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  • We got Boone from MAESSR when he was 6 years old. He was not dog-friendly and not good with young children, which presented some problems for us.  However, he loved us unconditionally,and he deserved the same from us. We introduced him to swimming.  He was hesitant at first, but he quickly became a water dog.  He loved car rides and just being with his people. We lost Boone very suddenly and unexpectedly on Sept. 11,2018 due to a bleeding tumor in his spleen. It was one month shy of his 13th birthday. He was great up until that last morning.There is a huge hole in our hearts that will never be filled. Even if we get another dog, there will never be another Boone.
    Mary, NC

  • MAESSR is the best.  Debbie, VA                    
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<< Previous in Adopted Dogs 2013 Next in Adopted Dogs 2013 >>
Entered: 11/12/2012
Status: Adopted
Age: 8
Color: Black/White/Tan
Weight: 32 lbs.
Gender: Altered Female
Location: Goochland, VA
Health: UTD, HW-, blindness due to inoperable cataracts,
Health Cont.: treatment for a bacterial skin infection and dental with 3 extractions complete
Temperament: Good with people of all ages, good with both dogs and cats

Shirley's Story . . .

Update 05/05/13:  "She may not be able to see with her eyes, but she can see with her heart."

Shirley continues to do extremely well in her foster home. She navigates around multiple dogs as though she’s always been there. It’s a busy household and Shirley wants to be involved in every activity. She spends about as much time walking in her foster mom’s flip flops as her foster mom does because she’s always right behind her! At night this sweet girl loves snuggling up in the bed with her foster family.

Obviously feeling great, Shirley has put on some needed pounds. She’s now strutting around at 32 pounds of cuteness!

Her foster mom is shocked that no one has scooped up this wonderful little girl. She may not be able to see with her eyes, but she can see with her heart. If you open up your heart to sweet little Shirley, she promises to follow you everywhere.

Update 03/22/13:  "Her blindness doesn’t limit her enjoyment of the out-of-doors at all." 

Shirley is now feeling great. She recently had a dental done and 3 teeth were removed, one of which was abscessed. Such a difference that has made!

She is really getting into being as close to her foster family as possible now. This precious pup sleeps at night with her head on her foster mom's leg, so she knows every move her mom makes.

Shirley recently got a haircut and was really good for the groomer. She looks fantastic with all of her cute little spots.

Like the rest of her canine buddies, Shirley loves to go out in the backyard and roam around with her foster mom. Her blindness doesn’t limit her enjoyment of the out-of-doors at all. And, when she’s ready, Shirley knows how to get back to the house and through the doggy door on her own.

This is a sweet, smart little girl. Actually she’s 23 pounds of sheer love! With attention to her health needs and time in the first loving home she’s likely ever had, Shirley is happy and thriving. She’s ready for a family with lots of time to dote on her. Plan to meet her with a spiffy collar and leash in hand. Her infectious spirit will win you over quickly and she’ll be sleeping at your feet before you know it………:)).

Update 01/09/13:  "With a prognosis of only a 50 percent chance of a positive outcome, it was decided at this time to not move forward with the surgical option."  

Shirley was seen by a veterinary ophthalmologist for consultation in regards to having her cataracts removed and the possibility of restoring her sight. Unfortunately the consultation did not go as well as wished.

Sadly for Shirley, her left eye is beyond repair and surgery would not be beneficial. However, there are two possibilities for her right eye. The first would be surgery to remove the cataract with a 50/50 chance of restoring sight. The second possibility is to let nature take its course and see if the eye can aspirate and absorb the cataract on its own, which would restore some sight. With a prognosis of only a 50 percent chance of a positive outcome, it was decided at this time to not move forward with the surgical option.

Shirley is an extremely happy and adventurous girl. She does not let her blindness stop her from having a wonderful temperament and life. Her heightened sense of smell and hearing has enabled her to find her foster mom no matter where she is. Shirley can also find any treat that may be lost!

This little love bug is now looking for her forever home and is sure to totally amaze her forever family!
Original:  "All in all, it was a very intense physical exam and she was a perfect angel through it all." 

When their owner no longer found them useful for breeding, cocker spaniels Shirley and Laverne found themselves dumped in a small rural Pennsylvania shelter. Shelter staff members reached out to both cocker spaniel and blind dog rescues via Facebook when a MAESSR volunteer living in the area saw the posting. When the other rescues could not help due to either lack of funds for vetting or a shortage of foster home, the MAESSR volunteer suggested reaching out to MAESSR’s president who has a soft spot for cocker spaniels and dogs with handicaps. Sure enough, Shirley and Laverne became “honorary” Springers!

Upon becoming a MAESSR girl, the first order of business for Shirley was to get cleaned up. This was probably this little girl’s first bath in a very long time since it took three washings at the self-serve bath center to get the dirt off of her. Through the two hours in the bathtub, Shirley let her foster mom do whatever she needed to do to her; the warm water no doubt felt good to her. Although a bit frightened of the hairdryer, Shirley had no problems with having her nails clipped. When this spa treatment was over, a very pretty cocker emerged!

After a few days in her foster home, Shirley took a trip to the vet. This little girl had blood drawn, drops put in her eyes, and a microchip implanted. All in all, it was a very intense physical exam and she was a perfect angel through it all. During her exam, the vet discovered that Shirley has a bacterial infection covering most of her body. So, an antibiotic was prescribed. This medicine needs to be hidden in some moist food, a piece of cheese, or something else very yummy or else Shirley has a hard time swallowing it because she tries to chew it. Once the infection on Shirley's body is cleared up, she will then be spayed. Shirley is also having a gel put in her eyes twice a day for dry eye and she doesn't seem to mind that either. Soon Shirley will go to the ophthalmologist to see if she is a candidate to have either one or both of her cataracts removed to restore her vision as best as possible. As of now, the vet feels that there is no retina damage that would prevent her from having her vision restored. Again, this will need to be confirmed with the ophthalmologist but the chances are promising.

Although Shirley is blind, one would never know it. This little girl goes up and down stairs with no problem; she is cautious and takes her time but she is so proud of herself when she gets to the bottom of the steps! Good girl! Shirley will also come running right to her foster mom when her name is called; her sense of hearing and smell are very keen. This little girl also has a tail that just doesn't stop wagging! She is so happy to be in a home and she loves people.

Shirley is also completely housetrained which is just amazing to her foster mom. She loves her crate and unless her foster mom is in the room with her that is where she prefers to spend her time. For safety reasons Shirley is crated at bedtime and when her foster mom is not home. She has good house manners and is not destructive in any way. She is also very good with the resident dogs and cats and is often found sleeping with one of her feline friends.

Watch for more on Shirley as her health improves and she visits the ophthalmologist.