A few hours before he was scheduled to be put down, Linus was a mess.
His never-cared-for, flea-infested, dirt-filled fur had grown so wild that it had become wedged in and wrapped around his teeth so that he couldn't close his mouth all the way.
His mouth and gums were full of infection.
Trauma had crushed his trachea inward so that he kept coughing.
Here's a photo of Linius before he came to our home:
A friend called us about Linus just in time and said if we'd adopt him, she'd see if she could pull him from the shelter, which was in another state, before he was put down.
No one knew much about him. He'd been found on the streets, a very elderly blind and deaf dog, and was unsteady on his feet.
As soon as he arrived in our home, we took him to a critical care specialist at Tufts Vet School over in MA for a workup. She recommended that the next step would be an dentist and oral surgeon.
Fortunately, we have that kind of specialist locally with whom we scheduled an emergency appointment. She ended up extracting 18 teeth, removing a growth, and repairing a nasal fistula.
Although having just arrived, Linus has brought great joy and made special friends with some of the other special needs cats and dogs who live as a family in our home.
He's learned to rely on the other dogs for guidance when they go out into the back yard for bathroom breaks.
He particularly likes sleeping cuddled up with Danny, a cat born with the calicivirus and chronic respiratory problems, or with his head lying on the back of Milagro, a little dog who'd been in congestive heart failure and has a collapsing trachea.
After a challenging summer, Linus has been an unexpected and wonderful gift.
Please follow this link to the family of special needs dogs and cats who live in our home.