— THE MAD HATTERS —
May 14, 2007 — A couple of weeks
ago I added four new characters to our menagerie — Sebastopol geese.
My husband calls them the Mad Hatters because their personalities (and feathers)
are so screwy. The above photo was taken right after I released them from their
transport cage. The poor creatures had been living in a dusty barnyard
with only a small kiddie pool for wading. Our 8-acre pond frightened them at
first, but as you can see, they soon figured out how to play in the water.
Well, they weren't actually playing.
They were working hard to distribute their body oil along the length of their
feathers. This makes them waterproof and gives them added
buoyancy for swimming. Pumping water through their feathers is something all
geese do routinely, but their cramped and shallow kiddie pool made it impossible
for these guys. Their feathers were in poor condition and very dirty when they
first arrived, as you can see below:
After two weeks of energetic water-pumping and constant
preening, the geese are looking much better:
Their feathers may look tattered
to you, but the ruffled appearance is characteristic of the Sebastopol. They
have a "frizzle" gene mutation which causes the shaft of the feather
to split and curl. (This is a very desirable trait, if you happen to be a Sebastopol.)
Over time, our "Mad
should begin to look a lot better.
Okay, so why are we talking about
geese instead of Danes? That's because I'm leaving for Prague tomorrow and I
ran out of time. This was the best I could do for a feature story.
Last week I received the following note, very sad:
6 1/2 year old mantle bitch, Tallulah, was diagnosed today with acanthomatous
ameloblastoma, a very aggressive oral cancer. Tumors of this type are fast growing
and actively invade bone tissue, requiring a 3cm margin on all sides of the tumor
to remove it so that it doesn't grow back. Since Tallulah's tumor is in her upper
jaw, it would be impossible to remove it without cutting out most of her palate
and half of her upper jaw – all the way up to her eye socket. Obviously,
this is not an acceptable option. We were presented with other treatment options
(radiation, chemo, etc.) but they all seem fraught with problems, and we don't
know what would be the best option.
We are devastated, feel completely
lost, and have no one to turn to for advice. Would please
ask the DaDane audience if anyone else has been through this disease — what
they did, and what the outcome was for their dane.
Thank you so much,
Logan or post a comment right here if you have any insights.
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