Rescues and Hospice / Panda Paws adopts Spike for End of Life Care.

Spike, Doberman, is in hospice at Panda Paws rescue in Vancouver, WA.

Let me start by saying Spike is a happy adolescent doberman pinscher. He is the kind of dog that wants nothing more than to lean against you and get attention. Spike was clearly the progeny of an irresponsible breeder, his ears are perfectly cropped, he’s not neutered, he has been taught basic commands. Why then was he was abandoned in a random neighborhood in Portland Oregon?

Spike is a medical nightmare. That’s why.

Spike has cancer, grossly neglected demodex mange from a weak immune system (not contagious), dilated cardiomyopathy (an enlarged heart) and irregular beats (VPCs). He also has hypothyroidism, heartworm, lung defects, and chronic skin & eye infections. Spike is a shining example of poor breeding and an abusive owner.

Despite how his health appeared on paper it was clear to everyone who met him Spike was just not ready to be put down. Spike came into the humane society last week. Even thought he was deemed un-adoptable in his condition, when the employees saw what an amazing personality he had they immediately called local special needs animal rescue Panda Paws run by Amanda Giese. Amanda agreed to meet him and see if there was any way she could help find placement for him even though spikes condition was far too advanced to safely put him under anesthesia for the cancer or medicate him for his heart worm.

Amanda gives Spike modeling advice

This is the point where many people say “Oh that’s so sad, but why keep him alive if he has all of these problems?” Many people also recoil in disgust at his tumor, skin lesions, and his hair loss but not Amanda, instead she recognized it would be an overwhelming challenge to place him in a home so she decided to adopt him.

Why? Well as Amanda put it “Spike came home and instantly proved to be a good fit into our home. His time we know is limited, as to what extent though – we are not certain. So we made a family decision after exhausting all avenues that Spike was actually meant to stay with us. He fell in love with us instantaneously and we can’t imagine uprooting him yet again, nor has the option even been available.” Spike was Officially adopted on new years as an ambassador for Panda Paws rescue to show people that all dogs that still want to live deserve a quality of life.

It is of course a gut-wrenching decision. To take in an animal that is terminal means loving and losing your pet very quickly, it’s the part most pet owners want to avoid but there are those who see it differently. I think it just boils down to peoples individual nature, for some of us the fulfillment of seeing a life end on a positive note instead of watching it tragically play out is worth the time and emotional energy. It’s a level of sensitivity I find admirable. “This dog was clearly neglected and had a horrible life, but here is a chance to make him really happy, even if just for a little while” says Amanda. Despite his looks Spike is probably under two years old. For now he wants to play, he hasn’t shown to be in much pain, and his mange at least can be managed. Still, Amanda has no intention of drawing out his suffering. Once he is clearly affected by his illness she will have to euthanize him, but for now he spends his days playing with other dogs and leaning on Amanda’s legs as she works.

On a side note I had a great new years day with Spike. He is the kind of dog that just makes you feel good… he likes you and wants you to like him. I made him a half-pound heart shaped hamburger as a thank you gift, and plated it along with a raw knuckle bone and some decorative catsup. It was thoroughly enjoyed by Spike, and Inka a Chihuahua up for adoption by Panda Paws helped with clean up.

Check out Panda Paws Rescue here: Donations can be made from link on main page. Like them on Facebook here:

Meaty Heart
Keeping the Weight on!
Inka helps clean up the set
14 Responses to “Rescues and Hospice / Panda Paws adopts Spike for End of Life Care.”
  1. Nicole says:

    Beautiful story, Carli! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  2. Mary Ann says:

    Your photography is exceptional, that goes without saying. But you are also a caring and beautiful person. Thank you for the story.
    Thank you for what you are doing. I wish there were more people like you in the world. Spike will have a happy life from now on, and that’s what counts.

  3. Piotr says:

    Thank you Amanda, it makes me so happy so see him with a good home. He is beautiful and lucky to have found you.

  4. Da0419 says:

    Thank you for sharing Spike’s story with us. It breaks my heart to see animals neglected like this, but it’s wonderful to see someone with such a big heart willing to care for him. I just saw that he passed recently. Although tragic, it is comforting to know that Spike was surrounded by people who loved him.

  5. Spike passed today after a week in hospice with a loving family, kids to play with, home cooked meals, and a warm soft place to sleep. He was happily resting with his big doberman head on Amanda – Animal Rescue & Rehabilitation when his heart, that was severely enlarged, stopped beating. Amanda, you are amazing. Please DO NOT buy dogs from backyard breeders, and bring your dogs to the vet regularly. If you no longer want your pet then find a rescue for them or bring them to a no kill shelter, do not just let it go. Also if you are considering adopting remember that all dogs regardless of looks, age, or medical status can make loving pets.

  6. Britta says:

    What a sad story but thank you Amanda for opening your heart and home to give Spike a forever home if only for a short time.
    Thank you Carli for capturing Spike’s greatness on camera.

    Love is unconditional and it shows with both of your actions to this great dog. Thank you.

  7. Beautiful story. Thank you for your dedication to Spike and others like him.

  8. Mair says:

    what a lovely tail,Spike had a job to do… that despite his medical conditions and a horrible start to his short life he showed unconditional love and pleasure in being loved and loving in return.Thank you Amanda for your good and loving heart,and thanks to Carli for your wonderful photos that show the resilience ,humour,and good will of animals including the human kind.Spike was a mangy,tatty georgeous largish dot on the landscape of dogkind,and now he has trotted over the Rainbow Bridge and now enjoys good health and companionship,RIP Spike may your story never be forgotten ,:)

  9. caroline says:

    I rescued my wonderful German Shepherd Ruby when she was perhaps 7 or 8 years old, someone moved out of my apartment building in the middle of the night and left her in a back stairwell. Luckily my little dog Crystal dragged me in that direction when it was time to go out for her midnight pee, and I found Ruby.

    At first I thought someone’s dog must have slipped out of their apartment, I took her into mine for the night and left a note on the front and back apartment building doors that I’d found a dog. No one called. I placed a found ad with the humane society, but had already made up my mind by the first day that if anyone called I wouldn’t want to give Ruby back.

    She was full of fleas, ticks, ear mites and mange, and when I gave her a bath the water ran brown for minutes, it was truly unbelievable! She had been so neglected, that the first time she finally went to the bathroom, all that came out was rocks and sawdust, I kid you not. She was so thin that even with her thick shepherd coat, you could clearly see each one of her ribs. She resisted drinking water for the first month, I realized it was probably from years of having to hold it, and being punished if she had an accident. I bribed her with chicken broth in her water, and hourly walks, and she thrived.

    Her biggest quirk was a love of car trunks, if one was open and I wasn’t holding her leash tight she would jump in before I could even react! It wasn’t problem when it was my car, but she jumped in a few strangers trunks (I lived in a big city so it wasn’t unusual for a parked car to pop open the trunk unexpectedly, lol) She adored romps in the snow, and loved nothing more than handfuls of snow rubbed in her face. I only wish I’d video taped our running around on a frozen lake rolling around in the snow together, but its clear as day in my mind after all this time 😉

    I had her for 2 wonderful years before she succumbed to her cancer (her mind was still so sharp, and her personality so wonderful, but when it was obviously painful for her to walk or even lay on her bed anymore we had to do the right thing and euthanize her) I still think of her every day, and what a comfort she was to me when I lost Crystal, my dog since childhood.

    People should always give these old souls a chance, I’ve never had a dog as sweet, loyal and loving as her, and she bonded to me within the first day (maybe even the first hour, she just trusted me immediately and looked up at me with those big soft eyes 🙂

    Her loss was painful, but I felt so good knowing that I gave her a happy retirement, full of love, walks, healthy food and comfy beds. I worked from home so she always had company, and I was with her til the very end.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Great story! Its so nice to hear people go the extra mile when it comes to animals. Our english bulldog was diagnosed with a tumor in her abdomen. It was growing fast and we had to get it out before it pushed to hard on her organs. After almost $5000, we saved her, even though the doctors/surgeon did not think she’d make it out of surgery.

  11. susan kelber says:

    wonderful work here- Thank you so
    very much!@

  12. Wow, I am so glad Spike found his home…God Bless you for helping

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] End of Life Care – Touching Story Just wanted to share this story…touched my heart. I've been following her animal photography for awhile and wanted to share this story. Rescues and Hospice / Panda Paws adopts Spike for End of Life Care. Animalistic / Carli Davidson […]

  2. […] Spike's story Carli Davidson is a great photographer, who has taken a number of entertaining portraits of animals. I saw this story of dobe Spike and thought some of you would enjoy it. If you're looking for a cheap puppy from an irresponsible breeder remember dogs like Spike, where they came from, and what they have had to go through. Rescues and Hospice / Panda Paws adopts Spike for End of Life Care. Animalistic / Carli Davidson […]

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