Dear grey-muzzled Mishka, a very old, very sweet, and very beautiful German Shepherd lady found herself abandoned at a local shelter. Mishka arrived skinny and with very poor skin and coat, and it is clear she had suffered previous neglect. Fortunately for this beautiful girl, a brand-new ODH foster family stepped up for her!

Mishka’s family report that with medicated baths, antibiotics, and antigungals, her skin, fur and smell has improved significantly—and so has her comfort level. She’s even gained some weight in the weeks she’s been home! Yahoo!

Surprisingly, Mishka’s ODH intake veterinary exam discovered that she has heartworm—until fairly recently a rare disease here in Washington State. (ODH has only had 3 cases of dogs with heartworm in its history.) Heartworm is a parasite—dirofilaria immitis—transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. It can be fatal in dogs if it isn’t identified and treated in its early stages, the symptoms of which can be subtle or associated with other issues, especially in our seniors: mild but persistent cough, fatigue, reluctance to exercise, decreased appetite, weight loss. But here again, Mishka got really lucky in her forever home: her people have been studying up on heartworm treatment and are ready to tackle the challenge. As they say, “We’re happy to walk this path with her. “ Walking alongside her will be her family’s other rescue, a Retriever mix named Casey who also experienced early neglect, but now graciously shares his loving home.  And more good news: Mishka’s forever home happens to be very close to a trusted vet, so the care visits she’ll initially need will be easier on everyone.

Mishka’s people report that she loves being in “her” chair most of the day, and watches for us them out the window when they are out. But she’s not a complete couch potato! She really enjoys her walks and playing with her tennis ball.

We sure look forward to seeing this beautiful old soul heal and bask in the love of her forever family. With your support of Mishka and Old Dog Haven, her old dog dream is coming true!

An update from Mishka’s forever family: “Everything is going quite well with Mishka! Because of the great veterinary care she’s received, she’s now heartworm free and her itching/skin issues have been greatly diminished. And she’s finally gained some weight–she has gone from 65 to about 75 pounds–and while she’s still bald on her belly, the fur she does have is thick and healthy looking now. It’s incredible how far she’s come! Mishka loves to play with her toys and is generally really well behaved. No more separation anxiety when we leave, she knows a lot of commands and now has good recall…and she’s even been better about *not* counter surfing!”

What a wonderful turnaround for this old dog–made possible by you our ODH supporters!

Update:  Dear Mishka thrived in her Final Refuge home and was very much loved.  She was able to stay much longer than we could have hoped, but suddenly her health failed.  This sweet girl will be greatly missed.

At the shelter, really shut down

After 10 months in her new home; feeling safe and comfy

On her way home!

At the shelter