River is an adorable family dog who is far too intelligent for her family. She is a rescue with an unknown history so her breed is a mystery. It is believed that she is part Australian Shepherd and possibly part border collie so it is no surprise that she is craftier than the average dog. When it gets late and bedtime is approaching, River and Raven, the other family dog are given the instructions to go out for their nightly bathroom duties. Normally, they don't mind and they will obediently trot out the door, off the porch and into the grass and trees on the property. They will come back a few minutes later and settle for the night. River is not a fan of the rain and on this particular evening, she was aware that the weather was not the best. As she was told to go outside, one eye slowly opened and then shut again. She rolled over on her back and pretended to be sleeping or in a coma, unable to respond to any voice commands. River would not open her eyes or move for anything. Finally, River's owner decided to slide her across the hardwood floor towards the door. Only then did River open her eyes, but the wide-eyed look of feigned shock at being pushed is beyond comical. Finally, after a few shoves across the floor, River realized that her trip to the grass outside was inevitable. River has found her forever home after a brush with death that was closer than any dog should have. Her original family cared for her and loved her but River developed a complicated and expensive medical problem. She was brought to an emergency veterinary clinic two days before Christmas. She was deteriorating rapidly and the prognosis was not good. Her tests and diagnosis alone was unmanageable. She has a heart defect that causes her back end to become paralyzed when her heart beats rapidly. She also has a few other medical issues. Her treatment and ongoing care would be complicated and her medication costs would be extreme. River's family made the difficult choice to end her suffering and have her put to sleep. She was seconds away from her final breath when another option presented itself. Serena, the veterinary assistant had fallen in love with this beautiful soul and she knew that she had the expertise and training to manage the dog's care. Serena's mother was also a veterinarian. Between the two of them, the treatment would be manageable. River was given a second chance and a chance for a good life. Under strict medical care and with modified activity, River enjoys a wonderful life. She wanders with Serena in the forest almost every day. She has a large yard to play in, and she has another family dog to keep her company. River's life will not likely be as long as most dogs, but she has had three extra years now with no sign that her condition is worsening. River is smart enough to understand how to play on the emotions of her family, and possibly smart enough to know that feigned paralysis will help her avoid unpleasant obligations, like going out in the rain.
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