For all you strangers out there, my roommate Eileen and I are huge dog lovers. She has a French Bulldog named Burgle here at school, and her family has three more dogs at home in Massachusetts. And of course you know about my obsession with our dog Gunner.
Well, last week my roommates and I were all just hanging out in the living room, talking about whatever popped into our heads. Eventually we got to talking about how great it would be to have another dog around (a common conversation in our house). Eileen specifically mentioned how she wanted to adopt a German Shepherd in the near future. That seems like a big jump from a tiny frenchie, but she grew up having Shepherds, she already has her future job in line, and was hoping to get a larger dog as both a running partner for her, as well as a companion for Burgle.
Be careful what you wish for!
Not even two days later, she was at her boyfriend’s apartment in Winston-Salem for the weekend, when his roommate came back with a crazy story. He had been out for a run, when he saw these two stray dogs roaming around near a busy highway. It was crazy dangerous, so he decided to chase them toward a nearby field/run-down train tracks. He told Eileen that one dog looked like a German Shepherd and the other was smaller, but he couldn’t tell what type of dog it was. All Eileen needed to hear was German Shepherd, and immediately her, her boyfriend and his roommate were all on a mission to help out those dogs.
They ventured back to the train tracks, where it took them about half an hour to get the larger dog within reach to get a collar on him. He responded well to humans, loved the treats, and wasn’t too weary of the leash. They couldn’t say the same for the second pup. She was very skittish, and in worse shape than the Shepherd. Her fur was extremely matted, and she was limping on a bad leg. She came close to the treats a couple of times, but never the ones that were closest to the humans. After over three hours of trying to catch her, the crew had to call it a night and just help the Shepherd instead.
They took him to the emergency vet right away to see if he had a micro-chip or if anyone had put out word of a missing dog with his description, but neither helped them find his owner. Next, he got the luxury treatment. He was very scrawny and filthy from being outside for so long, so they went to the pet store to get him appropriate food as well as flea and tick shampoo. Boy was the bathroom dirty after that bath!
I got to meet him the next day, when they brought him back to Chapel Hill. He is quite the stud, and I was so surprised at how friendly he was! I’m used to my Aunt taking in dogs who are so timid and scared at first. It was really neat to see the Shepherd curious about his surroundings and eager to meet new people. It did take him a while to settle down, but he did eventually find a spot of his own by the window 🙂
The vet was closed on Easter, so she ended up taking him to get checked out on Monday, when we got some bad news. He had all types of parasites and worms, meaning his previous owner (if there was one) failed to give him proper medications and vaccinations as a puppy. Some of the worms can be taken care of pretty quickly, but cases like heartworm are much more difficult to take care of. Since the worms live in his heart, there is a chance that they can clog his veins if they’re killed too quickly. Instead, the condition must be treated in a much longer, slower process to be safe. Such a bummer. The good news is that his illnesses are treatable, so he’ll be great in time!
The Shepherd headed back to Winston-Salem in case word came back about his owners, and to keep space from Burgle until his medications kicked in to kill the worms. In the meanwhile we’ve been brainstorming names to call him! He hasn’t responded to pretty much anything we’ve called to him, so that left the door wide open. We thought of: Jack, Achilles, Marshall, Red, Sarge, Scooby and Tucker.
He’s coming back this weekend, and I’m so excited to have a new housemate! Hope he likes his new home 🙂 Shout out to Eileen for being a great puppy guardian angel.