Wagging and smiling…that’s how Piper greeted us when we first met her at Stoneridge Animal Hospital in the Rochester area two days after her adventure began as a rescued GRROWLS dog. Every staff member who met her described her as “one of the sweetest dogs ever”. This disposition was despite flea dermatitis caused by a severe infestation, eyes almost sealed shut with yellowish matter, front teeth that appeared to be damaged, a scar on her snout, bare spots on her elbows and especially on her rear end, and enlarged nipples that indicated a recent litter of pups. This was on top of a very “pungent” smell –much more than typical doggie odor. She had a yeast infection, compounded by a fungal infection. The intention was to spay her right away, but she went into heat the morning her surgery was scheduled, so that was postponed.
It was determined by GRROWLS that Piper wasn’t ready to be made available for adoption until her medical issues were improved, so she visited an ophthalmologist at Veterinary Specialists of Rochester. He expertly trimmed her eyelashes, which were scraping her corneas. Rather than immediately operating on her eyelids, he opted to treat her with compounded prescription eye drops to help her to produce tears. Although her age was estimated at 5 years, her medications indicated an elderly dog: eye drops and antibiotics numerous times per day. Those were accompanied by medicated baths plus a sulfur/lyme dip to alleviate her skin problems. Despite the awful smell of the dip, she always hopped right into the tub when asked.
In early January, Macedon Animal Hospital felt that she was healthy enough for her spay surgery, but yet another medical complication arose following the procedure: a reaction to some of the internal stitches. This prompted additional medication, plus the suggestion to pursue allergy testing. Piper is truly a special needs dog, but she is very content and l-o-v-e-s people! Her personality is what enabled such a severely neglected dog to be accepted into GRROWLS.
We’re grateful to so many people for helping Piper’s life to turn around: the neighbor who contacted GRROWLS and encouraged the people with whom Piper lived to relinquish ownership; Donna Possenti, who was always available via phone call, text, or email for advice and answers to questions; Ellen Smith, who accompanied us to some of Piper’s vet visits; and the staff at Macedon Veterinary Hospital, who treated Piper with kindness and love despite her many medical issues, and friends who gently encouraged us to formally adopt her (and cheered when we submitted the application and agreement!)
Piper is a survivor. Without words, she speaks volumes about maintaining a positive attitude despite circumstances out of her control. We’re happy that she is now part of our “pack”…always wagging and smiling!