Critical Marley Update
Oct 27, 2016 — We recently became aware of an incident involving Marley the dog in Panama, where the dog was snuck up on during sleep and then bit an individual. It is worth noting that Marley was in a shelter for what we believe was about a year. He shuttered at the sight of the animal control officer. Additionally, he came from overseas and was in the war zone, as he stayed with a camp of soldiers.
Based on what we know about him and have been told, we firmly believe this scenario was caused by startle reflex. This is a common condition, and is deemed a non-aggressive one. Even humans have it, think about it, how would you react if someone woke you from a deep sleep? You would be startled right? Although it can happen in any breed, it is most common in Greyhounds and Basenji's.
Rather than stop there, we wanted to take a further look into what may be behind this, based on Marley's history. So we looked into dogs who have been in similar situations. We think that Marley might have hypothyroidism, as it can show in many ways, OCD behaviors, fear, startle reflex, shyness and other symptoms. Luckily there is a drug called Soloxine, that can help dogs with this condition.
Regardless of if Marley has hypothyroidism or not, it is clear he has startle reflex, and either needs his own area to sleep or it needs to be addressed head on. It is very possible that this situation was brought on by the amount of time he was in the shelter and the quality of his care in conjunction with his past. To put it simply, dogs who have been in the war zone, should not be handled like this.
It is our understanding that he is no longer in the custody of the family and that the county eagerly wants to put him down.
Sorry for the long post, but we will need your help now more than ever.