My name is Skye, I’m a 2 year old miniature Dachshund with anxiety and hip dysplasia. Since November 2021 I have been one of The Red Foundation’s lifetime care dogs – what does this mean for me and my family? Well let’s start at the beginning!

When I first met my new family, I was so scared of…well everything. I barked at them for an hour, not sure if I should say hello. But this didn’t put them off, they still kept coming back to visit me and just sat there with cheesy treats in their hands, so…. I decided to sit next to them for a sniff and I got even more treats! 

Let’s fast forward to when I decided I liked them and they picked me up. Exciting you say? Well for me this was very stressful because I hated car journeys. I barked the whole way home and then for the first 3 weeks, would only settle if I sat on my new Dad’s knee and yes this included barking through the night which led to my new mum sleeping on the floor next to my bed. I was so scared I didn’t even want to go outside for the toilet so this was the first goal.  Within 5 weeks I started trying to run outside BUT this highlighted that maybe me lifting my leg wasn’t anxiety, but another medical issue.

This meant the next goal was the car! Apparently I had to go to the vet, I will let you imagine the Dachshund Diva expression…Hmm I was not impressed with the car at all, so we started off just playing with toys and having treats in the car… after a while I decided it wasn’t so bad after all. Next the car needed to move with me in it. So what did they do for safety? booster seat? Nope! I can see too much so i barked and squealed, Maybe a seatbelt? nope, I was shaking like a leaf. OK now let’s try a fabric style crate with a bed and blanket- ohh yes I’ll give this a go.

The journeys got a little longer each time. Then the next task was leaving the house, going in the car and seeing a vet. I was terrified; barking, shaking, howling… but the vet was nice to me, she gave me time and treats… well grated cheese. My new family showed a video of how I run… the vet decided this could be a hip issue and I needed Xrays. Obviously, it goes without saying that the vet confirmed my anxiety diagnoses but said I’m just barky, not aggressive and there was a loving personality in there…. I just needed help.

So where does the Red Foundation pre-existing condition support come in?

They pay for:

Umbilical hernia and spay – I had a stable umbilical hernia so the vet said this could be repaired when I was spayed at 18 months old. The Red Foundation paid for my hernia repair, spay and any aftercare I needed. Even when I needed some more pain relief than usual, this wasn’t a bother – just whatever I needed

My anxiety – I have daily anti-anxiety tablets, without these I would be unable to make progress and my quality of life would be much worse. Currently my family have been able to help me in new situations from their previous experience but I still have a lot to learn and the Red Foundation would help with behaviourist advice whenever my family need support.

Then there’s my hip dysplasia – I needed X-rays which checked my hips and knees – this confirmed diagnosis of hip dysplasia (luckily my knees are ok!). I have daily Metacam and fortnightly hydrotherapy/laser sessions. Without this I am in a lot of pain and due to this I hadn’t exercised enough, so my muscle mass had declined a lot. Initially I had home exercises to build muscles mass, then weekly hydrotherapy which reduced to fortnightly after a few months when muscle mass had increased. With this, it means I can play with a lot less pain and have an amazing quality of life compared to before!

I don’t need surgery on my hips right now but as my new family say, I’m so lucky to have the Red Foundation because I may need surgery in the future.

So how have I improved thanks to the Red Foundation’s lifetime care and my family?

Well I now love the car! If we go to on holiday, I sleep all the way and just wake up for a stretch and toilet break. I also have dog friends which my family carefully selected and thanks to my Metacam, I can play with them! We have just reached our goal of walks near home when no one else is about, I actually wag my tail whilst having a sniff and no longer wee just before a leaf blew across the pavement – without my anti-anxiety I become anxious in new situations so these enable me to assess situations much calmer and listen to my family.

So what is my next goal? To go on a quiet walk but when there’s a couple of people about….. wish me luck!

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