We are the proud new parents of seven month old Gus! He's been with us for only a few days, but has already stolen my heart. Gus's original owner didn't get him any vaccinations and he came down with parvovirus when he was about four months old. Gus had to be hospitalized for more than a week, and from what I've gathered his owner couldn't pay the vet costs. He also didn't want to give him up to the local Boxer Rescue organization, who would pay his bill and find Gus a new home that was better equipped to care for him. The original owner wouldn't sign him over for a long time, and when he finally did, Boxer Rescue has a policy of not placing puppies in new homes until they are neutered. Gus had to spend further time in the hospital until he was healthy enough for neuter surgery. In all, he was hospitalized for two months, a lot of it in isolation due to the parvo. That's a shocking amount of time for such a young puppy and I'm so sad to think of it! I am also sad for Gus's first owner. It seems he did love Gus, but just wasn't informed when it came to preventative health care, and wasn't prepared for the costs associated with skipping it. I remember how much I bonded with Gracie from when she was 8 weeks to 4 months--it would have been heartwrenching to have to say goodbye at that point. After Gus's neuter, he went to an adoptive home. He had diahrrea and his new parent gave him an adult dose of immodium that made him really sick. They returned him to Rescue and he had to go back to the hospital. Next Gus went to a wonderful foster home with three other adult boxers and a very caring foster mom and dad. They loved him and got him further vet care and worked hard on his diet to help his digestive system, which was damaged by the parvo. They house trained him, taught him to use a doggie door, and taught him sit, shake, wait, up, and okay! He gained 17 pounds in six weeks with them--he was up to 45 lbs--and went from looking emaciated to like a healthy pup. These foster parents were not about to let him go to just any home--we went through a pretty rigorous screening process! One night last week we went and met Gus without bringing Gracie. We spent two hours with him and the other boxers (all of whom were gorgeous and sweet I might add!) and Gus's foster parents. Gus was sweet and affectionate with us--my husband and I both liked him a lot. I was happy to see him playing with the adult boxers. They had obviously taught him good manners, and he seemed like just the kind of puppy Gracie would like to have as a younger brother. So the next night we got the okay to bring Gracie to meet Gus. The other three boxers were kept inside while Gracie and Gus met in the backyard. Gracie was a bit distracted to say the least--a big backyard with four other dog smells and toys and a mud pit for digging and three other adult boxers on the other side of a sliding glass door. She played with Gus a little bit, but not as much or as rough as she does with some of her other boxer buddies. As she matures, I have noticed she takes her time getting to know dogs before she all out plays and wrestles with them. Gus respected that and didn't jump all over her, which must have been hard for a puppy!! Gracie is a loud little girl when she plays--Gus didn't know what to make of it, so Gracie rolled over on her back to let him know she was just playing and not going to hurt him, which I thought was sweet. They played keep away with a toy--Gracie had it and was guarding it, so Gus went and dug a hole. We thought that was so smart--it got Gracie's attention and she left the toy, which Gus quickly ran and got. Unfortunately Gracie then took the toy, put it in the hole, and then guarded both. Bratty, but then again, I guess that is what dogs do. There were no squabbles and we got the go ahead to adopt Gus!! When I went to pick him up, it was sad. I know his foster parents will miss him! He was kind of agitated on the drive home, but once we arrived and he saw Gracie, he was all wiggles and seemed to relax. Gracie was happy to see him too, wasn't territorial at all, and they played nonstop until dark when they both sacked out. She even shared her toys, and Gus got her interested in old toys that she hasn't played with in a year or more. We had a great weekend and Gus seems to be bonding to me, Gracie and my husband. He follows us all around and cuddles with all of us at night. He still has some health problems, which we are trying to figure out. Persistant diahrrea, which after his visit to the vet yesterday, seems to be caused by a pretty bad case of giardia combined with some other kinds of bad intestinal protozoa and maybe some "bad" bacteria that his "good" intestinal bacteria should be fighting off but aren't. Hopefully the medicine we got for him will clear it up. His energy level seems fine, but though he eats a lot, he has lost rather than gained a few pounds in the last few weeks. I guess the intestinal parasites are interfering with him absorbing nutrients from his food. Please send good vibes his way!! So that is Gus's story so far. I feel bad for the little guy that he has been through so many changes in his young life. Our focus now is just to bond with him, give him a sense of stability, socialize him as much as possible, and build his confidence. We're happy to have him in our family! We are also so grateful to our local Boxer Rescue organization for nursing him through parvo and placing him with us.