Sonny is here with us today largely due to a dog named Oliver. Oliver was a stray yellow lab that wandered into our yard one scorching hot Friday afternoon in July. He was dazed and confused, terribly overheated and scared. Andy was outside to go to the bathroom, and when I went to bring him in I spotted him watching Oliver totter underneath our jet ski as it was shady there. I took Andy inside and coaxed Oliver into our porch, where I gave him water and a cool bath to help bring his temperature down. My husband and I decided if we couldn't find Oliver's family we would keep him. He had no collar or ID, so I phoned around the police and the humane shelters in the area to see if anyone turned him in. I also called a few different vets to try to get an appointment for him but being late in the day, no one was able to see him until Monday except the really expensive emergency vet. I managed to feed him esilabac with a syringe (he had no interest in dry food), and he was drinking water like crazy, but the rest of the time he was sleeping and dazed. I cut his claws, cleaned his teeth and ears, and saw to his eyes which were pus filled. On Sunday, Oliver wouldn't wake up. We ended up taking him to the emergency vet who examined him, said he was 13, in shock, a LOT of pain and had tumors. His owners had probably drove him far away and threw him out to die. We held him as we euthanasied him as it was the only humane option. A few days passed and I was angry, sad, and broken hearted. I really had thought I could save Oliver, and didn't even entertain having to put him down until we were there in the emergency vets' office. I decided that if I couldn't save Oliver, that we could handle another dog, and I wanted another dog, a rescue dog that could be saved from a similar tragedy. The only thing I wanted to consider was that the dog would be suitable for Andy as he is a boisterous boxer boy and it would not be fair to bring a dog in the house that would not be suitable. And, as my husband and I are crazy about boxers and love the breed, we decided we would rescue a boxer. I started looking online and found a shelter on a large dog finder site which had a 2 yr old boxer female. I called the shelter and they said that the female was gone but they had two brindle 6 month old boys who were ready to go. The story I got was that their breeder had suffered a stroke and was unable to care for them so she had to put them in the shelter for their whelp and they'd been there ever since. When I went to view them it was an.. experience. The shelter was appalling. The dogs need resuced from this so-called "shelter". Cage after cage after cage of dogs, of all different sizes and breeds and species lined the perimeter of this property. They were all in the cages together, up to 20 dogs in one large outdoor cage. I observed dogs engaging in sexual activity and subsequently 'tied' while there, there was poo in the woodchipping that needed cleaned, every dog I saw was underfed and skinny, dirt and bug covered. Inside the building the smell was overpowering. I observed three toy breeds stuck together in one airline-style kennel. TONS of kittens roamed free-range, with pus-filled eyes. Ducks and geese waddled around, chickens and roosters roamed, bunnies roamed and the dogs barked. There must be at least 50-75 dogs in these conditions. And this was where I met Sonny and his brother. I had brought Andy with me but I was almost afraid to let Andy out of the car in these conditions. However my heart bled for any animal kept in this manner so I let Andy play with the two dogs. When I saw how well they got along I knew I had to save one of them. I chose Sonny because Sonny was more interested in people than his brother, who just wanted to eat the kittens who were taunting the dogs from outside the cages, causing some dogs to climb over the top of the cages and stick their paws through trying to get at them. Sonny was friendly and happy to see me, tail wagging. His brother tried to nip at me though when I went to pet Sonny so I knew he was not the right dog even though I hated to leave him there. Sonny and his brother still have their dewclaws and full tail. The shelter owner tried to feed me a line that 'it's inhumane to remove them', but after much research, it's actually humane, and personally I wonder if she even bothered to check on the bitch while whelping, which is possibly why only 3 dogs survived - by the time she bothered to clean and tend to the pups, it was past the time the tail and claws could painlessly be done, and she probably didn't want to pay for it. None the less, it makes Sonny unique but I will need to be vigilent that he does not harm himself with either. I told the shelter owner I'd take Sonny right then but she insisted on getting him neutered the next day, so I went down the next evening, brought Sonny home, and in a few days, after a very careful bath (to avoid the stitches - he was dirt-encrusted and smelled terrible), cleaning his ears, teeth, clipping his claws, grooming him and getting him on good food and to a vet, Sonny already looks like a different dog. He's putting on weight nicely, and is the sweetest boy ever. I am so glad we got him and saved him from a life in that shelter or even potentially ending up like poor Oliver did. His forever home will be one of love and care until his final day!