Rare condition forces adoptable RI dog to eat sitting up

Truman has to eat sitting up.

WARREN, R.I. (WPRI) — When it comes to dogs, Truman gives new meaning to the command, “Sit!”

The three-year-old Labrador retriever mix is up for adoption and is like any other dog on the surface – playful, spunky and loyal – but it’s mealtime that sets him apart.

Truman, unlike many of his four-legged counterparts, has to eat sitting up, much like a person, in a chair with his bowl before him. Only Truman doesn’t need a fork and knife.

“Truman has Megaesophagus,” explained Trisha Torres, who has been fostering Truman for nearly a year. “His esophagus does not work properly and if he eats like a ‘regular’ dog the muscles don’t work correctly to push the food along from esophagus to stomach. By eating his meals sitting up in his special chair, it ensures the food travels into his stomach and can be processed correctly.”

Torres said his special chair and daily medications keep Truman happy and healthy. Now, he just needs to find a “forever home.”

“Truman has been in foster care since March,” said Torres. “For the first few months he was unavailable for adoption since his medical condition was unstable. He has now been looking for his forever home for over six months.”

Torres said a potential adopter would need to be willing to continue administering Truman’s medications and feed him in his special chair, which will be given to his new family.

“The condition is easy to maintain now that we have found the correct medications,” she said. “If he were to become sick from his food not being eaten correctly he would need to go to the vet to be put on antibiotics to ensure he doesn’t get aspiration pneumonia.”

Other than that, Torres said, he’s a perfectly normal pup.

“Truman is a very people-orientated, outgoing dog,” she said.

Torres said Truman likes to play outside, but doesn’t require a lot of exercise. Instead, he’s often content relaxing on a comfy couch or bed. Torres said Truman is best suited for a household without small children.

“He knows his basic commands, sit, down, stay … and is very eager to learn,” she said. “He is simply a great dog!”

Truman is available for adoption through Handsome Dan’s Rescue. For more information or to apply to adopt him, click here.

Truman has a medical condition that forces him to eat sitting in a chair, much like a person. Photo courtesy Trisha Torres.
Truman has a medical condition that forces him to eat sitting in a chair, much like a person. Photo courtesy Trisha Torres.