When Archie came to Berkeley Humane, everyone was smitten with this senior Pitt mix. The 10-year-old dog has the wisest eyes that close with joy when he’s getting his ears scratched. He loves going on walks with volunteers, though he takes his time these days. When senior pets are transported to us, they don’t usually come with a backstory, so it takes some work to build their trust and allow us to look for clues about their previous life.
For every dog and cat that finds their way to Berkeley Humane, that process of getting to know them starts in our hospital. Every pet receives a thorough medical examination. Thanks to VCA Hospitals, this year we received a donation of a several new pieces of medical equipment, including a new digital dental Xray and a large exam table. In many ways, this is the moment where Archie’s new journey began, calmly sitting on the exam table, allowing our medical team to perform a complete examination, with blood draws, vaccinations, and other health checks – all looking for clues and assessing what care he might need in the days and weeks to come.
Unfortunately, the exam revealed several health problems. A blood test revealed anemia and Hypothyroidism. The anemia was so severe that we performed an abdominal ultrasound, revealing something more concerning: a mass on his spleen. Archie would need surgery right away. Again, thanks to the exam table and other equipment donated by VCA, Berkeley Humane’s medical team had everything they needed to successfully remove Archie’s spleen. Next, Archie would need to time to recover and he was placed with a kind and welcoming foster family. Archie recuperated under close supervision of our medical volunteers and staff. Once he was strong enough, he also received a dental cleaning and medicine to help his allergic dermatitis.
He was starting to look and act like a happy and healthy dog! After three and a half months of assessment, surgery, and recovery, Archie is now ready to find a new loving family of his own. The volunteers and staff repeat this process over and over again, every week, with hundreds of animals that come through our door. Archie is just one example of the lives that have been saved because of the generosity of partners like VCA who make sure we have the resources to give all of the medical care, and love, to pets who just need a fresh start for a happier tomorrow.