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Warry the Warrior

Shortly after moving to Halton Hills, Ontario, in 2021, Laura Miller and her partner Kyle received a message that would change their lives. Already home to one beautiful girl, Dusty, Dusty’s previous foster mom reached out to Laura and said she had another dog who was just like her. “Can Dusty be his big sister?”, she asked. They weren’t anticipating getting another dog so soon after moving, but once they saw Dusty interact with him at an adoption event, they knew he needed to come home.

Warry was found on the streets of Mexico, and rescued by the group The Dog-Go Project Mexico (@thedoggoprojectmexico) who named him Warry, short for Warrior. Laura remembers looking at the initial photos of Warry and thinking his face and paws looked charred. "It was heartbreaking and I couldn’t imagine the pain he must have felt out there.”. Thankfully the rescue got to work on treatment right away. Warry was neutered, had dental work done, and was diagnosed and treated for TVT, or transmissible venereal tumor. After successful treatment of the cancer, Warry was ready to come to Canada where he spent some time with his wonderful first foster family, and finally home with his new sister, Dusty.

Warry’s medical journey has not been an easy one. “Originally, it was thought that Warry was burnt, and maybe he was, we don’t know for sure. He definitely suffered some abuse and clearly neglect.”, Laura says. Warry was constantly in socks because of how delicate his pads were, so they had to work on healing them. “We also noticed that despite 2-3 times daily of applying creams, Vitamin E, ointments, he wasn’t healing. His skin would break open, and for no reason he would develop a new tear or crack. It didn’t seem like anything was working and we knew we had to do some more testing.”

After undergoing some biopsies with various medical professionals, it was discovered that Warry has Ischemic Dermatopathy-an autoimmune disorder and type of vasculitis that affects his skin barrier and immune system. After a high dose of prednisone and antibiotics, he’s now on Atopica, a skin medication. Laura says she has seen a huge improvement in his quality of life with this treatment, and he only needs a cream barrier as needed now.

Because of his condition, Warry’s skin will need careful monitoring and he will be on medication for life. Since he is sensitive to UV rays, he needs to be sunscreened and kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible. He will also have to have routine blood panels to ensure infection does not return. All that said, Laura says “It’s worth every moment. Every penny, every sleepless night, every worry, every uncertainty-just to see his smiling face daily.” Dusty and Warry have grown very close, and though there are hard days, “We have learned that in the end, Warry is just a happy dog that deserves to be treated as such, a happy guy who deserves the universe. And we are going to make sure he gets just that.”

When asked what she wishes other people knew about dogs with disabilities, Laura said “Don’t pity them. Don’t feel that they aren’t deserving. People ask daily what kind of dog Warry is, what’s his story, what’s he mixed with, why is his face like that, and often I’ll not share Warry’s whole story because I want people to see him and love him for who he is, not what he went through.” Laura said one of the best parts of their journey with Warry was how supported she felt, and hearing the stories from other families and getting advice from other families with dogs with special needs.

You can find Warry and his sister Dusty over on instagram at @dusty.and.warry.

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