Shelters are crowded with animals of different size, age, and looks, and the only thing they have in common is that all of them are in a pursuit of a loving family and a home.
When Blue, a 4-month-old dog, got to the Texas shelter, he didn’t resemble a German Shepherd. He was tiny and undernourished and his fur was falling out. The poor dog was so scared that he didn’t let anyone near him. The staff was worried for his health condition and could only assume how badly had his previous owner treated him.
The staff from the Shenandoah Shepherd Rescue were determined to find a home for both Blue and his sister Roxanne. Besides their condition, the two puppies were eager to start a new life.
The rescuers’ plan was to transfer the dogs to Virginia, but before that, they were taken at the vet’s office for a thorough check up. That’s when the doctor discovered that Blue had parvovirus, which is a deadly disease that attacks and breaks down a dog’s intestinal linings.
‘“There was a point in time when he was definitely very sick, and we weren’t 100 per cent sure that he’d make it,”
Kaitlin Vazquez, co-founder of Shenandoah Shepherd Rescue, said.
Although the siblings shared one kennel while at the shelter, Roxanne was healthy and didn’t catch the virus so she could be placed to her new home in Virginia. As for Blue, he had to spend some time in the hospital, but only after a month he was clean from the virus and taken in by a lovely lady known as a dog lover named Julia Downer.
‘“I was kind of drawn to his cute little face,”
‘“Roxanne already had a foster, so I pretty much begged them to let me foster Blue.”
Downer knew that having Blue to socialize would be challenging.
‘“When he first got here, he was completely shut down,” Downer said. “It was like he really didn’t know how to be a dog.”
He didn’t want any physical contact with anyone. Instead, he would stay all alone during the whole time.
‘“He found one spot in front of our dishwasher, and he wouldn’t leave it for anything,” Downer said. “If I’d walk toward him, he’d run in a circle until I was gone, and he’d go right back to his spot and sit there and stare at me. It was kind of upsetting, and broke your heart to see a dog who was scared and so unsure like that.”
Downer believed her two dogs named Simba and Koda could help Blue come out of his shell. And miraculously, he eventually started exploring other parts of the house, besides that one spot he usually stayed at. He also liked playing with tennis balls.
‘“We have a couple of old tennis balls that we throw around, and I just kind of kicked one day to see how he’d respond, and he loved it,” Downer said. “He’s not super good at bringing the ball back, but this kind of brought out his playfulness.”
It seemed like Blue was a completely new dog now.
‘“He’d jump up on the bed and snuggle with us, and he’d hang out on the couch,”
‘“He was so vocal and had personality for days.”
Having him around was a real blast and Downer wanted to give Blue a permanent home, but that’s when another woman showed up and wanted to take the dog in. It looked like Blue found his new forever home.
‘“She was so excited, she sent me a photo of Blue in front of the ocean on the very first week that she had him, and you could just see how happy he was.”
“She’s also an avid walker, and she told me about the walks she takes every morning, and she goes on a longer one every weekend, and that’s just what Blue needs — he needs a very energetic household,”
The staff at Shenandoah Shepherd Rescue are glad they didn’t give up on Blue when he needed help the most. They are happy for his amazing transformation.
“He ended up being a very friendly, happy-go-lucky guy,”
If you consider taking a pet, visit the nearby shelter and remember: Adopt, Don’t shop.
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