Tammy the chocolate lab was yet another “stray” picked up and taken to a shelter; no owner came for her.   She was put up for adoption but had a very visible fatty tumor that probably put people off, so after too long waiting she came to an ODH Final Refuge home.  We quickly learned that she had a big mass on her gum that will be a serious problem as it grows, has arthritis in her knees, elbows and hocks, and – worse – has a pretty bad case of laryngeal paralysis.    Dogs with “lar par” need to be kept quiet and out of the heat particularly, so they can keep breathing comfortably, but Tammy was having none of that.  She LOVES running and playing in the big field and all over the property regardless of the weather and regardless of how bad her breathing sounds.   We couldn’t bear to leave her inside; her eyes light up and off she goes with happy barks in the beginning.   Somehow she made it through the heat of the summer without collapsing – we have no idea how.

She’s a cheery kind dog who likes to take up 2/3 of the couch and creep into the front seat of the van – we and the small dogs keep her in line most but not all of the time.    She’s very fond of sleeping curled up with a buddy, most often a tough little shih tzu.   Then another chocolate lab lady joined the family and they often are seen snuggling too.    Makes them happy and makes us smile watching them.    Tammy must have had a happy, well loved life before being abandoned, and she’s overcome the grief of that loss to be a happy, well loved old girl with us.   What a nice dog.

Update:  This loving, tough old girl did amazingly well until just recently, but her “lar par” finally worsened and it was time to let her go.  She relished her time with her wonderful family and pack of other Final Refuge pups.  Tammy will be missed a great deal, especially by her dad.