Australian Shepherd
5 months old
Best Summer ever

We have someone very special for you all to meet.

This is Summer. She is a mini Aussie who came from a breeder in Oregon. We were contacted about Summer when the breeder learned that the puppy was in renal failure. Not wanting to put her down yet, either, we were asked if we would commit to Summer and find her loving adopters who were willing to adopt a puppy that only had, the breeder believed, a few good years.

Not entirely knowing what we were signing up for but knowing Summer deserved a chance at her best life — whatever that looked like — we took her in and placed her with one of our very best foster homes while we figured out next steps. We knew the first of those steps was having Summer seen by our vet so we could get a more complete picture of her health status. After several tests, one of which gave us reason to be cautiously optimistic that perhaps Summer was misdiagnosed by the breeder’s vet, it was confirmed that not only are Summer’s kidneys failing, but her liver is as well. Most simply put, her little body will not be able to continue to support itself as it grows; Summer’s organs cannot sustain even her tiny puppy self, and she is the tiniest.

Here’s where it gets gut-wrenching: our concerns about Summer’s health were not only confirmed, they were compounded with sadness by our vet’s guess that she would be lucky to have months — not years, as we’d been told. With there being nothing that can done medically, all we can do is keep her comfortable, happy, and watch closely for when she starts to show us that her quality of life is slipping. As soon as the scales tip the balance in the wrong direction, we will have to let her go.

After a long, emotional conversation with our vet; a long, emotional conversation between our Board; and a long, emotional conversation with Summer’s foster home, we all came to the understanding that nothing about Summer’s life will look like a typical dog we save. It would be cruel and complicated to adopt her into even the most wonderful of families. So Summer will live out her days belonging to our big, extended family for as long as she can and is therefore unavailable for adoption, but an OTAT PDX dog nonetheless.

*Summer is unavailable for adoption. We are posting her here as a place to direct those interested in learning her story.