The golden retriever sat tied to a tree in a yard, left behind after his owners moved out of the house. The older dog had owners who had given him a place to live and stay, but when it was time to move, they left him behind.
The stray dog was found tethered without slack to a tree, no food, no water. When our local rescuer in Pickens County S.C., found him, he was starved. Loaded with fleas and ticks, he had a serious skin infection and ear infection. He needed treatment to combat heartworm disease. The dog once had owners, but what he really needed was a family.
The abandoned senior dog got a new name to mark a new chapter in his life story. In the moments after becoming a rescued dog, Sawyer found his life rapidly getting better. With the help of a loving community dedicated to making lives better for unwanted, abused or neglected dogs and cats, Sawyer received medical care, love, attention, food and a ride to the DC region. After a nine-hour car ride — what those in the rescue world call “transport” — he met the people who would not only be his owners, but became his family.
Sawyer’s new family adopted him “off transport.” They completed an application and the adoption process, and made the decision to adopt him by signing a contract before even meeting this older dog that had a rough start.
Sawyer’s new family made sure he continued to receive the best care for his ear infections (including two surgeries) and his skin. Over time, they saw the transformation that often happens when a shelter dog is safe in a home.
Three months after adoption, following a surgery to help heal his chronically infected ears and near the end of several months of antibiotics, his family witnessed what appeared to be Sawyer’s happiest moment.
“This is the biggest smile we’ve seen on Sawyer to date. He has recovered well from surgery and is a day away from being antibiotic-free for the first time in months. Also, his grandparents are visiting from Texas which means four more hands to pet him. This picture is of him patiently awaiting his dinner after an exciting day.”
It’s been a little more than a year since Sawyer went from homeless to homebound. A dog once left attached to a tree, likely to die, is now living the best life ever. His family even celebrated his 9th birthday.
“We don’t actually know his birthday, but June 11 was written on his vet records from Pickens so we just went with it. He had a dog-friendly homemade dinner and dessert! We sang, he was confused … then he finally got to eat.”
Thank you to the Gann family for adopting Sawyer and sharing his story and photos.