MARTINSBURG, WV......SHASTA is a 15 year old Aussie Mix that was picked up as a stray and brought to the Berkeley County Animal Control. We were making arrangements to drive 7 hours to WV to pick up another dog that was blind when the shelter staff mentioned this sweet dog. We did not have a picture of her or anything other than we were told she has a large tumor on her head and is very lethargic and doesn’t want to move and will be be PTS tonight. I decided that since we were having to drive so far that picking up this sweet dog to give her a chance was fine. I was not prepared for how terribly sick and sad sweet Shasta was. We immediately had her taken to the Emergency Clinic in the area to get her stable and spend the night there before we continued our journey home. Shasta has one eye missing and can see very little out of the other eye. She cannot hear anything and had literally given up when we got her. Her tumor is minor compared to her mental state. Her entire body seems to hurt. To say she was filthy dirty is mild compared to how she really was. The smell was horrible. Shasta has been checked out from top to bottom. She is a dog that no one has cared about for a very long time. Her life of being a loved member of a family ended for her so long ago that I don’t think she can ever remember a good time. When she was being bathed, she completely collapsed and the person thought she had died. The warm water and the touch of a loving person felt so good to her that she laid down and slept. We couldn’t believe how content she was. She has since been getting lots and lots of loving strokes and kisses. She is too weak and malnourished for us to even think about doing any surgery on her. We are hopeful, she will be better next week and we can proceed to remove the tumor on her head. She has finally started eating and seems to have a little more energy. Her legs hurt we think because of her age and being so malnourished. We are giving her Adequan to help with her joints and I am happy to report it seems to be working. She is finally able to walk some.
I know a lot of people will never understand why I would even consider saving an older dog like SHASTA that clearly has a lot of medical issues. The answer is always the same, because she MATTERS. She has given some family 15 years of unconditional love only to be abandoned and discarded at a time when she needs them the most. We do not know how long she will be with us but we do know she will get all the love, care and devotion she so deserves at this time of her life.
We wanted to wait until we had some improvement before we posted an update. This wonderful girl got much worse before she started to improve. On top of everything else, she has had a terrible Upper Respiratory Infection that she probably picked up from the shelter she was in. She is now well enough to get out and walk around. Her spirits are 1000% better and you can tell by the tiny little glint in her eye that she is glad to be alive. She had given up when we got her and now she is fighting to stay here. She is slowly eating enough food to start gaining weight and build up her strength. Her tumor has gone down in size and we are planning on doing her surgery this coming week if all of her bloodwork remains stabile and her URI has completely gone away. Our surgeons get to know our animals very well and get very attached to them before they ever do any surgery. They will be very cautious with the anesthesia during her surgery because of her age and are always prepared to bring her out quickly if they notice any signs of stress. Our next hurdle for her will be her surgery. Keep SHASTA in your prayers and know that we are doing everything humanly possible for this wonderful soul. Thanks for caring.
Our wonderful girl is doing great and was strong enough to have the tumor removed this week. She is getting around and doing a lot better than we expected. She is one of the greatest dogs. So loving and sweet. Her one eye is so beautiful. Can you tell we love her. I love this picture. She is showing us her good side for the picture.
It is with great sadness we have to let everyone know that beautiful SHASTA passed away in her sleep the other day. She had been slowing down a lot over the last two weeks. She was at the vet every couple of weeks so she could be closely monitored. We knew it was just a matter of time. Our biggest concern was making sure she was comfortable all the time and that all of her needs were met. She lived with a wonderful Family that adored the ground she walked on. While the family was laying around watching a movie, they suddenly realized their dear girl wasn't moving. She had been taking a nap and peacefully crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. We are so glad we had the opportunity to get to know and love dear Shasta. Her gentle Spirit and loving ways will always be a part of us.