Bohdi, on Death’s Door, in Need of Caring Help.
From The Heart of the Matter, by Brenda L Johnson.
‘Mom you have to Fix him!’ my 3 children said when we learned of a 6 year old Border Collie abandoned and left dying in a country ditch in the summer of 2014. He had been emaciated and covered in burrs and ticks. He had been placed with Hulls Haven Border Collie rescue. Nobody wanted him. His diagnosis was: congestive heart failure due to Dilated Cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart), a level 6 heart murmur, and Stage 4/strong Lyme disease. The right side of his heart wasn’t even functioning. He needed a ‘Forever Foster Home’, to live out his last days. It appeared Bohdi was on deaths door.
Bohdi had been found by an incredible man, who did everything to find his previous owner, but to no avail. Between him and his parents, they were going to try and keep him, and brought him in to be neutered. It was when they brought Bohdi into the vet, that his grim diagnosis was made. No Hope, he was very sick. ‘Let him live his last days comfortably’ was what the 3 vets, who deemed him the worst case they’d ever seen, were saying.
Now began the questions from friends and family. “Why would you take in a dog who’s just going to die?” is what I was asked repeatedly. ‘Why would you traumatize your children with a dying dog?’ I repeatedly heard. Well, my family is a ‘Team’. We do everything together, and we all sat down as a family to discuss taking Bohdi in. My children have seen many incredible transformations over the years, and they wanted me to ‘fix him’. Even though we knew he had very little time, the least we could do is give him the best last days of his life. I didn’t know if I could save him, as it seemed so ‘hopeless’. But I HAD to try?!
When we met Bohdi, we were immediately drawn in by his soulful brown eyes. It was as if he could see right through you! He was dying though. He was weak, lethargic and could only pant continuously. Every minute, we knew could be his last. He could barely walk, and just plodded along. He had no ‘life’ in him. No happiness, no tail wagging. Oh how I wished he would wag his tail.
I knew that the medications he arrived with, I was going to stop. He was in palliative state and I wanted to try and draw him out of that.
I immediately started an all-natural support program for his immune system. Colloidal silver (natural antibiotic), an immune boosting ‘live’ food supplement called NZYMES®, high antibody colostrum and a cardiomyopathy regimen of natural supplement products specifically for dogs. Due to the fluids in his chest cavity, a natural diuretic was also used. A raw diet was also very important in improving his health and consisted of raw chicken, beef, salmon and turkey.
He immediately took to my Mexican Bambi, and they formed an amazing bond. We called her his ‘cow’. Being a herding dog, Bohdi ‘worked’ her day and night, and she was completely oblivious to the fact that he was on her all the time. She started teaching him to play with toys; something that we could tell he’d never done before.
Day by day, Bohdi got stronger and began to thrive. His panting stopped, and there were no indications of being in pain or duress. We were watching him come to life! He ran, he played… he was ALIVE! His heart was getting a heartbeat, not an individual thump as it had been. Due to the right side of his heart not functioning, a heart beat had not been there. Had we truly saved him? He hadn’t been expected to live more than days, now it was months later.
I wanted to have Bohdi retested at 3 months to see what effect my natural regimen had done for his heart and Lyme Disease. It was uncommon to retest so soon, however Bohdi was a special case. Dogs will still tend to show positive or false positives for Lyme disease many months to years down the road, it seemed silly to test again so soon. But, nobody had done it ‘this way’ before, and my anticipation was getting the better of me. I HAD to know!
I booked his checkup appointment. We were ecstatic to find out that his Lyme disease was gone! His blood results were ALL negative now. There was zero indication of Lyme. His heart, although still large, was able to function better now as all the fluids surrounding his organs had dissipated. The Vet deemed Bohdi to have ‘gotten better’, whereas dogs with his condition are usually just ‘managed’ until death. It was the best news we could have received. Dogs with his heart condition have 6 months to 2 years in a best-case scenario, according to the vets. We got Bohdi in a palliative care state, and he was getting BETTER?! Scientifically, this is supposed to be an impossibility. Nobody could believe that this was the same dog we’d gotten just months ago.
A second scientific impossibility, was being able to have Bohdi neutered. Not possible in an animal with his heart condition. But, at his 1 year checkup, the vet said he was hardily able to detect his heart murmur, and that he believed Bohdi to be strong enough to handle the surgery. In November of 2015, Bohdi flew through his surgery to be neutered!!
Today, over 4+ years later, Bohdi continues to flourish in becoming the dog he deserved to be. He has so much energy, and plays like crazy. The ‘joyfulness’ and happiness in him is very rewarding to see. He runs for 2-3 miles a day, and is the smartest and most obedient dog we’ve ever met. He loves going for truck rides, and must be with me everywhere I go. In 2015, I introduced him to the Winnipeg Speedway, and was amazed at his ‘love’ for all the race cars and trucks. Never has a dog done what he has done. It’s as if he is ‘herding’ all the racers. He’s become a staple there, and welcomed into Jamie Vernaus and Dynasty Bathrooms ‘Pet Crew’. Last year he adorned the hood of Jamie’s Super Truck, this year he is also. Alongside his fur brothers and sisters *Beanut (my rescued Dachshund), Bella (my Pomeranian Mix), and Chihuahua friend, Pancho. He also has a solo debut on the tail gate of the truck.
In October of 2017, I took Bohdi to a different vet. One who had no idea of his previous history, nor that he had been on deaths door. I had requested his file to be sent over from his old vet. During his heart exam, I asked her if it sounded like a mess in there. she said “No?”
I then told her about conditions he had suffered from just over 3 years ago. She couldn’t believe it! I then told her about having had Bohdi’s files sent over, and she pulled them up. This was the first time I myself had seen them. As she scrolled through the pages of his diagnoses and test results, I couldn’t believe how BAD it had really been!! His heart murmur had been a SIX! And now? She said if she had to put a number on it, it would be a ONE! However it was more in between a zero and one if anything. Everything that was in that file, indicating his imminent death just three years ago, was now all completely GONE! She said that dogs with this condition do not go forward, they only go backwards. She was quite amazed. As was I!!! We really DID fix a broken heart!
October 6, 2020- Bohdi is still with us and doing fantastic. We acquired a new Minuet breed kitten this year, and he’s in love! 💜 He never lets that cat out of his sight, and will sit for hours watching him sleep. They’ve become best buds. He continues to amaze us every day, which each day is a gift with him. Back in 2014 my husband and I often spoke of ‘can you imagine if he’s still alive 3 months, 6 months, or even a year from now?’ And here we are, 6 YEARS later! A true miracle.
We were proud to take in a ‘dying’ dog, with much love and effort, we are now prouder to have a dog who is ‘living’ and very much alive. We hope to have many years with him as a part of our family. The dog that nobody wanted. The dog with the broken big heart, who truly showed us, ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. ❤
If you have interest in learning more about Bohdi and his FULL STORY, you can now review my full online Video Interview on Bohdi, using the following LINK – CLICK HERE
Holistic Health Consultant
Winnipeg, Manitoba CANADA
MORE: The Bohdi-in-Action Link above allows you to see how healthy Bohdi is these days – with his daily routine of running. You might also enjoy seeing Bohdi in this short video – reacting to the possibility of another of his favorite things: going to the lake.
*BEANUT is another ‘rescue’ of sorts – that I took in because the owners could not continue to support his needs tied to his Paralysis situation. We took him in, and with the same program used with my Bella, he is walking and getting around just fine. The Video below shows the ‘homecoming’ of little Beanut – with an Interview on CTV News in Canada.