Hobie came to Coastal a very mellow boy, little energy, very fearful. Those are things we deal with every day, but the problem with Hobie, he refused to eat. It took a foster, a few doctors, some misdiagnoses, and then finally we realized that this sweet boy who appeared so mellow, with little energy, and very fearful was close to death. He was diagnosed with Valley Fever, a condition that can be treated easily if caught early on, but Hobie had been suffering for a long time. The fungal infection that is common in arid desert regions was attacking Hobie systemically. Thankfully, his diagnosis came just in time. He was hospitalized for some time, but he still did not want to eat. Finally, Hobie and his medications went to a foster home where he received a lot of TLC. He was offered anything and everything under the sun to get him to start eating, for no matter what medications he had, it would be all for nothing if he continued to refuse to eat. Hobie finally discovered that puppy formula was good for him. We were ecstatic. Then he discovered rotisserie chicken, and he began to eat. No kibble, no canned food, but his chicken and formula he would drink and eat with vigor.
All the while, we noticed that even though he wasn’t eating when he came to his foster home at first, he wanted to be with the other dogs, a little light sparked in his eyes for the first time. The more he ate, the better he felt, as a couple of months went on, his tail began to wag. The slow lumbered walk became a little lighter, and after more time, we noticed a real bounce. It was clear to us that all of the medications, all of the formula, the chicken and any TLC we could give was nothing like the strength he drew from his canine foster brothers and sisters. He lived to lay with them. As time continued to pass, we marked the milestones with a burst of energy Hobie would seem to gain almost overnight. We would tell he was getting better. Then one night, he walked up the stairs, something he could never have done when he first came home. And he chose the place he would sleep at night.
Without the energy to run and rough house with the other dogs, he would lay on the floor and play with the other dogs with his mouth. They were happy to play back with him. I’m sure they would have been arm wrestling, but …no opposable thumbs. Slowly, his play rose from the floor to standing, and then bouncing like a little bunny, and then running, until today he can rough house with the best of them. He likes to zoom around the house when he gets in the mood to do sprints. Not only can he run up the stairs, but he will run up, jump up on one side of the bed, jump off the other side and do his circle downstairs again, over and over again.
Valley Fever once it is systemic takes a while to treat. It requires regular medication to kill the fungus that has taken over the system and regular testing. He will be receiving his medication until his tests show that the fungus is not in his system. While he can go to a forever home, it is important that make sure he continues to get the medication he needs.
Also, the little boy who was so mellow and quiet, has got some energy. He’s not the couch potato that we thought he was when he first came in. His fears, yes, he still has those, but with his dog buddy, he is very happy and feels safe. His home must include at least one other dog who likes to go on walks with Hobie and likes to play. After all, it was his interaction with the other dogs that gave him the will to fight for his life and gave him the strength to survive. He doesn’t mind a medium size dog or one his size.