Chase Becomes a Therapy Dog

Back in March, we told you about a Portuguese Water Dog name Chase. He was diagnosed and treated for heartworm. It hasn’t been very long, but Chase’s incredible story continues!

Chase’s owners were not new to his breed. They lost their last Portuguese Water Dog Quinn in 2016. Like many people after losing a beloved pet, they said “No more dogs!” A year later they adopted Chase. This is a typical tail, but the rest of Chase’s story is far from typical!

I’ll let his mom Mari tell you more:

“We picked 4 year old Chase up at the kennel in June of 2017. The breeder said she had been too busy to get his records from the vet, and she would send them to us. After we had paid $1500 for him she said, ‘Oh, by the way, he had heartworm disease, but he’s fine now.’ Nope!”

Chase came in to see Dr. Scott, and she found that his heartworm disease was not gone at all. Part of the difficult and expensive treatment for heartworm is restricted activity, so as his mom says, “Instead of enjoying his new home, running and playing, he had to spend most of his waking hours in his crate…No walk longer than ‘to poop’! After months of treatment, I took him back to Oakview for a check-up and surprise, he had apparently been re-infected before he came to us and we started the process all over again!”

Chase had more issues than these! He was not housebroken, was underweight, and was very fearful of men. Poor Chase! Luckily, he was adopted by a very special family. Spoiling him quickly fixed his weight issue. The men in Mari’s neighborhood stepped up to help his fears. Armed with treats, they greeted him on every walk. After some time and patience, Chase grew to love all people! Now, several neighbors leave water dishes on their porches in case Chase stops by for a visit.

Chase’s confidence had improved, and his mom started to see his personality. Their last dog, Quinn, had been a certified therapy dog, so he could visit hospitals and nursing homes. Mari says, “I saw the potential in Chase as he began to heal. We began training and he passed the test the first time (Did I mention he is very smart?). He is now a member of Love on a Leash and we are visiting patients and residents twice a week.”

Therapy Dog - Oakview Vet Plover Stevens Point WI
Mari and Chase

Getting a dog certified to become a therapy dog is not an easy process. The dog and handler as a team have to pass a test. The test includes things like putting your dog in a sit stay and walking away for one minute. They have to demonstrate the “leave it” command by walking their dog past a bowl full of food that the dog is not allowed to taste. Also, the dog has to stay while his owner walks 20 feet away and not come until called. These are only a few examples! As you can imagine, this is a hard test for any dog! It is pretty amazing that they passed the first time!

Chase’s mom says, “Lessons learned: patience was a huge factor, along with total trust in all the staff at Oakview. We are forever grateful to the entire team. And understanding Chase’s history after cleaning the carpets three times.



Chase is worth it all!”


Written by Karen Russell and Emily Karpinski

Oakview’s Rescues

Since our theme this month is rescuing pets, we thought we’d share some of the pets Oakview employees have rescued!

Oakview Vet - Plover WI


Chelsea was homeless with a bad injury. She needed a leg amputation. After performing the surgery, Dr. Hankison adopted her.






Oakview Pet Gazette Vet Blog - Plover WI


Shamrock had serious medical issues her owners could not afford to treat. They decided to euthanize. Nikki intervened, adopted her, and treated her medical problems. She is now healthy and happy!




meeko in zen area


Meeko was abandoned on the porch of Oakview Vet in 2012. He was extremely obese and plagued with allergies. Dr Curtis worked with him for a long time to get his allergies under control. A diet has kept him slim and fit. He is a senior now with some kidney troubles. But Meeko is a happy, healthy rescued kitty.

He worked his way up very quickly (as most cats do) and is now a supervisor at Oakview.




Rescued Pets - Oakview Vet Plover Stevens Point WI


Slugger and Blooper were both adopted through rescue organizations by our kennel attendant/assistant Kim



Bandit - Oakview Vet Blog - Plover Stevens Point WI


Bandit was saved by our Lead Technician Angel. She came in with a nerve injury and was going to be euthanized. Angel opened up her heart to this wonderful dog.



Finn - Oakview Vet Stevens Point Plover WI


Finn was a “foster fail” by our technician Nikki. That means she fell in love and ended up keeping him.







Stanley - Oakview Vet Stevens Point Plover WI


Stanley was a foster of Nikki’s who found his way into our kennel attendant, Megan’s heart. As you can see, he is one happy boy with his new family.







Cerebus is but one of Lindsay’s rescued pets. He was rescued from a bad situation where he had developed some bad habits (understandably). After a short time with Lindsay, he became a happy and healthy dog. He is now 11 years old and just had his gallbladder removed!






Lindsay adopted Lynus from the Anti-Cruelty Society. He had been rescued from a hoarding situation along with 41 other cats. He was 11 years old and having difficulty finding his forever home. Now he has found it!






This is just a sampling of the many pets Oakview employees have rescued. Check back, we’ll keep adding more!



The Story of a 22 year old Cat

Poopy is a handsome older gentleman who is 22 years old! Not many cats live to this age, and surely genetics play a role, but excellent care helps a lot.

Poopy - Oakview Vet Gazette - Plover Stevens Point WI

Poopy has had his share of various problems, each of which has been tackled bravely by his mom and the vets at Oakview. His current list of problems: megacolon (leading to frequent constipation), history of urinary blockage, heart murmur, arthritis, early stages of kidney disease, and an anemia.

Poopy’s senior issues started when he was just a young sprout around 11 years old with constipation and a urinary blockage side by side. His mom treated that and he has had to be on some sort of medications or special diet since. Poopy’s poo needs to be a certain consistency so as not to get too big because of what is called mega colon. This is an anatomical defect that causes part of the intestine to be enlarged and stretched, so stool gets caught up in this area and cannot easily come out. Canned food with a certain percentage of fiber helps with this issue, but sometimes medications such as a motility drug and a stool softener are needed.

A couple of years later a heart murmur was found during a routine pre dental exam. A heart murmur is a disturbance in the blood flow. Many cats can live with a heart murmur with no issues, but diagnostics are needed to rule out how severe or problematic it is. In Poopy’s case he has had no problems arising from it.

Poopy - Oakview Vet Gazette - Plover Stevens Point WI
At 22 years old, Poopy still helps with homework!

Poopy’s mom understands that senior cats need to see a vet more often. So, every year he gets 1-2 senior wellness exams. These consist of not only the exam but some diagnostics as well. Every year until 2015 they were unremarkable. That was when he was diagnosed with early staged kidney disease. A new special diet was started at that time to keep his phosphorus low. The following year, during his annual senior screen, an anemia was found. This can go along with early stages of kidney disease but can also mean a GI bleed of some sort. This is something that the owner brings him in for routine monitoring for.

Most recently in 2017 he has been diagnosed with a bladder tumor that will periodically cause blood clots to come out in his urine. An ultrasound is needed to monitor the progression of the tumor.

Poopy - Oakview Vet Gazette - Plover Stevens Point WI
Poopy and his brother Painten

At 22 years of age you cannot tell he has such a long list of health issues. He still cuddles with his mom and brother Painten, and sometimes even gets to lay in bed with the family chickens. He has a good appetite and can still jump up on the couch and mom’s bed. As much as the staff at Oakview would like to take credit for his great life, it has a lot to do with how much his mom loves him and the great  care she takes of her fur babies!

Update since this post was written: On May 17, 2018 Poopy was euthanized. The tumor in his bladder had grown to such an extent that he could barely urinate. There are many conditions we cannot cure, but we can manage them. All of Poopy’s care kept him alive longer and extended his time with his family. We all join his mom in mourning this very special cat.

Written by Angel Blenker, CVT and Karen Russell

Angel CVT - Oakview Vet - Plover Stevens Point WI

Angel has been a certified veterinary technician since 2004. Oakview has been lucky enough to have her since 2006. Her passions include nutrition, alternative therapies, and client education.






Karen - Oakview Vet - Plover Stevens Point WI


For the past 28 years, Karen has worked with animals in a variety of settings, most recently as a receptionist at Oakview. In her six years there, she has continued to be passionate about veterinary medicine, client education, and recently, digital marketing.



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