Thalia – The Complete Story!
Riviera Rescue, based in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, was her front-line rescuer. Here is the story from Matteo:
“This is Thalia, I found her almost 4 years ago, she was living a hell, she had a family but they chained her to a palm tree with out any shelter to cover from sun or rain, they barely feed her with old tortillas, she was dying from starvation.
One day a friend told me about her and went to the place and basically stole her. She was with me almost 2 years, she had ehrlichia, anaplasma, heartworm and skin problems. Plus the owners cut her ears ‘just for fun’. She got recovery and got adopted in the states, flew to California but after only 2 days the family asked me to take her back because she was chasing the family rabbit 🤦♂️.
So I asked my sister to take care of her for a while until I found her a new home. My sister lives in San Antonio, so Thalia flew to San Antonio, and she was doing great, she spend almost 8 months with my sister, but one day while she was alone in the house, somehow she escapes and got hit by a car and broke her leg, unfortunately it was a very bad accident and Thalia lose her front leg.”
She had her original surgery in San Antonio, but the surgery was botched, she was returned to Mexico, and amputation was the only solution.
We estimate her to be between 4 and 5 years old and she is just under 40 pounds.
Before her trip to Toronto and into DIBS Rescue team’s care, Thalia had a little photo shoot with the famous Sophie Gamand. (She typically photographs pit bulls, but with Thalia’s face, she couldn’t miss that opportunity!)
Arrival in Canada
Thalia arrived 18-January-2018 with her flight parent Daina. Her foster mom Sharon was very excited at the opportunity to foster a tripod. Having a huge interest in physiotherapy, she was looking forward to helping Thalia get the support she needed.
Sharon had previously adopted DIBS dog Shelby, and integration with the two went well. Both girls made an initial power play for attention, but quickly realized all was good!
Life in Foster
Thalia is the perfect houseguest. She is house-broken, not destructive, polite, and gets along with everyone! She loves a calm home base, and she has that with foster mom Sharon and gang! Sharon is quite active and loves to hike, and when Thalia is keen, she comes along for the adventure.
Thalia is good with either having a confident dog at home or going solo as the only family dog. Her experience with cats is not consistent. In Mexico she was fine with Matteo’s cat. Here, when visiting a friend, she was a bit too interested!
Thalia in Public
Sometimes Thalia is good in public, sometimes less so! When visiting other people’s homes, she is calm and polite, all the while looking to see if Sharon is nearby. Over the past year she has had a few weekend stays at babysitters’ homes, and they have provided details of her visit. With Jessica and her dog Hershey (who was a previous foster dog of Sharon’s that Thalia knew), she took it in stride. She settled in within minutes and it was like she had always been there. With Matt and Pina and their young children, she was incredibly kind and loving. She did have a bit of separation anxiety when they went out, but they feel that this was due to everything being really new to her.
Going into different homes for “test outs” confirmed to us that Thalia is happiest in a chill, calm environment.
On occasion, Sharon takes her to in-store DIBS events at Pet Valu or Ren’s Pet Depot, and it’s been hit or miss, depending on what is going on in the store at the time. Sometimes Thalia is very “whatever” and on a few occasions she has been a bit barky, as if to say, “Mom, let’s go home!”
The Adoption That Didn’t Work
DIBS did get a great application for Thalia in December 2018. We went through the screening process and we were sure a match had been made! With Sharon going away for a week, we decided to do a bit of a “trial adoption” and have the family take her for a week to see if it truly was a fit. It was love at first sight – for both the humans and Thalia! However, with the incredible bond she was developing with the humans, Thalia became less interested in having existing dog Batman sharing her space. She became barky with him and reactive when he’d get too close to “her” human. For the peace of mind of the family and Batman, we all decided it wasn’t a good match. Her potential family was truly heartbroken as they had fallen madly in love with her (as most people do, once they get to know her!).
Following numerous discussions with our trainer and the family who tried, we learned a lot. We really feel that if Thalia had been provided with boundaries from the beginning, things would have been different. A common “error” with adopting a rescue is that humans feel an overwhelming protectiveness and love towards the dog, and it’s easy to cross the line from love to over-indulgence. We did learn that Thalia was not given any boundaries in her new temporary home, and she likely didn’t understand the pecking order within. Before starting out in her next home, we will have extensive discussions on boundaries during the introductory period (no couches, no beds, no unearned affection, etc) until Thalia is able to take in the existing environment and the pecking order of both the humans and the existing pets.
Medical Story Since Arriving In Canada
In mid-summer 2018, Thalia was having issues with regurgitation and she seemed to be breathing slowly and struggling a bit. The easy and seemingly logical answer was megaesophagus. We took her to our amazing vets at Sixteen Mile in Oakville and we began treating her symptoms. We got a Bailey’s Chair on loan from another rescue. We got her a front-wheeled cart (aka wheelchair) to help take some of the pressure off of her chest, in an attempt to make walking a bit easier. Thalia hated both the cart and the chair! She is one determined girl and that was not the kind of help she was interested in getting! We also changed her food to a softer consistency (thanks to donations from Pet Valu) and Sharon fed her smaller portions at a time.
We even did a gofundme at this time (a first for our rescue) to help with her required equipment and care: https://ca.gofundme.com/help-thalia-get-healthy
In the meantime, working with her vet, we decided to look at a bigger picture than megaesophagus. Her x-rays and tests indicated that her trachea was fine and the vets felt that megaesophagus was likely a symptom of something else. With additional testing, they were able to diagnose Myasthenia Gravis, which was not super news, but at least we knew what we were dealing with and we were able to start her treatment right away! Her treatment was to last around six months, and at this time, we are now at the lowest dose of her medicine, having reduced it each month. All of her symptoms have gone away and she is back to enjoying romps in the dog park and hikes with her foster family and friends. Once we get through this cycle, we will figure out if there are any next steps needed. (The vets feel she will be in complete remission!)
Her Training (aka “Camp”)
Thalia went for 2 weeks of board & train program, while her foster mom went on vacation. She did so well, and definitely got “most improved” award. Jenna, her trainer found her to be very smart. She did incredibly well with the other dogs and she seems to like to be a bit of a mentor with them. As she is so intelligent, having a bit of a job kept her focused. She did show how she can be different with different people (she knows her foster mom loves her unconditionally, and she just bats those beautiful eyes at her, and gets what she wants!). Jenna kept her focused and it resulted in a really calm mind-set for Thalia, which is great for her overall well being. Awesome news too – Jenna redid cat testing for Thalia and she was perfect – zero issues at all!
We are still looking for Thalia’s forever family. If we were to create a storyboard for her, it would include nice leisurely walks, a confident dog sibling or none at all, a nice yard for sunbathing, a loving family, likely someone home most of the time, and someone who is not afraid to set boundaries and believes in tough love. Someone who would never give up on her, won’t let her on the couch without an invite, someone who will put Thalia’s needs first!
If you are that person, or think that person is out there, please share this!
Our application form is at www.dibsrescue.com
Thank you for reading our Thalia-pedia page!
Thalia had a photoshoot with Digitechphotos and we are thrilled that Vanessa was able to capture Thalia as her fans know her. She is a beautiful girl on the inside and we are pleased that you can see how beautiful she is on the outside as well. We have a project going on right now to raise funds to help Thalia ( https://www.gofundme.com/help-thalia-get-healthy). We hope to get her a cart to support her missing limb and a baileys chair to help with her digestion. Enjoy her photos and share her story. Thank you Olivia for the video compilation of photos!
Posted by DIBS Rescue on Monday, August 6, 2018
Did we mention that Thalia (available), having only 3 legs, doesn’t let that slow her down! Zoom zoom, Thalia! #meximutt #mustlovedogs #thaliathetripod #tripoddogs #adoptabledog #adoptabletripoddog #milton #ontario #mississauga #toronto
Posted by DIBS Rescue on Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Posted by DIBS Rescue on Wednesday, May 23, 2018