by Lee Juslin
Marcel came into Col. Potter Cairn Terrier Rescue Network from a puppy mill. At the time, he was about four years old.
He is now fourteen and has been in several adoptive homes. His last adopter was an elderly woman who simply got to the point where she was no longer able to care for Marcel. Since no one in the family was able to give him a home, he went back to Col. Potter.
Caryl, his foster mom, says he is overweight largely because in his last home he ate cat food and feces, most likely because he was out in a yard unsupervised and his diet of cat food was not satisfying. He weighed twenty-five pounds when he came to Caryl. A proper weight would be about eighteen pounds.
Col. Potter immediately had the pudgy little boy vetted. Besides being overweight, he needed dental work since most of his teeth were chipped. This is common with dogs from puppy mills where they are kept in metal cages. The dogs, in frustration, bite at the metal cage fencing and often chip their teeth.
The vet also treated Marcel for fleas and tapeworm and discovered Marcel had some hearing loss, cataracts, and arthritis. He is currently taking meds for arthritis and inflammation which cost about $35 per month. Caryl says Marcel has a soft mouth and is very easy to medicate with the pills he takes. However, Caryl feels that the arthritis is due in large part to his being overweight. As his weight comes down, the arthritis pain should lessen so that the meds can be either cut back or eliminated.
Despite his health problems and being overweight, Caryl says Marcel is a very handsome boy. She says he is like a very sweet, cute, little elderly man. He doesn’t bark but instead makes a kind of whimpering noise. When he first came in, he whimpered because he was in pain. Now, Caryl feels it is just his voice and his way of expressing himself.
Marcel is somewhat housebroken, and he needs to be taken out regularly. Caryl says he had a couple of accidents when he first came to her, but she feels that may have well been due to adapting to yet another new environment. He is learning to go out on his own.
Marcel gets along with Caryl’s dog, but does not really play. He does not seem to be interested in toys. This may be simply due to his complete unfamiliarity with toys. Caryl keeps a big basket of dog toys, and recently when she was out and returned home, she found that Marcel had been playing with the toys. This shows that he may learn to play with a person who is patient and encourages him.
Marcel loves people and will stand on his hind legs begging for attention. He also enjoys sitting in a lap and being brushed. Though he clearly loves food, he is not food aggressive or aggressive at all.
Tests at the vet showed Marcel had high levels of protein in his urine. Although it has improved, he will go back to the vet regularly to be rechecked. It is also important that his food in-take be carefully watched. Carly is very faithful about this and not over feeding him. Being overweight is not just a cause of arthritis but can also lead to diabetes.
Caryl says it will be very difficult to give up this sweet boy, but like all dedicated foster parents and rescue volunteers, she will do what is best for Marcel. She says a forever home as an only dog with a retired person or couple who will give him lots of attention would be ideal for this special boy. He will be a wonderful companion for someone with a lap he can cuddle in while staring adoringly at his very own person.
If you would like to learn more about Marcel or the other pups at Col. Potter Cairn Rescue, apply to become a foster parent, or make a donation to help this all-volunteer organization keep on rescuing sweet pups like Marcel, contact Col. Potter on Facebook or their website:
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