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Mishka came to me after a long hard road. By the time he arrived, thankfully, he had been in the loving arms of a few foster homes and removed from the disadvantaged parameter of a shelter. His weight at the shelter was 46 pounds and was dubbed “Screech”. He had a lot to over-come aside from this unfortunate moniker and his low weight. He did come with some labels that I discounted and I let him adapt to my pack in his own way, own manner. He did so without a qualm and flourished. The first time he came at me with bared teeth, full set of chompers, was alarming! He was smiling! I had never seen such a beautiful smile, for to come forth with such joy, he had to be unequivocally happy. Then, when I got a puppy, he absolutely came alive! They played endlessly and with abandon. He blossomed into the beautiful soul he was, inside and out. His loving spirit, tolerance and acceptance for the puppy (the interloper!), and rising above his terribly daunting beginnings, shows not only the perseverance of this magnificent boy, but also the breed. Mishka, as the tears flow as I write, I will always remember you as my little guy that got away. So long and run free.

As a note, when he was off behind, I did check for lumps. Knowing the propensity for osteosarcoma, I checked and didn’t find any. My vet and I hoped he had only pulled a muscle playing. It was indeed osteosarcoma.

P.S I do need to personally thank Lorna for loving him and relinquishing him as a foster, instead of failing foster 101, which many of us have, and keeping him for herself. Lana Hernandez

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