Loki joined us in November of 2015, and he certainly took his foster mom for a journey. She recently reflected on the time they've spent together, and it's such a beautiful story, we just have to share it!
"Confession time. When Loki came to us we were ready to jump ship within a week. He was over medicated (which we didn't know at the time) and hyperactive. The first thing he did when he walked in our house is pee on a basket of toys. We were told he was crate trained (he wasn't) and good with dogs (I was pretty certain given the option, he'd take a chunk out of our puppy). He bonded to us, but was terrified of anyone new. My fiancé was fed up and I was trying my hardest to give him time to settle in, but I really didn't think it was going to work.
We made a commitment to him. These dogs come with baggage. We know that. It's why we do what we do. With a little sense of duty and a lot of stubborn pride, I decided I wasn't going to give up on this smart, insane dog.
I did research on Addison's. I found out his dosage was way high, and worked with a support group and vet to start lowering the daily dose of medicine he was getting. I kept him separate from our dog. Our house more than large enough to accommodate him having his own space. We went for walks. We used baby gates. Eventually, it just worked. We made strangers coming in mean it's time for treats and toys. He still barks, but now he's super excited to greet most people.
It's only been in the past few weeks I've really started to love this dog. For everyone who has struggled with a foster: We don't do what we do because it's easy.We do what we do because they need us."
To Emily and her patient fiance: Thanks for sticking with Loki! Many fosters struggle with this same adjustment period when they have an ultra smart dog - we're so happy you stuck it out!
To those wondering about Loki's story and his disease - here's some info for you! His previous owner surrendered him when he developed Addison's Disease, and they were unable to afford the medication. We're so happy to be able to find wonderful dogs like Loki and find them a home with the resources to care for him.
Addison's causes a dog's adrenal gland to not function properly. This means he has a hormone deficiency in glucocorticoids, which manage stress, and mineralocorticoids, which keep his electrolytes in balance. When these things are out of balance, his body does not know how to respond to different everyday situations and especially to stress.
Keeping everything in balance is actually pretty easy! He gets one really tasty piece of cheese every day that happens to also have a Prednisone pill, and a hormone injection called Percorten-V once a month.
That's all it takes for treatment! The vets like to test Loki's blood every three months or so to make sure everything is still normal. His adopters would just have to be on the lookout for signs of imbalance, which can present as loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and mild lethargy. Loki's future parents can also help him out with particularly stressful situations by giving him an extra dose of Prednisone. I know this sounds like a lot to take in, but his day-to-day life is like any other dog. He loves to run and play with his foster sibling and go for walks and learn new tricks and he LOVES fetch!!!
Loki is still available for adoption (as of 3/11/2016) - go check him out!