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Entered: 08/09/2014
Status: Adopted
Age: 8
Color: Liver/White
Weight: 50 lbs.
Gender: Altered Male
Location: Langhorne, PA
Health: UTD, HW-, almost total blindness, some hearing loss
Temperament: Good with people as young as 1 year, good after being introduced to other dogs, unknown with cats

Sy's Story . . .

Update 12/16/2014: 
I especially love to smell the toddlers and cuddle with them."
During this special time of year, not only do children write letters to Santa but occasionally Springers do too…with a little help from their families, of course.  Sy’s family must have had a hand in his letter and generously agree to share it…………..
I have been a very good boy this year but life has not been very good to me.  I found myself left at a shelter because my family could not take care of me anymore.  Now, I do admit that I have some issues:  I am mostly blind and, consequently, I am uneasy around strange dogs until I am sure they will not harm me!  I do sometimes go into hostile mode in order to ward off any threats that I cannot see but, once I know they will be friendly, I get along with everyone, even toddlers who don’t always know how to act around dogs!  I especially love to smell the toddlers and cuddle with them. 
I have learned to adapt to my limited sight and once I am used to the landscape, I have been known to race around the yard with the best of them!  I am in my later years so I especially enjoy a comfortable couch or lap and am particularly fond of belly rubs.  I am housetrained but I do sometimes hint to my foster mom that I am not happy that she leaves for work every day!  I like to steal her belongings and drag them around the yard with me and sometimes, I admit, I have been known to chew on them!  But this is the only way I can tell her that I wish she would stay home with me every day!  Can you please find me a forever home with people who will love me even with my little flaws?  Sy
Santa has many helpers during this busy season; if you’re one of them and can help fulfill Sy’s wish, please ask about meeting him today.  He won’t fit down a chimney but, with a little magic, he could be delivered by Christmas!

Update 11/11/2014:  
In return, he will provide them with a way to de-stress at the end of a long day and will gladly listen whenever they talk, as long as they pet him while he sits on their lap!
Sy is a love bug who wants a family with a home that is only one story so that he can be with his people at all times.  While he is content to stay on his foster family’s first floor at night, he would rather be upstairs with them.  He cannot navigate the stairs, especially coming down because he suffers from very limited vision.  He is able to see shadows during the day.  He cannot distinguish small items like his bone being handed to him; his foster mom has to place it near his mouth for him.  However, he quickly learned his foster family’s home floor plan and can navigate it as if he was sighted.  He even learned how to use the dog door which allows him to go outside to the bathroom whenever he needs. 
This gent has excellent house manners in terms of his bathroom habits and his lack of destruction of items left out for him.  However, he loves to scope out the kitchen island during the day when his foster mom is working and he LOVES to take any items he finds there.  He leaves them in various places for her to find when she returns.  He has been found sleeping on the deck with Tupperware lids under his head!  His mom has even found her kitchen towel outside on the lawn!  He is trying to tell his family that he gets bored when left alone!
He does not play with dog toys, probably because he has trouble seeing them.  He does not seem to be very playful or interactive with his foster brothers.  Sy is more of a people dog who loves to sit on the couch next to his foster mom or on his foster dad’s lap.  He loves to be stroked and given attention and will even stay still for a good brushing or ear cleaning.  Any people attention is fine with him!    
Except for when his foster brothers start barking at something, Sy does not react to loud noises.  Then he proudly adds his booming voice to theirs to make sure his people are warned of any intruders.  He greets visitors with boundless energy and loves to be greeted in return.
He has been exposed to children as young as 9 months old and older people up to 91 years of age and he seems to know that they are not dangerous to him; he has never snapped or barked at them at all, even when one of the babies fell on top of him!  He would do well in a home with any age children but would prefer to be alone with his adult people who will shower him with love and attention.
This gentle senior walks well on a leash but, due to his vision issues, may bark and sound threatening to other dogs he meets on the walk.  Once he is introduced to the other dog and realizes it will not hurt him, he is fine.  For this reason, his family should manage how he is introduced to other dogs and should avoid direct interaction with strange dogs unless the interaction is done in a slow and calm way.  He did well at a MAESSR picnic because he was introduced to other dogs slowly until he realized that the other dogs were friendly!
Sy knows where he is fed and when he is fed!  He will let you know when the food is late by barking and running back and forth between the kitchen and his bowl!  He is smart and quickly learns the routine.  He does not bark in the morning until he hears his brothers coming downstairs, but then he loudly proclaims his delight that everyone is up at last!
Sy deserves a home with people who will be around as much as possible and who will shower him with love and affection.  In return, he will provide them with a way to de-stress at the end of a long day and will gladly listen whenever they talk, as long as they pet him while he sits on their lap!  Given opportunity, Sy might become the perfect resident “therapist” for his adopting family.  Consider providing your own couch……….Sy will bring the rest!!!

Update 09/28/2014:  
“He just loves to take inside treasures outside with him during the day.  Unfortunately, he never brings them back on his own!"
Sy is doing well and has healed from his neutering.  With additional time in foster care, more is known about other aspects of his health.  He does have night blindness and is blind when it is dark. In the light he can see shadows and tell when someone is in front of him, but he cannot distinguish a bone in that person’s hand.  As to his hearing, he does hear but like all Springers, he can sometimes choose to not respond!  His ears are good and there are no structural abnormalities, so his decrease could be just age or previous exposure to loud noises.  However, his nose makes up for weaknesses in his other senses as he can smell food from twenty-five feet away very quickly!  
This love of a Springer has excellent house manners in most cases, except for one tiny problem.  He smells anything left out and has been known to take items off the kitchen island or counter!  He has even taken those items that are not edible out into the yard and used them to cushion his sleep!  His foster family has found lids of Tupperware out in the yard when they forgot to put them away!  He took a kitchen towel outside and was found sleeping on it on the deck.  Good boy Sy does not destroy any of the objects he steals and has never been known to bite or chew anything. He just loves to take inside treasures outside with him during the day.  Unfortunately, he never brings them back on his own!
Sy does not do stairs well due to his diminished vision but is perfectly content to sleep alone in the first floor living room as long as he has a nightlight.  He seems to know exactly when his family is due to come downstairs and greets them with the usual woo-woo that happy dogs are known to use.  He has not played with the dog toys strewn around the room but prefers to lie with a blanket or come to his foster mom or dad for the ear rubs and back scratching which he will often demand.  He gets along with his foster brothers but prefers the company of people.  He will whine and cry for a short time when left alone.
While MAESSR’s handsome guy is used to his foster brothers and has had no issues with them, he does bark and growl when other dogs approach him.  This is strictly a protection/defense mechanism for him because of his limited vision.  Once he is carefully introduced to the other dogs, he quickly overcomes his initial fear. 
He was fantastic at the last MAESSR picnic and quickly got used to the other four-footed types once he realized they would not be a danger to him.  He really loved all the attention he got from the humans at the picnic and especially loved those who spent time giving him love and attention.
Sy’s only desire is to have a permanent home, preferably with no other dogs so he can have the unlimited attention and love of his people.  A ranch home would be ideal due to his vision issue, and he would prefer to sleep in the same room as his people if possible. He loves nothing better than to be stroked and loved and will climb up on a chair or couch to get closer to his people.  What a wonderful companion he will be and how much does this love deserve a happy, comfortable home??

Original:  “Sy much prefers to settle on his mom’s or dad’s lap to be rubbed or scratched and will stay there as long as the human is willing to give him attention.”

Sy was surrendered to a Pennsylvania shelter after his owner passed away.  He was used to living outside chained up with two other dogs.  He was not getting along with the other shelter dogs and appeared to have lost some or all of his vision and perhaps his hearing.  He was in need of some love and attention from someone who would care for him and help him receive needed veterinary care.  Sy is now receiving all that and more in a safe, secure MAESSR foster home.
When he arrived at his new home, the outdoorsman smelled pretty bad and needed a bath!  He did great and stood still while he was washed.  After that he had a haircut since his hair was very long and curly and his foster family was concerned about his skin.  He stood still for the grooming and did not have any issues with his feet or ears being handled.  He looked amazing when all that was done, and his folks were sure he felt amazed to be getting such attention!
Sy was given a thorough going over by the vet.  He is definitely almost totally blind, but the vet is unsure of the cause.  Some additional tests will be done when Sy is sedated for neutering, and the vet hopes to know more about why the blindness occurred and whether any treatments will be required for him.  Sy’s hearing was also tested, and he did seem to have some loss there as well.  That will be checked also while he is under sedation and more reactive to noise.  His foster mom and dad know that he does have some hearing as he reacts to the vacuum cleaner by barking at it and does respond to his name.  They are just not sure of how much he can actually hear.  His ears were clean and no infection was found so that is off the table as a cause of his hearing loss.  More to come on those issues!
Sy did great at the vet and was a good boy when he got his nails clipped and blood work done.  He stood still while the vet did his exam, probed his ears and his eyes and poked and prodded him everywhere!  His teeth are pretty good, and he does not have any issues with them which require repair.
Since coming to his foster home, MAESSR’s new boy has really settled in to life in the house!  He loves to snuggle with his foster mom and dad and really loves the attention he has been getting from them!  He has only had one accident in the house probably due to learning to navigate the permanent doggy door with his decreased vision.  His family has not seen him give any signal that he has to go out since he can go out at any time.
Because of his difficulty with steps due to his vision problems, Sy sleeps downstairs in the living room while his foster brothers sleep upstairs in the bedroom.  He was taken up and down the stairs but used his head to bump into the steps to tell where he was going.  His foster family does not want him to be put in danger on the steps so he settles down alone in the living room.  He sleeps quietly and does not seem to mind being alone at night. 

His foster family has not seen any need to crate him at all!  He has not destroyed or chewed on anything and shows no signs of separation anxiety. 

Sy quickly learned the schedule in the home and is free to roam the downstairs areas with his foster brothers.  He does not counter-surf but does know when food is being prepared and waits to see if he will get some treats!
This love has excellent house manners for a dog mostly kept outside.  He does not get up on the furniture unless called up; he does require some help occasionally but can jump onto the couch with no problem!  He does not seem to play with toys at all, and his foster family is attempting to get him to play with them as they are all over the house!  Sy much prefers to settle on his mom’s or dad’s lap to be rubbed or scratched and will stay there as long as the human is willing to give him attention.  He is very loving and seems to know instinctively to be gentle with babies and small children.  At a birthday party, he was exposed to older people and several toddlers as young as 7 months old!  He was very tolerant of the toddlers and seemed to know they were not deliberately trying to pull his hair!
Sy eats twice a day and is fed in a separate room to avoid any incidents due to his vision issues and any fights over food.  The other dogs have eaten from his bowl once they are put back together and he has eaten from their bowls as well, but his foster family does not yet trust them to eat in the same room.
Handsome is about eight years old and very laid back with low energy.  He walks on a leash and does love to run in the yard; but, unfortunately, he has a habit of running into the other dogs!  He has even caused the alpha dog to be thrown off his feet!  Luckily, “alpha” was good-natured about the incident!  Sy has no trouble running and does not appear to have any arthritis.  Some trouble he has getting into the car is probably due to his vision, but once in the car, he settles down quickly when it begins to move.
As to the reports of his not getting along with the other shelter dogs, his foster family feels that his sensory issues are predominantly to blame--although he does get jealous if his foster brothers are getting more attention than he is!  He is slightly territorial of his space but, again, this may be mostly from his vision and hearing issues.  He immediately responds to his foster family when they yell to stop any disagreements.  He definitely is not afraid to take on any other dog and his sense of smell works perfectly!  On walks, he can smell when other dogs are in the area and will loudly bark and growl at them; his foster family feels this also may be due to insecurities and fears caused by his problems with hearing and seeing.  Imagine how fearful he must feel when he cannot see or really hear everything going on.  One would naturally be wary of other dogs in that situation!
Sy has many more wonderful moments in his future as his foster family and his vet determine his true abilities and the best way to handle his limitations.  His will be a happy life spent with kind folks who understand his needs, give him a lot of rubbing, scratching and attention, and help him when he needs assistance.