Marty 19-003

Marty 19-003Marty 19-003

Profile

Marty is about 7 years old and has suffered a life of neglect and abuse. As a result of substandard care and unacceptable living conditions, he is dying. When Marty entered our world, he came into warmth, shelter in a home, quality food, professional medical care, and, most important—love. Against all odds, Marty is a sweet, gentle soul who has blossomed in his new world. He revels in hugs and pats and kisses. He wants nothing more than to give and get love.

At a Glance #19-003

Golden Retriever Born: January 2012
Male 54 lbs

Status: Hospice

Profile

Marty is about 7 years old and has suffered a life of neglect and abuse. As a result of substandard care and unacceptable living conditions, he is dying. When Marty entered our world, he came into warmth, shelter in a home, quality food, professional medical care, and, most important—love. Against all odds, Marty is a sweet, gentle soul who has blossomed in his new world. He revels in hugs and pats and kisses. He wants nothing more than to give and get love.

Updates

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Our Marty recently completed the second round of tests in connection with his kidney failure. Sadly, but not unexpectedly, there was no improvement in most of the results and there was a further decline in his kidneys' ability to absorb protein, a pivotally important measure. As a result, after consultation with the vet, we decided to continue Marty only on his appetite stimulant and anti-nausea meds.

Now, if there is any confusion about Marty, let me be perfectly blunt. Marty is a hospice boy not because he has a rare or unusual condition. He has Lyme disease and anaplasmosis, tick-borne diseases. They are 100% preventable with the regular application of flea and tick medication. We will be losing a beautiful Golden boy years too soon because he did not receive these meds. It is heart breaking.

Despite his physical decline, Marty's heart and personality blossom more and more every day.  everal examples follow.

1. When Marty first arrived, Foster Mom was the initiator of all hugs and kisses. Marty took a step forward after several weeks: when Foster Mom gave the residents hugs and kisses, our Marty would appear and try to get "first in line" for attention. This week, Marty has started to come over to Foster Mom and independently asks for love - and lots of it!

2. Several days ago, two of the residents were energized by the nippy weather and started to play in the snow. And Marty wanted to join in! This from the guy who needed to be kept separated from the residents when he arrived due to growling and unfriendly behaviors! Big change. On that same outing, Marty concluded that it was his job to search for critters.

I know that pesky chipmunk is in here!
I know that pesky chipmunk is in here!

3. Marty has become very interested in the large basket containing all the dog bones and toys. He gets them out - one by one - every day now. He particularly enjoys mouthing the squeaky toys. Now, if he would just put everything away at the end of the day.

Fun!
Fun!

4. Our house has turned into a "scavenger hunt in plain sight." Marty enjoys placing Foster Mom's old fleece boots in a new spot each day. Foster Mom has concluded it's Marty's newfound sense of humor!

Love the boots!
Love the boots!

Marty's story is the story of a dog who, against all the odds, is proof that the spirit triumphs. Due to his previous life experience, Marty arrived at his Forever Home suspicious of other dogs and largely emotionally shut down. But, miraculously, his essential loving nature, with all its quirkiness(!), asserts itself more and more every day. Marty is becoming all he can be. He is my inspiration. 

Our dear love
Our dear love

Monday, February 18, 2019

Marty is scheduled for a follow-up vet visit shortly. Hopefully, at that time, we will learn more about the status of his Lyme disease. We will provide details as they become available. On a more immediate basis, however, Marty's meds seem to be helping him to feel better, at least in the short term.

He is settling in beautifully. Marty is a lovable, sweet, good-natured doll. Some of the highlights of the last few weeks follow.

Shortly after he arrived, Foster Mom returned home from doing errands and Marty greeted me by showing his teeth. Bless him. When he smiles, his lips curl back and you're treated to a glimpse of all his pearly whites. He should be in a toothpaste ad! That is Marty's standard greeting.

Marty's "Welcome home" smile.
Marty's "Welcome home" smile.

Marty's wardrobe is expanding. A fellow RAGOM foster provided an all-weather coat for walks. (Marty did draw the line, however, at wearing the booties provided.)

And we started on a moderate exercise program. We have gradually increased the distance and are now up to about 1/2 mile a day. Marty loves it. He walks so nicely on the leash, steps out confidently, and is always watching for squirrels.

Perfect for our winter weather!
Perfect for our winter weather!

In addition, because he is so underweight, Foster Mom decided Marty needed something soft and warm for indoor wear. He now sports a plushy "bone" hoodie.

This is one debonair dude.
This is one debonair dude.

Prior to Marty's arrival, because the cold winter seems to lead to dry itchy skin for all the residents, we had started on a regimen of salmon oil supplements. This practice, of course, extended to Marty when he joined us. As you might imagine, due to Marty's inadequate previous care, Marty's skin was dry and his coat rough and dull when he arrived.

Well, if Foster Mom questioned the effectiveness of the salmon oil previously, there are no questions now. Take a look at Marty's shiny coat now. It is marvelously soft and full. His skin is "moisturized," too. Success!

What a difference!
What a difference!

The last little story about Marty for this update is, for Foster Mom, the most endearing one. Marty has chosen the living room couch as "his" spot and he surveys all the activity outside (mostly squirrels and chipmunks) in the neighborhood as the day goes by.

Last week, however, Marty found his voice. Unexpectedly, and for the first time, I heard Marty's "Woof! Woof!" It was the postman. Despite his daily deliveries, why was this Marty's first alert? Foster Mom believes that those barks signified that Marty was no longer a traveler passing through on his journey.

Rather, Marty claimed ownership—"This is my home!"—and was prepared to defend it. Through some tears, I explained to Marty that he had indeed arrived in his Forever Home and assured him that he would be taken care of and loved beyond belief forever.

Marty is home.
Marty is home.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Marty had lived a life of abuse and neglect when he was saved by a rescue organization located in Northern Minnesota in mid-January. Noticing that he was obviously sick, malnourished, and underweight, the rescue immediately arranged for emergency veterinary care, including intravenous fluids for extreme dehydration.

Marty was diagnosed with kidney failure, likely due to untreated Lyme disease and anaplasmosis.

Marty arrived into RAGOM's care on January 20th. He clearly did not feel well. He moved slowly and stiffly, as if he were a senior dog with substantial joint discomfort. Marty ate his dinner slowly, in stages, and spent the evening snoozing with his head in Foster Mom's lap.

Unlike the residents who inhale their food, Marty grazes. Each meal can take several hours!
Unlike the residents who inhale their food, Marty grazes. Each meal can take several hours!

To help make up for all the nights he had no shelter and no comfort, Foster Mom has supplied this sick boy with a double thick bed covered with a soft bath rug. Marty slept through the night under a quilt, which helped him to retain his body heat.

Perhaps for the first time in his life, Marty was treated the way all dogs should be treated. He was warm, well fed, and given all the hugs and pats and kisses he craved. Marty was safe.

Marty is the gender-neutral version of "The Princess and the Pea" on his super comfy bed.
Marty is the gender-neutral version of "The Princess and the Pea" on his super comfy bed.
Marty conserves his energy as he snuggles in his quilt.
Marty conserves his energy as he snuggles in his quilt.

One of the first things Marty did when he met the three resident Goldens was curl his lip and give a low growl. Yikes! Foster Mom discovered the possible cause of his behavior over the next several days.

Marty has a number of dog bite scars on his face and head. He also has a large scab on his ear and several more on his neck—all due to dog bites. So, as sick as he was, Marty was forced to protect himself recently.

Because of Marty's fear and uncertainty around the guys, Foster Mom initially kept Marty and the residents separated by a baby gate. We then took steps forward to introduce them to one another slowly. The process took about two weeks, but Foster Mom is now comfortable leaving the dogs loose together when leaving the house for errands, etc.

Marty and Foster Mom visited the vet, Dr. R,. for a much-needed checkup several days after Marty's arrival. Multiple urine, fecal, and blood tests were conducted, and he had a thorough physical exam.

Dr. R. determined that Marty is in renal failure. Our initial hope was that this condition was due to dehydration and thus, although not curable, would be a chronic condition that would enable Marty to go to a Forever Home. Unfortunately, the kidney failure is attributable to Lyme disease.

The vet indicated that this suggests that Marty's condition will deteriorate. Adoption is off the table.

Marty will be rechecked in a month. At that time, Dr. R. believes he will be able to offer a more informed estimate of Marty's life expectancy than he can now.

There were a number of other notable outcomes from Marty's first visit to Dr. R. He has worms, which we're now treating. We decided to hold off on regular vaccines for now so that we don't stress his system unduly. He was microchipped.

We will consider pain meds if Marty's joint discomfort and stiffness continue unabated. He has some potential dental issues, but they are not the top priority now. Marty's muscle tone is virtually nonexistent, and, to the extent that he can, limited exercise will be positive.

Marty and Foster Mom came home with so many meds that Foster Mom believes we could open our own pharmacy. Marty then asserted his independence: he does not like his pills in pill pockets! So, we're going "low-tech": his pills are camouflaged in small scoops of peanut butter and smeared on his leg. Morning - noon - and night. It works! 

It took more than a few days to get used to all these meds!
It took more than a few days to get used to all these meds!

Marty is one of the sweetest dogs Foster Mom has ever fostered. Like many dogs who are rescued from subpar conditions, Marty seems to actively appreciate what most "normal" dogs take for granted. Love and hugs and kisses top Marty's list of wonderful things. Peanut butter comes second! So, send your love to Marty and look for more updates shortly.

Foster Mom heard Marty say, "Maybe I'm in Cancún. Sure feels like it!"
Foster Mom heard Marty say, "Maybe I'm in Cancún. Sure feels like it!"

Hospice: Marty will live out his remaining days in his foster home.