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Happy “Birthday” Athena

Happy “Birthday” Athena

Annie Madej sent us this nice update on her girl Athena:

“I wanted to send a quick update on Athena now that she has turned two and we have officially had her for one year.
This past year with Athena has been filled with really wonderful times and some pretty hard times, but we have made it through and could not be happier. When we first brought Athena home, it took her some time to settle in. Once she realized this was her home, she became very comfortable with to the point of over protection. We are not sure of what happened in her past, but we quickly realized she was very fearful of new people especially men. She also was and still is in some aspects, very protective of me. Athena had issues with barking and growling with new people and we had a very hard time settling her down on our own. We worked with a trainer and stayed committed to getting her socialized with people inside and outside the house. She is still a little wary of Jesse and some new people. She barks at Jesse, but will calm down and go up to him for pets. They have made good progress but still have some ways to go. We think she is just really fearful, but we continue to show her she is safe and we love her. 
We also has some issues this year with her health. She had pneumonia in early January which lead to hospitalization. Luckily with quick detection and wonderful vet care she bounced back. We have also had severe digestive issues with Athena. Earlier this year

  • she stopped eating and started to loose weight rapidly. We ended up seeing a gastrointestinal specialist, at the suggestion of our regular vet, who diagnosed Athena with irritable bowel syndrome (after many other tests to rule out anything genetic or other). We now have Athena on a special diet and a low dose anti-inflammatory that she will likely be on the rest of her life. She is now (happily) eating all of her meals and gaining weight! Through all of the issues that Athena has had this year (both major and minor) she has been incredibly brave and stoic. 
    It may seem like this year has been all hard times, but in all honestly the issues we have had with Athena feel so insignificant compared to how much she has enriched our lives. She is such a goofy, loving, intelligent and beautiful dog. She is absolutely wonderful with kids, including our two 4 year old niece and nephew and is great with all types of dogs. She goes to daycare and knows how to appropriately play with every size dog there. We constantly get compliments about her. She has learned to walk very well on a leash and loves to go everywhere with us. 
    Athena is my constant shadow. I cannot leave a room without her trying to follow me. She looks at me with those beautiful amber eyes and I simply cannot resist giving in to her. We have had so much fun with Athena this past year and are looking forward to the years to come. We will continue to help her feel secure everyday and help her understand that no one is going to hurt her. We love Athena so much and she has definitely settled into being our princess. Thank you so much for bringing this special dog into our lives!
    Here are some pictures of the past year! We will also be making a donation in honor of Athena’s birthday to GDRNC. We feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to love Athena. ”
    Thank you so much!
  • Annie and Jesse

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