In January of last year I picked up a new foster dog named Maguire, who is about 12 years old. He was an un-neutered boy that came in as a stray to a shelter about 2 hours from where I live. He had a tennis ball size cyst on his neck that had ruptured and it was of course infected. I have to say, I've never seen anything like it, and neither had my vet!! If you are curious and have a strong stomach, and want to see what it looked like, here's a link to the shelter's website that still has pictures of Maguire on it and shows the cyst--scroll down to the bottom of their page for the photos, and you can click on them for a "better view."
Of course because of the size its removal required extensive and reconstructive surgery of his neck. When it was all done, Maguire had staples from ear to ear and I'm not kidding, it looked like a zipper! After several months of recovery, he was as good as new!
Maguire was posted on the rescues website to try and find a new forever home for him. He's a gentle, easy going and quiet Golden, that is a very comforting companion. He's not playful, despite our best efforts to get him interested in a tennis ball, rope, etc.. Maguire really just wants to be by your side. He doesn't bark much (just when we get ready to feed him, he'll woof a time or two) but he quietly, and I mean quietly wags his tail; there's no jumping on you when you come home, or getting crazy and excited. He's just laid back and just takes life very slow and easy. I don't think he'd ever been in a house prior to coming to us, so of course we've taught him everything that he needs to know about treats, and he's learned about warm dog beds, (the down-filled dog bed is his favorite!) and from the other dogs he's learned about ripping up soft-toys and what look to give you when he wants a nibble of what we're eating.
It goes without saying that I think Maguire is wonderful and Carl and I both adore him! But I've not had many calls about him--Actually, we've had only 2-3 in the last 9 months that he's been available for adoption. Right now there is a couple in Washington DC that has applied for approval for adoption from the rescue, because they are specifically interested in Maguire. Of course I know they may not be a fit for him, but it does bring up a dilemma and all of my emotions...
Right now we are approaching a year that he's been with us. I've been on the fence for a few months about just adopting him and making him a permanent member of our family. I think he's genuinely happy and settled in here. He follows me all over the house, and he gets along very well with the other dogs. However I ask myself if I'm being selfish to want to keep him for myself--Maybe he needs a place where he can be more of a "star" and not just part of the whole cast of characters in our household--I am really torn...But this morning before I got up, he was standing by the bed quietly wagging his tail and looking at me with those sweet soulful eyes...As I gave him a hug he gave me a tiny lick on my face--Of course my heart melted and I wondered "how can I turn Maguire over to another family and walk away from him?"