Maizy joined our family at 4 months of age - all legs, hair, and drooly tongue. She was one of the newest fads, mixing two purebred dogs to try and get the best traits of both. She was a happy- go-lucky goldendoodle, one of eight pups from a golden retriever mother and standard poodle father. The goal of mixing the two was to get a non-shedding dog with both brains and personality, and boy, did Maizy have the personality!
As she continued to grow, she never really got used to her long lanky legs. She would run across the yard after my kids, trip over her own feet, and land on her back. She would come down the stairs from our bedroom, miss a step, and go head first down the flight of stairs "clunk, clunk, clunk!" Besides knocking the kids over accidentally on occasion, she was always good with them, allowing my 3-year-old daughter to grab her by the hair on top of her head and lead her to trouble.
"Come on, Maizy," my daughter would say. "Let's go!"
Maizy and Dr. Frost on a fun winter’s day.
When the room would become deadly silent, I usually knew that Mikenna and Maizy were off getting into trouble somewhere. I would go upstairs to find the whole container of cat food spewed from one end of the room to the other with my daughter and Maizy sitting happily in the middle of the pile chomping away on the food. Yes, I admit my kids have all eaten cat or dog food at least once in their lives! Maizy has always eaten everything from hair ties to razor blades. I bought a new package of Shick razorblades only to find the next day that she had eaten the entire package and chewed off the ends of all the blades. She fortunately passed them all without a speck of blood from the other end!
The Christmas of her second year with us, Maizy and Chili our other dog were both dressed for the occasion and were together in a kennel at the clinic. Chili had a cute collar with jingle bells on it. Within half an hour, Maizy had every jingle bell off the collar and in her belly. She passed the bells without any problems as well! Not until this year however, has Maizy been at the clinic more than she has been in the past month.
It started with my 75-lb. Maizy being chosen to be the blood donor dog for the clinic. She very willingly donated a portion of her blood to a little dog that had a severe blood autoimmune disease. To our dismay, the little dog did not survive and her little body destroyed Maizy's blood cells as well as her own. It wasn't long before Maizy had to come back to the clinic a week later.
On our many hikes in the woods, my beautifully-groomed Maizy always came back with her hair full of burdocks, blackberry bush branches and mud. She never stayed on the path with me but would go charging through the brush at full speed like a freight train. I never worried about bears or coyotes because they would be able to hear Maizy miles away. By the time we got home, her face, her chest and sometimes her feet would have streaks of blood from charging through the berry bushes.
This last time in the woods, Maizy went charging through a small ravine and I heard a crash and glass breaking. Up came Maizy out of the ravine continuing to forge on ahead of me. I didn't notice a problem until I realized I was following a trail of blood home. She had crashed through someone's old junk dump in the woods and had sliced her paw through the pad and into the soft flesh beneath. She had lacerated a vein and had been dripping blood the entire trek home.
Without wasting any time, I sedated Maizy and promptly did surgery that Sunday morning in the middle of my kitchen floor, husband as my assistant and children as my audience. Maizy then spent the next week at the clinic to stay quiet and let her foot heal. While there, Maizy seemed to have a little upset stomach which of course wasn't unusual for her. The next morning she vomited up 3 pennies and a dime. Now, this was reason for concern because any pennies minted after 1982 were made with zinc covered in copper. In a dog's stomach, the copper erodes quickly to expose the underlying zinc which can be very toxic to dogs causing a life threatening low blood cell count. We took an X-ray to show that Maizy had at least 5 more coins in her belly! I decided to wait through the weekend to see if the coins would pass.
On Monday, Maizy went to surgery for the coin retrieval. That day, Maizy contributed 93 cents to her surgery fund! Maizy is doing great but we are still waiting for her foot to completely heal before she comes home to get into more trouble.
With every day we spend with Maizy, I will probably be able to write a book about this dog (so stay tuned) but we will love her and care for her as long as God allows her to be with our family!
Dr. Rebekah R. Frost is a veterinarian at the Dunkirk Animal Clinic. Send comments on this column to firstname.lastname@example.org