Tate

After losing Oliver to osteosarcoma in summer 2010, we knew we needed another greyhound. Garrett wasn’t too despondent, but he was definitely missing his brother Oliver.

One Saturday, camped on the couch, we got a call from one of the volunteers at Arizona Greyhound Rescue. Apparently there was a dog who had been languishing at the kennel (it was “owned” by GAL, the Greyhound Adoption League, another rescue group. He had broken his right hock in a race, and had long since healed, but GAL wasn’t doing anything to place him.

Connecting the dots, the volunteer knew we had lost Oliver, and that we were a good home, hence, the call. Yep, we have “S U C K E R” tattooed on our foreheads.

Tate is a brindle male. He was about 2 and a half years old when we “got” him, and he was still very puppy-like (high energy, playful, in general a “rascal”. He was perfect. Of course, the adoption was delayed when he was playing hard with the volunteer’s Great Dane, and got some stitches on his chest, but we were excited. More importantly, Garrett liked him too when we “met” him.

Tate sporting his protective T-Shirt
Tate sporting his protective T-Shirt

Tate came to us in mid September, wearing a T-Shirt to protect his staples. Naturally, it took almost no time for Tate to become one of the family. The staples came out, and Tate was “in”.

Tate had a lot of energy. Whereas Oliver was younger when we got him (18 months, he never raced) Tate still had a lot of that Puppy energy. Perhaps because Oliver was so timid and shy when we got him, and Tate was just the big, gregarious goofball. Very outgoing, and lovable, he immediately became the star of the show. Kids flock to him, and he soaks up all their attention with poise and grace.

As another example of how atypical a dog Tate is, he LOVES the vet. He can’t wait to go, and he holds court with the techs, and basks in their attention.

Alas, all is not perfect. In Spring 2011, Tate began having epileptic seizures. Scared the hell out of us, starting with a blood curdling scream, violent shaking, and the whole experience. Ugh. They are intense, they come largely without warning (although Barbara swears she can predict them when he acts odd), but he does recover well.

The frequency picked up a lot in 2012, so we splurged on an MRI to look for tumors. One of the direct causes is tumors in the brain, and we were worried about a growth or a cancer causing the seizures. Fortunately, his MRI was clear, so it was just “normal” epilepsy. A comfort, but we still have to control the seizures.

Tate gets a pretty heavy diet of drugs and anti seizure medicines. Phenobarbital, Kepra, and a thyroid medication, dosed out throughout the day. Seizures happen between 1 and 2 months apart, and we are working with the vet to control the dosages of the medication (currently trying to wean him off of the Pheno, as that will destroy his liver in time.

Garret shares the couch with Tate
Garret shares the couch with Tate

In between seizures, Tate is a big, goofy, playful boy. He is a good balance to his calmer, more sedate, older brother Garrett. (sidebar: Garrett and Tate are 1/2 brothers. They have the same mother, from litters three years apart.) At the ripe old age of 6, he is beginning to show signs of calming down, but not too much. Heck, his last outing to the dog park, he caught a tooth and tore a hole in his left flank, and is wearing a Bite-Not collar to protect his stitches.

We hope to get many more years of companionship from Tate, and no doubt he will cross the bridge all too soon. We will once again open our home and our hearts to another Bro.

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