A woman found Hansel hiding under her porch after he wandered into her yard. At the local shelter, his microchip identified him as 15 years old. The owner was contacted, but he wanted nothing more to do with HANSEL because he was “old and sick.”
From his ODH mom:
Hansel is probably a shepherd/collie mix, very friendly, but also very skeletal – weighing only 32# at the shelter where a normal weight would be closer to 50#. Initial blood work was essentially normal, and x-rays revealed some spinal disk disease causing weakness in his rear, but no explanation for his obvious emaciation – could be lack of food and/or cancer and/or ???
He was incredibly scared and afraid to be alone or to lie down and sleep – he would lean against my leg until he slowly lost strength and sank to the floor out of shear exhaustion. I finally took to picking him up and letting him lay in my lap while working on the computer or watching TV (all of which he is really too big for) because these were the only times he would seem to relax and actually sleep for any period of time.
At first, every time he was fed he would immediately show signs of intestinal pain – tuck up his abdomen and arch his back. With medication and dietary adjustments, he now eats well without any discomfort.
After 4 weeks, Hansel has gained some weight but is still very thin. He perks right along with the other dogs on his daily walks and seems to really enjoy getting out and about. Hansel seems to have some dementia – at times he seems to get lost in his thoughts and has to be reminded where he is and what he was doing (just like some of us !). He sleeps soundly next to Final Refuge dog Fields, his BFF, or under my feet wherever I am working.
I still pick him up to lie on my lap in the recliner while watching TV, and he seems to be most happy when I do because he immediately gets himself all comfy and falls asleep.
Update: For more than 3 months in his Final Refuge Home, Hansel did very well, gained weight and enjoyed his new home. However almost overnight he became constantly anxious and fearful; he stayed with his Final Refuge ‘mom’ very closely and clearly wanted to be picked up. Soon he also began to have “night terrors” and the only way to calm him was for his mom to wrap herself around his body and hold him. No dog should endure this much stress and confusion, so Hansel was lovingly set free to go over the Rainbow Bridge.
His Final Refuge Home sends heartfelt thanks to Old Dog Haven and all the volunteers and supporters who donate their time and give so generously, so that dogs like Hansel can have a loving home and someone to hug them forever.