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Amanda asked the vet to do a skin test

Time:2018-08-13 02:40Shoes websites Click:

long Home Road winding fur-ever

Written by Don Botch

Muhlenberg Township, PA —


That's what we call him.

But that wasn't always his name.

When a good Samaritan came to his rescue, he didn't have a name.

Not as far as anyone knew, anyway.

He was alone - likely lost or abandoned - and on his last legs.

Now, two months, three names, four caretakers and loads of love later, he's a tail-wagging trouper who has found his forever home 476 miles from where it all began for him.

His name is Gus.

He's a survivor.

And this is his story.

'What in the world?'

 Amanda asked the vet to do a skin test

Gus was in sad shape when he was found alongside a road in West Virginia back in May.

One sunny day in late May, Ryan Donovan, a professional pilot who had just returned from a trip, was driving home from the airport in Huntington, W.Va., when he rounded a bend and noticed something on the ground between the road and the guard rail.

His curiosity piqued, he made a U-turn, circled back and approached the black object to see what it was.

"Right when I got up to him, I saw it was a puppy, and I thought, 'What in the world?' " Donovan said by phone last week. "He started kind of slowly walking off and went under the guard rail, so I couldn't grab him. But you could tell he was malnourished and his fur was kind of thinning."

Donovan caught up with him in a wooded area and bent down to pick him up, but the puppy tried to bite him.

"He finally let me grab him, and I picked him up and wrapped him in a towel and put him in my car," Donovan said. "I got him in the air conditioning, and he literally laid down and didn't move. He was just covered with ticks. I knew he was in bad shape, so I called my wife and said, 'We need to talk.' "

'We could never not fix him'

 Amanda asked the vet to do a skin test

Gus was suffering hair loss as a result of scabies when he was found.

Ryan snapped a photo and texted it to Amanda to give her an idea of what to expect when they got home, and her maternal instincts immediately took over.

"We were feeding him, and I knew he didn't look good," she said, "so I told Ryan we've got to take him to the vet. He's not going to make it with just some food and water."

Amanda said he was covered with fleas and more than 20 ticks, and hardly moved at all. Their vet guessed he was 10 to 12 weeks old, and he weighed just 8 pounds.

Because of his hair loss, Amanda asked the vet to do a skin test, which came back positive for sarcoptic mange, also known as scabies.

The vet gave him an IV for dehydration and medication for scabies, and the Donovans took him home, determined to nurse him back to health.

"We're such animal lovers, we just could never not fix him," Amanda said.

But there were a few complications: Scabies is contagious to people and animals, so he had to be quarantined downstairs; one of their three dogs was recovering from knee surgery and required attention; Amanda was pregnant and "super-sick"; Ryan was leaving the next day on a five-day work trip; and they were a week away from moving to a new home.

Things got even dicier when, the next day, Amanda was putting the pup out during a downpour when he wandered off as night fell. She called and called him to no avail, and went to bed disheartened that he was again lost and out there on his own, or worse.

"All night long, I woke up every hour-and-a-half and went out and yelled for him," she said. "I set up stuff outside in case he came back. It was devastating. And Ryan was gone."

The next morning, she put up social media posts and canvassed the neighborhood.

"I befriended everybody who lives in our town that I didn't know," she said. "Sure enough, one of the neighbors who lived behind us, their daughter grabbed him."

He had been missing for just 12 hours, but Amanda said it felt like an eternity.

Over the next few days, their house guest gained four pounds and began showing signs of improvement, and Amanda gave him a name.

"I called him Harry," she said, "just kind of a backwards joke, because he wasn't very hairy."

But with everything else going on in their lives, the Donovans knew they couldn't keep a puppy that was on the mend, so five days after taking him in, Amanda posted a message on social media asking for help.

'I shy away from nothing'

 Amanda asked the vet to do a skin test

Reading Eagle: Don Botch | On his first visit to the local dog park, Gus, right, was quick to seek out new friends.

Beth Sampson, vetting coordinator at Dog Bless in nearby Charleston, an advocacy group that works to get dogs out of high-risk shelters and into no-kill rescues, was the first to respond.

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