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   My name is Willow and I am a six year old female Bichon-Poodle mix. I live in Palo Alto California. I was three years old when my fur parents adopted me and brought me to my forever home. My Dad found me on the internet and emailed my photo to Mom and said he was going to pick me up at the rescue. He thought that I looked very sad. I had just gone to rescue from the Oakland animal shelter I was scared being surrounded by big dogs.

   Dad noticed that I was skinny and wouldn’t eat so he took me to see Dr. Tim the local vet. Dr. Tim took blood and measured my bile acids. He also had the local radiologist do an ultrasound and they suspected a liver shunt. I was very sick and could barely move. Dr. Tim called my new furparents and told them I had a liver shunt and needed to be taken 150 miles to the UC Davis vet school to confirm the diagnosis and for surgery. My furparents had never heard of a liver shunt.

   They took me to the vet school where the nice doctors performed my surgery. I was there for 10 days as I was so weak from being sick for such a long time. I went home and settled in to a great new life. I ate well and got a bit chubby. Mom took me for a check up a few months later and the darn liver shunt had reopened. I was unable to have the modern ameroid constrictor as my shunt was in a weird location. Mom was afraid for me to have another surgery, but when I got kidney stones we went back to the vet school for treatment in the ICU and a month later I had a second surgery which worked!!  Mom found the liver shunt group when I was diagnosed with mild MVD.   I eat a special diet cooked for me by my furparents and they ask lots of questions to keep me healthy. I love to eat my Denamarin chewable.

 I am a very happy girl and have very good manners. When my family goes out to dinner and lunch and I get to go along. I go to work with Mom and travel in the plane a lot. The airlines won’t give me frequent flyer miles which is not very nice. However, they do let me sit under the seat and we sleep all the way across the country. I am very lazy so like being in a hotel where they give me a bed, treats and bottled water. It is so much fun to sniff out a new place.

 All the liver babies should remember that there is hope and we can live normal lives. Please listen to your furparents and all will be well.