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  •  Three years ago, we made the best decision in deciding to adopt another ESS.  Zoey then came to us and is the BEST dog ever.  She is not only beautiful but so well behaved and is loved by everyone. We can't thank MAESSR and Debbie enough for giving us Zoey.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Judy Minnick, NJ              

Customer Testimonials
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Shirley 2

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Entered: 11/03/2016
Status: Adopted
Age: 8
Color: Liver/White Springer Mix
Weight: 28 lbs.
Gender: Intact Female
Location: Manassas Park, VA
Health: UTD, HW-, benefiting from medication and supplements to manage wide-spread cancer, weight holding
Health Cont.: steady, cataract in left eye, arthritis, treatments for pneumonia and UTI complete, treatment for
Health Contd.: skin and upper respiratory infections complete
Temperament: Very skittish around new people but loving to those she knows, good with other dogs, unknown with cats

Shirley 2's Story . . .


Update 10/24/2017:  “Fate has smiled on Miss Shirley in this way.  An adopting family is making her their own…forever.“

Permanent fosters are not offered for adoption but, from time to time, one touches the heart of just the right family.  When such a family is so moved as to ask to adopt a permanent foster, it’s uniquely heartening and easy for MAESSR’s adoption team to give the nod.

Fate has smiled on Miss Shirley in this way.  An adopting family is making her their own…forever. 

Best wishes to you and your family, Shirley.   May you be as happy and spoiled in your adopting home as you have been in foster care!

Update 08/23/2017: Gracie’s little tummy clock is a finely tuned precision instrument and she lets it be known, in no uncertain terms, that it's time for one of her six meals.”
Gracie Ann’s foster mom reports that she is “The most SPOILED little Piglet in the world!” She emphasizes that you shouldn’t think for one red hot minute that a meal can arrive late in their household! Gracie’s little tummy clock is a finely tuned precision instrument and she lets it be known, in no uncertain terms, that it's time for one of her six meals. She also is a thief. One night she got up on the table and ate her foster mother’s entire farmers’ market haul: four extra-large zucchini, six heirloom tomatoes, and one cantaloupe. All that remained were tomato seeds, a few straw wrapper-sized strips of zucchini skin, and the cantaloupe rind. Then the little stinker ate breakfast that morning right on time!
And her food choices don’t end with “conventional” menu items. Gracie Ann had to have her rabies shot updated after she ate a bat!  Sweetheart that she is, she brought about one-third of it in to her foster mother as a present. (For the record, her foster mother does NOT like these kinds of presents!) To date, Gracie has caught two chipmunks, one bird, one bat, two squirrels, one snake, and a rabbit. She always "shares" with her foster mother, and she is quite proud of her hunting prowess!  
Gracie Ann continues to be a real love bug. She now demands affection from her mother and grandmother, nudging their hands, leaning up against them, and snuggling close every chance she gets. In the afternoons, she pesters her grandmother until she lies down for a "nap"…Gracie's nap, not her grandmother’s nap. Her grandmother is expected to love on her the entire 45 minutes!  And just dare her to stop!
Time is seeing Gracie slowing down a bit. She has just recovered from a bout with an upper respiratory infection. Her family has had to increase her steroids a bit, and she is lying down more. Her abdominal tumors are easily seen and felt. For now, the medications are keeping her comfortable and her foster mother is able to titrate her meds as needed. Each time she goes to the vet she is a celebrity. The doctors who treated her when she first came into MAESSR's care just can't believe how far she's come. Who would have thought this little girl would be going on 10 months in MAESSR's care? Gracie Ann is proof of MAESSR’s dedication to providing the best life possible for even the most fragile dogs that enter the rescue. Her foster family’s love, care, and seemingly endless supply of food has kept this sweet girl going. Keep up those late night food raids, Gracie Ann!

Update 05/14/2017:  “Her foster family continues to struggle to keep her weight up, so this lucky girl gets to eat 6 times a day.  SIX!“

Gracie Ann has a middle name!  She is such a mischievous girl, that a middle name was necessary so that her foster mom could fuss at her using her entire name!  Gracie will get on the table in a red hot minute looking for food.  She will climb over end tables, on to counters, and into bags, all in the hunt for snackies.  She also likes to sneak out the storm door onto the carport.  She doesn't go far, but she has to be watched carefully.

Gracie is a happy, happy girl. She loves her large, squeaky tennis ball and will squeak it all day long.  She follows her foster mother and grandmother everywhere, with a tail that wags non-stop.  When she is tired, she curls up with the resident male; the resident female is her second choice but will do in a pinch!  Gracie loves to snuggle and will hop up in any available lap.  She particularly likes having her throat and chin scratched.
Gracie's fur has completely grown in!  She has gone from being a mostly bald dog with coarse, thin hair to having a thick, luxurious coat.  Her fur has a bit of curl and she has the Springer feathers and chest ruff.  Many darker liver spots have appeared in her coat.  She is one gorgeous girl!
Unfortunately, Gracie's cancer is widespread.  X-rays and an ultrasound show that she has cancer in all of her lymph nodes throughout her abdomen and chest.  Gracie is on medication to keep her comfortable.  Based on her behavior, this is working for now.  Her seizures are under control on the medication, and she takes a variety of supplements to support her immune system.  Her foster family continues to struggle to keep her weight up, so this lucky girl gets to eat 6 times a day.  SIX!
Gracie's foster family considers themselves blessed to have had this little girl for six months.  Every day with this sweet natured love bug is precious.
Update 01/20/2017:  Keep Gracie and her foster family in your thoughts and prayers as they navigate her difficult journey.”
Gracie is thriving in her foster home. She loves her toys and carries one with her everywhere she goes. When she sleeps, she will "stash" her toy in a hard-to-reach spot to protect it.  It's adorable!  Gracie has thoroughly bonded to the resident male. She follows him everywhere and tries to do everything he does. She is a sweet, Velcro dog who follows her foster mother and grandmother everywhere. Since she is always right underfoot, she’s actually a tripping hazard. Neither her foster mother nor her foster grandmother can sit down without Gracie climbing up in their laps. This little sweetheart may be a Springer mix, but her heart is 100% Springer!

Sadly, it was discovered that Gracie has cancer.  She is struggling to maintain a healthy weight and her foster mother has added in an extra meal to help her.  She has neurological episodes which involve staggering, then losing all strength in her left side. These events last about 30 minutes. She is awake and aware the entire time, and accepts comfort from her foster mother during the events. Gracie is on medication that is helping to minimize the severity, duration, and frequency of these events.  As full understanding of Gracie’s health has emerged, MAESSR’s commitment to her has shifted; she is now a permanent foster and will continue to receive the treatments and care that benefit her…along with a full measure of spoiling.
Gracie's foster grandmother would like to go on record as saying that all spoiling is being done by her foster mother!  Ahem.  If you believe that, there is a bridge you could buy....  Gracie is a mischievous girl, but she is very, very loved as she lives out what time she has left. Keep Gracie and her foster family in your thoughts and prayers as they navigate her difficult journey.

Update 01/04/2017
:  Some pups (and old ladies) 'eat' their way right into one’s heart, and Gracie is surely one of those dogs.”  
The day after Thanksgiving, Gracie was rushed to the vet as an emergency.  She had a neurological episode that began with her staggering, then losing all control of the left side of her body.  As her foster mother rushed to find her car keys, this sweet girl tried to follow by pushing herself down the hallway with only her right legs.  Gracie was aware of her surroundings during the entire event, and she fully recovered in about twenty minutes which allowed the vet to rule out epilepsy and stroke; she has no pain along her spinal column.  For about a week, Gracie was having 2-3 of these episodes a day.  As a result, she was made a permanent foster.  A specific diagnosis is impossible without putting Gracie through a lot of expensive and stressful tests.   Since she has several tumors, she could possibly have a tumor in her brain that is causing these episodes.

Gracie's vet recommended a supplement that is really helping.  Her neurological episodes have decreased in frequency, duration, and intensity.  The pneumonia and UTI have both been successfully treated, but her skin continues to be extra itchy so the medicated baths continue.

She is a happy, happy girl who follows the resident male and her foster mother everywhere.  Her tail is constantly wagging and she wiggles like a pro!  She is quite mischievous, and will use chairs, open drawers, and boxes to get up on the table or counter tops.  She will look at her foster mother with a sweet, "Who, me?” on her face when she is caught.    All these expert counter-surfing, trash diving and food stealing skills have helped her attain her ideal weight of 28 pounds!!
Gracie is very scared of new people and any loud sounds.  She will run and hide under the bed or behind the sofa until she feels safe.  Because of her medical issues, her foster mother is focused on making sure Gracie is happy and is not doing much formal training with her.  But, Gracie does come to her name and is learning "off" because she will steal food right off the table if one is not looking…clever gal!!
Some pups (and old ladies) ”eat” their way right into one’s heart, and Gracie is surely one of those dogs.  Gracie’s foster mother got her Christmas wish when Gracie was able to help celebrate Christmas Day.  Every day with her is cherished, as there is no way to know how long the supplement will continue to help her neurological problem.  MAESSR’s best of New Year’s wishes and hopes go to this very special girl.

Original:  “This determined little girl has learned how to go up and down stairs because she didn't want to be separated from the pack.”

Shirley was one of more than twenty dogs found living in deplorable conditions in the house of a hoarder in Alabama.  When he died, the dogs went to a local shelter where another breed rescue contacted MAESSR for help.  The luckiest day in Shirley’s life was when she became a MAESSR girl.
Shirley was renamed Gracie by her foster family because another family member’s name is Shirley.  This was fine with Gracie since she hadn’t had time to learn the other name given to her by the shelter staff.

Gracie is currently a very sick little dog.  She has severe pneumonia for which she is receiving both multiple antibiotics and respiratory therapy (steam and chest percussion) several times a day.  Combine this with a UTI and a full-body skin infection, and Gracie was just miserable when she arrived in foster care. To fight these infections, Gracie spends most of her time sleeping on a dog bed or in her crate. Once the pneumonia and UTI are cleared up, her other health issues will be addressed.

In the past few days, Gracie has begun to respond to the antibiotics and her personality is beginning to emerge. She is getting along fine with the resident dogs, even sharing the dog bed with the resident female.  At mealtimes, though, she is fed separately and watched carefully since she will get in the resident dogs’ faces when there is food around—probably a result of her having to compete for food in her former house.  Gracie will also try to climb up in her foster grandmother's lap while she is eating, so everyone has to keep a close eye on their food!  The vet would like Gracie to gain twelve to fifteen pounds to get to a healthy weight for her frame.
This determined little girl has learned how to go up and down stairs because she didn't want to be separated from the pack.  She does the steps slowly and it wears her out, but she is game!  Gracie doesn't know any commands nor does she know how to walk on a leash.  Her foster family is working on getting her to “come” when her name is called and on housetraining.  That's more than enough until she is feeling better.
Delighted with the abundant toys in her foster home, Gracie stockpiles them by her bed and crate.  She also felt well enough to steal one of her foster mother’s slippers!  Grace wasn't sure about the idea of "trade" at first, but once she realized food was involved, she was willing to give up her prize.

Gracie is super sweet and loving.  She actively seeks affection from her foster mother and grandparents.  She sits nicely in her foster mother’s lap for the steam treatments and she gives her foster mother kisses during the percussion therapy!  What an appreciative, good girl!
Watch for more news about Gracie as she regains her health.  For now, her foster mother is sure that with time, this little girl will be a super-loving, sweet -- and maybe mischievous -- addition to someone’s home.