Mickey (the DFB) Needs Surgery

$2,294 of $2,500 goal

Raised by 44 people in 17 days
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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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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Hey Everyone,
These last few days have been a real roller coaster ride. Mick seems to be doing fine. We are walking 3 times a day about a mile each walk. He's getting stronger and is acting more like himself each walk. And by that I mean sniffing and marking. He hasn't been doing that for quite a while so this has been good to see. He seems much more alert as well.
Per the Vet's instructions I've been cutting back on his different meds. We stopped the painkillers a week and a half ago and I've been steadily cutting down on the steroids. He is now on 25% of what he had been taking.
Late this morning I noticed some swelling around his neck and jaw so I took him in to the Vet (again). My Vet has been fantastic through all of this I can't say enough good things about the Pet Samaritan Clinic. They ran some tests and we'll know more on Monday. He's not in any pain and he had a good time on our evening walk so we'll just have to wait and see.
We have another scheduled appointment on Wednesday and I'm hoping we can schedule his surgery for before the end of the month. We'll see if this swelling throws a wrench in to that. I hope not.
At this point my fingers are crossed and I feel like I'm doing all I can.
I want to thank you all again for your support, both emotional and financial. I've had some wonderful notes from so many of you I really appreciate it.
I'll update more when I know more.
Thank you.
Talk soon.
Sincerely, Kelley and Mick.
I'm uploading a few photos of Mick from our most recent tour. These photos make me smile.
Palm Springs last night on the road
Day 3 Nebraska. Curled up in the Van.
Dubuque, IA by the Mississippi river
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Raised by 44 people in 17 days
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