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THOMAS 13-069, our Magical Mystery Man, came into GRREAT in July 2013 from a shelter, where he’d been found as a stray. After getting to his foster home, he immediately appointed himself as his foster mom’s guardian!

Thomas13-069_1One night, after being in his foster home for a few days, the foster dad boosted him up into their bed and Thomas squealed, roared in pain, and snapped at his foster dad. He was taken to the vet the next day and xrays revealed Thomas’s spine was so badly degenerated that it had actually fused together in places. There was an old tear in the cruciate ligament in his right leg that had been left untreated and had healed improperly, and we also found out that he has hip dysplasia. Thomas was put on an anti-inflammatory and pain medications and the improvement was immediately remarkable. Thomas was romping and playing like a puppy again.

Since lifting can hurt Thomas, steps were made for him to climb into and out of bed. Thomas gets in and out of the car via the front passenger seat where he easily climbs the small steps from the ground to the floor to the seat to the console and into the back. Despite his issues, Thomas loves to wrestle and play, but since it is not recommended, he will tug and tussle with his golden brothers occasionally, for a few minutes.

Before Thomas could begin his journey to his forever home, fate intervened. From taking walks and chasing rabbits and squirrels in the nearby farm fields and parklands, Thomas got scabies, which is a microscopic mite that causes itchy mange. The scabies were very difficult to diagnose, but soon after the problem was figured out, treatment was started and the mites and skin sores quickly disappeared.

Not able to catch a break, during a routine exam for an ear infection the Vet noticed a small “lump” on Thomas’ belly. A biopsy was done and the lump tested positive for mast cell cancer. A more thorough examination found two more lumps on his leg. GRREAT immediately arranged to have all three lumps surgically removed with hopes that the cancer would be gone. Thomas quickly recovered from his multiple lump removals and was romping and playing within days.

Thomas13-069_3Unfortunately, mast cell tumors have continued to appear with several popping up from his chest to his hind end, indicating the cancer has most likely spread. After consultation with several vets, it seemed unlikely multiple surgeries would significantly extend Thomas’ life or enhance the quality, so the decision was made to keep him as happy as possible for a long as possible. Thomas continues to take an anti-inflammatory daily, Revolution (for skin problems) and occasional pain medication. Swimming is his passion and provides Thomas with low impact exercise and fun.

Thomas is a true “secret service agent”, always vigilantly protecting his foster mom from friend or foe and he will not abandon his job for breakfast or to go outside until his foster mom tells him it’s OK to go. He will listen to her, and easily let her handle him. Thomas howls, moans, cries, whimpers and sings to his foster mom, and entertains her daily with his vocals!

We still have many unanswered questions about Thomas’ past, including his age, how he lost his front teeth, and why does he guard his foster mom so diligently? Thomas’s family loves him dearly and they are so happy that’s he’s part of their lives. With your help, GRREAT can continue to provide the resources so that his family can continue to do the great job they’ve been doing to take care of their special mystery man.

Thomas is in a permanent foster home and will be cared for by GRREAT for the rest of his life.  Click the button below to Sponsor Thomas, he would be most appreciative of your support