Saving Grover “The Road Dog”

Posted By elaine on November 8, 2010

The face that sailed a thousand ships... or at least one Subaru

It all started when I went to post a little picture of a dog that needed a home on a website.  It is something that I have done hundreds of times, but  this time the little dog looking back struck a chord.   The dog was on a website called Dogs in Danger and the pup looking back had only “one day left to live” and he looked like a Bernese Mountain Dog mix.

Grover on the ride home from the shelter.

I called all my Berner friends and posted his picture on all the Berner sites hoping someone would get him, but no one had the time to drive all the way to Lamar to pick him up, so I called and the guy at the shelter said he would hold him until my next day off when I could pick him up.

This was going to be great because I had a bunch of people interested in taking this “Berner mix”.  I would save the dog I had dubbed “Grover”, get him a home and all would be great.  Ah, what a plan!

My day off came and I headed out for the three hour trip to Lamar.   Yep, three hours each way, in 103 degree heat, but it was for a great cause, right?  So off I went.

Grover's brother that was left behind.

My husband came with me and we had a nice breakfast at the local truck stop and then drove out to meet a police officer at the shelter.  In Lamar police officers man the shelter so you have to be there at noon while they are letting the dogs out for their midday romp in the yard.

The officer brought out “Grover” and we took him to a little picnic area.  He told us that he was found with his “brother” trotting down the street.  The “road dogs” were skinny and looking for food.

It was painfully clear that Grover was not a Berner, not even close.  I thought about not taking him, but I couldn’t leave him after all I went through to get him, so I signed the paperwork, paid the fees and loaded my new friend up in the Subaru and headed back home.

Sadly we had to leave the brother, but before we left Grover put his paw on the gate to his brother’s kennel.  It was like they knew it would be the last time they would see each other.

On the way home I called the dozen or so people that showed interest.  I told them he wasn’t a Berner after all, but a great dog.  No one wanted him.  They all wanted a

Grover seems to like his new yard.

Berner.

“Uh oh I thought, now what?  I have three dogs, I can’t keep him! Crud,(ok it was probably more explicit than that.)I have to find him a home.”

Well first things first.  The skinny puppy had poo on his head and needed a bath and a big dose of wormer.   He also needed an appointment to get his shots and to get neutered.   After all that was taken care of I was sure we’d find him a home.

Well a co-worker who was looking for a dog agreed to take him for a trial period.  She had big dogs in the past, although it had been many years ago, but she thought he’d be a perfect fit.  Unfortunately after three weeks they realized a big un-socialized pup was not something they wanted to deal with, so Grover was back with us.

It was ok.  I would take him to obedience class.  He’d be a perfect gentleman by the next time I placed him.  No more jumping up and pulling on the leash and we’ll sleep quietly in our crate.

Enjoying the good life, Grover in what I am guessing is his first hotel stay.

Well that was in July.  I still have Grover.  The skinny 60 pound puppy is now a sleek 80 pound dog.  I have had him in obedience and he is getting pretty good at it.  He is also starting agility.  I registered him in the AKC as an “All American” so he can compete in AKC performance events just like my Berners and Collie.  He even went on vacation with the other dogs and enjoyed his first hotel room, and I mean enjoyed it.  It may have been the first time he has ever gotten to sleep on “the bed”.

As time goes by the requirements for a new home for my now loved pet continues to rise.  I still think I will place him, but in reality I am not sure I could give him up unless I found the “perfect” home.   I am now not even sure what that perfect home is.  Would they take him for daily walks, train him, bring him on vacation, feed him only premium dog food?

This experience made me realize that I am not cut out to “rescue”.  It also makes me respect all those people that give homeless pets nice temporary homes.  It is not something that everyone can do.  I know I will not try it again, but I will tip my hat to those who do.

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