It was 4 years ago today that life totally changed for me, and for one lucky shelter dog!
I was on the board of directors at the Port Jervis Humane Society back in the late summer of 2013 and was at the facility for a meeting.
Thats when I met BOWSER for the first time!
Bowser, along with a pregnant female pitbull, were seized by Animal Control Officers from a home in Port Jervis N.Y..
His captors had him chained up in filthy conditions. Being used for breeding purposes and as a "bait dog". (He has the scars to prove the abuse.)
Bowser did not do well in the shelter environment. Nobody would even try take him out of the kennel for almost 3 weeks when he first came to the shelter. He was completely terrified and in full survival protection mode. (as you can see in the photo above) !
The video is of PEACHES with the puppies she gave birth to after she got to us.
(The pups were all premature because of the stress on Peaches caused by being in the shelter.) All the puppies survived and were adopted. Peaches also got her forever home.
Bowser went to adoption events and started to trust humans again, but I was his obvious favorite.
One day, one of the kennel workers mishandled Bowser and he got away from her , and into the cat room. It didn't turn out well for one of the cats who lost a couple toes during an altercation. That move got Bowser on the " The List" . ( meaning he was going to be euthanized for being cat/small animal aggressive and otherwise not adoptable. )
Thats when I decided to fight the other Board Members and bring him home as a TEMPORARY FOSTER. I asked my good friend Crystal go to the shelter and pick up Bowser along with a large crate that a perfect stranger who saw our story on Facebook donated to me and drove all the way from CONNECTICUT to make sure Bowser didn't have to sleep on the cold concrete for another night! BILL MURPHY, Thank You.
Heres a gallery of photos that tell some of our story from the past 4 years.
It might be cliche, but im honestly not sure "who rescued who".
I do know this , in the past 1,460 days, I have been shown a level of love , gratitude and appreciation that I never would have known had I not decided to take this guy into my world .
If you're considering following in my footsteps and adopting a best friend for yourself, here's some advice..
The first few days in a new home are critical for shelter pet ( or any other animal). Your new pet will be confused about where it is and what to expect from you. Setting up some clear structure with your new family member will be paramount in making as smooth a transition as possible.
PETFINDER HAS A GREAT ARTICLE HERE about the first 30 days of pet ownership.
The best advice I can give you is to find a pet that matches your energy level and lifestyle. Not every pet is the right match for every family. Do your research but most of all ADOPT A SHELTER ANIMAL !
Happy 4th "Gotcha Day" Bowser , We LOVE you !
All photos: Borasio