*SPECIAL NEEDS* Location: Ohio Age: 8+ mos. Sex: Female/Spayed Weight: 9 lbs Kids: Good w/kids 10yr+ Cats: ? Dogs: Good w/dogs that like puppies Available As Of: 7/4/2015 Adoption fee: $600

Fiona is a happy, healthy 8+ month old puppy.   She is very small at 9 lbs., BUT don’t think that gets in the way of her “I’m the BOSS” personality.  Fiona is full of life and energy and general puppy craziness.  Fiona has a tracheostomy, and because of that would be considered special needs.  However, a trach just means that she breathes from a different location, it’s not a death sentence (in fact, dogs with trachs do not have shorter life expectancy that a “normal” dog) and requires very little daily maintenance.  But be prepared, Fiona is like a Classic Beetle, every where you take her, EVERY one wants to talk about her!  Once they find out she has a trach, people are more enamored with her and want to know all about it.  Get ready to make lots of friends if you adopt Fiona! Tracheostomies in dogs are not uncommon, especially in the larger breed dogs that suffer from laryngeal paralysis (labradors, for example). The decision to give Fiona a tracheostomy was made after two surgeries and scoping to try and correct her horrible breathing.  Due to her facial structure, surgery could only do so much to open her airway.  After complications from her last surgery, FBV decided the best way to give Fiona the quality of life she deserves was to place a permanent tracheostomy.  Fiona is still her with us, THRIVING, without it, she would have died.  Her new owners would need to be near a Veterinary Specialty Hospital, or have a veterinarian familiar with brachycephalic breeds/trachyostomies. Prior to Fiona’s tracheostomy, she had issues where she regurgitated her food and water.  It was next to impossible to put any weight on her, feedings were done holding her upright, and keeping her upright for 15 minutes afterwards.  Since she’s had the tracheostomy placed, she eats like a normal dog, however does eat an exclusively wet diet.  It is likely she will have to remain on a wet food for life.  For reasons unknown, kibble increases her mucus production and makes clean up of her trach a little messy.  Speaking of clean up, her trach requires twice a day cleaning, it’s simply a cotton pad dampened with saline.   Throughout the day a simple wipe with a Kleenex does fine.  Fiona’s new owner will need to understand that protecting and keeping her airway clear are of the utmost importance.  It is not hard, or gross, or scary, it is just very, very important that this step is never overlooked.  It is no different than wiping a child’s nose.  It’s likely easier as Fiona stands still while you do it!  If you don’t have experience with a trach, don’t worry…….we didn’t either!  Fiona just needs an owner who is willing to learn and understand how to keep her safe.  Fiona’s foster Mom will make sure her new owner is 100% comfortable with everything related to her trach prior to adoption.  Please feel free to do some research and come to the interview process with questions. Fiona would love to find an owner who has the time to teach her tricks and train her, she is so very smart and looks to her leader for direction. If someone could direct this focus, it’s unlimited what Fiona would do for them.  Fiona is already potty and crate trained, however she would much rather find an owner who could be home with her or take her to work.   It’s not a requirement to apply, but being as young and full of energy as she is, being in a crate all day is a total downer.   At minimum we would like someone who could come home at lunch and play with her, give her a midday potty break, and a snack.  Fiona wants to be with her owner all the time, but is easily redirected with toys and chewies.  She is allowed supervised chewing only on items such as Himalayan chews and bully sticks.  She should never be allowed unsupervised chewing.  Fiona loves sunbeam catching and running in the yard.   She has luxating patellas, but because of everything she has been through, her surgeon decided these would be a low priority to fix.   Fiona’s new owner needs to keep in mind that though her symptoms now are very minor, it is possible that she could require surgery in the future.   Her small size undoubtedly helps lessen the effects of this condition and fixing her knees later is not detrimental to her health and mobility now.  Those knees do not affect her ability to run, jump, and stand on her hind legs begging to be picked up on the couch! Fiona wants an owner that will allow her to sleep in the bed (their bed), be on the furniture and love to cuddle. Her favorite sleeping position is curled up against your neck or back. If you want a dog that is independent and content to lay in their own bed, Fiona is not for you! This girl wants to be with YOU! She will bond deeply with her new owner and that person should be prepared to have a BFF for life. Fiona is not needy and does not express any separation anxiety while away from you, she just wants to be with her person.  Fiona would also benefit from a canine companion.  Another dog that loves to play would be a lot of fun for her but is not necessary.   If you have other dogs in the household, make sure they would be okay with an energetic puppy.  Fiona has no qualms jumping on their face to entice play!  She’s not been cat tested. Due to Fiona’s tracheostomy, she can no longer bark, but “huffs” her needs, so apartment or shared living space would be fine, but keep in mind Fiona can’t do stairs.  As tiny as she is, carrying her up and down is not a problem. Through every surgery and every medical procedure and challenge she has had, Fiona has remained a total sweetheart.  Her surgeon said she would give her kisses before she went under anesthesia.   Fiona has an amazing ability to make people feel so special, she greets people with such enthusiasm and is never short of kisses.  Her sweet and friendly personality have made her a favorite at Med Vet for employees and customers alike.  Fiona’s personality and demeanor would make her an excellent therapy dog.  We could see her visiting hospital patients (especially kids and people with trachs) and sharing her love, showing others that being different just makes you special.
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