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Please note: The dogs in ODH's Final Refuge care are not adoptable due to medical reasons and all are in permanent homes. Your sponsorship supports the veterinary expenses for these dogs - and we thank you!

In early October 2023 Melba was picked up as a stray and taken to a local shelter. This tiny little 10 pound being was filthy and matted, crawling with fleas, and had obvious severe dental disease. She was not responsive to nor did she seek out human attention, although she did allow ,to be handled. Her initial vet exam found a possible UTI, heart murmur, dehydration, advanced nuclear sclerosis, thick mats of hair entwined in her lower teeth, possible nasal fistulas or sinus infection, a number of sebaceous adenomas – but remarkably, her blood work didn’t indicate anything too serious. She was put on a course of antibiotics with a recommendation for a full cardiac workup before dental surgery could be

I don’t know how long she was there before a shelter worker sent her photo to Old Dog Haven, and Old Dog Haven posted the picture on Facebook with a request for a final refuge foster home. That photo tugged at my heart and prompted me to offer Melba her final refuge. Thankfully, the shelter foster where Melba had been staying had taken her for a grooming, and a much leaner and more comfortable dog greeted me when we met on November 4.

Thanks to Old Dog Haven and its supporters, Melba has now had a full veterinary workup including an echocardiogram, and dental surgery was performed on her. Besides having 11 teeth and an impacted broken root extracted, she had a cluster of sebaceous adenomas that she’d been chewing at removed from her back, and a large wart removed from a lower eyelid. She is looking and feeling so much better already! She is a chow hound, thank heavens, as she’s been on so many medications but always takes them readily with a bit of snack, even right after having that dental!

Her Embark DNA profile shows she is 100% poodle. How this little purebred ended up in the neglected shape she did is a mystery, but I suspect she may have been a mill dog or kept caged away from human contact for most of her life (she’s estimated to be 13-16 years old.) She does not want to go outside, but will go onto the deck briefly, sometimes to go potty, but she much prefers pee pads in the house. She has never made a sound (her former foster said) and she doesn’t wag her tail or wiggle her butt when she’s happy. She does do the “happy poodle dance” on her hind legs when it’s meal time, and has actually had the zoomies on a few occasions!

She doesn’t seem interested in people – although she knows I’m the food lady, and will lick my fingers now – but she seems to have fallen in love with my dog Scruffy and follows him around, trying to reach his face with her kisses. He tolerates her.

Melba spends most of her non-eating time sleeping, and I’m so glad I’m able to provide soft, warm spots for her to snuggle in. And I am so, so grateful to Old Dog Haven donors, whose generosity has given this little girl a much more comfortable and healthy life than she’s had in a very long time!”

With her friends

We are so grateful that Melba has such a loving forever foster home. She has found joy with the care and comfort provided to her. Thanks to all of you for your continued support of Old Dog Haven.


Melba is sponsored by:

  • Anne and Kevin Williams of Los Angeles, CA - in memory of Lizzy, Obi and Tuffy - Lifetime Sponsor
  • Chie Mitsui of Seattle, WA - Happy Birthday Maki! - Lifetime Sponsor
  • Victor Nosce - Lifetime Sponsor
  • Charles A Russell of Woodinville, WA - Lifetime Sponsor