We adopted our dog Casper in March 2013 from the Alexandria Welfare League in Virginia. We had been talking about getting a dog for years and within 3 months of settling into our own apartment we had our first furry roommate! I had been passively searching the online websites of local shelters for a few weeks looking for a medium-large dog with lots of fur (my requirement) and a calm disposition (my husband’s requirement) when we went out to dinner one night and decided to stop by a shelter on our way home to take a look at Casper. When we walked back into the kennels he was in the first kennel on the right and immediately started barking loudly. We lived in an apartment with a lot of neighbors and that just wasn’t going to work, but as we looked at the other dogs he still seemed to be the best choice. So, we decided to take him out to the play area and see how he did.
As soon as he wasn’t in the kennel anymore he stopped barking and wagged his tail with excitement. As we sat giving him attention I noticed how much he responded to the women working there. Any time he heard their voices he would jump up on the gate and search for them. I found this to be a definite plus. He had only been there several weeks and had bonded with the workers very quickly. Finally I said to my then boyfriend, now husband, that I needed him. My husband asked, “Is this dog coming home with us?” To which Casper responded by putting his paw on my husband’s arm and rolling over for a belly rub. We picked up him 2 days later.
The shelter employees informed us that he had been surrendered due to medical costs and when he had come to them his allergies had gotten so bad that he had a terrible bacterial infection and had lost the hair in a large patch on his chest and along his face and muzzle. Now we have him on a grain-free easy digestion food and an anti-inflammatory with antihistamine medication and he is as furry and happy as ever. In the pictures above you can see the difference in his appearance from when we first brought him home to 6 months later.
After we picked him up I reviewed all of his documents and medical records. The shelter had told us that he was 8 years old, but based on his records he was actually 7 years old. My husband will tell you that I refuse to allow him to age because I’ve been telling people he’s 8 for years, but truly he is 10 this month. Despite his age he is active, playful, and full of love.