Annie is a Border collie mix, and by all outward appearances looks like your average, every day collie. She like to take hikes and go for long walks, loves to play fetch and enjoys just hanging around with her adopted sister, Maisie. Sounds like a typical dog, right?
You really wouldn’t notice right away, but Annie is a special needs rescue dog. Eating while standing on all four paws is something Annie has trouble with. Annie’s human mom, Elizabeth Nash says that Annie has megaesophagus. It’s a condition that causes enlargement of the esophagus. This condition prevents the development of esophageal muscles, which aid in the ingestion and digestion of food.
When her humans adopted her in April of 2013 from the Adams County Animal Shelter in Colorado, Annie was to fill the shoes of a recently passed rescue pup named Holly.
Annie was two-years-old when she was found by the rescue group abandoned by her previous owners. A very short time after being available for adoption, Nash decided to bring Annie into her home as an addition to the family. The first day she was in Nash’s care, they spent the day at the vet’s office trying to find out why Annie wasn’t eating properly. That’s when she was given her diagnosis.
Nash knew that a special needs dog would not be an easy undertaking. Regardless, Nash adopted Annie and couldn’t be happier for the decision.
Thanks to the husband of the vet Annie sees, a special high chair was designed and built. This chair allows Annie to actually get food down and keep it there. She eats her two daily meals in that chair, and hangs out in it a few minutes after eating, just to be sure everything is being digested, and Annie is getting her proper nutrients.
“She’s been with me for a year and a half now, and she is a happy, healthy three-year-old with a wonderful quality of life,” Nash said. “While it was initially overwhelming, her feeding is now part of our daily routine, and, like clockwork, she sits by her chair when it’s time to eat. Other than her feeding routine, she does all of the things that dogs love to do.”