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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
(also I'm sorry if this should be in "Stories" forum, but I figure since I already had a post about this in general, I'd put it here again.)
If you guys weren't part of the first thread I made about him, here's a quick synopsis:
Picked up a German Shepherd for $60 on Craigslist. The guy "Craig" told me he was found on the highway, told me had no chip, and that his collar's plating had no information on it either.
Guy had him for about 2-3 weeks before we picked him up. Most well behaved dog we've ever had, house broken, doesn't go through trash, does not bark, etc.

Here is the full link if you wish to read in detail: https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-information/749025-so-i-ended-up-stray-shepherd-3.html#post9099409
I went today to the Humane Society go get him shots since I had no record of them, and got him a rabies, distemper and lepto(?), and I decided to ask the clerk to just double check whether or not he had a chip or not. And it turns out.. he is chipped, and on file his name is Indigo. It points to a guy named Eric P. in Victor, Colorado (approx 180 miles from where we are now.) His phone number is on file.. I decide to call him.

He picked up at 8PM tonight. And told me his story.

Eric is a U.S. Army veteran who moved to CO about 3 years ago from VA. He's glad to hear the dog is in a good place. How Eric had gotten "Indigo", was that he was taken to the pound with his sister. His sister unfortunately died on intake, and it left Indigo very depressed. He didn't eat for the majority of his time in the pound and was malnourished to the point where you could see his rib cage and stomach from afar. 87 days later, Eric comes by to the pound and finds out that Indigo was due for an euthanize in two days because he was "aggressive to other dogs" but just sees this old pup look up at him and nothing more. The pound lets him have the dog for free.

The pound told him that Indigo was about 4 years old, but Eric told me that it's evident that he is definitely an older dog, maybe like 7-10, because of his teeth and that he needs help getting into the back of trucks. He exclaims through the whole time that he is an old man.

I told Eric about how I had gotten off of craigslist, his shots and what not, and he tells me that he wouldn't be able to buy him back at all. Because Eric is now homeless, with 17$ to his name.

So Eric then begins to tell me a lot of stories he'd have with the dog. He'd feed him half of his dinners as roast he'd make from the crock pot and half dog food to just get some weight on his body. He didn't like the name Indigo for him, so he had renamed him Koda; short for Kodiak since he reminded him of a Kodiak bear. He told me that I should always roll down a window in car rides otherwise Koda whines, and not to give him too much water on car rides because he can't hold his pee for too long, like 90 minutes. And that he needs help getting into high trucks because his bones are bad. He told me that there was this one time where Koda saved his daughter from falling down a cliff, and had tackled her down before she fell forward down it and she landed on the ground safely, and that she cried but Eric realized that Koda had saved her basically. He told me that Koda is crate trained and if he is anxious he loves to lie in a crate of his own, but not the rubber ones, Koda hates those he likes the big metal crates more. He also tells me that his temperament changes when he is on harness and not just collar, so he thinks he might have been a working dog in his younger years. He told me that he added CBD to his meals to help his bones (is this a real thing?) and that overall he was a lot calmer as well. He told me that there was a time where there were chickens near him, and that he'd chase them around and nothing more, and not to worry too much about cats but he isn't 100% sure. He tells me a lot of stories about him and Koda and just the overall temperament of this good boy.

Eric had Koda for 7 months, until he lost him. Eric and his friend were stopped by a gas station and Eric had let his dog out to go do his business. Eric gets in the car, and so does his friend and accidentally drive off. They turn around and they couldn't find him as they searched for Koda for hours. This is probably where Craigslist guy finds him off the highway. It turns out too, that when I told Eric about the plating got removed on his collar, and Eric confirmed that it was the Craigslist guy not wanting me to contact him. It's whatever though. 60$ is nothing for this guy. Eric is glad that he is in a warm bodied home, and to let him know if Koda passes or what not. He even offered to give me the remainder of Koda's stuff be it I am ever around town near him (he does not have a car). (He also makes a little joke about how its great the he owns a cave now, and that I don't have a cave huh guess i'm super cool)



I just wanted to give a proper update and ask good ways to make sure the rest of Koda's life is a happy one:

Would a vet be able to tell me approximately how old he is?
How often do I walk an older dog?
How do I make sure he gets the best rest of his years because this dog has been through a lot and I only want whats best for him?
What are other things I should look out for, for an older German Shepherd?
Please tell me anything and everything you can.

Thank you everyone for your comments on the previous thread, and thank you for reading through.
 

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So if it was me, I would give the guy back his dog. Homeless or not it seems that the dog was happy and cared for with his previous owner.
If it was me I would leave him my number in case he needed help and give him back his dog. His telling you that he is homeless and broke sounds to me like a plea. I cannot pay you back but I love my dog, and I miss him.
You asked how to make sure the rest of his life is good, if it was me I would give him back.
 

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That's a #### of a story! Another homeless vet...what does that say about our culture in general?

Glad you found him, and he found you. At even 10 yrs old, I don't think he needs any special treatment...that is he still needs exercise and activity to keep him satisfied and engaged. Other than keeping an eye on any changes in demeanor or activity level or the usual, just enjoy him. And again, thanks for taking him in and giving Eric some peace of mind! This is quite a story...
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
So if it was me, I would give the guy back his dog. Homeless or not it seems that the dog was happy and cared for with his previous owner.
If it was me I would leave him my number in case he needed help and give him back his dog. His telling you that he is homeless and broke sounds to me like a plea. I cannot pay you back but I love my dog, and I miss him.
You asked how to make sure the rest of his life is good, if it was me I would give him back.
I asked if he wanted him back is a detail I forgot to mention, he said he'd like for him to be well taken care of for the rest of his years and because that he lives on a mountain now it wouldn't be good for his old bones. He had a home at one point but I don't want to pry into his personal life about it, so if he is okay with me keeping him, then I have no complaints. I have his contact information and he has mine if he ever wants to see him/wants to give him his own home.
 

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Do you know where he's located? Start a go fund me page for him....GOD knows he deserves better than this! So many vets out on the streets...it's really shameful!

But Fae, thank you sooo much for the updates!
 

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I asked if he wanted him back is a detail I forgot to mention, he said he'd like for him to be well taken care of for the rest of his years and because that he lives on a mountain now it wouldn't be good for his old bones. He had a home at one point but I don't want to pry into his personal life about it, so if he is okay with me keeping them then I have no complaints. I have his contact information and he has mine if he ever wants to see him/wants to give him his own home.
He loves the dog, what was he supposed to say? I'm homeless but I want my dog?

I was forced to give up Lex during a period of homelessness following the loss of my son. Sometimes things just spin out of control. If I had lost Sabi as well, I cannot say I would have made it.
Anyway, at some of the lowest points in my life when not a person on the planet cared if I lived or died I had a dog beside me. You have no idea what that means. It is loving eyes to comfort you, a soft tongue to wipe away the tears, a heartbeat next to you in the dark. It is safety and companionship and silly moments of laughter in a life with too little.

The wonderful thing about dogs is that they never notice a lack of anything but love. As humans we often sacrifice the one thing that can save us.
If you are concerned then see if you can help him. Many vets have been helped through online campaigns, and maybe all he really needs is a friend.
@tim_s_adams aren't you in Colorado?
Never mind just saw your post.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Do you know where he's located? Start a go fund me page for him....GOD knows he deserves better than this! So many vets out on the streets...it's really shameful!

But Fae, thank you sooo much for the updates!
Yeah of course! It's really been a journey. Even though it's really only been a week with Koda..

He said he is somewhere in Victor, CO. Up somewhere in the mountains near Springs; no car of his own, but he does have a phone connection but sometimes it is hard to contact him because he mentioned that he does go through a lot of tunnels and such since.. well he is up in the mountains. I might try for it but I would want to ask him if he wants the help, because frankly again I just don't want to like.. step over boundaries of his personal life I guess and if he like.. doesn't want the help you know? It sounds weird but some people can be selfless/minimal like that. I'll ask him to see if he's willing to accept the help firstly before I just start raising it, I guess.

He loves the dog, what was he supposed to say? I'm homeless but I want my dog?

I was forced to give up Lex during a period of homelessness following the loss of my son. Sometimes things just spin out of control. If I had lost Sabi as well, I cannot say I would have made it.
Anyway, at some of the lowest points in my life when not a person on the planet cared if I lived or died I had a dog beside me. You have no idea what that means. It is loving eyes to comfort you, a soft tongue to wipe away the tears, a heartbeat next to you in the dark. It is safety and companionship and silly moments of laughter in a life with too little.

The wonderful thing about dogs is that they never notice a lack of anything but love. As humans we often sacrifice the one thing that can save us.
If you are concerned then see if you can help him. Many vets have been helped through online campaigns, and maybe all he really needs is a friend.
@tim_s_adams aren't you in Colorado?
Never mind just saw your post.
I know, it really broke my heart and I actually did try to insist that it would be okay that he took his dog back after I heard that he was homeless and that I wouldn't need a "reimbursement" of my Craigslist/shots. He really just kept reassuring me that he wouldn't be in the best spot to take care of him as of right now because of his situation; I'm not going to force give Koda back to him as it is, he can contact me at any time if he changes his mind and I will happily comply. Through the whole 20 minute phone call I had with him I tried my best not to cry and by the end when we hung up I couldn't keep myself from doing so.. You could really hear how much he cared about this dog just by the sheer amount of detail he provided me, and it broke my heart. And even through it all he really just wanted whats best for Koda; he told me during the call too that if he could have given him to anyone in a better situation he would have. Again, I'm not opposed to giving him the dog back, but darn it I want to give Koda the best golden years I can though if that's what Eric wishes.

I'm sorry to hear about your loss of your son and your hardships, and that I'm glad that you were able to get through it. :(

He mentioned that he's living in the mountains with some other friends I believe, so I think that's how he's able to get by. When he mentioned if I wanted the rest of Koda's stuff to just let him know and that his friend's can let me pick it up if hes not available. But as I'm replying to @tim_s_adams, I will be contacting him to see if it's something he'd like first. (I just have a fear of raising money for him and for him to not want to accept it.)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I want to add too that presumably Eric is in his late 20's or early 30's or so if it wasn't clear in the first post, mainly from his voice over the phone and his mannerisms it's clear he's just about my age aha..
Koda is probably about 7-10.
 

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Fae, I have been reading your posts from the start. I didn't comment because I don't have any experience in your situation and how to react legally because I'm not originated from the US. Like everyone said, it's quite a story. And how admirable of Eric to put the dog before him. I just couldn't shake fact that Craig sold this beautiful dog for $60. Oh well... Anyways. Hopefully your home will be Koda's last one. All the best.
 

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Sabies, as a veteran, I think your wrong. We don't know anything about the former owner, what had been through or how he is mentally. If he wanted help, it's out there for him. If this is older dog, he certainly can't afford the upcoming vet care. Sounds like the gsd is better off where he is.
Perhaps. But whats left of the human in me says that when people are suffering we help. It certainly can't hurt to be sure. If it were me I would meet with him. Talk to him. Be certain before I take something away from a man who has already given.
Sometimes its when we most need help that it's the hardest to ask and perhaps this dogs journey was to get his friend help that he could not get himself.
 

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Wow. What an ordeal this poor dog has been through. I'm glad you didn't believe "Craig" about the dog supposedly not having a chip and got it scanned, to get to the bottom of things.

If you go to pick up the dog's things someday, I'd leave a few bags of shelf-stable, easy-to-eat healthy groceries, a gift card for whatever store is close (WM?), and warm winter things (new wool socks, hat, gloves, etc., as these are items that homeless people often request). No need to have a discussion about it, just leave them and say they're from Koda.

Now that you know what's going on and have made a decision, the next step will be to contact the chip company and start the paper work to change the registration over to you. This will be easier if there's a way to send this veteran the paperwork to sign off on the transfer. Send him the pre-filled out form with a SASE, and highlight where he needs to sign -- make it as easy as you can for him. Or else go for a drive and see him to get it signed in person.

Next, I think the dog likely needs you to figure out what's going going on with those hips. I would xray and see how bad they are, or at least visit a vet who does GOOD thorough ortho evaluations (most do not!) -- general practice vets with a "special interest" in orthopedics are usually the good ones.

Assuming there's arthritic degeneration (which is likely), I would get him on Adequan, if you can afford it (it's cheaper if the vet teaches you how to do the injections). It's 2 shots a week for 4 weeks, then maintenance weekly, biweekly, or monthly depending on how the dog does. It's nearly miraculous for some dogs -- it's not pain medicine, but it has an anti-inflammatory effect for about half of them, and it lubricates the joint and even sometimes rebuilds cartilage -- HEALING. I've seen dogs barely able to shuffle along suddenly start trotting again at a jaunty, fast pace on daily walks after 3 weeks of this therapy. It's amazing stuff.

There are also supplements to look into that can help: fish oil, natural eggshell membrane, Type II collagen, MSM, turmeric/curcumin, etc. Acupuncture is also doing a world of good for my elderly dog right now. We have lots and lots of threads about helping arthritic dogs here.

Gentle, regular exercise is good for arthritis. The dog needs to walk as much as he wants to -- let him tell you how much he can do. Several times a day would be great, as every walk loosens things up. That's also true if there's spinal arthritis (which is quite common).

Most senior dogs that I've rescued also need dental services -- they tend to have awful tartar and some broken or rotten teeth that need to be removed. Tooth problems are painful and sources of infection that can shorten their lives, so it's important to deal with them.

I also always run a senior wellness panel of bloodwork on the older dogs upon intake. It's a lot of bang for the buck (checking many things, including thyroid), with good information about what's going on inside them.

The vet can help age the dog in so far as telling you whether it's a senior (7+) and maybe whether it's elderly -- it's not just teeth, but also eyes (which become mottled at around 7), and if intact, the testicle position (they become low-hanging around 5-6). Some dogs get snowy muzzles quite young, so we don't go by that. The eyes tend to be the biggest help -- one of my personal dogs was thought to be around 4-5 until he saw the vet ophthalmologist for the first time, who saw changes inside his eye just starting to happen, and they start at around 7.
 

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That is quite a story.

I am confused about the early life of the dog. Did Erik originally take him to the pound with his sister? Why did the sister die on intake?

quote: " How Eric had gotten "Indigo", was that he was taken to the pound with his sister. His sister unfortunately died on intake, and it left Indigo very depressed. He didn't eat for the majority of his time in the pound and was malnourished to the point where you could see his rib cage and stomach from afar. 87 days later, Eric comes by to the pound and finds out that Indigo was due for an euthanize in two days "
 

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This sounds like a 'meant to be' story. Please keep us posted on the journey of all you three. Life, universe or whoever seems to have a plan. At least the dog is safe. Hats off to you.
I was thinking what I would do in your situation. What popped up in my mind was to meet Eric in a neutral area and take a mental health counselor with you who is willing to do this so you get an idea who you are dealing with. I wouldn't take the dog but only pictures and a video. When you come home the dog may very well recognize the scent of Eric and you can see his response.
Thanks again for all your compassion.
 

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However this journey continues, I can't help but feel that a huge weight has been lifted from Erik just knowing that he landed in good hands. Also you seem really sensitive to Erik and all of the events. It's hard to reach out to help and also keeping the balance of that persons dignity.
 

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That is quite a story.

I am confused about the early life of the dog. Did Erik originally take him to the pound with his sister? Why did the sister die on intake?

quote: " How Eric had gotten "Indigo", was that he was taken to the pound with his sister. His sister unfortunately died on intake, and it left Indigo very depressed. He didn't eat for the majority of his time in the pound and was malnourished to the point where you could see his rib cage and stomach from afar. 87 days later, Eric comes by to the pound and finds out that Indigo was due for an euthanize in two days "
Oh, I wrote that a little weird.
Koda and his sister were taken to the pound by an unknown third family; there was no background information at all on them so presumably I think they found them lost. Eric found him at the pound two days before euthanize day and took Koda under his wing.
 

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Wow. What an ordeal this poor dog has been through. I'm glad you didn't believe "Craig" about the dog supposedly not having a chip and got it scanned, to get to the bottom of things.

If you go to pick up the dog's things someday, I'd leave a few bags of shelf-stable, easy-to-eat healthy groceries, a gift card for whatever store is close (WM?), and warm winter things (new wool socks, hat, gloves, etc., as these are items that homeless people often request). No need to have a discussion about it, just leave them and say they're from Koda.

Now that you know what's going on and have made a decision, the next step will be to contact the chip company and start the paper work to change the registration over to you. This will be easier if there's a way to send this veteran the paperwork to sign off on the transfer. Send him the pre-filled out form with a SASE, and highlight where he needs to sign -- make it as easy as you can for him. Or else go for a drive and see him to get it signed in person.

Next, I think the dog likely needs you to figure out what's going going on with those hips. I would xray and see how bad they are, or at least visit a vet who does GOOD thorough ortho evaluations (most do not!) -- general practice vets with a "special interest" in orthopedics are usually the good ones.

Assuming there's arthritic degeneration (which is likely), I would get him on Adequan, if you can afford it (it's cheaper if the vet teaches you how to do the injections). It's 2 shots a week for 4 weeks, then maintenance weekly, biweekly, or monthly depending on how the dog does. It's nearly miraculous for some dogs -- it's not pain medicine, but it has an anti-inflammatory effect for about half of them, and it lubricates the joint and even sometimes rebuilds cartilage -- HEALING. I've seen dogs barely able to shuffle along suddenly start trotting again at a jaunty, fast pace on daily walks after 3 weeks of this therapy. It's amazing stuff.

There are also supplements to look into that can help: fish oil, natural eggshell membrane, Type II collagen, MSM, turmeric/curcumin, etc. Acupuncture is also doing a world of good for my elderly dog right now. We have lots and lots of threads about helping arthritic dogs here.

Gentle, regular exercise is good for arthritis. The dog needs to walk as much as he wants to -- let him tell you how much he can do. Several times a day would be great, as every walk loosens things up. That's also true if there's spinal arthritis (which is quite common).

Most senior dogs that I've rescued also need dental services -- they tend to have awful tartar and some broken or rotten teeth that need to be removed. Tooth problems are painful and sources of infection that can shorten their lives, so it's important to deal with them.

I also always run a senior wellness panel of bloodwork on the older dogs upon intake. It's a lot of bang for the buck (checking many things, including thyroid), with good information about what's going on inside them.

The vet can help age the dog in so far as telling you whether it's a senior (7+) and maybe whether it's elderly -- it's not just teeth, but also eyes (which become mottled at around 7), and if intact, the testicle position (they become low-hanging around 5-6). Some dogs get snowy muzzles quite young, so we don't go by that. The eyes tend to be the biggest help -- one of my personal dogs was thought to be around 4-5 until he saw the vet ophthalmologist for the first time, who saw changes inside his eye just starting to happen, and they start at around 7.
While I was at the humane society, I went ahead and was just like, might as well double check. I'm extremely glad I did.

I don't think there would be an easy way to get papers signed off since he just straight up told me he lives in a cave nowadays. I will try to figure something out. In the long run of things, I could just add another chip into him if worst comes to worst and it's difficult to transfer the chip over.

We are definitely going to be looking at a vet check up here soon to see how the boy is and to see if the vet can give us some info on how to take care of him more! Thank you for your vast knowledge and recommendations on what to check up on, I will definitely look out for a vet that can help do an ortho eval. I did notice there is like.. a chip in one of his front teeth is missing or.. well, chipped off. Hopefully it isn't too bad. He doesn't seem to have too much tartar either.
 
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