A team of volunteers, staff, and veterinarians from the area have rallied to help a dog recover from his injuries and find a forever home.
The team is now asking for help from the community to make sure Diesel finds a couch he can snuggle on for the rest of his days.
Diesel, an 80-pound mix-breed dog, came to the Collingwood-based Georgian Triangle Humane Society from a northern rescue trip as an emaciated and tired dog with severe injuries to his tail and leg, and another sore leg.
He required several surgeries and medical attention, which made him a perfect candidate for a new foster volunteer, Caroline Auer.
Auer has been a registered veterinary technician for more than 20 years and signed up as a foster home with the GTHS, letting them know they could send her pets that needed specialized care.
“I said I don’t want to take in a cute puppy or one someone else could easily foster, because I can do more than that,” said Auer. “I’ll take the dog nobody else wants … I just want to give these guys the couch they need to recover and a little bit of rehab.”
It was a case of ask and receive, because shortly after volunteering Auer heard from the GTHS and picked up a very exhausted Diesel about four weeks ago.
She took him to her home where he started recovery almost immediately.
“The first thing he did when he walked in the house was made himself comfortable on the couch and he slept for days,” said Auer.
Diesel would get up to eat or go outside for a bathroom break, but other than that he slept.
“It was kind of like he’d been through that ringer and he just wanted to rest and recover,” said Auer.
His tail had been injured a while ago, and as a result nearly two vertebrae of the bone was exposed at the tip. The whole tail had to be amputated, which Auer said, added a lot of pep to his step.
He now wags his tail stump happily and without any pain.
“Despite his suffering, Diesel is the definition of a gentle giant,” wrote GTHS executive director Sonya Reichel, in an email to GTHS supporters. “Somewhere in Diesel’s story, he developed the capacity for great love.”
Auer agreed, referring to Diesel as a “docile love bug.”
“He is the hugest snuggler,” said Auer, adding he likes to lean on anyone that offers him snuggles. “He sits on the couch and rests his head on the back of the couch while he looks out the window and watches the world go by.”
Auer and her eight and 11-year-old daughters have fallen in love with him.
“We will shed tears when we say goodbye,” said Auer. “We did this to be the bridge to bring a pet from a place of pain or suffering to their forever home.”
The bridge is made up of many supports including the GTHS and local veterinary clinics and specialists who have helped perform the surgeries Diesel and other animals have needed after arriving to the shelter looking for homes.
Diesel’s medical care has been expensive, so the GTHS is asking for community donations to help cover the costs.
Reichel confirmed there are three local veterinary partners – Blue Mountain Veterinary Services, Grey Bruce Pet Hospital, and Owen Sound Veterinary Clinic – that have helped champion Diesel’s story and will match incoming donations up to $1,500.
Auer, whose career has kept her caring for animals all her life, said it’s important for people to know the specialist surgeries and care is expensive, even at cost, for the GTHS to bear.
The local shelter is funded 100 per cent by donations and does not receive government funding.
She encouraged those who can to donate toward Diesel’s care and the care of the hundreds of other animals that come through the GTHS doors.
Diesel is available for adoption through the GTHS, but he’s waiting for surgery for a torn cruciate ligament on April 13. He will require regular vet visits and post-surgery care, a strict restriction of his exercise, and a hypoallergenic diet.
Auer said Diesel’s medical care and dislike of other dogs can be barriers for adoption, but she wants people to know he is a nearly perfect pet.
“He’s just the world’s best dog,” said Auer. “He’s ready to just be someone’s forever companion.”
She said anyone who is home lots and loves hanging out with their dog would be a great fit for Diesel.