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Hey, Boo

We already had two dogs when I found a six-month-old puppy running along the side of the highway out in the country. No collar, no tags, no chip. I fully intended to post a flyer at work and find him a forever home, but when I texted his picture to Chip (who was traveling at the time), he texted back, "He looks like a keeper."

The poor little guy was frightened half to death. Our vet said he had some intestinal worms - not surprising, if he'd been homeless - but was otherwise healthy. I wanted to name him Gumbo but the boys wouldn't have it. I suggested Thor since I found him on Thursday and they were totally cool with that.

Turns out Thor was not a very apt name for him. He runs around with unbounded energy, his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth. If Jim Henson wanted to create a Muppet of an eternally happy dog, it would look just like Thor. And his name would probably be Gumbo.

In the first few weeks that we had him, Thor was diagnosed with parvo. We had been through this with Shelby - we adopted her from the kill shelter in Memphis and the very next day she became deathly ill. Thor had a far less intense experience; Shelby was inpatient at the vet for over three weeks. Thor was home in two days. They were all, "He seems to be fine. He's eating and trying to run around."

That's my Boo.

Last month, a year after we found him, Thor had a high positive test for heart worms.This poor little guy. Just can't catch a break.

Treatment for heart worms is absolutely brutal. You could say that he's lucky a family with the resources to treat it found him. But that doesn't make it any easier to watch. He was on antibiotics for 30 days, which works to shrink up the worms so that they are less likely to cause heart or lung damage. Then Monday before Thanksgiving he had his first treatment: a shot of an arsenic-based medicine in his back. For the next three to four weeks, he has to be kept very still. Any sudden increase in his heart rate could cause considerable damage to it and maybe even a heart attack.

He's being kept sedated, but this high-energy puppy, who runs full-speed laps around the back yard every time he's taken out, is confined to a kennel 24 hours a day. We have to keep him separate from the other dogs and take him out on a leash so he doesn't run around.

The hardest part for me is that he doesn't understand why all this is happening to him. He seems confused and sad to be locked up and as a doggy mommy who's way too invested in her furry babies, it breaks my heart.

If he does okay with the first treatment (and he's done very well - no coughing which is the danger sign), he goes back around the 22nd for the next one - two shots in the back this time. The first treatment kills off the weaker worms. A double dose is needed for the more stubborn ones.

Chip and I have a vacation planned over the holidays and were going to board him anyway. So he'll be at the vet's for most of his kenneled downtime following this second treatment. It's probably better, really. The vet's office is better equipped for dealing with it and I won't have to witness his discomfort.

At some point we're going to get this boy healthy and he's going to live a long and happy life with us.

In the meantime, Chip would probably appreciate it if I quit picking up stray dogs off the side of the road.

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