By Janet McAfee
In February, a party at Loving All Animals’ shelter celebrated the joyful adoption of a small Papillon mix dog named Zoomer. The lucky adopters were her foster parents Diane and Travis Medley. The office was cheerfully decorated in balloons and a hand painted adoption sign. There were gifts for Zoomer and a special doggie cake. The humans enjoyed their cake while telling Zoomer stories. It was a long journey home for a special once homeless pup.
Zoomer arrived at the Loving All Animals Coachella shelter in 2021, an abandoned stray with infected eyes, a mass under her neck and unusual striations on her face. In quarantine, the volunteers comforted her, but she yearned to be with the other pups. She thrived with human companionship.
She jumped for joy when experienced dog foster parents Diane and Travis took her into their loving home. Diane kept a careful calendar with Zoomer’s complex and often revised medications. The couple transported her to local veterinary appointments trying to find a “cure” or at least some relief for their foster pup. Zoomer loved the couple’s cats. When kitty Abigail tried to swat at her she hopped around the cat in a playful dance. Proving her intelligence, Zoomer responded well to Travis’ training. She quickly learned to sit, shake, roll over, and even speak. When Diane was sick for a few days, she sat on her lap and stayed by her side for comfort.
Diane describes those early fostering months, “Zoomer struggled with a horrible skin condition that causes serious hair loss resulting in scabbing mostly around her muzzle. A side effect of the medication for this is her compromised immune system that causes Demodex. In turn Demodex causes ear infections.” Everyone learned veterinary medicine is an art not a science. Loving All Animals and the foster parents were determined to help Zoomer get better.
Her long journey of medical treatments took a turn for the better after a trip to the Animal Dermatology Clinic’s founder at their Las Vegas site. ADC’s founder, Dr. Conner, spent over an hour carefully examining Zoomer and did another biopsy. He previously read her extensive medical history that was emailed. He diagnosed her with a rare autoimmune disorder that attacks the skin and has other complications. Dr. Conner developed a revised treatment plan with her local ADC veterinarian Dr. Frasier.
Many of you generously donated for Zoomer’s medical treatment when the LAA 2021 holiday card featured her sweet face and story. Her symptoms have vastly improved although Zoomer will likely need lifelong veterinary care. Who would step forward to adopt her knowing pet ownership includes this financial responsibility for medical care? Travis and Diane had chosen to stay “dogless” due to travel plans and their desire to continue fostering. But they fell in love with the incredible dog who loved them back more than they could express in words.
Now named Ziggy Stardust Medley, she marches proudly on walks through the neighborhood enjoying meeting other pups and people. Diane reports, “Ziggy is the sweetest angel! Her tail always wags 90 miles an hour. She loves to play chase with her best buddy our cat Abigail.” Travis tells us, “Ziggy is a ‘people magnet’ when we take her to Lowes or Home Depot. People want to know about her. She patiently lays every night for teeth brushing and meds without ever complaining. She is the sweetest happiest girl!”
Diane and Travis are prepared to do whatever necessary to keep Ziggy healthy and happy. Her fighting spirit is an inspiration. Ziggy taught us about the complexities and wonders of modern veterinary services. Ziggy taught us how a dog’s optimism can overcome incredible odds when surrounded by excellent care and lots of love.
Contact Loving All Animals at www.lovingallanimals.org and (760) 834-7000. Like them on Facebook and Instagram to learn how you can be part of such happy endings.