The Tango Tale

We Found our Boy!

Our founder had been watching the status of a pup named Amos (now known as Tango) at Aurora Animal Care and Control for a month.  She thought for sure this awesome pup would have been snatched up at the “Clear the Shelter” event on August 19.

When Tango was still in need of rescue on September 6th, she contacted the shelter and asked for a time to come and evaluate the pup for the Pits for Patriots’ Emotional Support Dog Program and a veteran awaiting his special companion.

On September 8, Tango passed his temperament test and made his way into foster with Pits for Patriots. He started learning the basics the following day.

On September 11, Tango went to our regular vet’s office for a routine neuter. The surgery and recovery in the clinic was uneventful and he walked out of the hospital a little groggy, but normal. On the way back to his foster home over five hours later, Tango lost consciousness and his gums were white as paper. He was rushed to the ER where staff spent the next seven hours trying to save his life. Tango’s condition was touch and go, but had stabilized enough to get him to a second critical care unit where a surgeon was on site. Over the next 12 hours the critical care veterinarians worked diligently and were able to save his life. 




Tango NEVER gave up.

He continued to fight to LIVE and we continued to fight to save him. Tango spent the next 3 days in the ICU unit, bringing his medical expenses up to $4,597, but he was finally able to go back into foster on September 14.

Tango’s recovery was short lived as he began having difficulty breathing on September 15th. He ended up in the ICU unit once again with a life threatening pulmonary embolism that required hospitalization for the next three days. The costs mounted to an additional $4,372 and he finally came home again on September 19.

On September 20, we saw Tango sleep peacefully the first time in eight days. It gave the Pits for Patriots board some peace of mind. On that day we could clearly see the toll the past eight days had taken on our boy. He was thin when he came to us on the 8th, and his fight for life had taken every last bit of his reserves out of him. He was worn out, underweight, and frail.

We redoubled our effort to bring Tango back to health. We were feeding him four times a day. Luckily, Tango was all about his food. He gobbled up a prescription diet enhanced with fresh vegetables, boiled chicken and broth, pasta and raw meat and over the next several days and weeks he began to feel better.


Six weeks after coming into our care, and seventeen days after returning to foster care, we can see Tango’s weight gain progress in these “before” and “after” photos. We also see dramatic improvements in his coat, skin condition, energy level and other markers of his general health.


Before (September 20) and After (October 7)


At that point we were able to begin training. As with all the Pits for Patriots dogs, we begin with the basics – sit, stay, down, and come commands are practiced in short sessions several times every day. Positive reinforcement is used to make the training process a fun activity for the dogs.

We start a little more training as Tango can tolerate more activity. More frequent and longer sessions are incorporated into the plan. As the simple commands are mastered we move on to additional skills. Distractions are added to make the training more effective.




We NEVER give up.

On November 3, we are faced with another major setback. Tango has difficulty breathing again and is taken back to the ER. With no evidence of an embolism or clotting issue, the medical staff was not able to find the cause. However, as a result of the many diagnostic tests being run, we found that Tango is cursed with bladder stones, the possibility of a thyroid problem, and a few suspicious masses.

Lab tests confirm that Tango is hypothyroid and will need ongoing monitoring and twice daily medication for the rest of his life. Following that diagnosis, Tango is scheduled for biopsies of the masses on December 6 with possible removal to follow.

Tango’s bladder stones had the potential to become an emergency situation if they became lodged in the urethra, and with his breathing condition apparently resolved, we feel we could not put off this necessary surgery any longer.

Lithotripsy for bladder stone removal was scheduled for December 14. At that time he also had some mass removal. Since then, we received word that the masses are benign.  Tango is feeling better, enjoying life at his foster home, continuing training, getting into mischief and being a dog.


Once Tango is fully recovered from his lithotripsy and mass removals, he will begin partner training with his veteran, preparing for his future as a Pits for Patriots emotional support dog.


It’s time to say WTF… “We’re Tango’s Friends.”

There are 3 ways you can help Tango get home.