We don’t know much about Ali’s early life except that he was found abandoned in a ditch alongside the highway. He had a mass the size of a volleyball attached to his chest and overgrown toenails. Ali was unable to walk but fortunately was able to make eye contact with a Good Samaritan passing by.
As she tells it, “I have always been the one to see an animal in great distress and then stop and do something about it. Ali slightly lifted his head and made eye contact with me as my husband and I were driving up Chinook Pass. He held it until we had passed him and I insisted we go rescue him. After a mile or so we found a place to turn around and took him to a local shelter.” Without this Good Samaritan, Ali undoubtedly would have suffered a slow, miserable death in that ditch.
The shelter staff contacted Old Dog Haven and Ali was immediately brought to the vet that saved his life. Removing the mass was the first step in his recovery. His blood work showed his body chemistry was a mess as well, and would require monitoring and follow-up care. The vet named him “Ali”. You see, Ali is a boxer and was named after boxer Muhammad Ali. After his surgery Ali was put into medical foster care and his foster nursed him back to health. When he was strong enough, Ali moved into his ODH Final Refuge home.
Now Ali is a “Velcro” dog–a snuggler and very friendly. When his mom leaves the house, Ali will go to the upstairs landing and look out the window until she comes back. When he feels we aren’t paying enough attention to him he will jam his snout under an available elbow, arm or leg. When he climbs on the couch he does it in slow motion, one leg at a time. Once he finds just the right spot he plops down (often blocking the view to the TV). His comfort is paramount, not the humans’.
When Ali moved in it didn’t take him long to join his new pack. We have two other ODH dogs and they get along great. Occasionally they even give each other kisses. We initially walked them all together but as Ali has gained strength his endurance outpaces his sisters and he goes on longer walks.
Ali’s body chemistry has returned to normal, his bacterial infection is cured, his nose and skin are healed and he is being treated for thyroid disease. His life is now filled with happiness and joy. We are “furever” thankful to the Good Samaritan who picked up Ali, to Old Dog Haven for providing medical care and a safe home and to our generous supporters who make this all possible.
Much like our current and former Final Refuge dogs, Ali has taught us that no matter what trauma or poor treatment these dogs have endured in their earlier life they respond to kindness and move forward with unconditional love. We have learned from our ODH dogs that life goes on.
Update: After a very loved time with his Final Refuge family and much love as well from his extended ODH family, Ali had a sudden series of seizures which took him from us. He will truly always be remembered as a very brave, loving and resilient fellow who was able to love and enjoy his last chapter and he never looked back.