Update, September 26, 2007
What a difference a couple of weeks can make. Although Bentley is still a gentle, respectful and relaxed boy, he is now exhibiting what his foster mom calls “foster zest.” He leaps off the five, short, porch steps to run and play with the young, resident, border collies. He loves to roll around in the grass when outdoors and when inside he has even sneaked up onto the bed a time or two. Bentley is a quick learner and has been the first to catch on to some of the new tricks and games that his foster mom is teaching the pack. He is living proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks, and sometimes that old dog can teach the young ones a trick or two.
Medically the past two weeks have been important for Bentley. He has visited a holistic vet who did radiographs of his lower back and found that both hips are in excellent condition with no fractures, arthritic changes or abnormalities. He does have some compression of the last vertebra of his spine which explains the difficulty he had when he first came to his foster home. Regular exercise has helped, and his vet believes that with continued daily exercise and supplements he will continue to gain strength and mobility in his hind legs. His foster mom also gives Bentley some canine massage, which he loves.
Bentley’s eyes were evaluated at the University of Wisconsin Veterinary School, an experience that Bentley found interesting and exciting. He was quickly the center of attention and greeted everyone with his typical calm and friendly manner. His eye exam confirmed that he has two small, inactive cataracts that do not appear to be the type that are likely to become active. Because his eyes are small, he is not considered to be a good candidate for surgery, even if the cataracts should become active. He does have Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA), a common congenital condition and in his case the nerves supporting the retina are abnormal. This means that a physical trauma could result in a detached retina, though the vet felt that this was certainly not inevitable.
Bentley’s vision should be monitored by his family, and he will need to continue taking a daily supplement for good eye health. It is also important for him to maintain a healthy weight and proper hydration. His eyes will not need to be rechecked, unless changes in his vision become apparent.
Bentley’s veterinary visits confirmed that much of his discomfort when he first came to his foster home were the result of genetics, aging, and a lack of exercise and specialized care. He has made great strides as a result of some simple dietary supplements and regular exercise, and Bentley gratefully recognizes the efforts of those who try to help him and joyfully greets every day, stronger than he was the last.
New to Rescue!
Bentley is more than just a pretty face. As his name indicates, Bentley is a real classic. He is a stunning, neutered, blue merle boy who is as sweet, smart, funny, friendly and loving as he is beautiful. He just celebrated his ninth birthday, which we know because we have his AKC papers. We also know that he comes from aristocratic stock as his father was a champion. Weighing in at 66 pounds, Bentley is a medium sized collie, though when he tries to sit on your lap, he feels larger!
When Bentley arrived at MWCR he was in need of some extensive care and attention. He was dehydrated, his teeth were covered with tartar and his gums were inflamed and infected. He had some pain and difficulty walking and lying down, and it was difficult for him to get up after rest. His eyes didn’t appear to be fully open, and one eye had what appeared to be a cataract, while the third eyelid was up on the other.
Two vet exams have confirmed that Bentley has a congenital malformation of the eyes called micro-opthalmia, which means that his eyes did not fully develop before he was born. He has some vision impairment, and he may need further care to be sure that the cataract does not become active or that he doesn’t suffer other eye degeneration. At this time, however, he can see and get around his foster home and yard without any problems. In fact, Bentley’s eyes are good enough to discover even the smallest food particles that may have been overlooked by the resident kitties.
Bentley is a dog that meets everyone more than half way, and he has made much progress with his health concerns in a very short time. He has been on a special, enriched diet – which he is very enthusiastic about – and some antibiotics for his gum infection. He is very good about letting his foster mom clean his teeth, though additional dental work may be needed. He sleeps on an orthopedic bed and takes supplements for his joint and skeletal heath.
Although Bentley’s records indicate that he does not get in and out of cars without assistance, he willingly climbs into the station wagon at his foster home. He also climbs several steps in the house without problems, though his forever home should probably not include lots of stairs.
Bentley loves car rides and looks like Farrah Fawcett with his lush collie mane blowing in the wind. Fortunately, he is very good about grooming and willingly allows his foster mom to brush out his long fur after an outing.
Bentley walks beautifully on a leash and strolls around the neighborhood are a pleasure with him. His daily walks and regular visits to the dog park are starting to put a real bounce in his step. He has begun to engage in some gentle, herding behavior with the resident border collies at his foster home and loves a brief play session every night after dinner. He frequently nudges the people and other dogs with his long, soft collie nose as if to say, “Let’s go, it’s play time!”
Bentley’s house manners couldn’t be better. He is calm, gentle and quiet (for a collie) and has not shown any fear of household noises or storms. He has never had an accident of any kind in his foster home. He eats his meals in a crate, but should not be crated for longer periods, due to his hip discomfort. Fortunately, Bentley is so polite and well behaved that there is no need to crate him at other times.
Bentley’s records indicate that he is able to open gates and go wandering about the neighborhood, but his foster family has not seen any of this behavior. He loves his foster, canine siblings and follows them everywhere. For his own safety, Bentley does need a fenced yard, but he readily comes when called.
Bentley loves to go out into the community, where he greets every dog and person he meets with a gentle, happy, trusting demeanor. He is kind to children and sensitive to older people. He has the perfect, therapy dog temperament, though at this point in his life, he is entitled to a comfortable and secure retirement without the responsibilities of work.
Bentley has lost his home twice before coming to MWCR, and he is now looking for a family that will do what he does: meet you more than half way. This home should offer him stability and the presence of adults who either work from home or are retired. He needs a fenced yard and would love the company of other, easy-going dogs or cats. Since Bentley is no long a pup, he will need a home that will not only provide him with lots of love and attention, but that will also make a commitment to the care that his health needs may necessitate. This funny, loving, beautiful collie will bring years of joy to the fortunate family who brings him into their lives.
Bentley is being fostered in Madison, WI.