In the summer of 2014 we received a call from people in a small town within an hour's drive of the shelter. They said there was a Newfoundland living on a chain, and he was matted, filthy, and miserable. They asked if we could do anything to help this dog. HUA representatives drove to thehome right away. Big Boy Bear was chained to an old shed. He had a huge collar around his neck attached to the heavy chain. He had worn a dirt circle as far as the chainwould reach in an area of tall weeds. He had a dog house that he could not get into.
When he was approached with kind words and treats, he seemed amiable but then suddenly lunged at a staff member, fiercely growling and snapping. BB Bear's owners were elderly people who were physically unable to handle him, but they did not want to relinquish him. They did agree that the poor dog needed immediate care, and they agreed to let HUA help him.
Bear was lured into a large open wire crate with treats in the back of it. The crate was moved into the HUA van, and he was transported to our vet who gave him a little shot in the hip to make him drowsy. Four people quickly shaved off the clumps and filth. His huge sleeping body was then transported back and laid in the dirt, hooked back up with the collar and chain. It was a heartbreaking thing to have to do, but Bear was not our dog.
Two years later, in August, 2016, we received another call from Bear's concerned neighbors. He was again in need of being cleaned up. This time the weeds were taller, Bear was thinner, and flies had eaten a huge gouge out of his nose. He was so miserable that it was not wise to trust him. Usually, life on a chain makes a dog mean. But Bear had only grown more subdued. He seemed to remember having been helped before, and he greeted us with some degree of trust and friendship. We were very relieved that this time his owners agreed to turn him over to HUA permanently.
Again Bear was lured into a large open crate and transported to the vet to have a big nap. When he awoke, he found himself clean-shaven and in the HUAmotel lying on a Kuranda bed with central air conditioning cooling his room and an automatic waterer supplying fresh water.
We did not know how Bear would acclimate to this change, but he soon decided he loved his room. He would venture out to his yard only briefly and then back inside to the cool comfort. Often he put only his huge head out his dog door to look around. Bear seemed very content. It was hard to believe that he ever greeted us with aggression. He became a big loving baby.
Bear had lost fifteen pounds since the first time we met him. We weredisheartened to learn that he was heartworm positive. After many months of expensive, painful and arduous treatment Big Boy Bear is now a healthy, happy gentle giant whohas been perfectly spoiled by his caregivers and volunteers.
We want to send our sincere thanks to all of you who supportedBear in so many ways. Because ofyour kindness, generosity and many prayers, this regal dog who is deserving of the best life possible has survived. Not only has he survived, Bear has thrived. Tragically, stories like his are notall that unusual. Neglected and homeless animals need our constant help. Without you, we would not be able to offer it. Thank you for being there when the animals need you.