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River

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About

Breed

Mixed Breed (Large)

Age

2 Years

Gender

Male

Size

Large (> 40 lbs.)

Can Live With

  • Children
  • Dogs
  • Older Children (12+)

Spayed/Neutered

Yes

Current on Vaccines

Yes

Specialized Care

  • None

Location

Charlottesville, VA

Biography

River and I seemed to choose each other when I saw him in a rural Tennessee shelter in Dec 2023, while I was visiting a friend. He'd been left at the shelter in Nov after being hit by a car, which left him with a broken left hind leg. Due to her relationship with the shelter, my friend was able to take River to her home for 3 days. We learned that he's very affectionate and gentle, loves other dogs (my own 10-year-old Pyrenees/Heeler mix and my friend's MANY dogs). The local vet wasn't going to do surgery but see if it would naturally heal. So by adopting him, I knew I'd be taking the risk of surgery. But he's such a sweetheart . . .

We drove the 10 hours home from TN to VA, with River quiet as a mouse. (I named him River because he was found near the Tennessee River.) And he began to use his leg more and more. We visited a vet surgical specialist who said he was surprised at the way the bone was healing: When manipulated under anesthesia, the bone stayed aligned and did not move and was showing signs of new bone growth. So I was told that wait-and-see was as viable an option as surgery. Same news on the 2nd xray two months later. And by River's increased activity and how seldom he now 'hops' on only 3 legs (when overactive), I know he's continuing to heal.

River is loving and affectionate. Quite calm inside. Completely house-trained -- no accidents. Very food-motivated, which is great for training. Loves his crate and goes there often on his own, and goes willingly whenever I will be leaving the house. Loves other dogs. Loves to be in the center of any friends I invite over. Knows sit, stay, shake, down, "back it up" (away from open doors), come, "gimme the ball" (for release after fetching it), "touch." I just wouldn't trust him with "come" if wildlife is around! He sleeps on my bed quietly through the night.

I believe he's a German Shepherd/Retriever mix, but that's just a guess. He IS able to jump fences when motivated by something like deer on the other side! Which is the primary reason I cannot keep him. And we're working on his on-leash behavior -- teaching him that, no, in the city he can't greet EVERY dog. So if he gets too excited, we turn around and walk away from dogs we see. So his new owner would need to keep working on that if on-leash walking is part of his new life.

I think River would ideally love lots of room to run and play, especially with another dog. But also lots of affection. I will miss him but want the best for him. He likely would have been euthanized in that TN shelter, and I'm hoping to help him find his wonderful forever home.

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