Name: Bow Wow
Est. birthdate: 01/10/2011
Weight: 14 lbs.
Color: Black and White
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Medical: Chronic pain from collapsed trachea, fractured pelvis, dislocated hip, displaced kneecap.
Behavioral: Guards food, locations, toys, humans.
Bow Wow was rescued by Brother Wolf from a high-kill shelter in Marion, SC at the beginning of 2016. He has racked up quite a few injuries over his life, including a collapsed trachea, a paralyzed left rear foot, a fractured pelvis, a dislocated hip, and a displaced kneecap. He also has occasional seizures that are kept at bay with medication.
Bow Wow’s rough start to life caused him to be scared of the world and distrusting of new people. Because of this, he tends to guard food, toys, locations, and favorite humans. Can you blame him?
Despite everything, Bow Wow is active, spunky, and enthusiastic about life. “I love watching him enjoy life, knowing all that he has suffered,” says his foster mom, Donna. “It’s been both frustrating and rewarding to work with him. He’s given me courage to work with him on his medical issues. He’s teaching me to slow down and remember that he has special needs. I have to be in tune with him and pay attention to his cues and moods.” With the help of pain medication and a diligent foster mom, we’ve seen Bow Wow make great progress.
This little guy is a perfect example of a dog that would be euthanized in a traditional shelter. Most shelters simply don’t have the resources and skills to handle a dog with his extensive medical and behavioral needs. With your help, Brother Wolf can stay prepared to help Bow Wow have the kind of life he deserves: one full of love and kindness. Your recurring $10 monthly donation will directly fund Wow Wow’s pain medications, seizure medication, and sessions with our knowledgeable behavior team.
Keeping the peace
Donna says that Bow Wow and the other two dogs in the household often jockey for position when she’s sitting on the couch in the evenings. Each dog wants to sit right next to her, but there’s not enough room for all three, and scuffles can sometimes break out when Bow Wow feels his personal space is being encroached upon by the other dogs. So Donna created a pallet on the floor, made out of a foam pad plus some blankets and pillows. The pallet offers each dog his own space close to Donna but far enough from the others to keep the peace. “Bow Wow sometimes growls at the others, but it’s happening less now. They are learning to respect his space,” comments Donna. “Hanging out on the pallet together is calming for them.” Kudos to Donna for coming up with a simple solution to reduce doggie tension!
Foster caregivers like Donna buy precious time for special needs animals like Bow Wow, allowing them to heal physically and to adjust to living with other animals while awaiting their forever homes. You can help too, by becoming a supporter of our Sponsorship Program.
Little Bow Wow has been experiencing some big changes in his world. In addition to canine companion Jay, another dog recently joined the household – Romeo, Donna’s daughter’s dog. So now Bow Wow has not one but two other dogs to compete with for food, toys, treat and attention. This has caused some scuffles, because Bow Wow is extremely protective of his stuff. “Romeo is headstrong and so is Bow Wow, so I’m on edge a lot more now,” says Donna. However, having other dogs around also has its benefits. Romeo was taught to sit to be leashed. Bow Wow is starting to learn this behavior himself by watching Romeo. “I’ve been working on crate training them,” says Donna. “Bow Wow watches the others go into crate and get a treat. Bow Wow was crated or tied up most of his life, so it causes him stress. He’s now seeing that it’s okay to go in a crate and that he’s safe. That’s a positive.”
We’re happy to know that Bow Wow is making progress on getting comfortable in a crate. Check back here again soon to find out how Bow Wow’s social life is progressing!
A little extra lovin’
Poor little Bow Wow and foster Mom Donna had a very scary moment. After doing great for eight months, Bow Wow had another seizure, right after he came back from his vacation relief foster. Bow Wow and his canine friend Jay were settled in on their blankets after a good walk earlier that evening. Donna was taking a bath when, inexplicably, the alarm on her microwave started to beep. She got out of the tub to turn it off, and that’s when she discovered Bow Wow having a seizure. She ran to him and cradled him while she whispered in his ear. “My heart was sinking as I watched him look into my eyes, as if he wanted me to do something,” says Donna. “I just kept making eye contact and so did he. I gently massaged the base of his neck, like Rebecca at Medical has taught me. I sat with him on the floor for about 25 more minutes until he started to come around. He was exhausted. He wanted to be held, and be very close to me.” Donna says that Bow Wow eventually got back to his old self, and she’s been “loving on him a little extra” since the seizure.
The excitement of being back home after being away from Donna and his buddy Jay may have triggered the episode. Donna got a Thundershirt for Bow Wow from Brother Wolf. The Thundershirt is a garment for dogs or cats that applies gentle pressure around the torso, like wearing a hug. It can be effective in reducing anxiety and fear in a variety of situations. Tristan Rehner, Brother Wolf’s Animal Behavior Manager, says there’s no way to know for sure what may have triggered Bow Wow’s seizure, but it’s possible that the change in routine coupled with the beeping microwave may have played a part.
Donna is being particularly careful now to keep Bow Wow calm and to remove him from potentially stressful situations, such as when strangers visit the home. Hopefully these steps will keep further seizures at bay! She’s also going to see about keeping a liquid electrolyte solution on hand to aid in Bow Wow’s recovery from the dehydration that often results from a seizure, since the seizures take a lot out of a dog and Bow Wow won’t drink enough on his own to become rehydrated.
Thanks to the members of our Sponsorship Program, Bow Wow can get the extra things he needs to keep him safe and healthy, like the Thundershirt. We’ll see if the Thundershirt and other little tricks will keep Bow Wow from having another nasty seizure and find out what other things he’s been up to. Be sure to check back in! And we hope you will consider joining our Sponsorship Program too!
Bow Wow has made some great progress recently! His foster mom, Donna, has made several attempts to crate train him during the year and a half he has been living in her home but was always met with resistance.
“Bow Wow was tied up and crated for most of his life,” she expained, “so he hated the crate. I had tried everything I could, but it wasn’t worth it for him to get all stressed out. Because of his seizure disorder and collapsed trachea, barking and whining affect his breathing and can be dangerous for him. I had tried to crate train him several times, but never wanted to push it further than he was comfortable.”
Recently though, Donna found herself caring for two of her daughter’s dogs who weren’t crate trained either. “When those dogs came to live with me they began peeing in my house. I knew I had to do something. I started working with all three of them, being careful not to put too much pressure on Bow Wow.”
One of her daughter’s dogs was a quick learner and began sleeping in the crate right away when lured in by treats. “After a while, I was closing the crate doors on the other two dogs but leaving Bow Wow’s door open. I would always give him the option to sleep inside the crate or not. One night I gently closed the door and tiptoed away. He slept a full 8 hours in the crate with the door closed!”
Donna believes Bow Wow’s progress is due to observing the other dogs. “He watched them go in at night and they were calm about it,” she says. “The other dogs don’t have a history of abuse and neglect like he does, so being in the crates didn’t make them anxious. He saw that they went in calmly and that they were still okay every morning. He watched them and saw that it wasn’t so bad. He learned from them.”