written by: Jodi veterinary assistant
Gypsy was found wandering the streets of Akron. She was very ill at the time of her capture by the local dog warden. The attending veterinarian at the shelter estimated her age at only 2 years old, but thought she would likely not survive due to her extreme illness. She should have weighed close to 50 pounds, but only weighed in at 26, was Heartworm positive, and was passing blood and pieces of bone due to her poor eating habits.
When I discovered her at the shelter she was still not considered an adoptable pet. Even though it was 4 months after her capture, she was still recovering from her extreme illness. Despite her “on hold” status, I was willing to wait, convinced she would be the right fit for our family. Once she became available, the shelter recommended we bring our smaller dogs in to be sure there were no conflicts. The shelter also tested her behavior with cats, since we have three. One week later we adopted and renamed Gypsy. Since she would no longer be a wanderer, we call her Donkey and this will be her forever home.
This was the beginning of Donkey’s second chance. She was practically untouchable due to her lack of care in the past. Our vet determined she was not as young of a dog as we had anticipated, she was likely closer to 7 years old. She had obviously had plenty of years of neglect and possible abuse. In follow-up X-rays to determine the extent of damage from her heartworm disease, it was revealed that she had been shot and has a pellet lodged about a centimeter from her heart.
Here we are about 3 ½ years later and an additional 25 pounds, she has not only become comfortable with day to day activities, but blended well into our family. Although she is the largest of our dogs, she has the softest of demeanors. She follows the lead of our small dogs, has learned to trust, compromise with others and enjoy life. We have not only enhanced her life, but she has enhanced and fulfilled ours.
So if you are considering an addition to your family, Please don’t exclude an older dog. The payoff that you get from providing a mature dog with a loving forever home…is PRICELESS.