Mac’s story started with a phone call from the Belgian Sheepdog Rescue Trust…they had been notified about a male Belgian Sheepdog that needed to be moved immediately from its situation. I was asked to do an ID and a temperament evaluation in a town about 60 miles from our home where Mac was being kept in a basement along with a couple of dogs. Mac most certainly was a BSD and did need rescued as his last owner had died and the family was surrendering him so the house could be sold. BSDRT surrender paperwork was signed and Mac came home with us.
The following day Mac visited our local veterinary for a health screening. As we knew the last time Mac was seen by a vet was 6 years prior, we were very nervous as to what we would find. The good news was Mac was heartworm negative! The not so good news was Mac was grossly overweight at 89 pounds, had severe dental disease, and had an untreated thyroid condition.
The next decision in Mac’s journey was whether we would agree to be his foster family or would he go to a different home for fostering? Our family was comprised of a young female BSD and two indoor cats. After careful consideration, we agreed to foster Mac and provide the care to get him back to stable health. BSDRT was great about providing the structure of what you needed to do as a foster family and was available as counsel if any questions arose.
During the next month, the “foster period”, Mac was back at the veterinary office several times as repeated blood work was done to stabilize his treatment for hypothyroidism and he had a full dental cleaning. For our part, we provided daily walks and visits to the dog park and fed him a controlled diet to help in weight loss. We worked on obedience although it was apparent Mac had had obedience training in his past.
Mac had been with us about five weeks when it was time for him to go up for adoption. BSDRT had done extensive research to try and find Mac’s breeder and although Mac had been microchipped, the microchip was never registered. The little bit we knew of Mac’s history was that he had passed through four different households (one of which abused him) in his lifetime. We loved Mac dearly and could not face the thought of him having to go to yet another family…so yes, we became a “foster failure” and adopted Mac!
After Mac had been with us six months, his breeder happened to see a photo of him on the Rescue website and recognized him. We were put in contact and were stunned to hear about Mac’s beginnings. He had been the “pick male” of the litter and was AKC registered. Amazingly the wonderful temperament Mac displayed as a puppy was still evident in this 9 year old dog that had endured so much!
We just celebrated Mac’s one year anniversary of being with our family. In that time, Mac has lost 24 pounds and reached his goal weight of 65 pounds! The hypothyroidism has stabilized and Mac’s fur has grown back in glossy and shiny. We are so proud that we could be part of returning this wonderful dog to good health! We like to say we rescued him and he rescued us right back! Our reward has been unconditional love each and every day!
Sincerely, Melanie Bock MacDonald