What We’ll Do For Dogs…

(or for our dog-loving partners)


Shirley Zindler is the president and founder of the Dogwood Animal Rescue Project, a foster-based, nonprofit animal rescue organization based in Sonoma County, California. Zindler started Dogwood after retiring from working as an animal control officer for the county animal control department for many years and has built a large network of dedicated volunteers who foster animals and fundraisers who support the rescue work.

Through her Facebook page, Zindler as frequently shares information about her husband Paul and grown children as she recounts recent experiences in animal control and her current adventures in rescue through her Facebook page. So I wasn’t sure what sort of post I was reading when I saw this photo and story:

“Well, here we are, Paul and I, at our age. After 40 years together and not much has changed. We’re still crazy, passionately in love. And he’s still willing to do anything to make me happy, including picking up a prescription for Viagra.

“For the dog!

“Who knew that a new treatment for megaesophagus in dogs (our foster boy Ryder) includes Viagra?”

Actually, we knew that sildenafil, the generic name of the drug also known as Viagra, Revatio, Aphrodil, Vizarsin, and Granpidam, was a treatment for megaesophagus, a condition that causes dogs to regurgitate their food shortly after (or while) eating. It was a promising new treatment when veterinarian Catherine Ashe wrote this article for WDJ about the condition, but the drug is proving to work so well for this life-threatening condition, that it’s a standard part of the treatment today.

But I love all of Zindler’s stories, which are just as likely to make you laugh out loud as make you cry. She’s got some doozies from her many years in the field, and she’s shared many of them in two books that she published, mostly as a fundraiser for the rescue group she founded.

You can support Zindler’s work through donations to Dogwood, or by buying one of her two books, The Secret Life of Dog Catchers: An Animal Control Officer’s Passion to Make a Difference and Secrets of An Animal Rescuer: An Animal Control Officer’s Passion to Make a Difference.