Rare condition forces Ohio pup to sit in a chair when she eats


CLEVELAND (WJW) The bond between a dog and its owner is priceless, but a local owner’s connection with her special needs Mastiff could be worth $25,000.  A rare canine medical condition forces the dog to sit upright when she eats.

Honey is a 5-year-old Mastiff mix, that was brought to the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter in 2018.  In 2019, Deputy Dog Warden Amanda Kopec brought her home, first as a foster pet, then adopted her.

She was always severely underweight, and at first, no one could figure out why. “She went from a lethargic dog that was just laying around and not doing anything to like a dog that’s just happy to play…she’s an active girl now,” said Kopec.

Honey was returned to the shelter twice, that’s when they discovered she had a serious medical condition, Amanda took her in, and that’s how their bond developed. “It turned out she has a condition called congenital megaesophagus, so what that requires her to do is to eat a special diet and she has to eat upright in a chair….in order for all the food to use gravity to pass into her stomach,” Kopec explained.

Honey has a special chair made just for her to eat properly.  After her meal, she must stay in an upright position for exactly 23 minutes, before she return to walking around or playing.  Amanda and Honey entered the Petco Foundation “People’s Choice” contest where contestants are judged on life-saving bonds between dogs and their owners.

Out of seven thousand entries, the pair made the top 50 in the first round…earning the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter a $5,000 prize. “She kind of came into my life at a time when I really needed her, I was going through some really rough things and she desperately needed some significant medical care,” said Kopec.

Amanda says their bond is incredible…Honey’s life has improved medically…and Amanda has a better outlook emotionally.  Right now, their story is leading the final leg of the contest…a win would mean $25,000 for the shelter. “This dog is awesome, she’s providing you joy, she got me back out, like she got me going out, she showed me that I was not a failure, I could definitely fix things still,” Kopec said.

If you would like to vote for Amanda and Honey, visit https://www.petcofoundation.org/holiday-wishes-peoples-choice/?entry_id=193219653

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