“Vada” Potayda Pumpkinhead Boinkensnout Sultenfuss was born as just another weeny ball of stray fur in North Carolina in November of 2010. Her litter became the second ever OPH would adopt out to the public. Part of the “Ewok” puppies, none of her siblings looked alike, but they all resembled the ewoks of Star Wars.


Vada contracted and overcame parvovirus as a puppy, then came home with us. She was terrible. I would wrestle her down into submissive stance while trying to command with a straight face that she was the worst puppy ever made! Sassmonster.
She grabbed a wallet off the table and spread the contents on the rug, undestroyed, but marked with tiny tooth dimples on his drivers license and credit cards.

After we assimilated our attitudes, we were unstoppable. Running leashless over miles of wooded trails, soaking in the creeks, climbing rocks and fallen trees, Vada trained for a half marathon together and explored endless trails all over the East Coast along with her owners.

Halfway through her life, we moved from a crowded neighborhood of townhomes with a park, to a slow country setting with a huge fenced-in yard and miles of rural smells. She took up patrolling the air space above the yard. Any hot air balloons, crop dusters, and especially vultures, really ruffled her fluff. 


We noticed her left leg was protruding much further than her right leg. Around the same time, we found a lump on her chest. Most of them were “fatty lumps”.
We all slowed down a bit.

She had surgery on a few serious lumps and was a trooper with recovery. She was such a toughie. She kept her attitude, snapping playfully at me when I slapped her shaved flank and called her “chicken cutlet”.
After some devastating scans, we learned the cancer had spread her to lungs. Her heart had also been a concern for us since parvo can take its toll. The only viable option for a dog her age (13 now) was chemotherapy pills.
Vada was too smart for pills. There was no hiding these pills in any kind of treat. She would suss them out. The only thing we could do was make the treat worth eating the pill.
So we instated Meatball Night. She got tasty meatballs three times a night for 3 months and loved it.
Eventually, one of the tumors began invading her spinal cord, and she would have bouts of losing control of her back legs. We didn’t let this go on. It was time. Steak for dinner. Laying in the yard all night long. Vada wanted to go somewhere else. I figured out how to get her into her spot of the yard without me carrying her. She hated being manhandled. She let me wheelbarrow her by holding up her back legs while she used the front ones to navigate herself into the grasses she loved. We sat and waited for the vet to come. We said our goodbyes. And it was honesty perfect.

Medical treatment allowed her to have an active life even while sick, and gave us 6 more months of quality time with her.