We rescued “Tucker” from the county shelter two hours before he was scheduled for euthanasia. Reason: he had a pronounced limp in his right rear leg, which was probably also the reason he had been “dumped” at the shelter. His estimated age was about nine months. We did not know if his injury was due to abuse, or being hit by a car, but we knew we had rescued an extremely fearful dog who was also an extremely handsome, ginger-colored Shepherd-Chow mix, intelligent, soulful and immediately endearing. Slowly, he bonded with our two Scotties and lowered his guard – but never completely. We gained his trust and his affection gradually. An x-ray of his right hip revealed a break that had begun to heal in the form of a “false joint.” It also revealed the common Sheperd affliction of hip displasia. Within a month, however, Tucker was walking and running normally. He was also learning to play and to interact with his canine and human pack. Alas, despite reactive and other training, his fear of strangers persisted, manifested by occasional lunging at passersby on walks and growling at anyone who entered his house. But when when we gaze into his beautiful, grateful brown eyes or receive his sloppy kisses, we know we made the right decision. After two+ years, we’re still working on his fear/aggression issues, but Tucker is an integral member of our pack, now and always.

— Tim from Tucson, AZ