Name: Bow Wow
Est. birthdate: 01/10/2011
Weight: 14 lbs.
Color: Black and White
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Little Bow Wow came to Brother Wolf from the Marion County, SC animal shelter. Brother Wolf opened a No Kill chapter in Marion County following an emergency flood response in the fall of 2015. Bow Wow had a rough start in life, and has pain from several old injuries that were likely cause either by being kicked or by being hit by a car. He has a collapsed trachea, a paralyzed left rear foot, fractured pelvis, dislocated hip, and a kneecap that’s out of place. In spite of all these injuries, Bow Wow is active and mobile, although he does walk with a limp. He also has an itchy flea allergy, and has occasional seizures, but medications are keeping both the itching and the seizures at bay.
Bow Wow is fostered by Brother Wolf volunteer Donna Ghassemieh. Donna says that Bow Wow is a vigilant home protector and will sound the alarm if he senses any intruder. He is loyal, faithful, protective and alert. He’s a smart boy and a quick learner. Donna says he has quite a vocabulary and seems to understand a lot of words. He’s working on learning some basic commands such as lay, stay, and come. He’s surprisingly strong, spunky, and enthusiastic about life in spite of his challenges. “I love watching him enjoy life, knowing all that he has suffered,” says Donna. “He’s not going to let anything stop him. He has lots of potential. He’s a wonderful walking companion. Because of him, I’m exercising more and going to different places. 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.”
Because of his past experiences, Bow Wow isn’t sure the world is a safe place. He can be very protective of his food, space, toys, and even his human sometimes so Donna is working hard with him to help him react appropriately. He needs time to get to know and trust new people. He is anxious around kids and other dogs. He gets nervous riding in the car and does best sitting in the front seat next to his human. He really enjoys going for walks, but prefers a quiet park with not a lot of people and other dogs. He gets overstimulated easily. Bow Wow experiences some pain from his physical issues and doesn’t like to be handled unless and until he gets to know a person. However, once trust has been established, he really loves to cuddle.
“Bow Wow would do best in a calm home without too many people coming and going. Bow Wow could probably live with another dog safely but he would just need to be slowly introduced to that dog – as Bow Wow is not only particular about his human friends, but his canine friends, too! Keeping both Bow Wow’s mind and body engaged will be some of the best therapy for him. He needs someone who can stay with him much of the time and not leave him alone for long periods. Since Bow Wow is obviously very bright, as well as being insecure, he would do best with someone who has experience with dogs and someone willing to learn from our behaviorists. A home with someone who is patient and willing to work with him to help him overcome his anxiety is the kind of home this little boy needs.
Bow Wow is the perfect example of the kind of dog who would be euthanized in a traditional shelter. His extensive physical problems from old injuries and his insecurities and guarding would be too much for most shelters to handle. That’s why your support of the Compassionate Circle is so important. Bow Wow has already made good progress and we can see the bright light in Bow Wow’s spirit beginning to shine forth. He has a long way to go, though, and you can be beside him every step of the way. By becoming a part of our Compassionate Circle, you can help us help animals like Bow Wow who face daunting physical and behavioral challenges. Check back regularly for updates. Will our little guy overcome his fear of being touched? Or maybe he and Donna’s cat will become the best of friends. Only time will tell.
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 sponsor of our Compassionate Circle program.
Visit this page regularly for the latest updates on Bow Wow!
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 Compassionate Circle, 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 Compassionate Circle too!