Maria was brought into a shelter by her owner who was becoming homeless; she’d been shaved down so we are still learning how much hair she will grow out! She is supposed to be an Australian Shepherd/Dalmation mix and has the athletic ability of the Dal with the intelligence of the Aussie – a really nice combination, we think. Maria also came into the shelter with a VERY large bladder stone which the shelter removed. It had been there so long that beyond just causing huge pain, it had stretched out the bladder wall. Maria will no doubt always need some help staying continent (a problem we find all too often, as owners ignore the signs of bladder stones until they have done great damage). Regardless of past pain, Maria is energetic, very devoted to her person, quick to learn and a very sweet kisser. We hope she’ll have a long time in her Final Refuge home with some dog buddies and lots of fun expeditions for walks, hikes and the lake. Such a beautiful girl deserves that! Maria’s kidneys started to fail in 2014; with good care from her ODH mom and veterinarian she did well. In early 2015 her kidney disease became acute and she spent 4 days in intensive care at a specialty center – returning home to have 8 more months with her family before she could hold it off no longer. Maria’s beautiful spirit was there to the end, she was much loved and she knew it. Rest in peace, Maria.

Maria died November 2015