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Labrador Retriever

4 years, 6 months
Medium  |  Female

Machesney Park, IL

Bobbi is part of the Stop the Madness group - Operation Sunday Labs

5/7/15 Bobbi is up for adoption! Bobbi needs a special family .. one who understands that she has a neurological condition that is essentially incurable. Due to this condition Bobbi will probably never be completely house-trained. However, set routines and schedule as well as washable bed covers help considerably.

Bobbi has come out of her shell a little bit and now comes to us for attention. However, she approaches everything with her mouth and can bite fingers & toes. So a home with little kids won’t work. She doesn’t mean harm, there isn’t a vicious cell in her body, she’s just looking for food, and she can’t see very well up close.

She was spayed about two months ago. She paces in circles around our living room, sometimes for hours. She hasn’t learned many commands; she will sometimes come when called, so that’s an improvement. She has partially learned how to walk on a long leash.

She will play with one of our female dogs by running with her and trying to jump on her. Bobbi tends to paw at other dogs, which they don’t like very much. She will sometimes chase a tennis ball and pick it up, but she loses interest quickly. Bobbi is a quiet, sweet, unassuming girl who loves her dog bed and her regular meal schedule.

11/17/14 Bobbi arrived yesterday with the transport of 11 Labs from a retiring breeder. She is 2 years old, about 40 pounds and has lived her life outside. She was nervous when arriving from transport and wasn't thrilled about getting her bath, but she put up with it and took the handling well. She was more than willing to accept attention from the people around her and didn't shy away from you.

Initial reports earlier this week suggested that she may be blind or deaf. After meeting her, we believe she can see and hear, at least partially. She may have a neurological disorder because her gait is unusual, and she has trouble finding treats & food even though she can smell them.

She actually wagged her tail this morning, and that brought tears to my eyes. She’s a very timid, quiet girl who just wants to hide or find a soft bed to sleep on. She has seen two of our dogs chasing each other around the yard, and they tried to get her to join in as they zoomed past her, but she wasn’t ready for that. We are certain our dogs will show her how to play as they’ve done with other fosters.

Stayed tuned for more updates as we help Bobbi acclimate to indoor life, and we get her evaluated medically. Thanks to everyone for making this transport & rescue happen. Bobbi is safe, and she is free; it doesn’t get any better than that.
11/18/14 I am happy to say that Bobbi chased a tennis ball for me yesterday:) She wasn't sure how to pick it up, but eventually very daintily grabbed the fur and carried it a few feet. :-)

She is also understanding that there is warmth inside (her teeth chatter every time we're outside), and that is a great motivator to get her to come in. She very much prefers it to be her decision to come inside and not be coerced or tricked into it, so I ask my dogs to 'go inside,' and she has learned to follow. It is amazing how my pack has included her.

Another first! . . . Bobbi chose to sleep on the same dog bed as one of my dogs. Sounds small, but it was huge!
11/24/14 Bobbi saw our Vet on Friday. She is 40 pounds and heartworm & lyme negative. She is positive for anaplasma and whipworms which we're treating with Minocycline & Panacur respectively. She has a slight heart murmur. She is either at the end of a heat cycle or just coming into one.

Our little adventure to the Vet was interesting. I helped Bobbi in the car, and she hid down on the floor. She tried to wedge her head under the seat. I had to pick her up to get her out once we were at the clinic. Outside of the car, she was okay standing still or wandering (on leash), but when I tried to direct her to the building entrance, she went the other direction. I ended up having to pick her up and carry her inside.

Neurologically, it was clear right away to the clinic staff that Bobbi has something going on in her neck or head causing her to react slower than normal. She runs with her front legs outstretched, and she can smell treats but can't always find them, so she uses her nose to touch them before picking them up. She can track movement and noise most of the time. She also paces in circles around people and around a room; often for up to an hour before she will settle down for a nap.

Bobbi follows the leads of my dogs when moving in and out of the house, but she does not engage with them much. She is getting very good at the two steps in and out of the house. She no longer requires that we go out first; she will follow our dogs and then turn to see if we are behind her. She will not go outside without us, and sometimes she will not go out at all.

Bobbi does occasionally nap with our dogs on a dog bed, not touching them, but near them.

Bobbi will chase a tennis ball, but doesn't really know what to do with it when she gets it. She has a very healthy appetite and eats everything she's given; it just takes her longer than most dogs as she seems to be feeling the food with her nose first. In general, she's a quiet, little girl who is trying hard to adapt to life indoors with people and other dogs. The little victories along the way tell us that she is capable of learning and that she is happy to be warm & have a consistent source of food. She doesn't like a lot of touch, but she does come looking for it and then nervously moves away when it is offered. She has allowed us to give her a quick hug or kiss. She follows us around the house like our shadow. She's a very sweet girl.

Our Vet is putting together a summary, and it may include a recommendation to see a neurologist.
12/16/14 Bobbi was evaluated by a neurologist recently. The plan is to have an MRI and spinal tap in early January. She continues to be a quiet girl who really enjoys living indoors.
12/22/14: Bobbi and I were at UW Vet School on 12/10 for a consult. The recommendation is to move forward with an MRI and spinal tap on 1/5/15. They agree there is something neurological of concern and it's in the upper neck or brain.

Presently, Bobbi is doing okay. She gets excited for treats and meals and jumps around like a pup when it's time to eat. She has started trying to play with our dogs, but she's unsteady when she runs & jumps, so she hasn't quite gotten the hang of it. She is building some muscle strength & stamina from her quick little runs around the yard. She often prefers to be alone in a bedroom sleeping on a dog bed, but we don't let her hide like that for very long. There are times when she will join all of us and will settle on a dog bed with 2 or 3 of our dogs.
1/27/15 Bobbi's MRI and spinal tap was re-scheduled.

Early February 2015:
Bobbi and I were at the UW Vet School on Monday (2/2). The diagnosis for Bobbi is brain atrophy & hydrocephalus. The cause is unknown except that they don’t think it’s trauma-related. It could be congenital. One of the potential causes is ‘storage disorder’. It has to do with the inability of the cells to metabolize nutrients normally, so the nutrients build up in the cells & the cells die off. The imaging of Bobbi’s brain shows it is a little smaller than normal & it’s probably due to atrophy. If Bobbi has storage disorder, there is no cure, and she won’t get better.

The Vet school did a cystoscopy to get a urine sample while Bobbi was anesthetized. That has been sent for screening for metabolic disorders. They expect results in about 2 weeks. The results may help further define things or may not. The hydrocephalus might just be a by-product of the brain atrophy. As the brain shrinks, there is more space & there are more pockets for spinal fluid to fill in.

Spinal tap was normal.
Late February 2015:
I contacted the Vet school to inquire about results of Bobbi's urine metabolic screening and was told it was normal, and it’s unlikely that Bobbi has storage disorder. They said it could still be a structural abnormality in the brain on a cell level that does not show up on the MRI. They do not suggest further testing.

If you think you might be interested in meeting/adopting Bobbi please fill out an adoption application and have a home visit first. – if you have already done these things you can email L.E.A.R.N. and get on her potential family list.

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Machesney Park, IL

(847) 289-7387

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