Will This Special Needs Rescue Ranch Dog Find A Loving Foster?

Cleo came to us from a kill shelter where she was slated to die. Thankfully, a rescuer alerted us and we pulled her. She arrived at the ranch in early September, 2021. She was safe, but finding an adopter would be challenging.  Sadly, Cleo was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy (DM), a disease that affects the spinal chord. Although with proper care, she could improve for a time, there was no cure. Her paralysis would get worse. We wondered, would this special needs Rescue Ranch dog find a loving foster?

When Cleo arrived, she was in a lot of pain. She had apparently injured her lower back in transit. Her rescuers took her to the vet for a preliminary assessment, but it wasn’t until she arrived in Yreka that we learned the truth.  She also had an underlying condition: DM.

We could provide medical support at the adoption center, but we couldn’t give her the low-stress environment she needed. To avoid further self-injury and to manage her stress levels, she needed a home environment. In the interim, she went to live with one of our regular multi-dog foster homes, where they did their best to make her comfortable and treat her anxiety. She’s there now.

A Special Needs Dog Who Needs A Very Special Foster

With daily doses of prednisone and appropriate exercise, her hind limb mobility has improved somewhat, but DM isn’t her only issue.

Initially, her anxiety levels were off the charts. Although she could barely walk, she was in constant motion. We suspected that she had spent most of her life tied up somewhere and had developed the habit of walking in circles to relieve stress. Whatever the cause, she was often in a highly agitated state and was in danger of hurting herself. The vet prescribed Prozac. It helped. She’ll probably need to stay on anti-anxiety meds for the rest of her life.

Currently, she lives in her own space because her condition makes full integration with the resident pack problematic. While she lives with an experienced foster, there’s a fairly regular rotation of new dogs and puppies coming through. The constant change in dynamics would not be good for her. So, although she’s well cared for, she isn’t living her best life yet.

Cleo craves human companionship and one-on-one attention. She gets some of both but not enough. It’s our assessment that she’ll do best in a loving home, where she’s the only dog.

At approximately eight years old, Cleo is an affectionate, mature German Shepherd. We don’t know if she was ever housetrained. While DM limits her physical activity, she does require regular exercise. She enjoys going for short walks and does well on leash. She’s very friendly with people and enjoys their company, even when she herself is being a bit aloof.  She just wants to be near someone and included in their life.

Could you be her dream foster? If so, she’ll return your love in spades.  Call (530) 842-0829, to arrange a meeting.