By Jennifer Deuel, AHNA Certified Veterinary Technician
This is Jen with José and Hala. Hala is Jose's best buddy and partner in crime. She insisted on being in the photo!
My dog José is a great dog with an interesting story. Five years ago this Thanksgiving my roommate, Nan (who now works at AHNA), was working at REACH Emergency Hospital. She called and told me she was bringing home a surprise for me, and what a surprise it was - an 80-pound German Shepherd mix! Nan knew that I had been looking for a German Shepherd to adopt.
José was brought in to REACH by a good Samaritan who found him curled up in her front bushes terrified and bleeding from multiple places. This amazing woman was nice enough to pay for his care at REACH, and once some x-rays were taken it was discovered that he had been shot multiple times with birdshot. The lady that brought José in recognized him as her neighbor’s dog. The owners were contacted and they said that they no longer wanted José. They signed him over to Nan, his wounds were cleaned up, he was neutered, and then she brought him home to me.
He was pretty shy at first and was constantly trying to run away. I don't think he had had much interaction with people in the past and it took a while for him to realize that he had a permanent home with me. These days he is totally different dog. He has learned that it's ok to have fun and his personality has blossomed (as you can see by the pictures, he loves to dress up).
There isn't an employee at AHNA that doesn't know José. He loves meeting new people, new dogs, and new places. Nan always picks on me because he went from a dog that didn't have any friends, to a dog that doesn't know the meaning of the word ‘stranger.’ He is totally attached to me.
José is also now one of the main blood donors here at the hospital. Like most German Shepherds, he is a universal blood donor type. He has helped save the lives of half a dozen dogs with his blood donations. He is such a good boy that he doesn't even need sedation; he just sits patiently and donates his blood. He also helps foster puppies and kittens with me. He is so tolerant of the little guys, he lets them crawl all over him, and it's a great developing experience for the fosters. You won't find a more lovable guy and I couldn't ask for a better buddy.