Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ozzie becomes a Permanent Foster

From Lindsay, BDHP's CEO:

Ozzie is a very special, 8 year old, English Mastiff that came to us from Omaha, Arkansas, near the Missouri border. We were contacted by another Mastiff Rescue who was unable to take him but were determined to help get this sweet boy out of a bad situation, so Big Dogs Huge Paws stepped up to the plate! He was completely emaciated, with huge pressure sores on his elbows and tumor skin tags hanging down from his belly, and he had absolutely no muscle tone or strength in his back end. In addition, his coat was in horrible condition with mats all over and he smelled awful. It was a huge collaborative effort to get him to his foster home and this sweet boy touched everyone he met along the way! We are very grateful to Carlos with Great Plains Mastiff Rescue for getting him close to KS, BDHPI volunteer Tracy from transporting him to Wichita, BDHPI volunteers Kenny & Mindy for fostering him overnight, and Lisa & Linda with C.A.R.E. for transporting him to Colorado! He was completely exhausted and barely able to stand up when he arrived at his foster home, but Bree and Brian were determined to do whatever they could for him!

The night after his arrival, Bree and I drove out to Heather's house (a.k.a. "Shelstad Grooming Salon") and we all spent about 1.5 hours working on this poor boy's coat! We brushed, and brushed, and brushed and huge chunks of fur just kept coming out. His hair was very dry and course and we even discovered a fairly sizable sore on his rear end underneath his hair which we had to shave in order to clean out properly. After we got a significant amount of dead hair removed, it was time for his bath and Heather climbed into the walk-in shower and we used several rounds of shampoo in order to get out most of the stench. Bree was armed with the hair dryer, but he wasn't a big fan and opted to go with the Au-natural "air dry" instead. He was like a whole new man when all was said and done!

The next step was figuring out why he STILL had a horrible odor about him and we quickly discovered that our friend Ozzie had HORRIBLE ear infections in both ears. It turned out that he had likely been suffering from chronic infections most of his life without medical attention and he required 2 surgeries in order to address the problem, which ultimately meant removing part of his ear drum.

Ozzie is recovering nicely from his surgeries and has settled in quite nicely at his foster home! He has put on quite a bit of weight and is gaining strength every day. However, the reality is that he is a senior dog and we are not quite sure how much longer he will have quality of life. He has Spondylosis of the spine which causes him quite a bit of pain in his back and he is also suffering from some level of dementia and isn't completely there mentally. We are managing his pain and he is still happy and eating well, but we don't think it is fair to ask an adopting family to take him on when he probably doesn't have too long for this world. I am happy to report that the Dew family has graciously offered to keep him on as a permanent foster. He will have all the love and comforts a guy could dream for as long as he has left!!! Thank you, Bree & Brian, for opening your hearts and home to this special boy. We are so grateful that he finally can experience being part of a family and what love is all about!

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