Bodhi, a five-year-old Saint Bernard/Cocker Spaniel mix, came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center under unfortunate circumstances – his owner was facing financial hardships that made it impossible to properly care for him. Two things about Bodhi immediately stood out – his fear and health issues.

A picture says a thousand words, and Bodhi’s intake photo spoke volumes. His face was sunken, eyes filled with sadness and discomfort, and he wore an expression that would shake anyone who cares about animals to the core.

For several days, Bodhi needed to be hoisted to walk, which he then did reluctantly. He was not interested in treats, food, and had trouble going to the bathroom.

Every animal that come through ARL’s doors receives a thorough veterinary exam as well as a behavioral evaluation. Bodhi’s initial veterinary exam revealed a number of underlying issues, which were certainly contributing to his lack of enthusiasm.

Bodhi was suffering from ear infections, and a skin condition had caused loss of fur and scabbing all over his body. He was also overweight, and subsequent bloodwork revealed his weight gain was the result of hypothyroidism – an underactive thyroid.

When the metabolic rate slows down due to hypothyroidism, it can literally affect every organ in the body. Symptoms include:

  • Weight gain (without increase in appetite)
  • Lethargy
  • Dry and dull fur with excessive shedding
  • Increased susceptibility to skin and ear infections
  • High cholesterol
  • Slow heart rate

Along with medication to reduce Bodhi’s anxiety, he was also started on thyroid medication, antibiotics for his ear infections and skin issues – he was also given medicated baths twice a week. Shelter staff also discovered an important tool to get Bodhi moving – tennis balls!

As his ear infections and skin condition improved, Bodhi broke out of his shell and began showing off his true personality.

He was accepting to new people, enjoyed being outdoors and especially loved getting his exercise by endlessly chasing tennis balls in Brewster’s large paddock area.

Going Home

Many animals who come into a shelter environment have behavioral hurdles to overcome, but for Bodhi, it was all about properly diagnosing his medical issues. Once these were identified and brought under control, Bodhi’s energy, comfort and happiness increased exponentially – and he was ready to find his forever home.

Not surprisingly, it didn’t take long. A local resident who has adopted from ARL in the past spent some time outdoors with Bodhi, and knew he was the one.

Bodhi now has ample space to run outdoors and is in a home filled with love and support and was able to spend the holidays with his new family!

Help Even More Animals in 2019!

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes – and our work is not possible without YOUR support! ARL does not receive any government grants or public funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals to support our shelter, rescue, law enforcement and community programs.

As we look ahead to 2019, ARL will continue to be at the forefront of confronting the root causes of cruelty and abuse, and to help even more animals in need, like Bhodi, throughout Massachusetts.

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