Sassi sailed through her Puppy Foundation Course and
proved to be totally bombproof around other dogs. We
must have done a pretty good job with her socialisation
as, to be honest, she is unfazed by just about
We have recently started ringcraft classes and though
she moves and stands well she isn't comfortable with
being gone over by the judge - this is something we will
be working on as, from what some people in the know say,
Sassi is a very good example of the breed.
Sassi's days are somewhat full on as she has Summer to
play with - trust me 2 puppies playing is a sight to be
seen. I am sure that she will miss Summer dreadfully
when she leaves us at the end of the year - perhaps
we'll get her another playmate.
Sassi did end up with a playmate though the background
to it is somewhat convuluted; I'll start at the
In the summer of 2013 Sassi started to show signs of not
being 100% - her energy levels were very low, she
struggled to get on, and off the bed, would lie down to
eat. She still enjoyed her walks however over the August
Bank Holiday she appeared to faint whilst on a walk -
she quickly recovered and by quick I mean seconds, and
was able to walk back home. I contacted the vet as soon
as they were open and made an appointment to have her
She was given a thorough examination and
blood samples were taken. The next day I received a
phone call from the vets asking me to take Sassi back in
for more bloods to be taken as her original sample was
inadequate in volume and too thick.
The next day I received another call from the vets
informing me that the results of the sample showed that
Sassi was suffering from Polycythemia and that a course
of treatment was required. Polycythemia is a condition
whereby the bone marrow overproduces red blood cells
causing the blood to be too thick. When tested Sassi's
PCV (the measuring scale for RBCs) was 74 as opposed to
it being in the normal range of between 35 - 40.
There were 2 courses of treatment available, blood
letting and chemotherapy. After discussing the options
with the vet we agreed to a course of blood letting
(draining blood off through the opening of a vein). Over
the course of the next 2 weeks Sassi underwent this
treatment a number of times - sadly to no effect and the
vet suggested that she had a general anaesthetic and a
much greater volume of blood be taken and it replaced
with a saline solution to thin the blood.
this didn't work that well and a week after the
procedure Sassi's PCV level was as high as it had ever
been at 84.
A fortunate encounter with a different vet who
specialised in animal blood resulted in us deciding to
opt for chemotherapy, something I was originally quite
concerned about due to the effects and the cost (Sassi
wasn't insured. Our vet researched where to get the
drugs from and how much they might cost and phoned me to
tell me that they would cost just under £50.00 - per
tablet, per week, per month? I asked. For 100 he
informed me. Next question, how many per day.
We started on 1 a day and over the course of the next 2
weeks her PCV level dropped to below 35 - one a day was
obviously too much, however at least we know they work.
Over the course of the next month we tried various
quantities and since early 2014 Sassi has been on 3 per
week and one wouldn't know that anything was wrong with
We had hoped to breed on from Sassi however to do so
with her suffering from Polycythemia we obviously
wouldn't - the condition isn't hereditary, however she
would have to be off her meds during the pregnancy, not
something we would consider so our mating plans were
forced to change and we decided to mate Kiva again
sometime in the summer of 2014. We had already met a
number of families who we were confident would provide
great homes for the puppies when the time came for them
to leave and one of those families was the Godfreys, Amy
and Callum and their son Maximilian.
Though they were pretty sure that a Lappy would be the
right addition to their family they did have a few
concerns as 5 year old Max was autistic and they wanted
to make sure that a dog would have a positive effect,
rather than a negative effect, on his well being. Simple
solution; borrow a dog until Kiva's litter were ready to
go to their furever homes - and that is how Sassi came
to stay with them.
The plan was for Sassi to stay with them until their new
puppy was ready to join them, however they asked if they
could hang on to Sassi so she could show Sura (their
puppy) the ropes .... 2 years on and she's still there
having a great life with Amy, Callum, Max and their
youngest son Tristan.
Do we miss her? Yes we do, but we
know that she is loved where she is and, more
importantly, that she is well and happy. We are also
fortunate that she, and Sura, come to visit quite often
and, when they do it is wonderful to see mum Kiva with 2
of her daughters.