The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust

Three months ago, we adopted Jedi who was promptly renamed Ziggy. Here he is, on the day we adopted him, while we were filling out the paperwork.



We were told he was probably two years old1, and his slight limp was probably from his horrible maltreatment or a previous injury. He was treated incredibly badly, you see. Found chained up outside, with no hair from his shoulders back due to a rampant flea infestation, he was not, shall we say, loved. Until he came to us.

He came to us and found rather too much love in the shape of the #geekling who struggled to adjust her level of affection from Labrador to fragile Terrier mix. But still, it was love.

Over time, he started to limp a little more, to walk hunched, and to occasionally cry in his sleep. The vet suggested a slipped disc, we tried anti-inflammatory medication, and that seemed to relieve a little of the symptoms, but then it came back. His gait became much more awkward and he started shuffling, so we went to a specialist who dropped him into an MRI with a view to operating to repair the slipped disc. He instead found a mass on Ziggy’s spinal cord. A meningioma, actually, but details aren’t all that important. The specialist declined the opportunity to operate and instead referred us to a neurosurgeon.

Today, the neurosurgeon operated to remove the mass. He was in surgery for around six hours but the surgeon believes she removed it all. She expressed surprise at the size of the mass, and noted that his spinal cord is not in the best of conditions. Well, whose would be after being compressed 75%. Yet again I find myself amazed at the resiliency of the dog. With half that compression we wouldn’t be walking and there he was trying to jump up on things still2.

And now I’m sitting, waiting. Waiting to hear if his spinal cord is in good enough shape to allow him to breathe off the ventilator. Waiting to hear if he overcomes that challenge whether he’ll be walking at all. Waiting to hear if we still have a Ziggy.

Update (2015.05.29): Ziggy is off the ventilator and breathing on his own. Tomorrow we’ll find out if he’s able to walk.

Update (2016.01.06): Six months later, and not only is he walking and running, but he is more affectionate than he was before. I can only assume that he was in more pain or discomfort than we realised. Here’s to a lot more Ziggy in our lives.


  1. Uh-huh, and I’m still 28
  2. Failing spectacularly, but trying

Happy Muttville Senior Dog Rescue Day

It’s Muttville Senior Dog Rescue Day in the City of San Francisco.

As a failed foster parent of a Muttville rescue 1 I can’t recommend or praise Muttville highly enough for the work they do with senior dogs who have been abandoned by their families.

Rescuing a senior dog can be fraught with difficulty as they often come with problems, but it can also be extremely rewarding as all they really want is warmth, love, and food 2. Muttville recognises this and works hard with their volunteers and foster families to find homes for these forgotten old pooches.

It is wonderful that the City of San Francisco has chosen to celebrate and recognise their hard work, and I’m proud to be a part of the Muttville community.

  1. Failed as in I ended up adopting the little bugger.
  2. And shoft toilet paper, if Cohen is to be believed.