'A puppy forever': Washington rescue creates bucket list for dying puppy


    'You get to be a puppy forever': Seattle-area rescue creates bucket list for dying puppy. (Photos courtesy of Rescue Hearts Northwest)

    FERNDALE, Wash. (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 in Ferndale, Washington.

    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 group.

    According to their 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 a year and they will do what they can for dogs with health problems. The organization has 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 vet, 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 super hero, then maybe the puppy could heal himself too.

    Saenz's family has fostered dogs for about 2 years, after rescuing a dog themselves. Saenz said it is hard to foster dogs, especially the ones you have for longer — like moms — 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 for other things they could take Logan to 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 hugs challenge is a little over halfway completed. Saenz said the amount 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 senior's grabbed him and said, 'you just get to be a puppy forever,'" Saenz said. He also went to an early learning center and was able to visit little kids class-to-class.

    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."

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