Posted on December 2nd, 2019 in Volunteer Spotlight, Youth-Canine | No Comments »

Last summer, shelter dog Momo participated in our Pawsitive Corrections Youth-Canine program at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center where he met Amy, a new Paws & Think volunteer with a secret mission to adopt a dog. When she first saw Momo, she was immediately taken with his unique face. Many volunteers in the program commented that the chubby rolls on his snout made him look like Alf, and everyone agreed that they had never seen a dog quite like him before. Amy knew he was special, and at the end of the program she and her husband Michael went to Indianapolis Animal Care Services to make him a permanent member of their family.

The shelter estimated that Momo was an older dog who had lived on the streets for a while, which explained his patchy fur and the fact that he seemed to tire easily, slowly shuffling his big feet on walks around his new neighborhood. However, Momo soon learned from the vet that he had hypothyroidism, a condition that caused a variety of symptoms including weight gain, fur loss, lethargy, and droopy muscles on the face known as “tragic face.” It turns out Momo’s iconic snout rolls were because of his health condition, and his tiredness and sluggish gait were likely because he was not feeling well because of his overactive thyroid.

Momo started a new medication and within months his “tragic face” was gone, he lost over ten pounds, and he had a new perky attitude and happy pep in his step. Momo took new joy in playing with toys and was able to go for longer walks with his parents. He even enrolled in therapy dog training, and just a year later he and Amy became a registered therapy team with Paws &Think. Momo dressed up as Harry Pawter and visited members of our community to help promote our Dogs Are Magic: Wags & Wizards event this fall, and he plans to volunteer with the Paws to Read program in the future.

We love seeing shelter dogs come full circle through Paws & Think. Momo was able to benefit from our Youth-Canine program where he found his new healthy home, and now as a therapy dog he will be able to give back to the community through our Pet Therapy programs. Donate this Giving Tuesday to help Paws & Think continue to improve lives through the power of the human-dog connection.


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