Back in 2006 when the husband was just a boyfriend and we had just moved into our farm-house we started to search for a dog. I wanted another Wheaten Terrier, and I liked the idea of a rescue. I found Reilly posted on a Wheaten rescue page and applied to get the adorable four year old boy. In the process, it turned out my mom worked with the people giving him up, so we in essence adopted him for free.
Riles turned out to be anything but a free dog though, as we soon learned. It was not disclosed that he frequently regurgitated his kibble. Not only that, but he started to have blood in his poop. We tried several things before finally taking him up to MSU for tests. The vets found that he had esophageal dismotility, meaning the muscles that are supposed to push the food down don’t work well. They couldn’t find a good reason for the blood, but I later figured out it was food related. The vets also said Reilly wouldn’t live past 7 or 8.
I had to have tried at least 10 dog foods for Reilly – different proteins, grain free, corn free, etc. As a last resort I tried Eukanuba Sensitive Stomach, even though the ingredients weren’t anything special, the proteins were broken down. He’s been eating it ever since. We also learned that to help keep the food down, he needed to eat with his front feet on the couch, and have water coating his food. We also had to limit his water in increments throughout the day, because he would overdrink until he started regurgitating.
This worked well for many years, and Riles was able to outlive the vet estimate. Then earlier this year he started having trouble pooping. In truly frustrating fashion nothing seemed to work. The husband and I thought we might lose our boy, until we did a last ditch effort of an expensive compounded medicine and things turned around.
Riles is the most obedient (he can be called away from a squirrel mid-chase), cuddly (if I’m on the couch he is right next to me always – including right now), and happy pup even with all his issues. He is truly special and I’ve been lucky to have him around all these years, even with all the extra work required to keep him healthy.
Happy 12th Birthday Riles!