Thursday Spotlight – Irene Brennan


*Your Name?
IRENE BRENNAN

*Where are you from?
HILTON NY (OUTSIDE OF ROCHESTER NY)

*Animals(s) (Age, Breed & Name)?
ZEKE, GOLDEN RETRIEVER, 10 YEARS OLD
REILLY, SUSSEX SPRINGER SPANIEL, 5 YEARS OLD

*Interesting Facts About Your Animal(s)?
-BOTH ARE EPILEPTIC.
-LOVE TO TRAVEL IN THE CAR.
-GO SWIMMING TWICE A WEEK IN AN INDOOR POOL (WEIGHT CONTROL)

*Animal(s) Favorite Treat?
ANY TREATS FROM WOOFIES DOG BAKERY

*Animal(s) Favorite Trick?
-ZEKE LIKES TO RETRIEVE BALLS
-REILLY LIKES TO PLAY TUG A WAR WITH ZEKE

*Where is your pet(s) favorite place to go?
THEY BOTH LOVE TO GO SWIMMING AND THE DOG PARK

*Perspective on Adopting a Rescue?
WE RESCUED BOTH DOGS FROM PRIVATE OWNERS.

*What’s your favorite thing to do with your dog (walks, going to a park, playing games etc.)?
TRAVEL TO VARIOUS STATES AND STAY AT PET FRIENDLY BED AND BREAKFASTS.

*Favorite Quote?
YOU DON’T ALWAYS GET THE DOG YOU WANT BUT THE DOG YOU NEED.

*Do your animal(s) love to go for car rides?
YES

*What’s your favorite animal product?
MARIN TO HELP CLEANSE THEIR LIVER FROM THE ANTI-SEIZURE DRUGS

*Anything extra you would like to add?
THESE DOGS ARE THE LOVE OF OUR LIVES AND THEY ARE A REAL BLESSING TO HAVE.

*Do I have permission to copy this to my blog?: YES
*Do I have permission to use the photos you provided
me with?: YES
reilly santa closeup
reilly swim 2
ZEKE CLOSEUP
zeke swim 1

Reader Rescue Story: Zeke and Reilly
It takes a remarkable person to rescue a special-needs dog, let alone two dogs with special needs, but that’s exactly what Irene Brennan and her husband did. They took in a Golden Retriever suffering from Seizures, and when a Sussex Spaniel with the same problem needed a home, they stepped up again and gave that dog a loving furever home, too. We hope you enjoy reading their story as much as we did.

If you’re the pet parent of a rescued dog, we want to share your story, too. You just might inspire someone else to save a life! For information about submitting your rescue tale, Submit them here: http://www.ilovedogs.com/2012/03/hey-pet-parents-i-love-dogs-wants-to-hear-your-rescue-story/#.Ucx5Ajv2Yse

                       

Zeke

We Are Blessed to Have Two Special-Needs Dogs
By Irene Brennan

Our story begins in March 2008 when we rescued a 4-year-old Golden Retriever from a single-parent family that was hiding him in the basement of a “no pets allowed” apartment complex.

Zeke, as he is now named, was a wild child with no discipline whatsoever. He was born in an Amish puppy mill, so we had questions from the beginning.

About two months after taking Zeke into our home, he had his first seizure. We weren’t sure if he had a history of them prior to his coming into our lives, but it was the first time we had ever experienced anything like this. We had just lost our 6-year-old Golden Retriever to cancer.

Zeke was having seizures once a month, but they ranged from very mild to severe. We changed vets and found a holistic vet about a half hour from our home. Currently, Zeke is on a combination of Chinese herbs, phenobarbital and potassium bromide. At this time he has been seizure-free for three months.

In August 2011, we lost our 15-year-old Terrier mix, another rescue, who we had for eight years. Mickey and Zeke were best friends. Within a month, we decided to rescue another dog. We knew we wanted one with special needs. So after weeks of looking on Petfinder.com and the like, I found a rescue on Craigslist.com. The ad said, “Free to a good home, 2-year-old Sussex Spaniel mix. Has special needs — seizures.” Our thought was — one dog with seizures, two dogs with seizures — we can handle this.

Reilly was living in a foster home. His original owner was a workaholic who kept him in a crate for 10 to 12 hours at a stretch. When this owner had his home foreclosed and had to move in with his elderly parents, the dog was not wanted.

In May 2011, Reilly had his first seizure and was put on phenobarbital. By August of the same year, Reilly was given to a friend who had other dogs and cats. Within three days, he started to have seizures again. His foster parents tried adopting him out three times, and each time he was returned because he had seizures within days. When we contacted his foster home and they learned that we were familiar with this type of special-needs dog, they were thrilled. A match made in heaven.

Reilly

Our experience was limited to a dog with single seizures and now we have a new dog that has clusters of seizures. Big difference! Because of the number of seizures that Reilly was having, he was switched off phenobarbital to zonisamide. That worked for a while until we took both dogs on a road trip to Chicago and landed in the emergency room. The vet added potassium bromide to Reilly’s medication list.

That was just the beginning of our learning experiences with two dogs that suffer with seizures.

One day the two dogs got into a large loaf of white bread and then both had seizures within hours of each other. Then there was the time when Reilly had 10 seizures in 90 minutes. But knock on wood—he’s been seizure-free for almost a year now.

Yes, we’ve had our ups and downs, but they are the most loveable dogs and we wouldn’t change a thing. There’s a saying, “You may not get the dog you want, but you will get the dog you need.” We needed these dogs just as much as they needed us. They have brought such joy and happiness into our lives and the lives of our family and friends. God blessed us with Zeke and Reilly.


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