From Button’s Final Refuge Mom:

BUTTON was luckier than many – she spent only 5 days in the Shelter from the time her owner surrendered her, to when Old Dog Haven was able to provide her with a Final Refuge home. However those 5 days must have been extremely traumatic for her as the owner had reported that the one thing BUTTON was scared of was “being left at the doggy hotel.”

BUTTON arrived very thin with protruding ribs and hip bones, and very wild/hyperactive – a runner for sure.  I knew that if I ever dropped the leash out on a walk, she would be gone like the wind. One unusual thing she does out on walks, is conduct a perimeter search of every parked car we pass – not what you would expect from a dog “looking” for her owner, but a methodical systematic sniffing across the rear bumper, all along the side, then across the front bumper.  Perhaps she was a search/detection dog in a past life.

It was 10 days before BUTTON was able to schedule her ODH Intake Exam. By then she had settled in and was no longer a ‘flight risk’, and had turned out to be a very gentle and sweet 13-year-old dog who loves to lay in the sun.

But even with lots of good quality food, she was still very thin, and had actually lost weight since her time in the Shelter (now 44 pounds.) X-rays revealed a huge tumor in her abdomen (~8” in diameter – bigger than a cantaloupe)
which the Radiologist confirmed most likely originates from her spleen. This diagnosis is supported by the fact that she is also moderately anemic. Surgery to remove the tumor is not a viable option for BUTTON due to her age, and to the advanced size and stage of the tumor.

But even with these issues, BUTTON continues to trot right along on her walkies, sniff the good bushes, and do perimeter checks on parked cars. She does not know her time is limited, and we are not going to tell her!


BUTTON was with ODH just over 4 months.  She continued to love going for walks, and really dashed right along until the very end (I was finally getting real exercise again without having to take myself for a separate walk.)  She also loved to lay in the sun with her nose pointed upward to catch all the important scents in the wind.  Eventually BUTTON gave up on the diligent inspection of each parked car once she discovered that bunny rabbits were way more fun to chase.

On Friday her appetite was off, and she didn’t eat all her breakfast or all her dinner.  But she was still perky and happy going for an hour walk in the morning.  She was fine when we all went to sleep Friday night, but at 1am Saturday morning, she woke me up vomiting.  She was very depressed and just lay in her bed.  Her color was still pink (splenic tumors often rupture and bleed internally causing loss of color and sudden death) but that did not happen – her tumor had grown so large that it was most likely compressing all the other abdominal organs including her stomach and intestines.  At 2am we drove to the ER, and sent her to where she will forever be able to sniff the breezes and chase the bunnies.

Thank you to the many sponsors who supported BUTTON in her time with Old Dog Haven – you made it possible for her to have a home where she was much loved.  She was a special little dog who always preferred to curl up in the dog bed that was too small for her – her bed is empty and she is missed.