From her Final Refuge family:

Ginny and her best friend, Neville, were dumped at the shelter after losing their elderly owner.  Quiet little Ginny, about 12 years old, was badly matted and suffering from terrible, painful teeth, and a serious heart murmur. Is she Havanese, Maltese, part Shih Tzu? It’s anyone’s guess – the only clue to their previous life was that both dogs would panic desperately when put in a kennel.

“It was clear from the start in her new home that Ginny had additional problems.  She suffered from periodic bouts of nausea, where she refused to eat and sometimes vomited. At barely 7 pounds, missing any meal was not a good thing for tiny Ginny.  Extensive blood work was done to determine her kidney and liver health, and she was screened for both pancreatic disease and Addison’s disease. She was given an ultrasound to see if there were other internal issues that might be causing Ginny’s tummy troubles and she had an echocardiogram to determine if she could safely undergo anesthetic for her painful teeth.  Finally, it was determined that Ginny suffered from IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), and she was put on a prescription limited protein diet, and B12 supplements as well as medication to improve the function of her heart. Happily, Ginny is scheduled in just a few weeks to finally have her sore teeth addressed.  All of this great care was cheerfully provided by ODH.

“Quiet and gentle at home, Ginny loves her warm bed with lots of blankets to build a little nest. But the highlight of her days is now the daily walk.  It was clear that she had little prior experience on a leash, but now as soon as she sees it, little Gin responds with excited jumps and air spins. With her little tail flipped over her back, she leads the way, prancing and dancing down the street with a look of such unadulterated joy on her face that passing cars sometimes slow down to watch her. But walks are not just fun and games for this little girl because Ginny decided that now she has a safe, loving home, no one is going to take that away from her: Should any person, dog or rogue squirrel forget to observe social distancing rules, “Ginny the Protector “is quick to respond with a sharp and sassy reminder that she is ready to defend her family with every ounce of her little 7 pound heart and soul. And her protector duties extend beyond her walk.  Recently, when a family member experienced a sudden dizzy spell and had to lay down quickly on the floor, it was little Ginny, usually snugly tucked into one of her little bed nests, that rushed to her side and quietly licked her ear and face to aid in recovery.

“I am grateful that our little protector Ginny will spend the rest of her life with us.  Moreover, I am grateful to Old Dog Haven and its sponsors for being there to protect her. She will always have help with her little tummy troubles, heart medication, and be able to have her sore teeth fixed. She will never again have to sleep on a cold shelter floor instead of her cozy little bed nest.  And she will never again be locked in a kennel, yipping frantically for help.  Because, and especially, in their later years, even the brave and true need protection.”

UPDATE: It’s been a little less than two years since darling little Ginny and best buddy Neville joined our family. With a special prescription diet and medication for Ginny’s IBD, provided by ODH, she has gained a pound and no longer suffers bouts of vomiting. With additional medication, her heart murmur is now stable, and her terrible teeth have been taken care of, again, all with the help of ODH.

As much as her buddy Neville loves adventure, however, home and family will always be where Ginny’s heart is. She is still excited for walks, but she knows the exact halfway point of every walking route and as soon as we pass that, she is pulling to get home and back to her little beds.  There’s the cozy by-the-computer bed, the under the table bed, the beside-the-exercise-bike heated bed, the next-to-the-couch bed, the under-the-loveseat hideaway (most popular on bath day) and, of course, the great big tall bed for night time. Whichever bed is closest to Mom is always her favorite.

As most of us know, veterinary care, prescription diets, and medications for senior pets can be extremely expensive. But thanks to Old Dog Haven and their sponsors, going without these essentials is something little Ginny with never again have to experience. For the rest of her life, Ginny’s only problem will be which cozy little bed to curl up in, as every old dog deserves. And with the continued help of ODH sponsors, maybe every old dog that finds itself left behind or abandoned, will be just as lucky.

Update:  After over three years, enjoying lots of love and a wide selection of comfy beds, her family had to say goodbye to this dear girl.  She will be greatly missed.

At the shelter

the happy prance