Medical Case – Foster-To-Adopt

Willis is a 6-7 year old, 85lb lab.  He arrived to CLR in 2021 after being found stray in Mississippi.  He was adopted out and lived with his family for the past two years.  This fall, he was returned due to unknown medical conditions.  The family did not have the ability or means to provide the vet care that he so desperately needed.  CLR stepped in to help save his life.

Willis has been on a medical journey for the past 5 months.  When he arrived, he was excessively vomiting/drooling and battling major skin inflammation.  He was not eating and very lethargic.  He underwent extensive testing including evaluations by neurology and internal medicine. After CBC tests, xrays, ultrasounds, and nose cultures, our medical team was able to uncover that he had pneumonia, staph infection, diabetes insipidus, and possible epilepsy.  The good news…..we believe that Willis on the road to recovery!   The pneumonia is clear (yay!) and the staph infection is responding well to antibiotics.  His diabetes insipidus is being managed with a pill, and the only symptom is excessive drinking and a few extra potty breaks.  We have recently started him on medication for epilepsy, and we are closely monitoring results.  Since the transition, there has been no vomiting and his skin is looking great!  Overall, this boy is happy, active, and alert!

Beyond his medical condition, Willis is a GREAT dog!  He loves both humans and other dogs (but no cats).  He is affectionate, but not overly smothering.  He is content just laying at my feet and being with his pack. Overall, he is a lower energy boy.  I like to think that his spirit animal is Eyore from Winnie The Pooh.  He is a pretty even tempered doggo!  He is also very stubborn….which is one of his most endearing qualities.  He likes to do things on his terms – which sometimes means applying the “dog brakes” and protesting.  That said, he is very treat motivated so food tends to be the great equalizer.

He does have an active side.  He loves the outdoors and going for walks.  He is great on a leash!  He also loves to run and play in the backyard.  In his free time, he likes chasing squirrels and any small animal that is brave enough to enter the yard.  He will occasionally play with stuffed toys, but his favorite are bones.  He loves bones!

As for training, Willis is a very smart boy!  He knows a few basic commands (sit, shake).  He does not like his crate, but I have trusted him to have free rein.  He is not destructive so he is trust-worthy when left alone.  He is housetrained and he will go to the door and bark when he needs to go out. He has had a couple of accidents as we adjusted some of his medications, but overall he knows the drill.

His Ideal Home is a family that….  1) Works from home or is home a lot.  His medical condition and medication do require frequent bathroom breaks.  2) Commitment to his medical care.  Willis will require medication for the rest of his life.  We anticipate that the medications will cost about $100/month. 3) Love and Patience – this boy has been through SO much.  He needs a family with a nurturing spirit that can help him thrive.  4) No cats.

Willis is an amazing dog!  It has been such a joy watching his progress over the past few months.  We realize that a dog with medical needs can often be a difficult placement, but Willis is so, so worth it.  He will need a family that is accepting of his needs and committed to caring for him.  We are offering the option for a foster-to-adopt to ensure that he continues with his medical treatment prior to formal adoption.

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