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Marti Houge writes:

Poor Max was about eight months old when he was adopted (as a stray) out of a shelter in Ohio. He was in good condition when he left the shelter, but the adopter didn't take care of him: kept him tied outside on a choke chain, never had him neutered, etc. The adopter & his girlfriend eventually had a falling out, and poor Max ended up being dumped at the shelter again - not looking at all like the dog that had been adopted out only four months previously.


Note the elephant-like skin

Because he was in such bad shape,
no one was interested in adopting him;
the shelter wasn't even able to find a rescue to take Max.

I was surfing on one evening
(always a dangerous thing for me to do!).
I happened to see Max, and he broke my heart.
At first I thought he must be a senior dog
(he looked like he had had such a rough life),
but I was surprised to learn from the shelter
that Max is actually less than two years old!

At any rate, I have a soft spot in my heart
for special medical needs dogs,
and I could see Max's potential.
Unfortunately, given the way he looked at the time,
nobody else was interested in helping him.
But I thought he was beautiful,
and I could picture how much MORE beautiful
he would be with good vet care, some quality food,
a little time, and a lot of love.

So, I agreed to take him into my rescue program -
and that's where we are today!

Here is a description of his medical problems;
the vet bills will be enormous, but they will be worth it:

Max is extremely emaciated and has a multitude of skin problems.
Yeast, bacteria, and - although the skin scrapings were negative -
the vet thinks he is likely to have sarcoptic mange.
The hairless skin on his chest looks like an
elephant's skin, poor guy. And he is SO itchy!!!!!


He has such a terrible ear infection,
but we can't get anywhere near his ears
to find out exactly what's going on.
He doesn't try to bite,
but he is so frightened and he struggles so violently
that we can't put any medicine in his ears.
So, my vet is going to flush out Max's ears
and get a swab for a culture when Max is
under anesthetic for his neutering next week.

He's a CRYPTORCHID too, which means a more expensive surgery!
(Find out more HERE)

He has a very slight heart murmur.

The GOOD news is that he has only one kind of
intestinal parasite to treat - capillaria, also called "lungworm".
(Find out more HERE)

Max also has a condition called "ectropion" in which his lower eyelids "droop". This potentially-painful condition will probably have to be surgically corrected because his membranes are prone to drying out, becoming irritated and attracting flies in warmer weather.




The Starfish

Once upon a time there was a wise man
who used to go to the ocean to do his writing.
He had a habit of walking on the beach
before he began his work.

One day he was walking along the shore.
As he looked down the beach,
he saw a human figure
moving like a dancer.

He smiled to himself to think of someone
who would dance to the day.
So he began to walk faster to catch up.

As he got closer,
he saw that it was a young man
and the young man wasn't dancing,
but instead he was reaching down to the shore,
picking up something
and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer he called out,
"Good morning! What are you doing?"

The young man paused,
looked up and replied,
"Throwing starfish in the ocean."

"I guess I should have asked,
why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?"

"The sun is up and the tide is going out.
And if I don't throw them in they'll die."

"But, young man, don't you realize
that there are miles and miles of beach
and starfish all along it.
You can't possibly make a difference!"

The young man listened politely.
Then he bent down,
picked up another starfish
and threw it into the sea,
past the breaking waves and said,

"It made a difference for that one."

-- Adapted from "The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907-1977)

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