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: www.pandapawsrescue.com Donations can be made from link on main page. Like them on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/PandaPawsAnimalRescue
- Meaty Heart
- Keeping the Weight on!
- Inka helps clean up the set