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The Trouble with Boss

This is “Boss”, an 8-year-old Labrador retriever. He came to ARK with a female Lab mix named “Kuro-chan”. Kuro-chan found her new home and now Boss is all alone.

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Boss loves people and is as bright and innocent as other Labs. But he tends to overreact to the noises around him, like the barking of other dogs. This makes him restless, and he’s always barking and running around his kennel.
Boss has lost a lot of weight since he came to ARK. He visited a vet and had several tests, but no abnormalities were found. One possible cause of his weight loss was mentioned, however: stress. So, we decided to move Boss to a kennel where not many people go by and things are not so busy. Unfortunately, this didn’t seem to help much, and he is still restless. I’m not even sure there is a place here where the dogs can really feel settled... There are kennels everywhere and just no truly quiet place to go.
But that’s another issue altogether. What’s the trouble with Boss this time?

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Here’s Boss at the clinic. He’s been here for two days to get treatment for continual vomiting.
And what was found in his vomit? Cherry tomato, boiled egg, apple and baby sardines! Huh?!
We don’t feed our ARK dogs the food humans eat, and Boss has been eating a special prescription food to help maintain his weight. None of the staff had any idea how he could be vomiting that kind of stuff.

Because Boss was dehydrated, we had to put him on an IV. While we were preparing it, I said to Boss, who was wandering around the room, “Why don’t you lie down here on this towel?” He curled up on the towel obediently.

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Boss has been living in an outside kennel, so I felt sorry for him, seeing him all balled up quietly inside amidst the hubbub of our bustling around preparing things and cleaning.
Boss loves people, and he feels quite content if he has someone beside him. It was really lonely and tough for him to live in the outside kennel. He is relaxed now with just a towel because someone is standing nearby.

But anyway, why did he throw up cherry tomatoes, boiled egg and all that other stuff?

Boss only eats prescription food. There’s nobody but our staff taking care of him, walking him, feeding him, and cleaning his kennel. The only thing we could think of was that some visitor or other non-staff member had come to his kennel and given him the food. In any case, it’s quite a shame.
Probably the people who gave him the food didn’t mean any harm.
Maybe someone felt sorry for him because he was skinny, and thought he should have a snack.

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Anyone can come and have a look around ARK. Basically, nowhere is off limits, except for private living space or areas that need to be sterile for hygiene reasons. Before we take visitors on a tour of the grounds, we ask them not to give our dogs any snacks. But we can’t keep an eye on them all the time.

Some dogs’ stomachs get upset easily. Some dogs will take food from an outstretched hand, but then try to eat the hand too. Some try storing their food for later, and some get into fights over snacks thrown in from outside. Some dogs have to be separated because of fights like that, despite having been able to live together in the same kennel up until then. Sometimes people and dogs get seriously injured. Some get diarrhea and become sick. Like Boss, some vomit and have to be put on an IV. To avoid these problems, we ask visitors not to give any food to our dogs without asking us. If you want to give them something, please check with the staff first.
There are some dogs who may approach you with their tail wagging happily, but if you stick out your hand suddenly, they’ll bite. But despite all our cautionary signs and reminders, there are still people who give the dogs food.

We allow visitors to go anywhere on the ARK grounds because we trust them and believe that they will respect our rules.

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We have also been looking for a new family for Boss.
If you’re thinking about fostering him, even if only for a short time, please contact ARK.
We really hope Boss can find his own happy home where he can truly relax, sleep well and not lose weight anymore. Please contact ARK for him ASAP!


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