A lesson one dog is teaching humans about picking the right pet

Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 9:11 PM PST
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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) -- What qualities are you looking for when searching for a new pet?

Sparks woman Chrissy Boyles once thought she knew the answer until Stitch the dog taught her a lesson about finding the right fit.

Stitch is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

“We just really really bonded,” Boyles.

“He’s very much, almost I would say, a nanny dog. A few years ago I raised a pigeon from a hatchling and the pigeon was absolutely his best friend. They would snuggle. They would chase each other around the yard,” she continued.

Stitch could have learned compassion because of his own life experiences.

Boyles first met him when he was only five weeks old.

”He had come from the Central Valley in California. He was actually found by a homeless man in a dumpster in a plastic bag. I think it was a plastic trash bag,” Boyles.

Stitch was probably one or two weeks old when he was found in this condition.

”I assume he was thrown away because of his cleft palate,” Boyles.

“A woman through rescue in Central California got him. Somehow, Terri found out about him and brought him up here,” she continued.

Terri Braunworth is the President and CEO of the non-profit called Palomino Valley Pet Rescue. She rehabilitates dogs like Stitch and finds them forever homes.

”I ended up being his foster mom,” Boyles.

Stitch is now 7-years-old and will turn 8 in March.

“With a cleft palate the roof of the mouth doesn’t come together completely and it causes food to go up into the sinus cavity and into the lungs, which can cause aspiration pneumonia. He had pneumonia two or three times and we would kind of just keep on top of that and watch him for symptoms and then once we closed his pallet he hasn’t had a problem with pneumonia since. Just the occasional sinus infection from the deformity of his nose,” Boyles.

Stitch got the cleft palate surgery when he was 7-months-old.

His other treatments include laser therapy to decrease pain along with inflammation and to promote healing and he is neutered.

”The hypoxia, which was the lack of oxygen from being in the plastic bag so he does have some learning disabilities. He acts a little bit differently and learns a little bit differently than other dogs,” Boyles.

“He will have moments when he’ll run and play and he spaces out and he will stand in one spot for two minutes, five minutes, eight minutes and his brain is completely blank. If we touch him or some external source touches him he’ll snap out of it. I think he has glitches once in a while in his brain,” Boyles.

His tail is deformed, but Boyles says he’s mostly happy.

“Does Stitch know he has a deformity?” asked KOLO 8 Evening Anchor Noah Bond.

“He does not. Not at all. It’s never stopped him. It’s never slowed him down,” Boyles responded.

“I think it’s really important to be open minded when you go to adopt a dog. Sometimes the dog that you think you’re going to get is not the dog that picks you,” Boyles.

She says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Stitch has a Facebook following. You can follow him by clicking here.

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