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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              

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Monica 2

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Entered: 11/20/2022
Status: Available
Age: 12
Color: Liver/White
Weight: 38 lbs.
Gender: Altered Female
Location: Madison, VA
Health: UTD; HW+ and undergoing slow-kill treatment; benign lipoma left rear foot; mild lumbar arthritis; intermittent dry hacking cough; age-related vision and hearing impaired; receiving bi-weekly medicated baths for greatly improved bacterial skin infection; completed treatment for Lyme+ and UTI; dental treatment completed with 12 teeth removed; two benign lumps and two mammary glands successfully removed
Temperament: Good with adults, would be okay with mature teens, good with friendly dogs, unknown with cats but likely would be fine

Monica 2's Story . . .

Update 03/22/2023: “Her foster mom describes Monica as a ‘life-is-one-huge-bowlful-of-happiness sweetheart.’ ”

Although Monica endured a very complicated surgery and follow-up care, her foster mom continues to be amazed at her nonstop-tail wagging-you-can-do-anything-to-me-and-I’ll-still-love-you personality. She is the absolute sweetest and happiest pup!!  With three weeks of post-op crate confinement, she became quite vocal in her desire to spring outta prison. And spring she has! 


Monica relishes being outdoors, usually with her nose to the ground. Due to her poor vision, she’s devised a specific route each time she’s in her fenced-in yard -- she heads directly to the fence and, keeping the fence on her right side, trots next to it all the way around until she gets her bearings. Then she’s off to explore. She much prefers sniffing all the awesome scents vs. joining some of her resident siblings in their raucous play, yet she often checks-in with her foster mom between her explorations.


With improved health and warmer weather, Monica is loving her daily walks. In a very short time she has greatly improved her leash-walking skills and no longer zig-zags from side to side. Her foster mom uses a Freedom harness for all her dogs, which Monica has greatly benefited from as well. Half-mile walks on a quiet lane are the norm for now; distances will gradually increase depending on her energy level. Given her limited hearing, loud noises startle Monica so walking in busier areas will be a very gradual process.


This uber-happy lass is excellent at entertaining herself, often sneaking a toy into her crate or trotting around the house with a few of the resident pack in tow. She loves tug-of-war, usually with one or two resident sibs joining in. However, once it gets too crazy she’ll gladly let them win.


While Monica enjoys her resident siblings, she’s clearly much more a fan of human companionship. She slowly continues to improve with her “I want some love” skills although really, one look at her adorable face and who could possibly deny her the opportunity???  She loves belly and back rubs yet one of her favorite love-on-me joys is when she and her foster mom rub heads and faces with each other – it’s like she goes into a trance!


For her safety, Monica continues to be crated at night as well as while riding in the car. She loves her solo downtime after play and walks when she happily retreats to either her crate or dog bed for a snooze.


This sweetheart would be the ideal companion for someone who works from home or is retired. Due to Monica’s age, experience living with a vision and hearing impaired dog is a must, as is a fenced-in yard (no e-fence) and single story home. Because Monica is very animated when playing and especially around food (when her tap dancing talent shines through), a home with young children or others who may be unsteady on their feet would not be suitable.


Her foster mom describes Monica as a “life-is-one-huge-bowlful-of-happiness sweetheart.” Are you ready to share your couch…and pawfully, bed…with this snuggly Little Miss Sunshine?

Original: “This super sweet lass instead firmly believes – and is proof - that a pawsitive attitude and wagging tail are the ideal Rx for any storm life may blow in.”

Please know that Miss Monica would admonish anyone for thinking “poor senior dog” when learning of her age and health issues.  This super sweet lass instead firmly believes -- and is proof -- that a pawsitive attitude and wagging tail are the ideal Rx for any storm life may blow in. 

A Brittany Spaniel breeder in New Jersey was downsizing his operations and contacted Brittany Rescue for help.  Upon arrival, the rescue volunteer learned that the breeder also had an ESS (Monica) that he was looking to rehome.   According to the breeder, Monica’s owner had passed away after owning her for several years and the owner’s family returned Monica to the kennel/breeder, which is where she’s been living the past three years.  Very thankfully, the rescue contacted MAESSR.  The breeder provided varying ages for Monica, from 8 – 11 years but her current vet thinks she’s approximately 12 years old. The breeder also added that Monica did not love puppies in her face.  Well, ha ha ha!!  The resident 8-month-old puppy in Monica’s new foster home didn’t know this -- nor would it phase him – and they’re now great tug-of-war buddies.

It wasn’t until she arrived at her foster home that Monica’s vision and hearing impairment were discovered.  Regardless, she quickly learned her way around the house, to include the food and treat pantry!  Monica shares her foster home with seven resident MAESSR dogs ranging in age from 8 months (also visually and hearing impaired) to 13 years old.  Monica does not signal when she needs to go out so there were the initial oopsies with housetraining.  However, as with her resident pals, she’s kept on a regular “outside!” schedule so accidents are now very rarely an issue.

Though not originally a fan of her twice weekly medicated baths, Monica now loves them -- especially with the pawsome massages that she receives.  Her skin and coat have greatly improved, with hair re-growing in many of her bald spots.  Her ears are super soft with an adorable 1960-ish flip on each end.  Oddly, they’re the only part of her body not affected by her bacterial skin infection.  They’re also clean and clear inside.  Monica is fine being touched all over, especially when hugs are included, and she’s a champ at the vets.  She completed treatment for being Lyme+ and for a UTI.  Testing positive for heartworm disease, she recently started the slow-kill protocol.  The “slow-kill” method involves giving the infected dog monthly Heartgard tabs over the course of a year.  (Doxyclycline therapy is sometimes done as part of the treatment as well.)  At the end of the year, the dog is re-tested for heartworms.  MAESSR will supply the medication to the dog’s adoptive family and will pay for the follow-up vet visit and heartworm test. Although most dogs are heartworm-free after one year, MAESSR will pay for another year of treatment if the dog is still heartworm positive.

Monica’s dry hacking cough, possibly due to her severe dental disease, comes and goes.  Some days she does not cough at all; other days, it is more constant yet it never phases her.  As long as Monica’s health continues on its current healing track, she’s scheduled mid-February for her spay surgery, removal of mammary lumps, and dental surgery.

Monica’s impaired vision appears to be age related, though without the usual cataracts or cloudiness.  Each eye has a beautiful twinkle that matches her impish personality.  It seems she can see shadows and is okay in brighter indoor light and outside during daylight hours.  Dim lighting and outside darkness can cause her confusion, even panic; her foster mom always accompanies her while outside in the evenings.  It often seems that she’s not used to her visual decline. 

Her foster home is one-level with stairs leading from the deck to backyard.  Monica quickly learned to walk up the stairs yet remains fearful of going down.  So, she’s carried.   She has tried the Help-em-Up harness but is not yet a fan; this is a work in progress.    Monica’s hearing responds well if she’s nearby; she responds to higher pitched/louder voices when she’s in another room; and handclaps and louder voices are effective when outside.  When asleep, she responds well to a loud happy voice vs. gentle nudging, which gives her too much of a startled surprise.

Monica’s #1 love in life is food!!  Rather than jumping or barking when meals are being prepared, she tap dances  -- back and forth and side-to-side with tail continually wagging!  It’s quite hysterical and very endearing.  Given her high food motivation, she is fed/given treats in a room separate from her resident siblings.  She’s not aggressively mean around food, but is very me! me! me! pushy.  Her foster mom is working with her on this, a problem that seems partially due to her poor vision. 

Unlike her raucous resident siblings, Monica is a very quiet dog – no barking, whining, yipping -- nothing.  Her foster mom was seriously starting to think she had no voice . . . until very recently a bark was heard after breakfast – a bark not from the nearby clan but Monica’s “dining” room.  It occurred again the next morning, then three barks the next day, and is now an everyday occurrence.  Oddly, it’s only immediately after breakfast, never any other meal/treat time.  On occasion, she’s also sung those wonderful sighs of contentment while snuggling into her crate.  She’s found her voice! 

For her safety she is crated at night in her foster mom’s bedroom, even though she’d love to join the resident pack on her foster mom’s bed.  She loves her comfy crate and will always retreat to it for downtime instead of choosing the numerous other dog beds.  She is crated in the car without issues and sleeps for the ride.  Monica loves roaming and sniffing all around her large fenced-in yard.  Though only walked occasionally, she pulls very little.  Her nose is always to the ground taking in all the awesome country scents.  Due to her poor vision, she often walks side-to-side vs. straight ahead, something that will be worked on as her health and the weather improves. 

Since entering her foster home, Monica has been a happy-go-lucky, nonstop tail-wagging pup.  However, as with her unveiled vocals, it’s taken time for her true personality to spring forth.  And what a mischievous, devious, and laughable personality it is!  First, it was her stealthy move pulling a sock out of the washer while it was being loaded.  Next came a towel, then on to anything falling from the dryer while it was being unloaded.  She moved on to area rugs, nabbing hand towels from hooks, and stealing her foster mom’s slippers.  Unless caught in the act, her treasures end up in her crate where she’ll easily allow her foster mom to retrieve them.  Oftentimes, the resident puppy catches up to her, both hanging on to the treasure and proudly either trotting it around the house or playing tug-of-war with it.  Most recently, she deftly nabbed a large bed pillow, hot-pawed it across the house and into her crate, where she masterfully placed it at one end of her bed.  She’ll soon have a decked-out pad that’d make Snoopy jealous!  Hmmm,  the pancake spatula is still missing . . . .

Stay tuned as Monica tap dances her way on to improved health and through more shenanigans.