by Carie Broecker
Fenway is an old soul, wise beyond his years. He oozes love and serenity. It’s hard not to smile when he rubs up against you with his lanky, wiggly 70-pound body. This boy melts the hearts of all who meet him.
Kate spotted Fenway at the Good Old Days Celebration in Pacific Grove, CA in April 2006. He was wearing a purple vest with the words “Adopt Me” on it. He was one of several dogs at the Animal Friends Rescue Project (AFRP) adoption tent. Kate was immediately struck by the fact that all the other dogs were standing up, playing and active while Fenway, a 4-month-old pure bred Chocolate Lab puppy, was lying quietly with his toy. She was drawn to him and his mellow energy, but at the same time, she wondered why he was so calm. Was he sick? When he stood up to greet her she noticed that something wasn’t quite right. Lisa, Fenway’s foster mom, explained that he had a hereditary muscle disorder mainly seen in Labrador Retrievers. The disorder results in a deficiency in skeletal muscle mass. He could stand and walk and play, but only for short spurts. When his muscles fatigued he had to sit or lay down to rest his muscles.
Fenway was bred to be a hunting dog. When he was 14 weeks old he was diagnosed with Muscle Myopathy. His guardian made the heart wrenching decision to have him put down. He had wanted a hunting dog. Fenway would never be able to fill that role. Fenway’s guardian thought euthanasia was the only choice he had. Instead Fenway’s veterinarian suggested finding a rescue organization to take Fenway and find him an appropriate home. Fenway was given a second chance!
Kate could not stop thinking about Fenway after meeting him. She knew she had to make him part of her family. The day she and Ben brought Fenway home he walked into the house, gave them both bunches of puppy kisses and licks and wiggles, and then plopped down on his bed as if to breathe a sigh of relief: “I’m home.”
Almost three years later Fenway is doing great. His wellness regimen includes a high quality dog food, an anti-inflammatory medication as needed, and his favorite part--- swim therapy! When Fenway first started swimming he had to wear a life jacket and could barely stay afloat on his own. Now Fenway can swim for 45 minutes to an hour straight with no life jacket! He LOVES to swim. The swim therapy has helped increase Fenway’s endurance both in the pool and on land.
Fenway ended up in the right place with the right family. Ben and Kate cannot imagine their lives without the irrepressible joy that Fenway brings to them every single day!