We all learned so much from getting to know Trixie; the way she gradually came out of her depression (from living alone in her former owner’s house for months after he died); the way she allowed herself to trust and love her foster Mom after months of patient and gentle care; her dignity and poise in dealing with her health issues, pain, and loss of mobility. We were privileged to have the time that we had with her.
Karen McCall, GSRNE Board
The Story of a True Princess by her foster mom, Laurie Keating
Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess German Shepherd named Trixie. She had a lovely face, black and silver hair and the sweetest temperament. She lived alone with an elderly man and took such good care of him for seven years. She stayed close and learned to move gently and never get in his way. She brought joy to his life and she thrived in his love for her.
But for reasons unknown, she did not receive her heartworm medication and an evil mosquito bit her and brought that harmful disease. No one noticed and she never complained. She lived each day, as a good German Shepherd should, loving her person and guarding his house.
One day, her person died and now she was alone. His family loved the little princess but could not take her home, nor bear to place her in a shelter.
Because she had severe hip dysplasia, they knew she would be put to sleep. So for 9 months, the family left her in the house alone, coming to feed and let her outside. She grieved alone and gradually withdrew into herself. The family called GSRNE and they agreed to help her.
The rescue person’s who went to get her had never seen such a sweet but sad little dog. There was no life in those dark eyes, no joy, no wagging tail.
Those wonderful ladies gave her love and comforted her.
Then she came to her foster home where an older lady with a cane and an older German Shepherd gentleman lived. They were so sad when they saw her and worked to show her that the world could be a wonderful place again. Gradually she started to eat and found a tennis ball. It was fun to chase it in the house.
She could even take toys away from her fur pal. Gradually the light came back into her eyes, the bounce in her step and she began to talk. She woofed, and barked and howled and yowled and her foster mom talked back. Soon they were lip licking and yawning together (dog calming signals) Every morning when they got up, there would be a morning “talking” session to start the day and one before retiring at night, along with constant chats during the day. When the 10 month old grandson came over each week, she tried her calming techniques on him when he cried to no avail. But wet kisses to the face always worked. Children in the neighborhood came over to visit her and pat her gentle head.
Trixie was sore getting around and they suspected it was her hips. GSRNE decided to help her with her hip problems and off they went to Angell Memorial Hospital to see the bone doctor. Not such good news. She would need an operation to replace one of those hips. But one night after climbing the stairs, our little princess fainted and fell to the ground. More episodes followed. So GSRNE took her to Tufts to see what was happening to her. After many tests, Trixie was found to have heartworm, pulmonary hypertension and heart problems caused by the heartworm. The doctors treated her for the heartworm and kept telling us that she was one of the sweetest dogs that they had ever treated.
The day she had to go in for her second treatment, she started holding up her hind leg and whining in pain. Back at the hospital, they found that she had clots in her lungs and maybe something wrong in her spine.
Her foster mom brought her home with pain medication but she wouldn’t eat, not even homemade soup or steak tips. She had to be lifted up and helped to walk. She became a sad little dog again. No fairy godmother, nor foster mom’s love could make her better. Because we loved her so much, we let her cross the Rainbow Bridge. Now she runs with the Angels. Fly, Trixie, fly!
Please continue to page two to read more about Trixie’s history