Background Story

Cyrus’s owners moved temporarily to Tracy, California from Texas and stayed at their relatives’ house while they were in California. When they went back to Texas, they decided to leave Cyrus behind in the side yard of the house- where they also threw away their junk items. He was found by their relatives, Rosa & her family, when they moved back to this house that they had rented to Cyrus’s owners, Stephanie & her parents. Unfortunately, Rosa & her family were terrified of Cyrus due to his size and their past trauma of getting bitten by another big dog. When they found Cyrus in their side yard, he was sheltering under a make-shift wooden crate with his poop all over his area. 

His make-shift wooden crate had completely collapsed due to the cold high winds and rain that the central valley and the Bay Area was experiencing that week. On Wednesday Feb 22, our volunteer Bob alerted us of this situation. On Saturday Feb 25th, Bob, Journee and I (Lusiana) drove to Tracy to meet the dog (Cyrus) and confirmed the situation. We also brought him a travel crate to shelter under and covered the crate with plastic for additional coverage from the rain. The CFO of my client company had also donated a thick fleece blanket for him (among other things for BARK) to keep him warm. Watch the video from the first time we met him on Saturday February 25, 2023.

Because of Rosa’s and her family’s fear of big dogs, they could not bring him into the house and could not foster Cyrus. However, they were kind enough to feed him and give him water and keep him in their side yard even though Cyrus’s previous owner, their own relatives, had told them to let Cyrus out on the street to become a stray!

His Medical Issues

Normally, we would find him a foster first before taking him to the vet, but since we suspected that Cyrus had some health issues, we took him to the vet even before we found him a foster. Our vet partner performed the following on him: 

  • A skin biopsy on the nodules on his belly, to check for cancer
  • Skin scraping to test for any skin infection or skin parasites
  • Checked his ears
  • Vaccine boosters for the basic vaccines (DHPP, Bordetella and Rabies)
  • Tested him for Heartworm (which turns out negative). 

The biopsy tested negative for cancer (phew!), but the vet did find that Cyrus has a skin bacterial infection and a fungal infection, as well as ear infection on both ears. The vet prescribed a couple courses of antibiotics, antifungal medicine, ear ointment for his ear infections, and a special shampoo that he needs to be bathed with every other day for 4 weeks. 

Our volunteer Bob and his wife Frenily were so kind to drive to Tracy every single day, twice a day, to give Cyrus his medicines, bathe him with the special shampoo, walk him, and clean up his crate. Rosa & her family (the current tenants in that house) also helped by picking up his poop when Cyrus was out on a walk with Bob and providing whatever was needed (like the water to bathe him, food for him to eat and water for him to drink, etc). 

Although Cyrus’s skin condition has gotten better, he still has a long way to go. 

  • He needs to stay on antibiotics for his skin infection for another 6 weeks to 3 months (will be rechecked after 6 weeks). 
  • His ear infection (on BOTH ears) has been so bad that there’s so much yellow pus inside both of his ears. The ear ointment that our vet gave him for the first couple of weeks was not that effective for the infection, so our foster’s vet prescribed him an ear drop. 
  • Because his skin infection is caused by an imbalance of his immune system, we cannot neuter him until he is done with these antibiotics. 

Because of the amount of antibiotics that he has had to take, his tummy has not been feeling very well. Some of our Foster Support volunteers (Erin, Kristen, Journee & I) went to visit Cyrus on Saturday, bringing him some turkey & rice and Digestive care food to help settle his stomach. 

UPDATE 4/9/2023: Although Cyrus has been on antibiotics for the last few weeks, his infections do not seem to be responding at a rate we expected. The vet is taking an ear culture to determine the exact bacteria that caused his ear infections. In the meantime, the vet has prescribed some stronger medicines.

Our Fundraising Campaigns for Cyrus

Cyrus’s first 2 vet visits summed up to some $1700 and his most recent vet bill and prescribed medicines sum up to about $1000. As we are run 100% by donations, we are currently fundraising to raise this amount of money for his vet expenses so far.

Our Search for a Foster for Cyrus

After posting pleas on Instagram, NextDoor, and various Facebook groups, trying to find a foster for Cyrus, we finally found him a foster! His fosters are a couple by the names of Lindsay and Ivan who live in San Jose and who saw Erin’s post about Cyrus on NextDoor. They have 4 dogs of their own (all of them are rescues) and a cat and a huge backyard. After virtually interviewing them and virtually checking out their home, we invited them to meet Cyrus by themselves without their dogs first, so that they could see the level of care that Cyrus currently needs medically. They happily came and helped out with his medical care routine (i.e. giving him his meds and bathing him with the vet-prescribed shampoo). They immediately fell in love with this giant teddy bear. 

Cyrus also has been doing great with their dogs. He was not reactive to them, or toward any other dog in that park, at all. Even as we were walking him by a couple huskies that were constantly barking at him, he kept his cool and walked on by! The only concern about Cyrus was his desire to mount any dog he sees. We are hoping that this is partly due to him being intact (i.e. he’s not neutered yet) and partly due to his pent-up energy as he had been cooped up in a small area in that side yard of the house in Tracy for months. We are hoping that once he is neutered and once he has had some chances of running around in Lindsay and Ivan’s big backyard, this mounting behavior will decrease significantly. However, until then Lindsay and Ivan will be separating him from their dogs and cat. We will continue to send updates about how Cyrus is doing in his foster home while we look for a permanent home for him.