Perry in Mechanicsburg, PA


Here is Perry with his new family…

In July, 2022 we got a request from a breeder to take in a Cavalier that had given birth the week before on July 11th. She was not producing any milk and wasn’t bonding with her puppy. The breeder soon discovered that the little puppy was born with a severe cleft in both his hard and soft palate. His right rear leg was rotated outward 90 degrees, he had an open fontanelle and an umbilical hernia. Happily, both mom and pup were entrusted to our care.

Mr. Periwinkle, or Perry, as he is known to his friends, weighed only  7.3 oz when we picked him up and was very dehydrated. We tried to get him into several emergency vets but the wait times were long and they were too busy and turned us away. Thankfully a local CKCSC breeder was able to help us rehydrate Perry and loaned us tube feeding supplies for him. Perry needed to be fed with a feeding tube every 2.5 hours round the clock. Perry’s hydration levels quickly returned to normal with regular feedings. He soon began to gain weight. We put cut up pieces of pool noodles and rolled towels under the bedding in his pen. This created “hills” to help him build leg strength. We used textured silicone baking mats for him to crawl across several times each day. The textures helped him grip and soon his leg rotated back into the correct position.

As Perry grew strong he was allowed to interact with the other dogs in the home (ages 2 and 9). They taught Perry how to play as well as how to interact with and be respectful of other dogs. Perry had many local volunteers who visited him to help with his socialization.

When it was time to wean Perry, we made him a mixture of unflavored gelatin and puppy food, cut into tiny pieces. He was fed one piece until he learned to eat on his own. This method of feeding helped keep food from getting stuck in his cleft palate and causing an infection.

When Perry was 13 weeks old he was big enough to undergo surgery with a veterinary dental specialist and had his hard and soft plates repaired. He then endured 4 weeks of eating a special diet, wearing a cone and not being allowed to play with any toys or chew on anything.

All of the sleepless nights and hard work from so many volunteers was worth it. Perry not only survived, but he is thriving. His hard and soft palates have healed nicely and he can eat a regular diet and play with toys. It is possible that Perry’s clefts could reopen as he grows, so he will need to be monitored closely. If his testicles do not descend his neuter surgery (when he is old enough) will be a bit more complicated as they would need to operate through the abdomen. Perry’s open fontanelle has closed considerably and should not cause issues for him. Perry is alive because many volunteers (human and canine) worked together to take care of him physically in addition to making sure he received the socialization that he did not have since he was not raised by a doggie mom.

Today Perry is a happy well adjusted little puppy. He loves walking up the doggies steps to nap on the couch with the big dogs, although he currently sleeps in his pen at night. He is going outside to potty in a fenced yard but needs to be taken out frequently. He is a very nosey little guy and would run off to chase leaves and animals if given the chance, so a secure fence is a must. He loves running around the back yard and chasing leaves. Perry plays well with others and would enjoy the company of another dog. Perry loves his snuggle puppy and his Lamb Chop. Shaggy beds make a great place to sleep. Snuggling with humans and belly rubs should be on the agenda daily.

If you think you would be a good family for Perry and you live with a reasonable driving distance of Mechanicsburg, PA, please complete an online application (if a current one is not on file). Please contact Melissa MacMullin via email ( to ask to be considered for Perry.

Online Application

  • Color: Blenheim
  • Sex: Male
  • House Training: Still in progress but doing well with frequently potty breaks
  • Health: Small open fontanelle, umbilical hernia, testicles undescended
  • Temperament: Sweet, active, snuggly
  • Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
  • Region: Northeast
  • Special Needs: No
  • Status: JUST ADOPTED