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A Dog Saves His Owner

Updated on August 12, 2012

Saved As A Puppy

This is George.

In the summer of 2000 I was working at a local humane society. We had been trying to shut down an unlicensed exotics breeder that had hundreds of animals kept in deplorable conditions. The breeder was in court and we were anxiously awaiting news from the judge to go take the animals.

We knew the call would come so that morning we set up shop across the street from the house. When the call finally came we were told that if the door was locked we would have to wait for the owner to come unlock the door. One of the neighbors asked us why we weren't hauling out the animals and when we told him we had to wait, he went right up the porch and kicked the door in. Well, the door wasn't locked anymore was it?

So Much Worse Than We Expected

We knew there would be a lot of animals and we thought we came prepared. Boy were we wrong.

When we went into the living room we were greeted by a fawn - yep, a fawn, and a couple of English Bulldogs. We split up into teams and went through the rest of the house.

In the kitchen we found a homemade enclosure built into the walls with several Bengal cats. The kitchen was so disgusting with moldy dishes and uneaten food piled on the table and in the sink. In another room there were Guinea Pigs stacked cage upon cage. The cages were so heavy with wet cedar chips from urine that it took at least two people to pick up each cage. In between some of the cages we found dead Guinea Pigs that had gotten out of their cages and gotten stuck where they were. There was another room with Short Tailed Opossums, some with babies attached to their stomachs (

In the bathroom there was a female Pomeranian with new puppies - about 4 or 5 days old (one of these puppies was George).

Upstairs in the one bedroom were a pair of Pekingese. In the attic there were several cages of Sugar Gliders with rancid food and cloudy water. Sugar Gliders are rather fragile animals and require a lot of care - these guys were lucky to even be alive.

The basement was full of Ferrets and Chinchillas. I think this is also where the Hedgehogs were.Oddly enough these cages weren't as filthy as the others.

There were animals outside as well. A family of Rottweilers, several chickens, some pigs and in the barn were a few more Pomeranians.

Once we got back to the shelter and processed all the animals in there were over 200 critters in all - not counting the baby opossums.

Struggle To Survive

Our shelter was not equipped to deal with these exotics but we got busy learning how.

We set up a quiet room for the mommy Pomeranian and her pups. There was a rough road ahead for these pups. The flea infestation had mom and puppies anemic and they all had intestinal parasites.

We did everything we could, but with their weakened immune systems the litter came down with parvo a few weeks later. Try as we might, only one survived - he would later be known as George.

Love At First Sight

My parents would come up to the shelter on occasion and when my dad saw that puppy that was it. He named him George because he looked like someone we knew with that name and it stuck - all the shelter workers started calling him George.

It wasn't long before my dad had talked my mom into coming back to adopt him.

Forward to 2012 - George has been in the family for 12 years now. He's arthritic but still gets around good and even chases his ball on good days.

March 31st my parents went to a trivia night. They got home late and dad said he was going to bed. My mom tried to get him to sleep on the main level of the house - he and George prefer the basement - he said no, so down the stairs he went.

He got about half way down when he slipped and fell the rest of the way landing on the concrete floor. My mom heard it and went down to help him. She tried to get him to go to the hospital but he refused, said he was ok. So, she helped him get in bed.

She checked on him about 3:00 am and he was snoring up a storm as usual, so she went back to bed.

Around 5:00 am George came into my mom's room, jumped at the side of the bed and "woofed" at her - twice. This is something George has never, ever done - he just does not jump at or on her bed - 12 years and this was a first.

My mom knew something was wrong. She went downstairs and found my dad sitting in the office chair. He had rolled it over to the phone, but he had the handset in his lap and was pushing buttons on the answering machine trying to call 911. His face was so swollen he could not see and he could barely breathe.

Mom called 911 and they got him to the hospital. He was airlifted to another one in St. Louis.

It turns out that when he fell he broke every rib on his left side, fractured his pelvis on both sides, punctured a lung, ruptured his bladder and had some hair-line fractures in his spine. The doctors said he was lucky to be alive and if he hadn't have gotten help when he did, he would not have made it.

Turns out that George waking mom up and behaving the way he did saved my dads life.

Still Recovering

Dad isn't back to work yet but he's getting there. And George, well, he gets spoiled even more than before. His life was saved as a puppy and he returned it in kind.


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    • Sypsey profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      You're right, it is a two parter. I think some breeders just see dollar signs and could care less about the animals.

    • Sypsey profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thank you very much DrMark1961.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      6 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      This story has two parts - the rescue of exotic pets and George's story - and both are awesome.

      I am amazed at how irrisponsible some breeders can get. Don't they see the cruelty in their behaviour? Or perhaps they treat animals as non-living entities.

      Thank you very much for sharing the story.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 

      6 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      George sounds like a great alert dog. Thanks for telling us about him, I am voting this up and will share it on Hubpages.


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