THE STORY OF FRITZ
When I received the call to come look at a large un-neutered stray male at one of the local shelters, I assumed I would find a relatively healthy, sort of our of control dog. Fritz was large, he had an intimidating face and posture but I could see that he was starved for affection having been abandoned.
Fritz was extremely thin and malnourished. He had no formal training and was just on his own. He did not respond to even the simplest commands like sit or come, but marched to his own tune. Fritz never found a bush or a tree he did not like. Even after we had him neutered he still saw all plants as targets!
Shortly after we got him we found his heart worm test was positive which meant treatment, isolation and inactivity for a while. He was not easy to contain and really liked his walks and activity, but that would have to stop for at least 5 weeks.
We transferred Fritz to the hospital ward and began his 2 shot treatment and bed rest. During that time we tried our best to find an adoptive family for him. He was almost dog friendly but he had very limited socialization. Because of his size, he needed an alpha figure and a family able to help socialize him.
At that time I had a long term working relationship with a person here in town who had lost his beautiful German Shepherd in a car accident. John agreed to come over to the shelter to have a look at Fritz. Fritz was kind of aloof and disinterested in most everybody but Diane and I because we handled him the most.
Because of the great care and kindness of the AWL staff, Fritz began to gain weight and to respond to people very well. He was regaining his regal appearance and becoming more able to get around considering his extended bed rest requirement. Fritz has an enlarged heart from the heart worm and did require a more sedentary life style. John’s intention with Fritz was to keep him in his machine shop by day and at home with his golden retriever at night. In this way Fritz found the perfect environment where he would get the love he needed and training all the while not running or endangering himself through over exertion.
John fell in love with Fritz right away and decided to take him after his release from the hospital. He has had Fritz now for almost 6 months and he has adapted very well.
We could still not figure out why such a smart breed of dog did not know the simplest commands which are usually learned as a puppy. One afternoon a Spanish man came to John’s shop. Fritz, the official greeter presented himself for an obligatory ear rub. The man began to speak to him in Spanish, to which Fritz, our German Shepherd responded perfectly. I had given Fritz his name because he just looked the part, however Pedro would have been more appropriate. Fritz, we determined was now bi-lingual!
To see Fritz in his new home is just a wonderful thing. To see how much John and his staff love him and to see how he responds to them and all people coming into his shop is truly heart warming.
It was our pleasure to have saved Fritz, with the help of the AWL, and we know he is grateful, content and is living the good life with John.