Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pooch Profile: Champ's Story

Champ (who was named Findley in his foster home) hopped into a Kentucky shelter in mid July 2010. He was picked up as a stray, and shelter staff immediately noticed that he was different from most of the dogs that arrive at their shelter – Champ only had 3 legs! We don’t know what happened to Champ’s leg, or why it was amputated, but obviously he had received vet care prior to landing in the shelter, as his leg was completed healed and all his fur had grown back. It was later discovered during a check-up that Champ’s body was also riddled with buckshot; apparently someone had shot him with a rifle!

Pulling Champ from the shelter was a last-minute decision, as the dog that was originally scheduled to come into our rescue was pulled by a local rescue group. The photo of Champ on the shelter’s website melted our hearts and, even though he’s larger than the dogs we typically take on as fosters, we knew that others wouldn’t be able to resist his adorable face.

Despite his rough start to life, Champ came to LOYAL a well-rounded, friendly, quiet, mellow dog that just loved being around people. He slept the entire first night that he arrived without a peep, and slept almost all of the next day. Not only did he probably not get much sleep when he was living on the streets, but he also had a very long journey from Kentucky all the way to Toronto, Ontario. Clearly he needed to recoup and get some much-needed R&R.

Champ got along famously with all people, dogs and cats. He made fast friends with our own dog (a former LOYALite!), our other foster dog (a 9-lb. Terrier mix that was from the same Kentucky shelter, and who made the long transport with Champ), and our cats. Champ loved everyone, and everyone loved Champ! He was very, very popular in our building.

The very first night Champ arrived, we got an e-mail from one of the volunteers who drove one of the legs of the Champ’s transport. She had immediately fallen in love with Champ, and wanted to know more about him. Through many, many e-mails back and forth including updates, photos, videos, and after completing our screening process, Janice and Tim, Champ’s potential new family, were able to meet Champ at their home in Kitchener. Of course, Champ proved just how amazing he was with not only his potential parents, but also with his potential new fur-family – a Jack Russell Terrier named Rosie, a Lab mix named Ebby, and two feline fur-sisters. It was a perfect match!

Champ was adopted the following week, and we are happy to report that he has been living a pretty amazing life since joining his new family. He recently graduated from his primary obedience course at the top of his class, receiving the best marks of all his classmates!

From a stray in Kentucky to the top dog in his class, Champ has certainly come a long, long way in his short 3 years of life. Champ is a shining example that dogs with disabilities, and dogs that come from unknown backgrounds and endure awful things in their former lives can still live amazing, happy, well-balanced lives. Champ could not have ended up in a better home with a more loving family, and we are so proud to have been a part of his life. He, like so many other dogs, deserved a happy ending, and we are so glad that he found it with his new family.

Congratulations on snagging such a fantastic forever home, Champ!

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