Age: 5 years
Sex: Spayed female
Weight: 24 pounds
Kids: Yes, 13+ and dog savvy
Fenced Yard: Required
Velma has epilepsy and has focal seizures that manifest as head waving back and forth. She is on Keppra and must have blood levels routinely monitored. She has OCD and must remain on daily fluoxetine and CBD Oil.
Velma has several allergies and must remain on her current Farmina diet, Nature's Farmacy supplements, Omega-3 and have medicated baths. She is allergic to cats so she must never be around them.
Velma had a palate and nares resection with removal of tonsils on 1/9/2018. Potty training is a work in progress.
Black-masked beauty Velma has arrived on the available page! Velma is a five-year-old girl from a backyard breeding situation who was rescued, spayed and adopted out by the local ASPCA. However, she was returned to the shelter a few months later when her adoptive family felt they could not manage her various health issues.
Poor Velma has been dealt quite a hand. She has anxiety, allergies and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and also experiences focal seizures. Yikes! Since she has been in foster care, her foster mom has worked diligently to understand her health issues and find the best regimen of medication, training and environmental adjustments that will keep Velma happy and healthy.
Perhaps the most concerning and perplexing health challenge Velma faces is OCD. While she is her normal, happy, adorable self most of the time, she can be triggered by shiny/reflective surfaces, causing her to become agitated. She will try to attack and destroy these triggering objects, and will lunge, growl, bark and scratch the washing machine, refrigerator, other shiny appliances, mirrors and even cars. In her foster home, Velma’s mom has created a “safe space” for her by removing or covering offending objects with cardboard so Velma won’t react to them. When she is in this part of the house, she does very well, but when she ventures out to other areas of the house, she can be unpredictable and must be watched closely. Daily training that focuses on trigger tolerance/avoidance is also an important part of her regimen, and her adopters should be committed to continuing to work with her on this issue. Simply medicating her will not be sufficient to control her OCD and anxiety.
As we mentioned, Velma has also been diagnosed with focal seizures, which manifest in head-waving behaviors. Her vet recently started her on Keppra, and so far it appears to be working well to minimize her seizure activity.
In addition to a daily medication regimen consisting of medication for seizures (Keppra), anxiety (fluoxetine, CBD oil and Solliquin) and skin/coat (supplements), Velma is also on Farmina food and regular medicated baths. Her adoptive home must commit to keeping her on this regimen, potentially for the rest of her life. Velma’s care is currently monitored by a veterinary neurologist, and she requires periodic blood tests to ensure that she is on the correct dose of anti-seizure medication. Her adoptive family will need to establish care with a neurologist as well.
Velma’s foster mom has also consulted with canine behaviorists, and we would like her adoptive family do this as well. We will consider waiving this requirement if her adopter has past experience managing OCD in dogs; let us know about any relevant experience in your application.
Velma has learned to “sit” on command, but other commands – like “stay,” “no” and “down” are still a work in progress. Similarly, her house training is another area where she still needs improvement. Foster mom estimates that Velma is a “B-” on house manners and will require ongoing instruction and reinforcement to hone her potty skills. Velma is comfortable in her crate and will sleep there. Although she is not wild about going in at first – she vocalizes her displeasure as any good Frenchie does – she eventually settles down and does well.
Now for the good news – and there is good news! Velma currently lives with several other dogs and does splendidly with all of them. Foster mom reports that she does well with all dogs, no matter their size, and is neither submissive nor dominant. She also loves people, including the kids in her current home. However, because of her potential to react to certain triggers, we would like any kids in her adoptive home to be 13 or older, and dog-savvy. Velma is severely allergic to cats, so we must say no to any cat-ified homes.
Did we mention she loves to play? Boy HOWDY does she love to play! She loves running around the yard (often chased by or chasing her foster mom, which we’re sure is a sight to behold), playing with other dogs, and engaging in her version of Frenchie Fetch ™ which consists of retrieving the toys her humans toss for her, running back to her humans, and continuing to run right past them with the toy in her mouth, with no intention of stopping. Velma is on the higher-energy side of the French Bulldog continuum and would certainly appreciate walks, play sessions and other activities to channel and burn off her energy. She did have palate and nares surgery earlier this year and her breathing has improved significantly, but she still runs the risk (as do all short-snouted dogs) of overheating with too much exertion, and her adopter needs to be mindful and ensure that she doesn’t get too hot or winded.
Because of her anxiety and attachment to people and other dogs, we think the ideal home for Velma would be one with more than one human (including older kids) and other sociable dogs. She would not be happy being left alone for long periods, so someone who works from home or works outside the home part-time would be great. Previous Frenchie experience is not a must, but experience with canine behavioral issues is required. Obviously, an adopter with experience managing a dog with OCD would be best. Keeping Velma happy and healthy will be a considerable undertaking, and her humans must be committed to taking the necessary steps to keep her on track.
On an unusual note, Velma’s foster mom says that while Velma is quite adept at hopping up and down on her hind legs, she shows no interest in jumping up on furniture. And while she is able to navigate the two or three steps up to the front porch of her foster home, more stairs than that seem to confuse her. Obviously, she would do great in a single-level home. If her adoptive home does have significant stairs, her adopters must be prepared to teach Velma to navigate stairs and understand that they might be carrying her up and down the stairs for a while until she becomes more comfortable.
Velma’s foster mom has worked tirelessly with Velma on her issues, and has this to say about this girl: “Velma is an adorable & energetic love bug who happily believes the universe revolves around her human. She is spirited and playful with other dogs and enjoys the outside. Because of her OCD, she requires a calm, patient, and dedicated owner who can continue her training and help her adapt to her new environment. You will be rewarded with endless kisses, cuddles, and big appreciative puppy dog eyes.”
We know it will take someone very special to be Velma’s forever human(s). She needs someone undaunted by the challenges of a dog with OCD and anxiety, who will be understanding, patient and dedicated to providing the kind of home and environment that will help Velma succeed and live a long and happy life. This certainly doesn't describe every adopter, but we truly believe that – as one volunteer’s grandmother used to say -- “There's a lid for every pot.”
Are you the lid to Velma’s pot? If you think you can offer this sweet girl the kind of environment and home that will allow her to thrive, please consider submitting an application. Adopting parents must have access to a neurologist and a trainer and/or behaviorist familiar with OCD-type behavior. The trainer/behaviorist requirement could be waived if the applicant has experience managing similar behavior in the past. Applicants need to thoroughly explain in their application how they plan to manage Velma’s behavioral issues.
FBRN dogs are in foster care in people's private homes. For the foster families' safety, we do not disclose specific locations, and we don't set up meet and greets prior to applications. For detailed information about the dogs in our care, please read the extensive bios on each dog.
FBRN does not ship dogs as cargo, so adopters are expected to pick up their dogs from their foster family.
What a beautiful girl. Have a yak bone on us, Velma x Naomi Jones
Good Luck Velma! Annette Thornburgh
My Mom's name was Velma and she loved all dogs. My little Frenchie boy is named Alvin after my Dad's middle name (and Alvin the Chipmunk, of course.) Best wishes for Velma and for FBRN! Jeffrey McKean
We would love this donation to go to sweet Velma! We want to help with her vet bills and give this good girl a few Yak bones. Love, The Penney-Lee family (Gerty, Max, and Myrtle)
Hey Beautiful Velma, we totally understand anxiety and all the worries you may feel. Here's some help to wash those worries away. We Love You Velma, Oliver & Bessie.