Mel's Story

  • Caryn Mitchell
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Mel was given up to the shelter for adoption as his owner was too busy to devote enough time to him. He was a shepherd/ lab mix with all the wonderful traits of each breed. Very gentle, beautifully trained and loved to be sitting right next to you leaning on you, just before he rolled over to have his tummy tickled. A perfect family dog who would be devoted to his new family.

Sadly we discovered that he had advanced heartworm. This disease if left untreated will kill a dog, so we could not put him up for adoption and the treatment cost $500.

Heartworm is transmitted by mosquito bites and passed between dogs. The worms grow to 14 inches long and an eighth of an inch in diameter. They live in the dog’s heart and it enlarges to accommodate them. This will cause a heart attack. A once monthly heartworm tablet and yearly check up is the only and simple way a dog will be safe from this gross infestation.

On hearing of Mel’s plight people made cash donations as Christmas presents to pay for Mel’s treatment and Dr Glowicz donated her entire fee. He received his treatment in late November and then returned to the shelter for bed rest for one month. He did very well and was passed fit to live the rest of his life as a healthy dog.

Mel lived the remainder of his life happily in his permanent home at the shelter.  His medical condition and other issues did not make him a good candidate for adoption.  Mel was the Shelter/SUFA mascot and a big favorite with everyone. Though his death on October 8, 2007, was a sad event for everyone, it was a useful reminder of the importance of pets in our lives.

Author: Caryn Mitchell