1/22/05 Rascal came to us as a sweet young pup, who had been beaten badly by his prior owner. His head was very swollen and we were not sure he would make it.

2/7/05 Our vet examined Rascal and noticed the left side of his head is still swollen. We had concerns about his vision, and after doing a few simple tests, the vet found out he cannot see out of his left eye. We checked his neck because he will not lift his head up past his eye level. He didn't like us trying to lift his head for him, but he did not cry or whimper or anything. We also noticed that Rascal is uneasy on his feet at times, he kind of sways sometimes.

Rascal has circling behavior. He does very tight small circles at times and large circles at other times. He also only circles to the left. The vet says is it is normal to circle in the direction of the damaged area. Circling in small circles means the cerebellum is affected, circling in large circles means the cerebral is affected. Rascal is doing both. The cerebellum controls skilled muscular coordination, including walking. The cerebral area of the brain controls voluntary muscle movements, receives and interprets sensations (including pain, temperature, touch, pressure, size, shape, and body-part awareness), provides understanding of sounds and spoken words, as well as emotion and memory and is involved in the understanding of visual images.

He was put on some steroids to help with the swelling, which is something the vet felt had to be done before we take him to Auburn University Vet School to a specialist

The vet does not know if all of the things going on with Rascal are temporary or not.The vet said that sometimes it takes weeks to a couple of months for swelling to completely go down and to know exactly what all damage is permanent. The medications will assist in the swelling going down and hopefully we will get things rolling for this poor sweet baby. Rascal has youth on his side and that it sounds promising since he has progressed some since we brought him into rescue. We are thinking positive here.

He is doing fine here and coping pretty good with his "handicaps". I'll keep you all updated on his progress. He's a doll!

2/14/05 Rascal is doing good here and is such a normal 7 month old puppy at times. But other times it appears he is anything but normal. I'm hoping we will find out some definite news about any damage done to his brain. Then we can move on from there. He is a sweet boy and we are enjoying watching him grow like a weed! He is going to be a big boy! He is already almost 11 lbs!

3/10/2005 Yesterday I took him to Auburn University to see the neurologist and get an MRI done. I had to leave him there because they couldn't get to the MRI until late afternoon. They called me last night to let me know that the news was not good.

Rascal has severe Hydrocephalus (water on the brain).This has resulted in him not having much in the way of "normal tissue" on the left side of his brain. The state of his brain is such that he is not capable of learning or comprehending anything. He is a reactive dog. One that will react to light, sounds, food, stimuli. He is like a fish, only reacting to his environment. We have been told that Rascal will only get worse in the next 1-2 years and he will be prone to seizures.

Rascal was born with this problem. They suspect that the previous owner was frustrated with Rascal's inability to learn or comprehend and the owner resorted to beating Rascal. This really made me sad. To think that Rascal was doing the best he could, and got beat anyway.

The only way I can bear this right now is to see the bright side of it all. We rescued him from an abuser and he knew fun, happy times here........maybe he understood he was loved.

After the Board and I talked about it all, Rascal was helped to the bridge today. I was sad that I could not be there with him, but I know that I will see him again one day at the Rainbow Bridge. I know that Rascal is running free with all his cairn cousins now. He will be running in a straight line and comprehending what joy is all about.......finally whole.

Auburn will be doing a necropsy on him for research. This will help our breed, and/or some other dog down the road. That gives me comfort as well. We will be getting his ashes to send to "the garden" at Danielle's.

As I told the Board, I will remember Rascal as he was yesterday in the waiting room at Auburn. He was trying his best to play with a big black Lab's tail as it was wagging like crazy. Rascal tried his best to catch it and play with it, and everyone in the waiting room thought it was the cutest thing. He will be missed.

Kristy and Pytor
The life Rascal SHOULD have had...

The Life of a Puppy

This morning, I woke up and kissed my Dad's head.
I peed on the carpet, then went back to bed.
"The life of a puppy, Oh my, this is great."
Then I thought about breakfast," I hope it's not late."

Mom took me outside, we walked for a while.
This never fails to make Mama smile.
I sniffed of everything that we did pass,
I ate something weird - it gave me gas.

I'm sure God loves me, I know that is true.
He gave me so many great things to chew.
Rugs, plants or rocks, I really don't care.
What I truly like best is Dad's underwear.

That obedience book was sort of yummy.
Though it didn't sit well on my poor puppy tummy.
I threw up a bit, but that was all right,
When Mom found it later I was well out of sight.

I made streamers of T. P., while running at full speed.
Mom is pretty quick -- but I was still in the lead.
I flew under the bed and Mom flew past,
She stopped,shook her head, and breathed,
"You're too fast."

Mama later phoned Daddy and said, "It was frightening!"
That afternoon she was sure I'd pooped lightning.
She'd sat at the computer while I chewed the cord,
She thought I was mad, but I was just bored.

Then Mama had enough, couldn't take anymore,
That's when my tushy got shoved out the door.
I love it inside, but outside is best.
Lay in the cool grass and had a good rest.

That didn't last long, there was too much to do--
Can't quite remember where I hid Daddy's shoe.
I found an old bone, and scratched at a flea,
I watched the dumb squirrels as they jumped in a tree.

I barked at the kids when they got off the bus.
I can't figure out why this makes Mama fuss.
I barked at the neighbor, I barked at the wind.
I barked and barked, till Mom yelled, "COME IN."

The sun dipped in the west-soon Daddy would come!
I sure love my daddy, we always have fun.
I barked at my daddy, then turned on my charms,
I woo-wooed, "Hello," Then jumped in his arms.

Sitting under the table -- it's sooo hard to wait.
Daddy slipped me a goodie right off his plate.
I raced through the house, and scattered my toys,
Ricocheted off the furniture, and made lots of noise.

Mom found her purse - the one I abused.
Daddy let loose a chuckle. Mom asked "Amused??"
I cowered down low, I must be in trouble.
Dad said, "Wasn't MY boy, it must be his double!"

Mom turned off the TV and said,"Time for bed."
Dad said "Let's go boy," and patted my head.
I got in my spot, between Mom and Dad,
I thought about my day and what fun I had.

Mama kicked out my bone from the covers below,
Then let loose a sigh -- a sigh deep and low.
She gave me a kiss and snuggled me tight,
And whispered so softly, 'My darling, goodnight'.

Hank Schilling