Merlot was taken by Animal Control to a shelter where she had a dental but not much other medical care.  She then went to an ODH temporary foster home to recover from kennel cough and decompress from the stress.

When she finally came to her ODH family, she was definitely a bit out-of-sorts but who wouldn’t be? She is estimated to be around 12-13 years old. Her ears were very, very infected and her hearing was damaged even with excellent medical treatment after coming to ODH.  We thought she was mostly blind however it turns out her vision is impaired due to chronic inflammation and may improve with the daily prescription eye drops from the eye specialist. Her jaw, barkbox, and whole body seem to have had some significant trauma that has healed but left her with some “challenges” to eat, drink, & bark and walk or jump! However, she is able to do all those things in a modified fashion. She walks slightly crooked and wobbly, quite like a drunken sailor really and prefers to be helped up or down a step. The good thing is that overall, with her recently medical treatment thorough ODH, she’s quite medically stable.

But, the best part of Merlot (we added BiBi Merlot, but now she’s permanently called “Snuffles”) are her quirky & demanding little ways. She was not a trusting dog to start with but her family has learned not to react to her aggression. Especially since her jaw isn’t able to actually bite hard enough to hurt.

Snuffles took to her ‘dad’ immediately, in an oddly worshipful way.  After a couple of months she now also follows her ‘mom’ around everywhere, all the time. She seems very content and surprisingly well house-trained! Her favorite pass-time is to boss her family around for treats.

Another very good sign is that her enjoyment of snuggle time has greatly increased, from just a few minutes to a half hour!  She snores like a freight train and has a myriad of other interesting noises (thus the nickname “Snuffles”).  The 3 resident dogs seem to know that she is “special” and they have been very sweet and patient with her.  Her family is now working on her severe anxiety during car rides and grooming. She’s becoming a regular at the local small dog park where she loves to wander.  Her ‘mom’ says “I have gotten quite attached to this little love muffin so I’m hoping for as much time with her in my life as possible.”

Update:  She fought thru many health issues and thanks to the generous donors to ODH she was able to see an internist recently to come to the conclusion that she had either Lymphoma or Chronic Lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) which made her prognosis very poor to rally back after treating her chronic infection in her jaws, nasal passages and inner ears. We had her for 1 year. As we saw her health decline, we also saw her ability to trust and love humans greatly improve. We were so lucky to have her and see what love can do. We also knew that for all the love, their little bodies just can’t live on forever. Hope you got over the bridge safely my sweet brave girl.