Our Buddy, Dozer
by Cheryl Bricker
After our 5-year-old Golden retriever, Blizzard, died of lymphoma, we were devastated along with Maui, our second Golden retriever. Maui and Blizzard had a very special bond, and Maui took his death especially hard. My vet explained that dogs do get depressed, and some take even longer than Maui’s year-long depression to recover. I’ve never experienced that with any other dogs.
So I felt a bit guilty searching Petfinder.com for a new companion for Maui, my husband and myself. Since I volunteer for a local animal rescue organization and participate in fundraisers and animal transports from kill shelters to safety, I knew I wanted a rescue dog.
I searched for quite a while on the Petfinder.com site wishing I had the ability to take in all the dogs I read about, but “the one” didn’t hit me until I came across Dozer, a collie mix, from Almost Home Dog Rescue of Ohio. His face just popped out at me with his wooly, bushy, lion face and said, “I’m the one, check me out.” And I did just that.
I talked with Daryl Halvacs from AHDRO and Dozer’s foster, Jill Hunt, at length. After driving to Columbus, OH from Erie, PA to meet him, I could tell Dozer was going to be tough for Jill to give up. During the preceding months, Jill had fostered him, in isolation, through Parvovirus with his other littermates, some of which didn’t survive. I could see the sadness in her teary eyes as we waved our goodbyes with Dozer.
Today, Dozer is two. He has grown out of his fear of leaving the house (he used to hide behind the furniture when he’d see the leash). Now he brings it to us for his daily walks. He has brought Maui fully out of her depression over losing Blizzard. Any quirky little fears he had as a puppy have vanished. He does occasionally grab the empty toilet paper tubes out of the bathroom trash can and shreds them, but he has grown into an incredibly well-behaved, protective buddy. He’s never done anything heroic or won any ribbons or medals, but that little lion-faced puppy turned into a majestic canine with endearing traits that are adored, loved and treasured. That’s our buddy, Dozer.