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Apr 29, 2024

This is Courage. We received a call from a shelter after he had been picked up off the streets as a stray. He was extremely dehydrated, emaciated and even more horrific, his injuries include his tongue which has been either torn off or cut out. He could not eat or drink. He had puncture wounds all over his body. Having said that, during our transport, he tried to crawl on our lap to be with us in the front seat. Given the nature of his condition, we could not turn him away so we took him in knowing we could not financially care for him. Upon pickup, we drove him directly to Care Center in Cincinnati, where they evaluated him and admitted him for 24 hours. The vet needed to sedate him in order to do an oral exam and confirmed his tongue has been severed. Unfortunately we will most likely never know what happened to this dog.

While at Care Center, Courage did well and stabilized. IV fluids perked him up quite and bit, and he was in good spirits and is trying to eat. Drinking was still a challenge. We considered an esophageal feeding tube short term but need to get a second opinion. We reached out to several other rescues that specialize in medical needs and hope to be able to partner with them as soon as he is stable.

The next morning, we picked up Courage and transferred him to MedVet in Cincinnati. We just felt that MedVet was a better fit for his unique condition. It was imperative to find a way for him to drink and eat or dehydration will set in again. He was starting to get the hang of eating soft food, but being able to sustain his fluids was still a concern. MetVet was all ready for him when we arrived and took him in immediately. They are continuing his IV fluids, antibiotics, pain medicine and within the first hour had already tried out several techniques to help him drink water. They have a large bucket to allow him to be more upright and scoop up the water (several people have posted this suggestion to us – I can’t say this enough, our community is amazing). His skin was still covered in dried blood (remember, we were not allowed to be with him so had not been able to bathe him), that was really bothering us. He also has a severe skin infection. Again, within the first hour, they gave him a bath and cleaned all of the blood and filth off of him.

We were able to work with Marley’s Mutts, and their founder, Zach Skow, was willing to make a trip to Cincinnati to bring Courage back to his facility so Courage can have the life he deserves.

Every healthcare worker and shelter employee that has met him echos the same words – “he is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met”. His spirit has not been broken. He would need to be hospitalized until June 16th to be healthy enough to make the trip to the new facility.

Meanwhile, Courage thrived at MedVet! I think I could just dedicate an entire post on just thanking MedVet and their entire staff. Dr. Lane called from Internal Medicine and spoke with myself and Jennifer regarding his recommendations. Moving forward with a feeding tube was undecided. We asked Dr. Lane to speak directly with Zach at Marley’s Mutts for his opinion. After they spoke, the decision was made to hold off on the feeding tube for now. MedVet monitored his water intake to calculate how much water he was drinking on his own while he is still on IV fluids. Courage was being hand fed and really got the hang of eating. We had him heart worm tested and he is NEGATIVE for heart worm which is always great news! We still needed to work through the details of the transfer from Cincinnati to California. Courage cannot fly commercially, so we started working out a plan for Zach to fly here and drive Courage back to California. It will be long ride, but this seemed to be our only option. Courage would continue to be hospitalized at MedVet until his transfer. We did not want to risk him becoming dehydrated prior to his long trip to his new home.

He continued to gain strength and weight, ate well but still needed to go through the learning process to try to figure out drinking water. MedVet started putting a small can of dog food in his water since he is food motivated. MedVet also fed him wet food rolled into meatball size portions. He absolutely loves being in the sun, but since he can overheat so quickly, we had to limit his time. You will see in the pictures how much he loves the sun on his face. Speaking of faces, his muzzle continues to look better and better each day. This time in the hospital gave him the rest and recovery he so desperately needs. We just need him strong to make the trip to California next week.

I think this picture says it all!!!

Courage rolling in grass

Courage continued to gain strength each day, and got ready for his big cross country trip. One of our amazing followers Bill Werner designed a water fountain for Courage. Although Courage wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, he was curious, and we hope he will get the hang of it soon.

MedVet had been Courage’s home for a week and we couldn’t be more grateful. Courage has thrived under their care and is ready for the next chapter of his life. The amazing team at MedVet is what made all of this possible and we can’t say thank you enough.

On Wednesday we started the first leg of our journey to Kansas City, Kansas. After a hotel stay overnight we will finish out in Wichita, Kansas where we will meet up with Zach Skow, owner of Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue. Zach would then be driving from Wichita to California with Courage, where his facility is located.

Thank you to everyone who has followed and donated to Courage’s journey. It really has made all the difference and surely has made a difference in his life. Make sure to keep following and supporting his adventures through Marley’s Mutts and Zach Skow’s page!

On Thursday, it was official – Courage is now part of @marleysmutts dog rescue and was on his was to California! He took to @zachskow right away and loved his calm energy. The two have a long road trip ahead to bond and get to know each other.

Even though it is sad to part, we couldn’t be more happy with this outcome and are thrilled to follow Courage’s journey with Zach. Thank you to everyone that has contributed to make all of this possible. Keep following Courage’s journey with @zachskow and @marleysmutts!

For those of you who have contributed to Courage’s care, we cannot thank you enough. For those of you who have shared his story, we cannot thank you enough. And for those of you who have sent your prayers, we cannot thank you enough. When we took Courage in we were low on funds and started a GoFundMe to just try to get the word out, and we received an amazing response through that and our PayPal account. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts. And of course, continue to follow Courage’s journey with Zach Skow and Marley’s Mutt’s page here, or by following him on Twitter @zachskow and @marleysmutts.

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