At A Glance

  • Age: 13 years, 11 months
  • Breed: Mixed Breed
  • Gender: Male
  • Weight: 65.00 lbs
  • Location: N/A
  • Status: Adopted


Sponsored by:

Kelly and Casper Urbanek
"In memory of Mason"

October 26, 2012

Rufus is an adorable 3-4 year old Golden mix, though he looks about 80-90% Golden. He’s a gorgeous light gold color with white on his chest and on his nose. Though he has minimal training, he doesn’t jump up, hasn’t had any accidents in the house, hasn’t chewed on anything inappropriate, and doesn’t seem to have any bad habits other than wanting to mark everything in sight outside. We have kept a belly band on him in the house so he won’t mark anything, but he hasn’t even tried once to mark in the house. He is very sweet, loves to be petted and cuddled, and has quickly learned that he prefers to sleep on the couch instead of the floor or his dog bed! He gets along great with my 15 month old male Golden Retriever, my 2 cats, and my 8 year old daughter. I think he would really love to have a dog friend in his forever home. I don’t think he has a mean bone in his body. He is up to date on vaccines, his fecal was negative, and we will get him microchipped at his next vet visit.

Rufus was surrendered to a kill shelter in Georgia by his owner. Being heartworm positive, he didn’t stand a chance at the shelter. One of the shelter workers contacted RAGOM to save this sweet boy. Luckily, RAGOM said “YES!” and transport was set up for Rufus. During transport, Rufus was attacked by another dog, leaving a large wound under his chin and on the inside of his lip. He was taken to an emergency clinic and his lacerations were repaired before being transported to Minnesota. Rufus spent a week in a temp foster home while transport was arranged for him to go to his permanent foster home. I can’t imagine what this poor boy was thinking during this scary time in his life. I want to thank everyone who was involved with pulling Rufus from the shelter and who helped with his transport. You literally helped save his life! I also want to thank, Jane, his temp foster mom, for taking such great care of Rufus!

After experiencing all of this in a short amount of time, I expected a very stressed, nervous, and scared dog when I met him for the first time. Though he was a little freaked out, his sweet and loving personality was already evident. The only sign of him being stressed is that he’s still a little hesitant to eat, but we aren’t sure if that’s due to nerves or if it’s because he doesn’t feel well. Rufus is very thin, weighing in at 54 pounds. He should be 70 or 75 pounds. I bought a few different types of premium food for him to try, including canned food, but he hasn’t shown much interest in any of it. I finally got him to eat a mixture of kibble soaked in chicken broth, cooked ground beef with oats, fish oil, and eggs, and boiled chicken breast pieces on top. He loves Hill’s A/D canned food, so I’ve been hiding his medications in a small amount of that. It’s a very rich food that can easily cause diarrhea if he eats too much of it, otherwise I’d be feeding him cans of it! Even though he is eating some, he needs to eat a lot more in order to gain weight. I try to offer him food in small amounts of food several times a day when I am home, hoping that he’ll eat even a little bit each time.

I took Rufus to the vet this week to get blood work and x-rays done. They both looked great, and we got the okay to start his heartworm treatment next week. The vet classified him as Stage 1, with minimal to no symptoms, normal blood work and x-rays, and minimal exercise intolerance. The only symptom that I’ve noticed is that he pants most of the time. Even when he’s at rest, he pants like he’s just run a few miles. He was started on Doxycycline (for 30 days) as part of the heartworm treatment protocol, and Cephalexin (10 days) to clear up the infection in his dog bite wounds. The wounds are already looking a lot better, and he doesn’t mind me inspecting and cleaning them. Rufus has also been started on Heartgard every 30 days to kill the microfilaria (baby heartworms) that are swimming around in his blood. (See photo)

Rufus will go back to the vet next week for his first injection of Immiticide for his heartworm treatment. This injection is given deep into the muscle next to his spine near his hips. It is very painful, and he will need to be on pain medication for several days. After the injection, Rufus will need to be kept quiet for 30 days. This means strict cage rest and he will only get to go outside on a leash to go potty. After 30 days, he will go in for 2 more injections, 24 hours apart. Then 30 more days of complete exercise restriction and cage rest. Finally, if everything goes well, Rufus can be neutered after that. For more information about the process of treating for heartworms, here is a great link:

Rufus will stay with us until his heartworm treatments are complete and he is able to be neutered. Although he won’t be available for adoption until then, we can talk with interested adopters before that time. If you are interested in this sweet, amazing, resilient boy, please contact your placement advisor!

Sponsor Rufus

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