Mickey (the DFB) Needs More Surgery

$3,705 of $6,500 goal

Raised by 64 people in 3 months
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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Surgery is Scheduled - - Mickey Update 5-18-18

I want to thank everyone who has donated to Mickey's medical bills and surgery so far. Mickey and I really appreciate it.

We have set the date for his saliva gland surgery. It will occur on Tuesday May 29th. They will be removed and the surgeon feels give Mickey's age he should recover just fine. He has also assured me that Mick will be fine without these particular glands and will not suffer from dry mouth. My fingers are crossed.

Mickey and I are walking twice a day. He pants some while we're walking but then gets in to a rhythm and he seems fine. In the mornings he wags his tail and is ready to go as soon as I get up. So I know he's feeling better. There continues to be no sign of any of the earlier infections. I’m very grateful.

Please keep your fingers crossed and send good thoughts our way on May 29th.

Thanks again for all of your support. We're still moving forward.

Kelley and Mickey

Here’s a photo of Mick after our walk this morning.
Some one's had a busy morning...
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May 2nd

As many of you know Mickey and I had a surgery consult yesterday about his swollen saliva glands.

The Surgeon was wonderful and he explained a lot of things to me, but what he can't explain (and neither can my Vet) is what these swollen saliva glands have to do with Mickey's previous illness. There seems to be NO connection.

As many of you remember Mickey was healing up from his earlier infections and when we first cut back on the steroids (which is what saved his life and stimulated the healing) his saliva glands started swelling. His butt and the other infections have pretty much healed up which is fantastic but we're left with these large swollen saliva glands.

The glands are continuing to swell (slowly) and Mickey can't open his mouth as wide as he used to and the swelling is inhibiting his eating. He eats much slower because he can't open his mouth as wide. I need to keep my eye on this so it doesn't get worse.

Long story short, these glands on both sides of his mouth need to be removed along with some of the system that feeds them. The Surgeon has assured me that Mick will still be able to generate saliva and won't suffer from dry mouth.

The surgery is going to run around $4500. Ouch! But given that Mick is only 7.5 years old and is in great shape the Surgeon says he'll make a complete recovery.

So here we go again... I still have about $500 left from all of the earlier donations so I'm hoping to raise an additional $4000. (The earlier donations went to vet appointments, tests, drugs, and all the stuff that helped him get better from the first illness.)

This has been going on for over 5 months and I'm frustrated and a little depressed but mostly I'm determined to get Mick better. He means that much to me. He is the sweetest, most gentle Dog Face Boy you’ll ever meet. And many of you have met him.

Any way you can help me is appreciated. If you can't donate could you spread the word and let others know what's going on? And please just keep sending us good thoughts. I’m hoping we can schedule the surgery for late May. (I’ve included a few more photos so you can see how bad he is swollen.)

I am so grateful for your support and feel lucky to have so many good friends who care. I am truly humbled. Thank you all.

Kelley & Mickey
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May 1st,

Please send good thoughts to us today. Mickey and I have an appointment with a Veterinary Surgeon for a consult. It's all about his swollen saliva glands. They just won't go down. He's starting to look like the Elephant Man. (I've attached 2 photos, his face is swollen under his ears I'm not sure how well you can see it.)

Everything else has healed and is as good as it's going to get. He still has a small hole under his tail but he's able to go to the bathroom normally although I do have to wipe his butt and probably will for the rest of his life. I'm fine with that.

His recent blood work shows that his liver is operating normally even though he's been taking huge does of steroids to deal with all of his infections and other symptoms. I'm thrilled with this. He gets one steroid tablet every third day and I'm hoping that soon he will be off them totally.

Mick is happy, his tail wags like crazy before our morning walks as we increase our mileage and time. Hopefully we'll be back to our old morning distance (3 miles) in the next week or so.

It's been a long 5 months with a lot of vet appointments and pills and tests and stress. I'm hoping that the information we get today will help us figure out what to do with his swollen glands. I'm hoping we can find an alternative to surgery but if the surgery is going to make him better then I'll figure out how we can make it happen.

Thank you all for everything you've done so far and the support you've given us.

Keep sending those good thoughts our way and I'll let you know how it goes.

Kelley & Mickey

Mick after our morning walk
Mick sleeps
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Update 3-31-18

Mick and I went to the Vet yesterday for another check up. He continues to heal even as we are cutting back on his steroids.

He has put back on almost 10 pounds and the muscles in his hind legs are starting to get stronger. His butt continues to heal and the Vet is amazed at how well that part of his body is doing. At this point it looks like he will not have to have surgery back there but surgery is still looming.

His saliva glands continue to clog and they are swollen. Once again the Vet removed quite a bit of fluid out of both sides. He was looking very puffy. It doesn't appear to cause him any pain but he eats a lot slower and I believe he is having trouble chewing all of his food. Once we get Mick off the steroids then we will have a consult with a surgeon about the next step regarding the saliva glands.

His mouth and eye have healed up quite well and once we can get this saliva gland figured out Mick will probably be 90% of his former self.

We're still walking 2-3 miles every day and I'll be increasing that this week as his energy level has increased. Before all of this we used to walk anywhere from 3 - 5 miles daily depending on weather. I hope to get back to that by the end of May.

We still have quite a ways to go but the improvement is fantastic. Thank you all for your support throughout all of this. Mickey and I truly appreciate it.

Kelley and Mick
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Raised by 64 people in 3 months
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