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Trina15-002_1Even as her age was evident in her pure white face and thinning coat, her purpose in life as a breeder dog showed more in her pot-bellied and pendulous under carriage.  Built for breeding, with her broad head and 85lb body, her litters were probably very successful for her Amish Puppy Mill owners.  That is, until she wasn’t healthy and productive anymore.  While needy and clingy from the beginning, she gave the distinct impression of being worn out!

At 9 years of age, Trina made her way to GRREAT over a four month period, having been advertised on Craig’s list: “Free to a Good Home.”  Unfortunately, her issues were more than that good home could handle and on January 3, 2015, she came to GRREAT.  By mid-month, a heart murmur was noticed and she was taken to see a Cardiologist for ultrasound, blood pressure and diagnosis.  The result was degenerative valvular heart disease, and she was put on a strict schedule of 3x daily medicines as well as lifelong routine follow up ECG’s.  Her spay was delayed until the meds kicked in.  Trina desperately needed GRREAT and she desperately needed an experienced foster, and finally, she came to rest with us.

Trina brought a new kind of energy and personality to our home.  Regardless of her age and medical issues, she was a “take charge matron”.  That, and her intense demands for constant attention from humans, led us to Boot Camp for all of our GRREAT charges.  It was “Back to Basics” for our five dogs and “Nothing in Life is Free”, for all. It was a bitter cold, icy winter but inside our home, it was abuzz with training and blending, surgeries and recovery. New medications, High potency Fish Oil supplements, and Benadryl for environmental allergies, as well as crating at night and when we were gone (seldom), were put in place for Trina.  Her adjustment to being fed in a group was slow. It actually took three months for her to adapt to off-leash waiting for food and meds, and politely taking treats without a shark attack.

Trina15-002_3Baby steps; she took baby steps.  She observed her housemates and wisely moved toward inclusion.

The homebound, cabin fever winter created a cozy atmosphere for nurturing. She successfully healed from her spay and her behavior gradually adjusted somewhat as her body healed.  It was then time for more surgery. There were five serious growths/tumors to be removed and biopsied, and a tooth that had to be extracted. It was very difficult to return her to the vet for this. Honestly, as they led her back, she looked at me and said “REALLY???” with her eyes.

Trina is a sturdy Pennsylvania Dutch type dog.  It was hard to see her belly crisscrossed with railroad tracks of staples, and of course, healing required leash bound activity only. This time, she returned to a familiar home, friends and structure. She was sweetly welcomed by her siblings. The planned ignoring, repetition and positive rewards had helped her to be manageable and even compliant. Sometimes, even now, her spurts of joyful exuberance startle us as she becomes comfortable in her new role.

The tragic news came a week later; two of her growths biopsied as Mast Cell cancer Grade II.

Trina15-002_2If you could see her today, four months since coming to us, you would smile.  Her coat has become lustrous from good nutrition and Fish Oil supplements, and her tri-annual ECG’s are indicating that her heart condition has not yet worsened. Benadryl is preventing ear infections and hot spots. Hopefully her very high quality diet will support her immune system through future challenges. We know what her restrictions are and GRREAT continues to financially support her hefty costs. We are all blessed, and Trina shows it with her enormously charming wiggle butt and sassy tail.  Please consider helping Trina continue to blossom and thrive in her new roles; friend, pal and beloved snuggler.



Trina is in a permanent foster home and will be cared for by GRREAT for the rest of her life.  Click the button below to Sponsor Trina, she would be most appreciative of your support