This Sunday we're celebrating a little dog and a big milestone. Dill is turning 21 (don't even ask us to calculate that in doggy years), and the folks at Hardywood are helping us throw him a pet-friendly party!
Sunday, June 22, noon to 4 p.m.
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
2408 Ownby Lane
Richmond, VA 23220
People and pets of all ages are welcome. Though Hardywood's signature craft beers are reserved for adults of the 2-legged variety, Three Dog Bakery is providing a birthday cake for the canine guests, and we'll also have a cake from Ukrop's Bakery for their human companions.
A portion of proeeds from the day's sales from Hardywood as well as the great selection of food trucks — Pizza Tonight, Estes Bar.B.'Que, King of Pops, Mosaic Restaurant and Sideways Mobile Bistro — will benefit Dill's friends who are still awaiting adoption at the Richmond SPCA. Guests will also enjoy music from DJ Judah and DJ Mike Murphy from WRIR-LP's Mellow Madness, Body Talk and No Richmond. While Dill's festivities conclude at 4 p.m., Hardywood is open until 7 p.m., and the Mills Family Band will follow.
Throughout the day, our Running Buddies volunteers will bring dogs who are available for adoption over from the Richmond SPCA, and we'll also have special visits from our Paws for Health therapy dog teams at 3 p.m.
A geriatric dachshund may not fit the stereotype of "junkyard dog," but that is exactly where Dill's story starts. He was found in September of 2013, running at large in an auto salvage yard in a southern suburb of Richmond, Va. The Good Samaritan who found him came to the Richmond SPCA's Robins-Starr Humane Center seeking help for this obviously elderly dog.
Our Director of Veterinary Services examined him and declared Dill to be the eldest dachshund she had encountered in more than two decades of veterinary practice. Dill was 20 years old, with chronic renal disease and a severe urinary tract infection. Considering his health and age, we knew that the animal control shelter in the municipality where he was found would not have the resources to treat Dill's chronic conditions, so the Richmond SPCA filed a stray report with the local authorities while beginning veterinary care. Dill's treatment began with subcutaneous fluid therapy, antibiotics and prescription food.
"When the clinic staff first met Dill we expected an older, calm, lethargic dog," said Tori Williams, coordinator of client services at the Richmond SPCA's Clinic for Compassionate Care. "He seemed perfectly content to sleep his days away snuggled up in his kennel." As he began to recover, Dill surprised everyone. "All of a sudden," Tori continued, "Dill began to pull on his leash, sniffed every piece of grass and seemed to be a puppy all over again. I used my lunch break to take him out, and I was surprised about his increased energy level every time."
By Oct. 10 Dill was finally healthy enough to be placed under anesthesia to be neutered and have a dental cleaning. However, Dill's severe urinary tract infection proved to be resistant to treatment, so Dr. Angela Ivey, the Richmond SPCA's director of veterinary services, prescribed a change in antibiotic to more aggressively treat the UTI. Subsequent urinalysis on Oct. 29 was negative, and with his infection cleared, Dill was cleared to be adopted to a loving home.
We made Dill an "Angel Pet," the Richmond SPCA's designation for pets who will require ongoing management or treatment of a veterinary condition following adoption. The Angel Pet program encourages adoption of pets with chronic conditions by providing their adopters the opportunity to purchase prescription foods and medications at a reduced cost. Following adoption, Dill would need ongoing lab work for kidney disease, supplies to deliver subcutaneous fluids at home, as well as prescription food.
Throughout his stay at the Richmond SPCA, Dill (fondly known as “the Pickle”) became a favorite with our staff, and in November he officially became a staff pet. Dill had captured the heart of animal care technician Leila Vaughn, and she was delighted to give him a home where he will surely enjoy his golden years.
“I had an instant connection with Dill and I am so happy that I can come home to him each day,” said Leila, Dill’s guardian. “He has brought so much joy to my life and the lives of others who are fortunate enough to meet him.”
Tabitha Hanes is the director of advancement of the Richmond SPCA. To read her biography or that of our other bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires both your first and last name to be used as your screen name.