We picked Troy up from a shelter in Troy, Ohio, where he would have been euthanized if we hadn't found him. He was in very bad shape. He weighed only 68 pounds and had lost all his fur on his underside. Staff members at the shelter had already written him off as a lost cause. They had no hope that he's survive and suggested that we bring him back to be eutahnized if he didn't get any better. At the time I was outraged. The shelter was one of the worst I had ever been in... and there was no way we'd ever bring him back there. We were determined to help him get better and find a loving home.
Our vet at the time was dubious about this, but after much talking we got to work. We fed him, bathed him with special shampoo. Troy was a survivor! He responded very well to medical care, and his hair started growing back... he also started gaining weight. We have no idea of his history, but we guess that he must have been on the run for a long time... as many of his teeth are broken.
One day at work, I got an email from a woman, wanting to adopt a Newf. I called and spoke with her, and after talking to her, and really liking her, I scheduled a time for Russell and I to visit and conduct a "home check". She asked if we could bring a Newf with us. She had grown up with Saint Bernards, and worked for a woman who raised Newfs. She loved the breed dearly. I told her about Troy... and that I'd bring him because the socialization would be good for him. He was still a mess. I explained that he wasn't available for adoption yet because we were in the process of getting him healthy. She understood.
I will never forget that visit. As we pulled into her driveway, she came out the door. She had invited her Mother over to see the Newf! They were delightful, and I knew as I watched Liz sit on her lawn with Troy that she would be an awesome person to adopt a Newf. We went into the house, and conducted our "home check". Troy came in, and as we watched, climbed up into Bob's Chair at the Kitchen table. He had clearly decided that "he was home". Liz and Bob knew at that point, that they wanted Troy to come live with them. "Think about it" we told them. And they did.. for 12 hours. Liz called me the next day saying.. he's the boy for us. And I knew this and agreed. Troy stayed with us for a few more weeks, but he did go for "weekend" visits. Once he got clearance from the Vet, Troy and I took one more ride together to Liz's house, where he lived in the lap of luxury- healthy, well fed and adored.
We were always curious about his age. The Vet had no clear idea and estimated that he was somewhere between 4-7. As he got healthier, he seemed younger. We hoped that he was on the young side obviously. And the fact that Troy lived with Liz and Bob for over 7 years is a testimony to the true power of TLC: Tender Loving Care. It's a testimony to the value of Animal Rescue, and how even a dog that has been deemed "a lost cause" can beat the odds.
So why I am feeling quite sad that Troy has passed away, it's more important to celebrate his life, and his Victory over what once seemed to be insurmountable odds. Rest in Peace sweet boy! You were loved, and you loved back. Bravo!