In Memoriam: Gus
Goodbye To Gus, my sweet little sheltie boy. We found you
wandering, with matted coat and and sick at heart. With love
and good care you became a beautiful sheltie both inside and
out. We called you "The Prince" with your regal appearance
and your sense of entitlement! You knew you deserved the
best spot on the bed, always the first to be fed, truly the
boss of the rest! I will miss you so.
- Moreen Jacobsen
Sherri and Gus
Our first foster dog
The call for Gus came late at night, only a day after Sherri and I first volunteered to work with Triangle Sheltie Rescue. I answered the phone and was told about an overweight sheltie, which was missing all of his teeth. He had also been shaved and was covered with fleas and ticks. He also has a heartworm infection. And he is old. And he stinks. And by the way, pick him up tomorrow. He would be our first foster dog.
I was speechless.
This was years ago, before I knew that a dog that was shaved and full of worms and bugs and no teeth could be easily turned around into a wonderful dog. This was before I knew anything at all about dealing with a heartworm-positive dog.
Our experiences with Gus would prove that you truly cannot judge a book by its cover.
Gus, sneaking out of a group picture
Gus was indifferent with us, only giving us attention when he felt like it, but we still picked him up and held him at every opportunity, and he didnít fight it. He blended in with our gang seamlessly, and our biggest problem was convincing him that he could live on one cup of food a day.
During his heartworm treatment, he had his good days and his bad days. Keeping him still was certainly not a challenge, but sometimes he would get a wild hair and try to run around and bark. He had an old man bark Ö forced, but still enough for us to know that he was there.
When he had finished his treatment and was available for adoption, we struggled with letting him go. We could not imagine letting this guy, who had lived with us for months, just go somewhere else to live. Even as Moreen was pulling in the driveway to pick him up, I was having my reservations. He was our dog! We were both very sad when he left and things around the house didnít seem the same without him.
Gus getting his bark on
Fortunately, he went to an excellent home. Moreen gave him all the attention he needed, and then some. He racked up vet bills in his old age, but he remained the stoic little guy he always was, just kind of happy to be a dog. We visited him frequently, and every time I saw him, I was truly amazed at how far he had come from where he had started. His progress was a testament to Moreen, and also, testament to the resiliency and wonder of dogs.
The world has lost a wonderful sheltie. He kept us all wrapped around his paw and will forever remain in our hearts.
- Mike Tickle
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