Chomper, AKA ‘Chomper man’ or ‘Bubba’, has been a blessing to our family. We received an email from Old Dog Haven with two photos on February 19th, 2020. It was information about Chomper and his situation and asking us if we would want to be his forever home. Chomper is likely a Lhasa Apso/Shih Tzu mix of about 13 years of age. He had been at the shelter three times, always in horrible shape due to neglect.  After reading the email from ODH, we could not wait to share our love with Chomper. A wonderful ODH transport volunteer helped get him home to us and our lives were changed with this new addition.

Chomper came to us with a horrible skin condition, dry eyes, infected ears, and a heart murmur. He was shaved at the shelter to try and get a handle on his skin issues, which is still a work in progress. He will need likely baths twice a week for the rest of his life in addition to monthly injections, daily medications and medicated baths to help with the itching. He also has dry eyes and gets two sets of drops twice and day. On top of all this, he had a rare kind of bacteria and yeast in both ears and a ruptured eardrum. With good veterinary care provided by ODH, we were able to eliminate the bacteria and yeast within two weeks. Our next steps are to get an echocardiogram to check his heart murmur and then work on his dental. If we can not get control of his skin condition, he will also need to see a dermatologist.

Despite everything Chomper has endured, he still has a heart of gold and trusts more than most dogs. He is a puppy at heart and wants to play, eat, and sleep. He is very talkative with the pack and us. The first time we saw Chomper play, it caught us off guard. He started barking and rolling all over the floor, tossing a toy up in the air to then roll all over it. That’s what feeling better looks like! He now likes to encourage the other dogs to play with him. He is also very independent, but needs to have me in his sight, or everyone hears about it, even the neighbors. And he absolutely loves car rides! He looks like a little bobblehead trying to see everything all at once. Chomper loves going for walks and smelling and peeing on everything on the trail, then curling up in his heated bed or on the couch on a heating pad when he gets home. He has also claimed the back of the sofa for bird watching and barking at squirrels. When it comes to bedtime, he is the first to remind us where the bed is and wastes no time fluffing the covers and proceeding to snore like a freight train. But his snoring is peaceful because it is a set rhythm, unlike humans!  Chomper also has this grumpy old man growl when he doesn’t want his medicine or to be moved–it makes us laugh every time!

Chomper has filled a void in our life and our pack from losing our min pin Hanna in December. Jojo, our six-year-old min pin was stuck in grief. When Chomper arrived, he taught Jojo how to be a dog without his mom. Chomper snuggles Jojo when he needs comfort and has shown our other dogs how to play, have confidence, and instigate the “what are we barking at” game.

Chomper is our first ODH Final Refuge dog and has rewarded us in so many ways. The opportunity to make a difference in these less fortunate dogs’ lives is a reward itself. The love they still have to give is the truest–no matter what life threw their way. I go out of my way to share our experience with Old Dog Haven to anyone that will listen!

Update:  Chomper had really blossomed in his Final Refuge home and become a very fluffy, loving and trusting pup – in spite of his previous neglect.  Very quickly health issues let us know it was time to let him move on.  He was a valued member of the family and pack and will be greatly missed.

Snoozin’ while it rains outside

All ready to go!

Early days in his forever home

On patrol!

Bird watching

At the shelter

Helping with homework