Meet Karina! We warmly welcomed, Karina, an adult Shih-tzu rescued from a puppy mill this past January.
It broke our hearts to hear that Karina was cruelly forced to birth litter after litter until she was almost barren. Unfortunately, in these mills, the health, happiness and well-being of the animals is of no concern which sadly resulted in Karina developing diabetes and becoming blind. We were so happy to have rescued Karina from these terrible conditions.
Through a special diet and two daily insulin injections, her diabetes is manageable. With her horrific puppy mill past behind her, Karina is now being tenderly cared for by her foster mother Maria until the right adopter takes her home to be forever cherished. With the help of our generous Sponsors, Karina will live out the rest of her days as healthy and happy as possible.
Karina’s mom, Maria, wanted to give all the sponsor parents a glimpse into a typical day for Karina. Walking a dog is usually an effortless task unless you happen to have a dog that’s blind with hearing loss like Karina. In that case lots of “atta girl” and “good doggy” is needed to help her stay focused and secure. This really does makes people smile. “Her casual walking with many stops makes crossing the street a challenge, so we developed a signal. I yell “READY….” And then walk across by stomping my feet really fast. She gets the message and then trots along at a reasonable pace. Each time I do this I’m amazed how special a dog she is to me.
This former puppy mill rescue has been getting used to sharing the house with a new feline sibling named K.C., a black and white tabby. The cat is super mellow and gets along well with her doggy siblings, but it took Daisy a little more time to adjust to a new furry friend in the house. Being blind made it a tad tougher for her to become acquainted with her new housemate’s gentle head butts and playful nudges, but their mom is happy to report that it’s been smooth sailing of late. Daisy is now back to her confident self, enjoying the comforts of her home as she and her siblings share everything from hugs and kisses from their human companions to lounge space on the couch.
Karina aka Daisy is the sweetest Shih Tzu you’ll ever meet and she continues to amaze her family on a daily basis. Even though she’s blind, diabetic, and was rescued from a puppy mill, she is independent, super affectionate and very resourceful. When she knows foods is coming, she will lie right on top of her mom’s feet to ensure her pal, Buddy, the Lhasa Apso, doesn’t get all the food. If she’s ready to go out, she will stand within an inch of the front door, her face right where it will open, to signal she’s ready for her walk. And when she wants a little extra TLC – she makes sure to lay belly up in search of a good scratching. Now, that’s a smart dog!
Karina recently went to work with her foster mom, Maria, where she met two new friends: Gracie, 2-year-old 8 lb. Maltese mix and Mia, a 4-month-old English Bulldog mix twice her size. Karina, though she couldn’t see pup Mia, managed in 5 seconds, with 3 distinctly forceful barks, to get her to settle down. In addition, she was able to help Gracie figure out how to stop Mia from jumping on her too. Karina never ceases to amaze her foster mom who loves her dearly!
Karina’s been battling recurring infections due to high blood sugar and made many visits to the Alex Lewyt Veterinary Medical Center over the past three months. Although she is now deaf in one ear as well as blind, she still walks confidently on her leash and enjoys her time outdoors. In between the ongoing medical care, she and her family find time to go to the dog park. She’s very curious and loves to sniff dogs, people, the grass, you name it. Once she has a mental list of all the new smells she sits in the shade to relax.
It’s incredible how independent and confident Karina has become. She recently took her longest walk – over an hour – since Maria began fostering her! Her foster mom gave her plenty of room on the leash to explore everything she could. She smelled every inch of the sidewalk, ventured in-and-out of store entrances, under benches, around trees and through bike racks. She greeted fellow doggies and people who stopped to say hi. Pretty amazing for a blind shih tzu! She was dreaming and talking in her sleep that night about all the fun she had. Her mom says that was the first time she′s ever barked in the 3 years she’s had her! Thank you for giving her this remarkable adventure and more with your monthly sponsorship.
Karina is unknowingly the alpha dog in small ways which her mom finds funny. Being blind, Karina sees with her nose and has no regard for the visual cues dogs give to mark their territory. So, her canine siblings keep an eye out for Karina and give up their resting spot or bed, let her set the pace of their walk or even let her eat their food if they are in the middle of a meal! This past couple of months her family had a canine guest, Rocky. We are happy she is doing so well health-wise. Karina and her family say, �Thank you!�, to all of her sponsors!
Karina’s mom reports that she is doing very well, and has come a long way in the three years they have been together. Being a blind puppy mill doggie, she had been frightened at first by all the sounds and of being out in the open. Her mom became her eyes and would talk to her as they walked, giving her direction and encouragement when she was uncertain. Now she runs as well as walks – sometimes for long stretches, until she smells something interesting. Her mom would like to thank everyone who contributes to her little bundle of courage’s wellbeing – North Shore Animal League America, her sponsors and neighbors. She is looking forward to taking Karina out to the park as Spring approaches!
Karina suffered a diabetic scare when her blood sugar dangerously spiked to five-times above the normal level. Her foster mom Maria became concerned when Karina wasn’t drinking much water and could only manage a few steps of her daily walks. The doctors discovered a new type of insulin was needed as well as adjusting the dosage. Slowly, Karina began to feel better and now she is nearly back to her old tail wagging self. Both Maria and everyone here is so relieved and thank you for making her delicate care possible.
Karina recently got a new haircut, and she’s been ever so frisky! Now she’s gotten into the habit of just plopping down and rolling on her back when she wants attention or a nice belly rub. And of course, how can her mom resist! Her recent blood test results showed a small uptick in the diabetes. On her next check-up they will see if her medication needs adjusting. We are all very happy she is doing so well.
Karina has a calmness and a stillness about her. She gravitates to people in need. Though she can’t see the visual signals dogs use to communicate, she somehow responds to their temperament. With playful dogs she’s all jumpy and mouthy. With quiet dogs she gives them space. With pushy dogs she stands her ground. Merengue, a little poodle and a puppy mill dog, never knew a home until she came to Karina’s family as a new foster sister. Within a week she was sleeping outside her crate and snuggling with Karina. We think Karina has a new job, Animal League America doggie therapist!
Karina’s foster mom, Maria, can’t believe that it has been a year since she first met Karina. She remembers their first night together – preparing her home so Karina wouldn’t get hurt or bump into anything. The first time Maria went for a walk with Karina it took more than a half hour to make it to the end of the block. She was a blind dog in a new environment and was uncertain of everything. However, she trusted Maria and instinctively knew she was in a better place. And Karina sure did excel! She is now walking along side Maria and trotting at an average pace. She is an excellent dog that beat all odds – we couldn’t be happier for Karina.
We are happy to report that Karina is doing better than ever. When her foster mother, Maria, passes friends on their walks, they don’t even realize that she is blind! Recently, instead of listening to Maria’s footsteps, she advanced to responding to her whistle. This is an amazing development for Karina, she is such a charming, serene dog. As always, thank you to her wonderful sponsors.
It hasn’t even been a year since the delicate Karina was rescued and introduced into the Sponsorship Program, and she has already made wonderful progress. Her diabetes has been under control and she is now at a normal weight. Compared to her old appearance this is a huge improvement – her spine isn’t visible and her hip bones no longer jut out. She loves to go outside and because she is blind, her foster mom, Maria, had trained her to follow the sound of her soft voice commands and her pace by hearing her footsteps. Despite her horrible past, she truly loves people. She gravitates to the sound of children and will calmly stand for people to pet her. What an incredibly heroic dog!