I talked to my mom today and she said he seems to be feeling a bit better already...eating well and sleeping with all his blankets. She isn't sure what his exact eye issue is but says he doesn't seem to see well at all.
She also says even if their neighbor does come home she most likely will not be able to properly care for him for awhile. She's hoping to go see the neighbor again in the next few weeks (she wants to wait until the dog looks a bit better and bring him to see her) and gently talk about looking for another home for him. I'm not in the same area but will keep an eye out and call about foster homes and then my parents can bring him the next time they visit if necessary.
My mom keeps saying she lobbied very hard for the woman to get an older cat those years ago because it would be more independent and the neighbors would help her with the litter box, but the woman has lots of bird feeders and spends a lot of time watching the birds and she was worried a cat would kill them.
I think it's common for vets to offer boarding in the US, but you might also have some kind of 'dog hotel' or kennel near you that might offer a better experience - somewhere with space for a dog to run around. But they are probably expensive.
My first question is whether he needs to see a vet - a different one, if there is one in your town - to check him over, since he is in such a state. I don't understand how they can have said he was fine when he wasn't.
Could you ask around about rescues and shelters near you? You have to be very careful because municipal animal control and some 'shelters' will pts after three days without finding a new home. But there might be a local rescue with a volunteer who would be willing to help look after the dog on a temporary basis.
Like Scuttle says, someone would be able to house-train him and train him better on his other behavioural issues, if they were willing to spend the time.
Just to add, it might be worth seeing via Google if there is a forum or board for animal welfare volunteers in your state - if you posted this situation on there, you'd be talkign directly to people who'd have the necessary contacts.
I'd try again with your local Boston Terrier rescue, or see if there is an all breed rescue you could talk to. Unfortunately as you're in the USA I don't know if there is an equivalent to the Cinnamon Trust. If you were in the UK, there would be several rescues that would be able to help - we ourselves fostered a couple of dogs last year while their owner was in hospital - it happens v regularly.
Broadly speaking, and again apologies if different in the USA, a vet's surgery would be unlikely to offer a good boarding experience - they are usually geared up to provide excellent medical care, but not the set up required for longer term stays. It would be like asking you to stay in a hospital - v stressful. Are there professional home boarders in the USA?
When you say his eyes are very bad, do you mean that he has poor sight or that he has a condition with them? I'd get him thoroughly assessed by a different vet, and ask for a written/photographed report on his condition, and if necessary start treatment on his eyes. I'd also be having a conversation with the owner about making sure that she has the funds to cover vets bills, and any boarding costs. At the age of 4 or 5, there is no reason at all (unless medical) that he can quickly learn about housetraining, and basic training.
The Cinnamon Trust might have volunteers in your area who would help with walking/feeding the dog, while the neighbour is in hospital. They also have a team of foster carers who would be able to care for the dog in their own home.
The Oldies Club or Cinnamon Trust would able able to assist with rehoming if it came down to that.
Vets and kennels are not really suitable for older dogs, they're very stressful and a lot of dogs do stop eating and self harm from stress, that is not to say that this old boy would be the same in a home, with an experienced carer. I really don't think the RSPCA would do much, this is something many long term borders suffer with, even with the highest care and most dedicated staff The RSPCA have a rehoming scheme for elderly people with pets do not use this service, they kill more than half of the dogs they are trusted with
Maybe a local rescue could arrange a foster home until the owner can take care of him again or make a decision about rehoming. With all the stories about the RSPCA putting down dogs who have been left with them, I'd be anxious about contacting them...BTW, pretty ridiculous to get a puppy when the person is already in her 80's. She may have been hale and hearty at the time but unfortunately, things can easily happen at that age (I know they can at any age but more likely the older you get). Hope there's a happy ending to this story. Shocking that the dog received such bad care at the vets
I'm not sure. My mom did say the woman at the vet's said they were trying a different type of food and were going to give him an anti anxiety med or something. None of the other dogs looked ill.
I just don't know why they would tell my dad that he was fine when he obviously wasn't! My mom would have been there like a shot to take him home.
I tried contacting the Boston terrier rescue in my state when this all began, but only got a message from them saying that they do not have any open foster homes and to try an animal shelter.
I'd take him myself but DH is mildly allergic so the dog we already have has to spend a lot of time outside, and this dog is too small for that. Plus I'm having DC2 in the spring and I just don't think I'd have the time to train him.
My parents have an elderly neighbor who lives alone. (I believe she's in her late 80's but she may be 90.)
She got a Boston terrier as a puppy about 4 or 5 years ago. She never really trained him due to ill health. The dog is not used to anyone but her although my parents would walk him every once in awhile.
A few months ago the neighbor fell and broke her ankle and I think injured her head. She had to go to the hospital and was not strong enough to go home afterward. She's been in the nursing home since but is hoping to come home after she recuperates.
For about a month the dog lived at home alone. My parents would stop by two or three times a day to feed him and walk him and clean up his waste. My mom has tried to bring him to their house but said he just barks constantly outside and pees everywhere if taken in. Also, one of their dogs doesn't like other dogs and has to be kept separate if others are over.
After that long had gone by, my mom and dad decided to board him with their local vet because they didn't think he should be alone so much. The vet assured them he should be fine. My mom hadn't checked on him since with the holidays and everything, but my dad is friends with one of the vets and asked after him, being told he was fine each time. The neighbor told my parents not to have the vet look to rehome him yet as she is still hoping to go home.
My parents stopped to visit the neighbor yesterday and she was feeling quite well for the first time in a long time, and she asked if they would bring the dog by to see her. My parents said of course and went to get him.
They were absolutely shocked at his appearance. My mom said she's not sure how he could have lost so much weight in a month (he was pretty overweight before) and said that she's shocked that a dog that thin could be alive. Also his ears were bleeding from scratching them.
She demanded to know what had happened and they said he's been very stressed and not eating, as well as diarrhea.
She and my dad took him and on the car ride to the nursing home decided they would just bring him back home. His owner was thrilled to see him but obviously concerned, and my mom assured her they would take him back to the neighbor's house and care for him.
They brought him home and my mom said he was weak but ate well and seemed happy to sleep on his old chair.
My mother is livid that no one contacted her about his condition and feels guilty for not checking sooner. She's worried he may still die.
I think he'll be okay now that he's home, but now what? He may be alone for months yet, and it's also a very real possibility that the neighbor may never be able to come home.
Is it possible to re-home him, if it comes to that? Or would he not eat again? Also his eyes are very bad and he's not house trained at all.
Is there any way to help the poor thing?
Sorry for the length. I just have no one to ask in RL.