Always in My Heart
by Trudy Sigler
Dogs touch our hearts and create fond memories that are with us forever. Today Old Dog Haven foster Trudy Siegler shares some heartfelt memories of her Maranda Fund dog Stanley.
Tiny Stanley, aka Lil Man Stan, was a shih tzu mix who found himself in a shelter with a host of medical problems. Stanley was adorable, gentle and a shelter favorite, but he needed the care that only Old Dog Haven could provide.
Stanley just might have been the cutest but most neglected looking munchkin we had ever seen. His fluffy hair hung in mats and dreadlocks, sweeping the ground and catching debris. He had no hair left on his tail and the skin was dark and leathery as was a huge patch of skin on his back. He looked like a fluffy old grey mop with big beautiful bright eyes. He was so cuddly the first time I held him he melted into my arms.
From the first we knew Stanley was very sick. He had deep racking coughs and you could hear crackling noises in his chest. Despite a long course of antibiotics, if Stan was awake he was coughing. The poor guy was just exhausted.
After tests, including x-ray and ultrasound, we found out that Stanley had areas in his lungs that were definitely abnormal and he needed an expensive procedure called a Bronchoscopy/Bronchiolaveolar Lavage (airway wash). Old Dog Haven used the special Maranda Fund so he could have this life-saving procedure. Thankfully Lil Man Stan did not have lung cancer, but besides tracheal collapse, Stanley had an active lung infection. He was also diagnosed with autoimmune chronic bronchiolitis.
The procedure gave the specialists information about how to treat Stanley with specific antibiotics and targeted therapies. The autoimmune lung disease was a progressive disease and would make his lungs susceptible to frequent infections. We were warned that Stanley’s lungs were damaged and our time with him could be short.
The specialists fought hard for Stanley and we soon discovered that he was a tiny dog with a huge spirit for life. Within a couple of days on his new medications he stopped coughing, was sleeping through the night, eating like he’d just discovered food and scurrying around the house. He was a new little dog! We fell head over heals in love with him, and Stanley fell in love with us. He loved life, cuddled with his reluctant ODH foster sister, our ancient cat and our delighted grandchildren.
With a good diet his fur grew on his back and tail. When Stanley was groomed he looked like a totally different dog, but either way he was incredibly cute. Debates went on about his doggy heritage. Tzu/Bichon/Yorkie seemed to win out although Tzu/Koala Bear came in a close second (before grooming!).
Our life with Stanley was filled with joy. He was faster and had more endurance than our much bigger dogs, and led the way wherever we went. Stanley loved meeting new people, new dogs and going on adventures. He enjoyed being an ambassador for Old Dog Haven during fundraising events, babysitting our grandchildren and going with his foster dad to his dog-friendly meetings. Stanley also made snuggling such an art form it was hard for us to get anything else done.
Stanley finally developed a resistance to every antibiotic there was for his lungs. We knew when he developed another severe infection there was nothing left to help him. When this happened we knew it was time to say our final goodbye.
We are so grateful to Old Dog Haven and our Maranda Fund supports for giving Stanley a happy and fulfilling new leash on life. We are so thankful for all the lessons he taught us about love, joy, resilience and especially living life fully and in the moment. Stanley may have been little but he takes up a huge place in the hearts and memories of everyone who loved him. Stanley will always be in our hearts.
We hope you will consider making a donation to the Maranda Fund during the October Maranda Fund Celebration so we can help more dogs like Stanley receive the life saving and life altering procedures they desperately need. As a token of thanks, the 2021 calendar is our gift to you with your donation of $40 or more. Click here.
Thank you dear friends!