From his final refuge family:

Gus, a 10 year old retriever mix with long term obesity (around 100 lbs), covered in mats, and mobility problems, came to ODH by owner surrender. He had a prior diagnosis of malignant melanoma with surgical removal, and two seizures within the past year.

ODH placed Gus with us, and then worked on getting this sweet guy the health care he needed.
First things first, we gave him a bath while he was on the floor. Worked on his mats and taking out all the dead hair. Nails done. Gus now looks like a show dog!

We took  Gus to a vet the next day and x rays showed that he had ‘one of the worst hips’ she’d ever seen.   We will be monitoring him for metastasis of his melanoma and he was started on various medications to help with his mobility. This is great because Gus LOVES to walk even if it’s just in the yard or to the next house (his spirit is strong but the body will take a little bit longer). He has this marvelous ‘Isaac Hayes’ deep bark for joy when he sees us.  He blocks the doorways with his immense poundage to ‘check stage passes’.  And is already loving our other hospice dog Aldo who has shown him the ropes here. Our little ODH and shelter dogs give poor Gus the ‘what-for’ while Satchel (ODH) just pretends Gus is invisible (which we find hard to do).

Dear donors who make this possible, Gus is a gentle soul. He’s lucky that you are here to help him no matter how long or how short. He is worth everything. Thank you.

From Gus:

“Dear humans who walk with two paws – With the help of ODH over almost four months, I no longer have to lug around my largess – I’m now slim and trim at 71  pounds!  My vet says I have end stage renal disease too along with my cancer. Sheesh, so much stuff in one ‘tiny’ dog. Good for me that the prescription food and pain medications are working well. And it’s covered by ODH and their donors. They are all aces in my book!

“I grab the leash now and bound with joy to go for my walks. I can run! With distance! Fast! It use to be I could only go a little ways before a rest. Now I’m going with GUS-to!  I love playing in my pool (‘grab that hose!’). I also practice baying really loud in case if someone can’t hear me a mile away. And I know exactly by my watch (if I had one) that it’s time for chow anywhere. My life is good!

“So don’t feel sorry about my ‘stuff’. With ODH’s ongoing care and my forever mom, I am a handsome slender cuddle bug that loves my great life.    Licks and Scritches, from Gus”

Update from Gus’s Final Refuge Mom:

“Our dear Gussie lived four and a half months with us thanks to ODH. He did not waste any time. Shouting out his joy, running like he was invincible, and excited every day as if it was his birthday again and again. Those four and a half months felt like a lifetime, him being such a good boy.

“We let him go when his deformed legs after so much prior obesity finally gave out. We will miss and love him always.”

Milestone!!! After three months of a healthy diet, Gus was finally able to get to good weight and fit through the dog door!!!



Smiling Gus after much needed weight loss!

Gus and new foster brother, Aldo – waiting for treats

Gus being camera shy

It’s good to relax in the sun while surveying the yard

Gus on yard patrol