ZEUS: Our Current Rescue
Zeus came to us by way of the akitabreeders list. He was placed on many internet lists as he had been turned into a local animal shelter after being picked up off a major highway outside of Portland, OR. The good Samaritans who picked him up took him home with the hope of finding his owners and, if not, adopting him themselves but their own rescue hated him on sight. So with heavy hearts, they turned him into a shelter. The shelter’s veterinarian did an examination and decided he was at least ten years old and more probably eleven or twelve. After the short period of waiting, he was scheduled to be euthanized as his chances of being adopted at that age were nil. The Washington Akita Group rescue was notified when he arrived in hopes of finding his former home and his information was sent over the internet to as many lists and contacts as possible. But no one ever showed up. We stepped in to adopt him because he was a hopeless case. He deserved to live out his few remaining months in peace.
A fellow breeder offered to keep him for a week until we could meet and bring him to our house. When she picked him up from the shelter and she felt that he was pretty uncomfortable even for an old dog and took him into her vet. Her own vet decided he was more like the guess of twelve years old and probably pretty arthritic. After some xrays and a more thorough exam, it was discovered he did indeed have some arthritis, his hearing and eye sight were very poor but otherwise he was physically sound. Still he wasn’t expected to last much more than six months if even that. After we got him home, his overall stiffness and soreness gradually disappeared and we will always wonder if he actually fell out of a moving vehicle or was clipped on the busy highway before he was rescued. He was in surprisingly good condition with a clean coat, good weight, clean teeth, trimmed nails. Someone had loved him. Someone had trained him well as he came with a complete compliment of obedience commands he would perform. He wasn’t madly in love with us from the beginning and he, to this day, has very definite opinions about how he wants things done and where he wants to be. But he has brought us enormous joy and delight as he is such a classic “old man” about everything. We wouldn’t have missed this time with him for anything. He has been with us for over three years. He has trouble raising and walking at this point but he still does it, thank you very much. He sometimes looses his way in the big exercise yard and can’t find the house and I have to go rescue him. He sleeps in the sun so deeply I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve thought he’d breathed his last. And then some days, when we’re both sitting in the sun, he’ll come over and lay his enormous head in my lap or lean against my leg. He’s not over the top with affection, he’s not that kind of Akita but it’s enough. It’s his way of saying thank you. And it’s enough.