As tonight (Sunday) closes it leaves us all at the shelter very sad and emotional. We have lost one of our friends and long term residents, Daniella. She was rescued just over ten years ago. She was my very first dog to ever rescue with the Kildare Animal Foundation.
I had not been volunteering long with the shelter at the time and while visiting my relations in the country we came across a bundle of fur just lying in a ditch. I got out to take a look and then these huge brown eyes just looked up at me.
I called her and she stood up. I noticed straight away she had an arched back and when she started to walk she walked in a funny manner. We put her in the car and brought her home to make her comfortable. I was due to volunteer at the shelter the following day so I called Geraldine to see if it was OK to bring her in the following day and she agreed. The little dog was very nervous but once I made a bed for her and fed her she settled down. Looking up at me every now and then with those beautiful brown eyes.
The next day when at the shelter she was given the name “Daniella” by the other volunteers, in honour of her rescuer.
We made an appointment with our vets and brought her for a full check-up. She was healthy apart from been diagnosed with rickets.
Rickets in dogs occurs when the dog’s diet is not balanced, meaning that the diet is missing an ingredient that the dog’s body needs to remain healthy. This condition can occur when female dogs have had meat withheld from their diet during gestation.
It can also occur when the female dog is raising more puppies than her body can handle and puppies can have rickets when they are weaned prematurely and not fed the proper nutrition. Dogs can also have rickets when they are simply not fed the right food which means that the food they are being fed does not have enough meat or bone products in it. Sunlight and exercise are also factors related to rickets if the dogs are not allowed to get any sunlight such as being kept in some other dark, damp location. Puppies or any dog that is kept in a small place and not allowed proper exercise may also have rickets.
Daniella was an amazing dog despite her rickets-related disabities. She got around and could run after an unsuspecting volunteer when she wanted to.
In the last few years her health started to fail but again it didn’t stop her from enjoying her life.
Daniella took very sick on Saturday and despite the best efforts of our amazing vets she could not be saved. We took the hard decision to let go of one of our best friends but it was for the best as she had put up a great fight all those years. She went very peacefully surrounded by the people that loved her and had waited hand on foot for her every day. She has left a huge gap in all our lives and we will need meet such a brave and special dog like her again.
Dan Donoher of Kildare Animal Foundation writes the weekly ‘Pet Rescue’ column for the Leinster Leader