FERNDALE, Wash. (CIRCA via KOMO) — Circa partner KOMO News first brought you the story of Logan last week; he's the now-9-week-old German shepherd puppy whose heart condition has left him with a short life expectancy.
But a veterinarian in Colorado saw Logan's story and believes he can fix the puppy's heart. Time is of the essence, and Logan will travel from Washington state to Colorado for an appointment Jan. 30 and have the important surgery the next day.
You may remember Logan's foster family decided to create a bucket list for him so he could live the best possible life a puppy could have. One of his bucket list items was to get hugs from 100 different people.
Rescued Hearts Northwest, the rescue organization that took in Logan, held an event in Bellingham, a nearby city, over the weekend to help him reach his goal.
The organization said it lost track of how many people hugged Logan, but he is well over 400 hugs at this point.
Information about donating to Logan and Rescued Hearts Northwest can be found on the nonprofit's Facebook page.
By ELIZABETH KAYSER, KOMO
FERNDALE, Wash. (CIRCA via KOMO) — Logan is an 8-week-old German shepherd puppy, and he gets to stay a puppy his whole life.
"He has three things wrong with his heart that have no fix," his foster mom, Lindie Saenz, said. Saenz volunteers to foster dogs through Rescued Hearts Northwest.
Rescued Hearts Northwest decided to take in Logan after his first rescue agency didn't have the proper resources to take care of his illnesses. He was posted for free on a local Facebook buy/sell group.
According to its mission statement, Rescued Hearts Northwest aims to save the lives of at-risk dogs and educate communities about spaying and neutering. The organization takes in about 200 dogs per year, and it does what it can for dogs with health problems. The organization even sent one dog to Washington State University to have a large and expensive surgery.
Saenz was told Logan had a level-5 heart murmur, but after going to the veterinarian, discovered his condition was much more serious.
Logan has pulmonic valve dysplasia — the main valve in his heart is partially opened all the time, so it doesn't properly oxygenate his blood. His heart also has scarring and leaks fluids, and Saenz said the vet gave Logan anywhere from one month to one year to live. He could die very suddenly. Saenz said it would be like heart attack.
Saenz's 4-year-old son, Blake, decided to name the puppy Logan after the "X-Men" character Wolverine, who can regenerate and heal himself. He thought that if they named him after the superhero, then maybe the puppy could heal himself, too.
Saenz's family has fostered dogs for about two years after rescuing a dog themselves through Rescued Hearts Northwest. Saenz said it is hard to foster dogs, especially the ones you have for longer, but the whole experience is very worth it.
Saenz told her children they were going to keep Logan, but he wasn't going to live very long.
"They asked, 'can we take him fishing?'" Saenz said. Her children started asking about other things Logan could experience while he was alive, and the list grew out of that. Rescued Hearts Northwest posted about the bucket list on their Facebook page, and community members added to his list, including to get hugs from 100 different people.
Saenz said Logan is very playful, easy going and very smart.
"He's the smartest puppy I have ever had," she said. Logan can already sit, stay and lay down. He also loves to cuddle. "He's a shadow — always at my feet."
Some of the bucket list items have been completed — like going to the beach and digging in the sand, getting a "puppaccino," going to Mud Bay and picking out a toy. Some will be completed soon — like visiting Mt. Baker to see the snow and having a camp-out in the backyard. His 100-hug challenge is a little over halfway completed. Saenz said the number of people on the hug list may have to get bigger.
Bellingham Police Department has even reached out to make Logan an honorary K-9. He will get to meet the trainers and have a little ceremony, Saenz said.
One of the bucket list items was to go to a senior center.
"One of the seniors grabbed him and said, 'You just get to be a puppy forever,'" Saenz said. He also went to an early learning center and visited with children.
He's been invited to a farm, given a steak dinner, went to Dairy Queen and had a burger and ice cream.
"This is harder for the people in his life than for him," Saenz said. "This way his little life means something."
You can follow Logan's journey on the Rescued Hearts Northwest Facebook page.