Phillip, aka Prince Phillip and Mr. PP, is an elderly Shih Tzu who found himself at the shelter, turned in as a stray, though shelter staff had reservations about that.  His hair was overgrown and matted, and he leaked urine.    I picked up Phillip and drove him home for an immediate bath and haircut.   Turns out he has some very large bladder stones lodged in his urethra:   very large and had to have been there for some time. He continued to leak urine while we tried special food to break up the stones, so frequent potty breaks were a must, as are belly bands overnight. Phillip seems to be mostly deaf, reacting only to super loud sounds, and his vision is impaired due to too much pigmentation in his right eye more than the left.  And his teeth are a mess; we can’t address that until the bladder stones are resolved, though he eats well and enjoys dental chews.

When the stone-dissolution diet didn’t move the stones at all, Phillip visited a board-certified surgeon who was willing to remove the stones.   He felt that this little guy was bearing a great deal of pain and that at some point he would be completely unable to urinate.  In other words, a challenging but really essential procedure.  The Maranda Fund was used for Phillip’s surgery and it went amazingly well!  All the stones were removed and Phillip could urinate normally!    He may always dribble a little since the bladder sphincter was stretched out for so long, but he’s comfortable and safe now.  What a relief.

Although Phillip has some occasional wobbliness in his hind end and discomfort in his left front leg, he is an incredibly spunky little man.  We’ve been able to work up to a couple of laps around the dog park where he loves meeting other little dogs, and he is content hanging out in the yard with myself and his large younger sister.  He has gone from barely walking one lap around the house with a leash to encourage him, to going around several times on his own (with supervision) to explore, and he has the cutest little trot imaginable!  Like his new sister, Phillip loves riding in the car, napping on the couch, and snuggling in bed at night.  He even gives her a little growl sometimes if she gets too close when he’s getting loved on (she’s 80 pounds!).  I am so happy that I have taken this step to bring a permanent foster dog into my home, even if he does snore like a freight train rumbling through the house.

The Maranda Fund gave this little dude so much physical relief that he can enjoy life and activity again. I am thankful for this fund and for Old Dog Haven for providing medical care for so many senior dogs, so that they can enjoy their retirement in comfort and happiness.

Update:  This little fellow really enjoyed his Final Refuge home and was able to really enjoy all the love and attention.  However, finally his little old body just couldn’t go on and his loving family had to say goodbye.  It was a joy to watch this spunky boy and he will be missed very much.