Tink Sullivan is a totally normal, happy Labrador retriever living in Michigan. Based on her happy personality and playful disposition, you'd never know she actually lives with the dangerous and life-threatening illness, Megaesophagus.
Megaesophagus means that Tink's esophagus doesn't work properly. She can't get normal food safely into her stomach, so she requires a little extra help.
She eats several small meals of specific safe foods throughout the day in a special high chair, called a "Bailey chair."
And she manages to look absolutely adorable throughout the whole process.
The bailey chair allows gravity to help Tink's special food travel safely to her stomach. There are all sorts of precautions her family has to take to keep her safe, but the Sullivans are more than willing to help.
She is, after all, another member of the family.
Tink recently garnered some fame when a local paper did a write up on her special method for eating. Luckily for her, she has a loving and patient family willing to go above and beyond to keep her safe.
Sadly, many dogs Megaesophagus end up dying from it. If undiagnosed, food can travel into the lungs or dogs can become emaciated. If the disease is diagnosed, megaesophagus requires significant extra care. But since she was 9 weeks old, her family has fed and burped TInk after each of her small meals throughout the day.
Hopefully, Tink's special needs story will encourage other current and potential dog owners to take care of any canine companion who may suffer from Megaesophagus.
The minimal amount of vigilance and effort is a small price to pay for a happy pup.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.