MIKKA POOH was 13 years old when her person of 10 years died. She had been well cared for during all those years, but tragically found herself left completely alone in her house for 2 months (fed by a neighbor) until relatives from out-of-state arrived and released her to Old Dog Haven. Three Transport Volunteers put together a relay shuttle to get her to her Final Refuge Home. She arrived with a brand new hot pink collar with matching leash – a going away present from her person’s relatives.
Mikka Pooh was a big girl weighing in at almost 90lbs, but she was not obese – she was just built like brick. The 86 pages of medical records received from her original veterinarian had her listed as an “Australian Kelpie,” however she looked much more like a German Shepherd Dog Mix.
She liked to go for walks wearing her hot pink accessories. We didn’t go far because she was so out of shape, but we went out 3 times a day to learn the neighborhood and to gradually get into better condition. Her original veterinarian had put her on a comprehensive pain management plan for her arthritis, and we immediately got her back on all her medications.
Mikka Pooh started out getting along fine with the resident dog Mindy in her Final Refuge Home. She also was perfectly friendly to her Transport Volunteers, and to me, her Final Refuge Foster. However once she settled in, she started to show aggression anytime I tried to “do” anything with her eg brush her or simply touch her in the wrong place. At one point she attacked Mindy, and it became necessary to keep them completely separated at all times. Eventually she and I established a rapport where I would talk to her, she would roll over on her back and I would rub her tummy, or I would pet her on her head when she got on her dog bed. As we went along, if I tried to interact for just a bit too long, she started to growl at me.
It seemed that the better Mikka Pooh felt in general (eating well, perky on walks – even starting to trot – able to walk farther and go up hills, smiling and wagging her tail, etc.) the more unpredictable and aggressive she became. I called her previous veterinary clinic and spoke to staff who had been familiar with her over the last 10 years. They relayed that she had never been aggressive or difficult to handle (and until just recently, she had been seen on a regular 6 month schedule for preventative care, etc.)
When the day came for Mikka Pooh to see her new veterinarian for what was supposed to be her ODH Intake Exam, she had become too unpredictable to keep everyone safe. It was so unfair that Mikka Pooh could not be helped, but the humane decision was to say goodbye.
We will never know why Mikka Pooh went from being a loving family member to one who could no longer cope with her surroundings – based on how rapidly she deteriorated in only 1 weeks’ time, she may have had a brain tumor. Thanks to Old Dog Haven, Mikka Pooh was able to have a final chapter in a loving home with cushy beds and happy walkies wearing her hot pink accessories.