Rokey 15-058

Rokey 15-058Rokey 15-058

Profile

Rokey returned to RAGOM because his original adopter needed to care for a family member and could no longer provide the care Rokey needs. This lovable, active, happy boy has megaesophagus; the muscles in his throat do not move the food to his stomach, so he eats in a special chair that allows gravity to do the work. Rokey can live with other dogs and ignores cats. Due to his size, children in his home should be at least 8 years old, and he requires a physical fence.

At a Glance #15-058

Mixed Breed 6 years old
Male 75 lbs

Available as of November 15, 2020
Fostered in Iowa City, IA

Status: Adopt Me
Adoption fee: $400

Children ages 8+
Can live with other dogs
Can live with cats
Physical fence required (no invisible fence)
Medium energy
Children ages 8+
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Can live with other dogs
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Can live with cats
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Physical fence required (no invisible fence)
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Medium energy
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Profile

Rokey returned to RAGOM because his original adopter needed to care for a family member and could no longer provide the care Rokey needs. This lovable, active, happy boy has megaesophagus; the muscles in his throat do not move the food to his stomach, so he eats in a special chair that allows gravity to do the work. Rokey can live with other dogs and ignores cats. Due to his size, children in his home should be at least 8 years old, and he requires a physical fence.

Updates

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

We've settled into a wonderful, easy routine with Rokey. This boy is one of the happiest dogs we've ever fostered, his roo-roo-rooing is now commonplace throughout the day—he's happy and he wants you to know it.

You can tell it almost breaks his heart when we leave the house, even for a short time. He's not destructive so we typically let him have free roam of the house when we're gone. As we back out of the garage we can hear him crying a bit, but he must settle in and eventually relax. He can hear the car as we turn into the driveway and is always at the door waiting for us when we return, typically with a welcoming roo-roo-roo.

Rokey has enjoyed the snow and one of my favorite things is to watch him running in the backyard. He runs in big circles and he looks as happy as any dog could be, such joy to see his ears flapping as he shows off.

Rokey 15-058

He likes to entice the other dogs to play with him, inside and outside, and seeing this big boy do his puppy play behaviors is a bit of a hoot. He is friends with our entire pack, the male dogs as well as the females.

Some things we've learned:

Rokey loves to jump on the bed in the morning. He sleeps in his own bed but he really does like to sneak up on the people bed in the morning and cuddle. He has no idea how big he is or how much space he consumes!

Rokey has great faith in our ability to feed him and is now completely relaxed during the entire process. We're still keeping the schedule of three meals a day, with upright time in his special chair after each meal.

This has become such a routine that it's not unusual for him to fall asleep in his chair, waiting for the timer to go off, kind of like an alarm clock. Then he's out of the chair for a bit more quiet time, and then the playing begins again.

Rokey 15-058
Rokey 15-058

Rokey needs a good-sized fence to keep him safe. He has a history of escaping and could easily jump a low fence if he wanted. He is also very skilled at trying to dash out an open door—like when you reach outside to bring in a box that was just delivered—he's got his eyes open for those quick opportunities. We've learned to either leash him, keep a hold of his collar, or send him to another room in those circumstances.

Rokey is completely housebroken, has destroyed nothing (good boy!), and appears to have put his counter-surfing days behind him although we try not to leave anything out that would tempt him.

Rokey is good at the vet's and handles a nail trim like it's no big deal.

Rokey has asked me to thank Michelle B. for him. Michelle very generously donated some special food for Rokey as she knows about dogs with megaesophagus from taking care of her own dog Duke.

Although we had never heard of megaesophagus until we met Rokey, there are quite a few dogs with this condition. Taking care of a dog like Rokey or Michelle's Duke really builds an incredible bond and we feel fortunate to have Rokey as our foster. He's an incredible boy. Thank you, Michelle, for your thoughtful donation.

Monday, December 14, 2020

I wondered how Rokey would handle the snow we got this weekend and it turns out that he absolutely loves it! His new favorite activity is going outside to romp and play in the snow.

It's so great to see him enjoy himself, and the resident dogs really enjoy playing with him. He's bigger than they are but they each enjoy their opportunity to roll around and play bitey face. Everyone is enjoying this outside time right now.

Rokey 15-058

Rokey is doing well and our other dogs are very curious about his special chair where he eats his meals. We've even seen one of our resident dogs try to get into Rokey's chair, and they all like to finish their meals quickly so they can gather around Rokey and be part of his dining experience. It's a very positive time for all of them.

Some special things about Rokey: First, he wears a padded pillow/collar when he's not outside or in his chair. The collar keeps his head upright and that, along with his chair, has really helped almost eliminate the regurgitation that many dogs with megaesophagus (ME) experience.

He doesn't object to the collar at all; if you put it in front of him, he quickly puts his head through and goes about his activities. He knows that we take it off when he goes outside so he waits for us to remove it. He's so tolerant of things that I think other dogs might object to—he's such a good boy!

Rokey 15-058

The second thing to know about Rokey is that he gets most of his daily water intake with his kibble and then we supplement that with Knox Blocks. Knox Blocks are made of gelatin and some liquid—we use broth or coconut milk for special treats—and then he can 'eat' his water. Now all of our dogs want Knox Blocks!

He eats his Knox Blocks sitting up or standing up. We either put them in a bowl for him or he eats them off a spoon. Our goal is to keep him hydrated without using a standard water dish because that can sometimes result in regurgitation. I make a pan of Knox Blocks and they last several days.

Many people are interested in Doodles because of their coats. I would say that Rokey definitely sheds less than a regular Golden Retriever, but his coat does require regular maintenance. We brush Rokey several times a week to keep his coat fluffy and avoid any matting. He absolutely adores being brushed.

Rokey's tail is wagging almost all day long—he's such a happy boy. He plays well with our resident dogs and then comes to his people for love and attention. He still hasn't gotten up on any furniture other than our bed in the morning when he wants to hurry us up for breakfast.

Rokey does require some extra effort; his meal routine isn't difficult but it does take consistency. What you get back in return is a dog that really wants to bond with his people. He's a wonderful dog and a great companion.

Rokey 15-058

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Rokey is an exceptional dog—truly, there isn't a sweeter dog than Mr. Rokey. He has great gusto for life: enjoys his chew toys, absolutely loves running in the backyard, and playing with our resident dogs. He likes to wrestle on the ground but seems to really like playing standing up on his back legs and doing some fancy swatting moves. It's great to watch!

Rokey has so many endearing habits. He likes to wake me up by resting his head on the bed and willing me to open my eyes. When I'm in the shower he waits patiently in his dog bed, or sometimes on our bed, and wags his tail with great excitement just to hear his name.

Rokey 15-058

He loves to be petted and often comes to me and rests his big head in my lap. He likes being brushed—really, he loves anything that allows him to spend time with his people. He is a big love and very affectionate.

We've settled on a routine for feeding Rokey that seems to meet his special requirements. We soak his dry dog food (the same food our resident dogs eat) in water for about 10 or 15 minutes, and then he gets into his special new chair and we close the door to keep him in an upright position.

Rokey 15-058

We always have to slow him down at meal time. He'd eat all his food in a matter of seconds if he could, but we want him to eat slowly. After he's done eating, we sit together for about 20 minutes, Rokey in his special chair with me by his side.

He really likes to be petted while we're waiting and that time together has become very special. He likes to be talked to and sometimes falls asleep in his chair, just relaxing and listening to me talk about my day.

When Rokey first came to us, he would jump up on us and we were afraid that he might knock over small children, so we set a requirement that he only live with older children.

Now, after a few weeks, we're starting to see results from our training and think that his jumping behavior is much less than it was originally. Because of that, we now believe that Rokey would be a great companion for kids 8 and older.

Rokey has so much to give, and while it's easy to focus on his special feeding requirement, what's really special about him is his charm and ability to connect with people and to enjoy life. I don't think there's a dog out there who enjoys yard time like Rokey does. He explores the whole yard and typically comes back into the house roo-rooing with joy.

Rokey 15-058
Rokey 15-058

He's playful, happy and very smart—really, what more could you want from a companion?

Rokey 15-058

Sunday, November 15, 2020

I'm so pleased to introduce you to Rokey, a truly wonderful companion and a very bright and loving Goldendoodle. Rokey is almost 6 years old, weighs 75 pounds and is bouncy, energetic, and extremely affectionate. He's the kind of dog that follows you around the house, waits for you outside a closed door, and does everything he can to keep you in his sights.

Rokey was lovingly returned to RAGOM by his original adopter who needed to take care of a family member and was no longer able to provide the care that Rokey needs. After spending time with Rokey, it's easy to tell that he was well loved.

Rokey is a tall boy who really enjoys playing with our resident dogs: sometimes quietly playing in the house and other times playing chase in the backyard. He gets along with all of our resident dogs, both males and females.

Rokey 15-058

He has started to play with a few chew toys, has had no accidents, and spends each night curled up in a tight ball on a dog bed in our room. He wakes me up each morning with the sound of his tail thumping wildly to tell me it's time to go outside and get the day started.

Rokey is a true joy. He's been to the vet and is current on his shots. Rokey does have a medical issue that we've spent some time learning about. He was born with megaesophagus and very simply, that means that the muscles in his throat do not move the food to his stomach.

Instead, Rokey eats his meals sitting upright in a special chair that allows gravity to do what his muscles can't. Right now, he's eating three meals a day. We feed him regular kibble and add water so that it's a soupy mix—he loves this stuff!

We feed him in his special chair and then he stays in the chair for about 20 minutes after each meal. I usually sit with him for this time and have my coffee in the morning, wine at night, catch up on email, that kind of thing. He really wants a person there with him to keep him company and truthfully, I enjoy that time with him.

He likes to be petted and sometimes we even do some simple combing of his fur while he's in the chair. After his upright time, he spends some quiet time in the house for a bit and then he's playing with the dogs, going for rides, and enjoying the regular routine.

If he's in the house, we typically have him wear a pillow collar that keeps his head up. He knows all about this and wears it without problem. Our goal is to get him to twice-a-day feedings, but right now three meals seems to work best for our household routine.

Rokey does not get on the furniture but has definitely shown interest in food on the kitchen counter, so we're working to eliminate that before it becomes a habit. He has had no accidents. He plays hard and sleeps hard. And the feeding routine is something he has down pat. He climbs into his special chair without any assistance. When he's hungry, he goes to his chair to let us know.

Rokey is a tall boy and although he can be gentle, he could accidentally knock over a small child when he's excited and for that reason he will do best in a home with children over the age of 13. He was cat tested and showed no interest in cats other than a quick sniff.

Rokey should go to a home where he can have a fenced yard to keep him safe. Rokey will occasionally bark when there's something to alert us to but the delivery truck just dropped off a package and he didn't make a peep. He has a lovely habit of roo-roo-rooing when he's happy and it's pretty darn endearing.

These pictures just don't do him justice. He is a sweet, fun, spirited boy and a spectacular companion!

Rokey 15-058
Rokey 15-058

Saturday, March 21, 2015

(Update from Rokey's original foster before he was adopted in 2015.)

Thank you for reading about Rokey. Since his last update, I mentioned he was going to see a specialist. RAGOM had approved to have a radiograph, endoscopy and his neuter done.

The radiograph checked to make sure he had no evidence of aspiration pneumonia, which can be a complication in dogs with megaesophagus. The simplest definition of aspiration pneumonia is if food remains in the esophagus, it can easily get into the lungs eventually causing a lung infection. Rokey had no evidence of aspiration pneumonia at that time.

An endoscopy was performed to make sure he had no masses or strictures from his lower esophagus to his stomach that might prevent food from going into his stomach. Good news, everything looked normal for Rokey.

At this time, the vet wants Rokey on Metoclopramide. This medication is used to control nausea and vomiting. It really benefits Rokey as it has pro-motility effects within the gastrointestinal tract. Another medication is Pepcid, to decrease the acidity of his stomach contents. Here's a video of Rokey eating:

He is so cute; he willingly goes into the Bailey Chair all by himself. Most dogs sit on the hind legs while in there, but for Rokey's size, it's easier for him to stand on his hind legs. Once he is fully grown, he should get a Bailey Chair that accommodates his size. I am currently feeding him three times a day.

His food is softened with water, but then I add some extra water so he can get his intake. Since he is a puppy, he is let out very often especially after eating. Potty training is still a work in progress. The accidents he has in the house tend to be the same spots, so if I see him going to that spot, I then direct him to outside for potty.

Once Rokey is fully healed from his neuter surgery, I will be taking him to the groomers, just to get a little spruced up. The other day, I did start clipping his nails, so he can get used to it being done. I was able to get his front paws clipped.

Take care and enjoy his cute photos!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

(Update from Rokey's original foster before he was adopted in 2015.)

Rokey is an adorable Goldendoodle. At his wellness vet check, he weighed in at 26 lbs. I am guessing when full grown, he will be a big boy. He is fluffy, but when feeling his paws and his legs, they are as thick and big as the full-grown resident dogs.

Rokey is all puppy. He loves toys and romping with the big dogs. He is a love in general. When you sit down on the ground, he will come on over to sit by you. He definitely loves the humans.

Potty training is a work in progress, but for his age he is doing really well. He has those sharp baby teeth and needs redirecting to a toy when gnawing on something he shouldn't be. One command he is learning quickly is sit. When we aren't able to keep full eyes on Rokey, he goes in the kennel. He makes a fuss at first but eventually settles down.

Rokey needs a very special home. He was surrendered as he has megaesophagus, a situation in which the esophagus has lost muscle tone. Shortly after eating, the dog tends to regurgitate its food. The esophagus lacks the muscle tone to move food to the stomach.

Food is swallowed but sits in the esophagus until regurgitated. Some food, particularly liquids, may pass into the stomach. To prevent regurgitation, Rokey is fed vertically in a Bailey Chair. Since his esophagus can't move the food to the stomach, gravity will do the work instead.

I soften Rokey's food with water. After Rokey is done eating, he is held vertically for 10 minutes. Some dogs with megaesophagus do require longer, but so far 10 minutes is working for Rokey with no regurgitation.

This week Rokey is going to see a specialist, so we can get a better idea on how to best manage this condition.

Rokey 15-058
Rokey 15-058

Adopt Me: If you think Rokey would be a good fit in your home, please review our adoption process. If you have already submitted an Inquiry for Application, email [email protected] with Rokey's name, RAGOM number (15-058), the name you submitted under, and a sentence or two explaining why you feel your home would be a good match.