Mickey (the DFB) Needs Surgery

$2,550 of $2,500 goal

Raised by 50 people in 1 month
A lot of you know my pal Mickey, otherwise known as the Dog Face Boy. He’s a seven year old, 95-pound Chocolate Lab, who goes with me everywhere. Many of you met him on my book tour this fall, promoting my book Road Dog.



While we were out on tour Mickey was attacked twice by dogs in two different cities. Mickey is very gentle and didn’t fight back. Luckily I was able to pull him away quickly and I thought no damage was done.

I was wrong.

I don’t know when it happened but one of the dogs bit Mick in the leg and broke the skin. I didn’t see anything for weeks and then one day I noticed he was licking and chewing on his leg. Then I saw a sore that was getting infected. It was about this time I noticed that his (for lack of a better word) ass was turning bright red and he was having difficulty going to the bathroom. It looked quite painful.

I took him to the Vet and she said the mark on his leg was definitely a wound from another dog. Mick started antibiotics immediately but it wasn’t soon enough. He quickly dropped 10 pounds. More tests followed and it was determined that he didn’t have cancer which had become a concern. Mick had a couple of very bad, and very deep infections in various parts of his body.


Mick developed some sort of autoimmune illness. He got an ulcer in his mouth and one on his eyelid. Then the skin collapsed around his rectum.

We continued the antibiotics and added a healthy dose of steroids and painkillers. He kept losing weight, getting weaker, and was absolutely miserable.  When you looked in his eyes it was like he wasn’t there. During one horrible week both the Vet and I thought we were going to lose him.

After a few weeks and a ton of medication we saw a slight change.  He was slowly starting to heal.  A couple more weeks went by and he kept healing, slowly but he was making progress. Last week I was able to stop giving him the painkillers and started cutting back on the steroids. He continues to improve. After our last check-up the Vet said she could see the flicker in his eyes again.

This whole ordeal has been going on for over 3 months and with the help of a family member I’ve been able to cover all the bills.

Until now.

Mick continues to improve. He has lost a total of 15 pounds and some muscle mass in his back legs. We are walking 2 -3 times a day. We go slowly and he’s building up strength.

His bowels and colon are fine, he just has this inch and a half by inch and a half hole under his tail where his rectum used to be.

The Vet and I have been discussing surgery that will basically “create a new rectum”. It will connect his colon to the outside of his body and close up the majority of the hole that exists now.

The surgery will be around $1500.00 and after care and follow-up visits will run another $500.00 

I am hoping to raise $2000.00 to pay for the surgery and the follow-up visits and medications.

If Mick's healing continues we plan to do the surgery at the beginning of March.


Why do the surgery? 

If we leave the hole the way it is we run the risk of Mick getting more infections as there’s nothing separating his colon from the outside of his body. Right now Mick spends most of the day wearing a cone so he doesn’t lick himself.

One of the most important things for me is that by doing this surgery we are going to improve Mick’s quality of life. He’ll be able to travel with me again and we’ll be able to resume our walks, hikes, and general running around on. 

Some of you already know that Mick is a rescue and he means a lot to me. He is my exercise companion and has kept me healthy since my own health issues 5 years ago.

I may have rescued him, but he has certainly rescued me.

If this surgery wasn't going to improve his life, I wouldn’t do it.

Mick and I have already been through a lot already, so please give whatever you can so that he can have this surgery.

Remember no amount is too small it all helps.

Thank you.

Here are some more pictures of Mick when he was healthy...


Once again Thank You for whatever you can do to help.


Kelley and Mickey The Dog Face Boy
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Update 3-16-18

Mick and I went to the Vet yesterday and got some good news.

The new drug Mick is on is working. He continues to heal and we have now started cutting back on his steroids. We’ve also cut his antibiotics. We’ve basically just dropped 6 pills a day from his routine. His blood work looks good and the Vet is very encouraged.

The swelling in one of his saliva glands has gone down, the Vet drained quite a bit of liquid out of both of them and he still looks pretty puffy. Hopefully the one saliva gland will continue to go down and the other one will follow. We shall see.

Mick and I are continuing our walking routine to help him get stronger. He gets pretty tired by the end of our 2-mile morning walk and the muscles in his back legs are still not strong enough for him to jump up this 18-inch wall we pass by each morning. But he’ll get there.

We are continuing to move forward. Fiona and I took him for a bath today and he didn’t complain. For the most part he no longer has to wear the cone of shame but I still need to keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn’t lick himself.

So we are very happy! Barring any problems we go back to see the Vet in 2 weeks and we’ll continue to weigh all of the options, which still include surgery.

Thank you all so much for your continued support.

Kelley and Mickey
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Update 3-1-18

We are in a holding pattern.

Mick is feeling better and he’s getting stronger. Our walks are longer and we’re still walking three times a day. His butt continues to heal and look good, as far as that can be said about an open hole under his tail.

The problem right now is that his steroid level is still too high and every time we have tried to bring that level down other things happen so we have to return his steroid dose to the previous level. If the Vet operates on Mick with his steroid level where it is right now the surgery will collapse and he’ll be back to where we are now.

After a conversation last week we have started Mick on a new medicine in addition to what he’s already on. This new med should help stabilize things and then we can go back to dropping his steroid level safely. We have another Vet appointment next week so they can see how the new meds are doing and Mick will undergo a couple tests so that we can determine if this is the right path. I am hopeful.

Mick still hates wearing his cone but he’s being really tolerant of all of the people asking about it. We are currently looking at surgery in 5-7 weeks.

Thank you all for your support so far and I’m hoping that late next week I’ll have more news. Until then we just keep walking every day and work on getting Mick stronger so he’ll be ready for the surgery when it can finally happen.

Once again, thank you all.

Kelley and Mick

PS Mick was having a running dream. He's making all sorts of noise. He just woke up.
Mick just woke up from a running dream
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2 Steps Forward 1 Step Back.

Mick's Wednesday appointment went okay. His butt is healing, which is good. And the Vet feels she could operate in the next couple weeks except...

A week ago Saturday I noticed swelling around his neck and checks. I took him in and they said it was his saliva glands. I was told to stop cutting back on his steroids and go back to the most recent level.

On Wednesday the Vet checked him out again and identified the illness that caused his saliva glands to fill up but she doesn't know why it happened. Mick has been on enough meds that it should have prevented anything like this from happening. So for another two weeks we’re keeping the steroids at their current level before we start cutting back on them again.

She can't operate while his steroid level is so high but she feels that cutting back the steroids might have caused the gland flare up. We have to wait and see.

Now I’m looking at both the surgery on his butt and surgery on his saliva glands. She can do both at the same time so he will only have to be put out once, but this will raise the cost of the surgery.

You may have noticed I’ve had to increase the amount that we’re trying to raise. I’m now trying to raise a total of $2500. $2000 for the surgery and $500 for follow up appointments.

Mick doing is fine and we've added mileage to our 3 daily walks. The saliva gland thing isn't hurting him his face is just kind of blown up...

I want to thank you all for your support it means so much to me. Most of you know that Mick took care of me and got me out walking after my heart surgeries 5 years ago and now my goal is to get him well after what he’s gone through.

Thank you for your continued support.


Kelley & Mick
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In about 4 hours the DFB and I are going to the Vet. I am hopeful we can schedule the surgery soon. He seems to be doing well. We walked 2.2 miles this morning (I let him lead the way) which is the farthest we've walked since this illness hit him over 3 months ago. He was pretty beat by the end and he's been sound a sleep since we got back home.
Please share this campaign with your friends.
I'll do another update later today after our Vet appointment.
Thank you all for your continued support.
Kelley and Mickey
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