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When Chance (formerly called Bud) arrived at the LehighCounty Humane Society in early July, he was little more than an empty shell of a once beautiful Golden Retriever. Dirty, thin and nearly bald, nobody could believe that this poor soul was only about 5 or 6 years old. He looked twice his age and suffered from extreme hair loss, and lameness spells that would send him toppling to the ground. At night, while the other animals slept, he lay awake in his kennel and cried.

He was taken to the Allentown Animal Clinic where diagnostic tests were run to determine the cause of the hair loss and weak spells.Laboratory results indicated that Chance suffered from primary hypothyroidism,and a severe bacterial infection of the skin. He also had several masses on his body that were concerning. He was placed on several types of medication to treat the infection and hypothyroid, and a surgery to remove the masses was scheduled.

Once back at the Humane Society, Chance was permitted to stay in the lobby and reception area with the staff during the day. The visitation room was outfitted with his bed and toys, and at night, he had his own personal suite. He couldn’t get enough attention, and craved human interaction constantly.
When Kathy Hermany saw Chance’s picture on the adoption page of the Humane Society, she was instantly drawn to him. After recently losing her last Golden Retriever to cancer, she wasn’t sure if she was ready for another canine companion in her life. But, there was just something about Chance that she could not explain, so she came to meet him.

“When I went to see him, there was something in his eyes, a sadness that told me – I have to have this dog.”

In spite of his medical conditions, she submitted an application immediately. Due to his ongoing treatments and scheduled surgery,Chance was placed on a medical hold, but it did not deter Kathy in the slightest.

“Sometimes I would go to visit him two or three times per week, just to spend time with him.”

On August 1, Chance was finally cleared to undergo surgery to remove and biopsy both of the masses. The procedure went well, and his recovery was unremarkable. His body was responding beautifully to the medications, and little tufts of hair were starting to grow back. He was starting to look like a Golden once more.

By mid-August, Chance was medically cleared to go home to his new family, where he instantly settled in.

“My cat lays with him, and he gets along so well with my daughter’s German shepherd, when we go to visit. They just run around and play for hours.”

Chance also impressed Kathy with his knowledge of commands,and that he was already housebroken.
“He’s so well trained. He’s so well behaved. It’s almost pathetic.It’s as if I’m waiting for him to be just a little bit bad, but he never is. He just listens all the time.”

The Lehigh County Humane Society enjoyed caring for and rehabilitating Chance and couldn’t agree with Kathy more.

“He’s just a wonderful dog.”

by Bethany Mihalik, CVPM

Photos: TOP photo is pre treatment. BOTTOM photo’s are post treatment
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