hasn’t been able to do that since his first weekend here. We are seeing some positive progress! It’s a baby step, but a step in the right direction nonetheless.
Skylar took a trip to a local apple orchard this weekend. Since he’s not mobile or fully vaccinated, he got to be carried around by his foster mom. He was quite the hit with everyone there all bundled up in a puppy blanket!
Here’s a video of Skylar working on some of his PT exercises at home
November 13, 2020
I cannot believe Skylar has been in foster care with me for 2 weeks now. He does keep me busy! Skylar continues to have extreme mobility issues. Nothing has changed there. That’s the neutral news. If I’m being optimistic, it also hasn’t gotten worse since last week, which is good because I was seeing rapid progression that first week in foster care. We’ll take our wins where we can.
We have been anxiously waiting for the parasite test results. Waiting is not foster mom’s strong suit! We were originally told it would be 3-5 days. Today was day 5 (yes, I was checking in everyday starting at day 3!) and the results are still not in. We all know lab work results have been slower due to coronavirus, and I think that may be the case here. At this point, we will not hear anything until Monday 11/16 at the earliest. So, we will continue to wait for results.
I am still waiting on the genetic test kit from UC Davis too. This is the test for centronuclear myopathy. I got notice that it was being mailed on Sunday, which means it went out this past Monday. When it wasn’t here today, I called the lab just to see if they knew where it was. They informed me that with the postal system delays due to Covid, they are seeing shipping times from 2-3 weeks to get across the country. They want me to check back in next Friday if I don’t have the kit by then. Sigh. More waiting.
While we continue to wait, we also continue to treat Skylar for the likely possibilities. He is on two antibiotics and a steroid. The good news is that he’s handling the meds well. He gets pumpkin with his breakfast and dinner and yogurt with his lunch. Lunch is his favorite meal of the day. He LOVES the yogurt!
He lets me know when he’s uncomfortable and wants to be turned. Or when he needs to go potty. Or if he wants a drink, although we have a pretty good schedule for that. We have learned to communicate pretty well with each other over these two weeks. Since his mobility is limited to wiggling like an adorable little caterpillar now, he needs more help than your average pup. We’re happy to oblige!
Keep sending that mojo and well wishes. Keep those fingers and paws crossed for little Skylar. We really appreciate the support and positive thoughts!
Here are some pictures of the adorable Skylar. The one of him using my ankle for a chew toy (note the various actual chew toys in the photo) may be my favorite. I call it “Caught in the act”! I love that he still has his happy labby puppy attitude!
November 8, 2020
I wanted to update everyone about Skylar’s neurology visit on Friday. The short answer is we still don’t know what is causing Skylar’s mobility issues which have manifested into extreme muscle fatigue and weakness. It’s not just in his hind end anymore, it’s progressing up his body to his front legs and neck. We are waiting on some more testing results which may or may not give us an answer later next week. Here’s the longer version…
Skylar saw the neurologist on Friday. After many, many hours and lots of tests, we do not have a definitive answer yet. This little guy is stumping a lot of really great veterinarians. The current thoughts for what may be causing Skylar’s problems are either a parasite that he got from his mother (rare, but possible) or a genetic condition called centronuclear myopathy in Labrador retrievers. These are the two tests we’re waiting for right now.
We are currently treating Skylar for both possibilities with meds trying to cover the odds. We weighed the pros and the cons, and the benefits of starting the treatments last week outweighed the cons. He has been on the antibiotic for a week now, and while we have not seen improvement, we’re going to continue it as we’re not seeing any negative side effects.
There was nothing else that could be done at the hospital for Skylar on Friday, so he came back to his foster home. They recommend we keep doing what we’re doing, caring for and loving little Skylar and let them know if there are any major changes in him. When the test results are in, we’re hopeful that we will have a clearer answer, but there are no guarantees.
In general news, Skylar still continues to be a happy puppy here. He loves his toys and snuggling on soft blankets. Oh, and string cheese! He LOVES string cheese. That’s what he gets his pills in. He’s so happy when he gets his pills!!! He also likes pumpkin. I usually mix some canned pumpkin in with his dry kibble. This morning in my sleep deprived haze, I offered him a bowl of dry kibble. He turned his nose up at it. After I figured out the problem and mixed in the pumpkin, Skylar happily ate his breakfast. I think I’ve created a bit of a spoiled pup, but that’s ok, he deserves it!
Skylar has decided I (Foster Mom) am his favorite person, sorry Foster Dad! I was gone for most of the day yesterday and FD was on puppy duty. Skylar let his displeasure know about this change with the cutest little aaahhh-woooo puppy barks. The boys quickly settled into a routine and all well was in a bit, but it was a pretty cute sound!
Continue sending that Brookline mojo for this little guy. He really could use it!
“Aaaahhhh-wooooo!” (that’s a dictation from Skylar 😉)
November 5, 2020
Puppy Skylar got his foster care package today. While there were lots of goodies and toys in his package, Skylar quickly decided that the duck billed platypus was his favorite! Enjoy the video of Skylar with his new favorite toy. 🥰
November 2, 2020
Skylar continues to melt the hearts of everyone he meets.
He took a trip down to the beach this weekend to help meet with the contractor. One look at Skylar’s little face and the contractor was in love. Puppies have a way of doing that! It was raining all day, so we didn’t get to the actual beach, but he was a very good supervisor during the tiling that was going on at the house.
Skylar had a visit today with the orthopedic specialist. Unfortunately, the news was not good. Skylar’s mobility issues are not an orthopedic issue. The ortho vet thinks it may be neurological. He referred us to a neurologist. We have an appointment on Friday, we’re hoping to get some answers then.
We will continue to do whatever we can for little Skylar. The vets all agreed that he is not currently in any pain which is good. So, keep sending that mojo and well wishes Skylar’s way. Love and puppy kisses from Skylar to everyone! 🥰😘❤️
October 31, 2020
The smaller of the two yellow lab pups (red collar) is in foster care here in DE. I started calling out names and he turned around and looked at me when I said “Skylar”. So, his name is now Skylar. Welcome to Brookline Skylar!!!
He is so cute and so sweet and just melts your heart. He also has a lot of mobility issues with his hind end. He can’t squat or get himself up to go potty. For right now, I’m carrying him outside and trying to get him to potty. We had a poop success earlier this evening. Yay! I almost didn’t notice because it was dark and he just kind of pooped while he was laying in the grass. But I had him on leash and there is no denying puppy poop. We’ll call that a successful poop for day one! We were less successful with getting outside for pee, but we’ll keep working on it.
Skylar happily ate his dinner tonight. I keep a bowl of water near him since he’s not mobile. I want him to have access to water. He’s drinking well too. He loves stuffed toys, which is so cute to see. He seems to really like the unstuffed kind of toys too. There’s a fox that has been well loved by many a dog here. He likes chewing on it and tossing it up and making the cutest, I mean “fiercest”, little growls!
He went into his crate tonight for a little nap while I attended to the resident labs here. Not a peep from Skylar. Woo-hoo! I’m trying not to get too excited before I see what the overnight brings, but I’ll take my wins where I can get them.
Walking and even standing is a struggle for Skylar right now. If I pick him up and get his back legs under him, he can take a few wobbly steps, but that’s all. He’s usually happy just army crawling to get where he wants to go. We have our appointment on Monday with the specialist. I’m hoping we’ll have a plan of action soon to figure out what the issue is and hopefully to remedy it. Send some of that Brookline mojo Skylar’s way. Fingers and paws crossed for the little guy!
Here is a video of Skylar working on his mobility. Baby aka puppy steps!
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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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