`
A Holiday Wishes story and yes, it's real.

Mike and Zeus



On a warm August day, my husband Mike & I walked into the Flagler Humane Society. Our hearts ached over the recent loss of our thirteen year old rescue, "Kendra." Planning to honor her by adopting another rescue, we arrived looking for a dog named "Zeus."

We had been following him online since his mid December intake date. Although they had first offered him at a reduced rate and then later at no charge at all, people showed no interest.

Upon entering, we immediately spotted a huge, enthusiastic dog lumbering toward us at least forty pounds overweight. He possessed painful pyoderma lesions covering his body with large patches of apricot and balding white coat. Beautiful golden eyes and a loving expression implored that this was Zeus, the Australian Shepherd (mixed with something big) who had been surrendered by his owner for euthanasia.

We learned his arrival condition also included ear infections, thyroid disorder and an unbearable stench from all the infections. Flagler Humane Society's caring staff elected to treat him medically which stretched their resources to impossible limits yet again in order to offer him a fighting chance at a happy life.

We were taken by this dog who remained joyful despite such obvious distress. We boosted this stoic charmer into our car beginning the journey into his new life.

Two days later our veterinarian, Anna Raevsky, arrived, assessed the situation, only briefly hesitated, then directed...

“Let’s get to work!”

Zeus protested all the “ouchy” necessities of the doctor's exam with escape attempts, then buried his head in our arms and whimpered. The ear infections were diagnosed as a difficult antibiotic-resistant variety. However, treatment began and a gradual progress followed. The patient quickly bonded with our senior dogs Mojo and Ozzie who offered their own brand of comfort through each procedure.

His strongest bond, though, came with Daddy Mike. Zeus joyfully welcomes daddy home from work with a happy dance and they march shoulder to hip down the hall to their favorite room - the kitchen!

Though he never plays with toys, he will contend a tug-of-war with Daddy but his favorite sport is squirrel chasing, paws down. When he first arrived, he would thunder toward them with the laborious speed of a Sherman tank which amused the humans and squirrels alike.

But now he has a beautiful coat, lost half his body weight, moves with ease and is happy and healthy. Squirrels ceased their laughter. Luckily, his other target, airplanes, remain out of range.
He is desperate to bag one of those!

Playtime aside, Zeus still had something vital to do.

Six months after his adoption, he returned to Flagler Humane Society to visit his special family of dedicated rescuers. They immediately lavished him with hugs and affection but his main man, Jeffery, was a particular source of joy and Zeus rewarded with limitless kisses. Zeus’ happiness explained all we needed to know about these amazing people who see what others cannot.

They gave Zeus his life back and he seems to know it.



◄ Back to Holiday Wishes