My partner and I decided to adopt a pet last January, so we went up to the DSPCA and had a look around. Even though I wanted to bring all of the animals home with me, one, in particular, caught my eye. He was an eight-month-old German Shephard called Zeus.
We asked one of the carers there if we could meet him, so she brought him out to one of the enclosures for us to get a chance to properly meet. When he came out to he was quite shy and nervous and very skinny, and the carer informed us that he was found on the streets in the emaciated condition we now saw in front of us.
The last family that owned him had thrown him out, and the DSPCA were investigating an abuse and neglect case against them. The only way they even tracked the family was because he was micro chipped.
Hearing that broke my heart- he was just a baby after all (not that the age of the animal matters in abuse cases). We sat outside and let him come to us when he was ready. It took a while but when he was comfortable around us he was just a big baby wanting to play and have cuddles and I fell in love there and then.
When asked if we wanted to fill out a form to show we were interested in him, I told the girl I didn’t need a form. I was taking him home with me.
I got to take him home that Wednesday after the vet checked him over and gave him the all clear. He was nervous in the car, so I sat in the back with him sitting on my lap the whole way home.
When I brought him inside the first thing Zeus did was run into the kitchen and stick his head in the sink.
I guess he was curious, because after a bit of hyper running around he decided to run up the stairs and was then afraid and wouldn’t come back down. My partner Raymond had to go up and carry him down the stairs and after that he refused to leave our side. If one of us left the room he would follow that person to the point where he accidentally locked me in the downstairs bathroom because he followed me to it and then decided to lay outside the door!
Zeus was still very shy and nervous for awhile, but Raymond would get on the floor and coax him into playing and eventually he regained his confidence. In order to get him into the shower for his first bath both my friend and I (my friend is a dog groomer) had to get into our swimsuits and get in there with him. Although he was nervous at first, with us both in with him giving him constant praise and the odd treat it ended up going more smoothly than expected.
Since we’ve had Zeus, he has been the most amazing, clumsy, lovable family member we could have asked for and his confidence has grown tremendously. It has been less than a year since we first brought him home and he has made our house just that- a home. He even has his own toothbrush which he loves. Zeus is so playful and placid, we could not have asked for any better.
My father and grandfather have bred German shepherds for years and both they, and the courses I have been doing, have helped me with understanding animal behaviour and training. They’ve made Zeus’ transition to his new home so much easier and we know he is truly happy.
We even brought him to see the carers in the DSPCA not too long ago and they were amazed by his transformation since he’s such a different version of himself compared to when we first got him and he looks so much healthier.
Zeus loves his fish smoothies and even has a best friend called Pippa, who he has regular play dates with, I am proud to say that he will never experience neglect again and I’m just sorry we couldn’t get him sooner.
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