From Trooper's family -
Trooper was born January 3, 2004, and is a mixed breed of which the origins are unknown. Many have guessed at his lineage but it is only a guess.
I rescued Trooper in March 2004 when he was being abused by his first owner. I was at work in Oak Forest and heard him cry out. I ran out of the office to see what happened only to have Trooper run right past me and head for the VERY busy 159th street where traffic moved at minimum 50 mph. Without hesitation he hurriedly walked into 159th and only by sheer miracle he was missed by two cars - I thought for sure he wouldn't make it. After making it across the street he sat down next to a fence to hide from his owner. A few seconds later the owner came out yelling for him and just then animal control showed up (others on the road had called about the owner abusing Trooper). They took Trooper into the van as I explained to animal control that they should NOT give him back to the owner. They said "Fine, then do you want to adopt him??" That was almost 13 years ago and I have never looked back.
He was named Trooper since he had been through so much in his short life (3 months old when I adopted him). Most of his life he has been healthy and happy. In 2012 he tore the ligament in his back left knee and successfully recovered from surgery. It wasn't until December 2014 when he contracted Blastomycosis that I thought I was going to lose him. One of our favorite places to walk is Delwood Park, and in the fall of 2013 I decided to expand his walk and take him down to the creek beds. Sometime along the way in December he came across the Blastomycosis fungus and within a week he was close to death - it had spread so fast in him. To Dr. Navin's credit, when he first saw Trooper he said "possibly Blasto", but it really didn't make sense until I realized his new walking locations.
Blastomycosis is a fungal organism found most commonly in the Midwest by the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys. It causes a serious infection in various organs including the lungs, lymph nodes, bones, eyes and skin. Dogs most commonly pick it up from exposure to soil close to river beds. Diagnoses early in the course of disease is important as it can be life threatening.
Based on Dr. Little's suggestion, Trooper was taken to VCA in Aurora, where they diagnosed Blasto and his treatments began. Trooper lost 11 pounds and was down to 39 lbs at his lowest. He was given hyperbaric oxygen treatments as well as IV fluids. After 4 days of extensive treatment he came home and slowly came back to health. 19 months from his first diagnosis he was given a clean bill of health from Dr. Little and Trooper continues to live up to his name. I want to thank Dr. Navin and Dr. Little for all they've done to help Trooper.