The Rescue Dog Calender is going to be great and people are already looking forward to it! When I first thought of doing a calender of rescue dogs with happy endings, I knew that I was going to use the money raised from these calenders to help more dogs in need of homes. While everyone was sending pictures and voting for dogs to get into the calender, I was getting to work looking at different animal rescues to see which one I wanted to give to. One of the entries to the contest was sweet little Max. I read about his story and thought he was just an amazing and inspirational little guy.
Here is Max's story as told by his caregiver:
Little Max was born with severe scoliosis. It was suggested that he be euthanized at birth. His breeder just couldn’t take his life after seeing how hard he fought and so he came to live with us at The Mia Foundation. When Max arrived at 6 weeks old, he could barely walk but we worked his little legs and tried straightening his back several times a day and within a week he was not only walking, but running!
Although we continued his physical therapy, as Max grew his spine was getting
noticeably worse. And then a new symptom occurred. We noticed that when people
he didn’t know held him he would have a panic attack. These attacks became so bad
that he was rushed to the vet several times and had to be sedated and given oxygen.
My vet told me that we would lose Max during one of these attacks and I should
consider euthanizing him. I decided to get my own oxygen tank to treat him
immediately when I saw an attack coming on. The oxygen did wonders for him and
he came out of these attacks much sooner when I administered the oxygen at the
first sign of an attack.
We saw two specialists in Rochester that both informed me that Max’s condition was terminal. So, I brought him to Cornell University and they told me the same thing. They said that Max’s bones would eventually crush his internal organs. We started searching for other vets around the country to take on Max’s case.
I saw a happy, healthy little puppy that just happened to have a curved spine, a puppy that deserved at least a chance. He could walk and run, wag his tail and play like any other puppy his age. Max has never shown any signs that he is in any form of pain.
We found a vet in Philadelphia that specialized in birth defects and genetic disorders that wanted to see Max. So, we packed him up and drove him to Pennsylvania. We spent the day there while they X-rayed him and ran tests. I was so hopeful that we had finally found someone willing to help with this precious baby. When they finally called us into a room, we were once again told that nothing could be done. They said it was the worst case of scoliosis they had ever seen and also said that he was terminal and that I should consider euthanasia. They also said that Max only had one functioning lung and his ribs were severely deformed as well as his spine.
We left there and I promised Max that I would never give up on him as long as he
was happy and pain free.
Max is 6 months old now. We never hold Max, for fear of pushing on his lung and causing a panic attack, but we have plenty of cuddle time on the floor and in bed. Max and his oxygen tank go everywhere with us. He must be monitored at all times so the oxygen can be administered if he needs it. The panic attacks are getting less frequent because we are more aware now as to what causes them.
We have decided to just let Max finish growing and see what happens. He is a funny little dog with quite the personality. None of the vets thought he would live this long, yet he is still here and doing very well. I don’t know what the future holds for him but I do know that we should not be so quick to euthanize these animals. If they are happy and not suffering they deserve a chance at a happy life. They give back so much more than people realize.
Max was the first animal taken in by The Mia Foundation. He has found his forever home
right here with us. If they are born, they deserve a chance to live!!
Isn't this little guy AMAZING? And so cute too! This is what his Spine looks like.
It looks so uncomfortable, and yet, he is such a happy little dude and doesn't let anything stop him from living. We decided to look more into The Mia Foundation, just to see what it is all about. What we saw delighted us! This is how the website describes The Mia Foundation:
The Mia Foundation was developed to give animals born with birth defects a fighting chance. So many animals born with birth defects, such as cleft palates or missing limbs, are euthanized at birth. With a little work and a lot of love, these animals give back so much more than anyone could possibly imagine. All they need is a chance!
Let's not forget about Mia, the special little girl who inspired this foundation! Her story is amazing as well. This is from the website and it's telling Mia's story.
*Mia was born on June 26th, 2010 by c-section. The vets noticed a cleft palate right away and suggested that I euthanize her. They told me that cleft palate babies are too much work and they rarely survive anyway. I decided to give her a chance.
Mia developed aspiration pneumonia at 4 days old and I was told not to expect any miracles. We found a pharmacist that made a compounded prescription for her and hoped for the best. She survived! She fought through several surgeries to repair her palate and many bouts of pneumonia. Mia never showed that she had a disability. Her spirit and will to live, no matter what obstacle she was faced with, was unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life. She woke up each day with a smile and made it a fun adventure!
Mia had to go everywhere with us because if she aspirated she needed to be suctioned and she also needed to be tube-fed 5 times a day. Because of this, she made many friends . People were first drawn to her size and then were amazed by her story. Her Facebook page grew daily and she was making friends with people all over the world! People were just drawn to her for some reason. She had this ability to make people fall in love with her instantly by just seeing a photo of her. She was very photogenic but I still wondered what it was about this little dog that touched so many people. Was it her will to live? Was it because she was so tiny( weighing only 1.6 pounds?) Was it that unforgettable smile? Was it how she interacted with the foster pets in my care, or her feisty personality? I just couldn't figure it out.
On Easter Sunday 2012 Mia woke up with pneumonia. She stayed at Rochester Animal Emergency for 3 days on I.V. antibiotics and received oxygen therapy. I brought her home on April 11th to continue treatment where she would be more comfortable. When we got home, I told Mia that if she was tired of fighting and wanted to go to sleep that I would miss her but that I would be okay. She passed away in my arms at 1:45 pm. She was 2 months shy of her 2nd birthday. I never thought that I would lose her that day. She had survived so many times and I just assumed she would this time too. But her little body was tired and she knew that she was here long enough to accomplish her mission.
It wasn't until after her death that I realized the reason for Mia's existence. By taking the time to save her life, she in turn touched so many people and saved many animals too. Mia was a miracle! She was an inspiration! She opened the eyes of veterinarians, breeders, and people that thought special needs babies weren't worth the effort.
That was Mia's Mission!
That was her reason for existence.
I am so proud and blessed to have been her mommy!
I miss her every single second of every minute of every hour of every day!
Mia's legacy will live on through the Foundation created in her memory!
The Mia Foundation ~ If they are born, they deserve a chance to live! *
I highly suggest you watch the video on the Home page. It is so beautiful and it even made Mommy cry.....twice!
We were so touched by these inspiring dogs and Mia legacy, which lives on through this wonderful foundation. We have decided to donate all the money we get from these calenders to The Mia Foundation! They are doing a great work and the dogs that survive through them is proof of that. We want them to be able to continue doing this great service because that is what I, Oscar the Boston Terrier, live for. To help dogs animals in need and the people who care for them. It's the best feeling in the world and neither me or Mommy would give it up for anything!