Sweet SPARKY is a little guy who’s been passed around a lot in his life and finally found himself at the shelter right before the holidays. He arrived with a very large mass and four smaller masses on his belly of unknown origin. Shelter staff were concerned about his health so they contacted ODH for help.

Sparky’s future adopters saw him on the ODH website after losing their own dearly loved senior rescue dog. Wanting to put their years of care experience to good use despite their sadness, they saw in Sparky an old fellow who was clearly calling out to them! In fact, they were so eager to bring Sparky into the family, they rearranged their holiday schedules and arranged to pick him up from the shelter themselves. For their kindness, Sparky bonded with them instantly.

Though he struggled at first with separation anxiety—fearing his new home was just another temporary stop—Sparky settled in quickly. Next was needed surgery. It turned out that Sparky had two retained testicles and one had become cancerous. Fortunately, the vet was able to remove ALL of the masses and Sparky was finally neutered…Whew! The pressure that those masses and tumors were likely putting on Sparky’s organs must have been painful—but like so many dogs, he hid his pain and tried to be a good dog despite everything. The surgeons believe that now the tumor is gone, Sparky should be completely cancer-free. Sparky’s bravery continued in his recovery. His mom reports, “He was the best patient post-surgery and loved showing everyone he met his stitches…and took full advantage of the nonstop couch recovery time!”

Sparky is now loving his life. His mom shares that he has a whole new personality, and she’s pretty sure that even though he’s 10 years old, he thinks he’s a puppy again! When he’s fully healed from surgery his people want to get him on an agility course so he can jump over everything he wants. Because he wants to!

Right now, Sparky’s favorite place in the world is sitting on his mom’s lap. He follows her everywhere she goes–and he often does it walking on two legs right alongside like a human (or a meerkat!) He also loves running right in front of his people and plopping down for belly rubs. And toys! Sparky loves his toys. He’s a one-toy kind of dog, devoting himself to one at a time until its ultimate destruction before moving on to the next. His current favorite is Pigeon. When his people run the vacuum, he runs around to collect Pigeon and all the rest and deposits them on the couch for safe keeping—then puts them back on the floor when the vacuuming is finished.

Sparky’s mom says, “He has so much life ahead of him and we are so thankful to everyone who donates to the Maranda Fund of ODH for giving this ‘sparky’ little guy the chance to live the pain-free happy life he deserves! We are so lucky to have this goofy guy by our sides!“

Now THAT’s a happy new year story!

(Sparky reminds you to PLEASE alter your dogs, spare them from having life-threatening problems that could so easily have been prevented.)

Update:  Sadly, after several wonderful months, Sparky’s health deteriorated rapidly and his loving family had to let him go.  He brought such joy to his new family and they were able to make his last chapter truly joyful.  He will always be remembered!