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Is Your Pet Getting Older?

6 Dec

MetroBoston Publication Date December 6, 2012
By Attorney George Warshaw

With the holiday season upon us let us not forget our best friends, the furry four-legged creatures that make our lives so much better.

As happens to us all, our pets are aging. Some are getting senior in life but unlike us, they can’t tell us what’s hurting or what’s going on. I want to tell you about something I learned that I think you might like to know.

I attended a discussion recently at the MSPCA/Angell Memorial Hospital on Aging Pets. I didn’t really want to go because I thought it would bring me to tears, which it did, but I have no regrets.

The discussion was led by noted Veterinarians Joseph Kaye, who spoke about Canine Cognitive Dysfunction – senility, Alzheimer’s and loss of awareness and recognition that also occurs in pets, and Lisa Moses who spoke on Pain Management.

Our pets suffer from the same maladies as we do, but at Angell there are people who can help determine if something is wrong and do something about it. Perhaps most critical is pain management. Angell is one of the few institutions in the world that has a clinic and practice devoted to managing your pet’s pain, whether it be from aging or surgery. They use different approaches and often innovative approaches that are not used or known by many veterinarians.

So this holiday season, if your older pet has been acting discernibly differently than when it was younger, consider getting an evaluation – and don’t forget the best gift you can make this season is a donation to the MSPCA, http://www.mspca.org/donate, or a rescue organization. ©George Warshaw 2012

George Warshaw is a real estate attorney and author. He represents buyers and sellers of homes and condos in Massachusetts, and prepares wills, trusts, and estate plans. George welcomes new clients and questions at metro@warshawlaw.com.

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Bruiser’s Story

29 Aug

Bruiser & George

MetroBoston, Publication Date August 29, 2012
Expanded Story Content
By Attorney George Warshaw

I want to share with you the story of Bruiser. Bruiser is a sweet, gentle rescue dog that we got from Mississippi. He’s the good looking one in the photo.He was a 5 month old “practice dog” that was sent from a shelter to the Veterinary School at Mississippi State University. He didn’t have a long life ahead of him.

It’s not well known but pets are routinely sent by shelters to vet schools everywhere in the country for students to learn neutering and treatment/surgery of ailments and injuries. The problem is that once the pets have healed they are sent back to the shelters where they all too often have a very short life.

Bruiser was saved by a wonderful veterinary student from New Hampshire, Krista Gazzola, who helped start a rescue program at the school. The program, “Homeward Bound” (Google “homewardbound mississippi”), now sends 45-60 dogs a month to other states for placement. We happened to see a short segment about Krista on a New Hampshire TV station which prompted us to contact her.

We received several photos of dogs available for adoption. One photo showed a goofy looking 5 month old puppy with big ears, oversized head and an undersized body. He needed hip surgery to cure a problem on one of his hips. He had a wonderful smile and from appearances had a happy soul. Frankly, I didn’t think anyone would adopt a dog needing or having hip surgery, especially given the aftercare requried. We took him anyway, after the surgery, and were determined to bring him back to health.

We picked him up in New Hampshire at a horse farm. Bruiser was isolated from the others, due to his delicate condition, and was walking on only three legs when we met him. He also had a host of problems – giardia, mange and a yeast infection, to name a few. He was very thin and had lost a lot of fur. He looked at us from his confined area as if to say, “what kept you.” I think he was truly expecting someone to pick him up. He went right to our car, and hobbled up onto the seat on this three working legs.

He recovered beautifully. We cured all his ailments one by one. Running around the hills in New Hampshire strengthened his legs and hips. Bruiser is an easy boy. He comes when called and you don’t even know he’s around – he’s very quiet.

We sent away for one of those DNA tests and confirmed that he is primarily a mix of Shepherd and Newfoundland. He’s 60 pounds, skinny, with huge paws and and incredible furry tail that can dust your furniture.

He presently has two girlfriends in the Back Bay (from very good families) and adores his dog walker, Rose, who he refers to as his “personal assistant.” He’s now apprenticing to be a lawyer. He’s a fast learner and soon he’ll be writing this column!

© 2012 Bruiser