About Me

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My name is Lesli Hyland. In my fifty one years on this earth, my home and my heart have been graced with the company of twenty four dogs. Many came to me as seniors. All of them taught me something and helped determine the course of my life. I became a dog trainer because of them. I met my friends because of them. My husband and I are are forever bonded by our mutual connection to them. Currently, as a Dog Walker I have access to other people's dogs and I am allowed to experience their unique personalities. The dogs make me a better person by forcing me to closely examine my motivation, my actions and my choices. Everything I do affects their behavior, safety and happiness. It is an awesome responsibility. The dogs keep me honest.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Kenzie is mine.

How do you know when a foster dog
has truly become YOUR dog? 
When you bring her to the vet to be spayed and...
1. She never takes her eyes off you as they lead her away and it takes all your strength not to snatch her back from the technician.
2. You cry in your car in the Vet's parking lot.
3. Your house seems empty without her in spite of the other 6 dogs.
4.  You use telepathy to tell her that "Its Ok. I'll come get you. I promise." all day long while you wait for the call from the Vet's office.
5.  The sight of her lying in her traditional spot on your bed at night makes everything alright in your world.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Good vs Evil

I am not a religious person.  I don't believe in God or Buddha or Jesus Christ or any other religious icon.  What I do believe in is good and evil.  I believe that there are good forces and evil forces and that life is a  delicate balance between the two.  In my mind this explains some of the truly horrible things that happen in this world. For goodness to exist, so must evil.  

A couple weeks ago my baby dog, Mamacita became very ill.  A gastric upset turned into a nightmare when her bloodwork showed that she was in acute kidney failure.  She was hospitalized on IV fluids for 11 days with a brief over night stay at home.  It was horrible in so many ways.
My vet and the specialist we took Mamacita to did not give me much hope...and rightly so.  Her values were horrible and did not respond to fluids within the accepted time line used for recovery.
Mamacita is home now.  Her kidney and liver values have come down.  She's eating and playing, doing agility and back to her old fiesty self.  It is truly miraculous and unexpected and unexplained.  We still do not know what caused her kidneys to fail.  Tests  ruled out some things, but were not definitive enough for a true diagnosis. I feel like I've been given a gift.

Meanwhile my oldest dog, Pogo had been on a slow gradual decline until right in the middle of the ordeal with Mamacita,when he developed acute vestibular disease.  This caused him to be dizzy and fall down.  His head was severely tilted and his eyes were jumping back and forth (nystagmus).  Its a miserable condition, but it often rights itself within a few days to a week.  Sometimes it takes a couple weeks to totally go away but generally you see improvement after 72 hrs. I've been through it with other dogs so I hand fed him,
confined him to protect him from hurting himself, supported him to go outside and helped him take in water.
Unfortunately he did not improve after 72 hrs, in fact he got worse, losing more and more mobility and developing severe diarrhea. Pogo has always been an incredibly clean dog and not being able to keep himself out of his own waste was incredibly stressful for him. After sleeping with him on the kitchen floor two nights in a row, I made the decision to let him go.  My husband drove, allowing me to lie with him in the back. He was euthanised right in our car.  Pogo was not a fan of the vet's office and he loved to ride, so it was the best I could do for him at the end.

It is hard for my heart to know what to feel right now.  I am ecstatic about Mamacita's recovery.  I am devastated about Pogo's death.  Its a roller coaster ride...a balance...the eternal fight of good vs evil going on right here in my chest.