Hey! That’s me, Nikolai, with my beloved dog, a labrotties, named Zeus. I was born in Russia, (native Russian, of the Koryak tribe), and my family adopted me when I was two. I’m proud to be an American, living with my family in North Carolina, USA.
Now… here’s the story of Zeus!
Lost and Scared
On January 26th, 2017 Caspian, my sister’s Maltese was yipping and yapping at something outback. My mother and sister went outside to investigate the source of excitement. They discovered a black puppy with brown markings lurking at the corner of our house.
They tried coaxing the puppy to come, but while it wagged its tail a little, it retreated further. The puppy cowered until it was out of sight we’d never seen this puppy around before.
They played this game of approach and retreat for several hours of trying to coax him with dog biscuits and sweet talk.
By the time my father and I got home a couple of hours later, it was dusk, and the puppy was hiding under our deck. But he wasn’t just under the deck. He was under the section with the lowest crawl space, of only approximately 18″, hiding as far back under, and tight as he could go.
I stepped out of the house with a flashlight and shined it down under the deck, to see Zeus the puppy shivering. I tried to coax him to come out with food, water, and treats. Unfortunately, he still remained determinedly stuck under the deck.
After almost an hour of trying, I sucked it up, got onto my belly in the wet, muddy freezing ground, and low crawled about 15 feet back. Of course, I had to creep along gradually because I had to make a little trench so that I could get out and not get stuck.
Cautiously, I approached the puppy. I was shivering in the damp. But, the poor, terrified puppy needed help. I slipped the leash around his head praying he would not try and take a bite out of my arm.
When I tried pulling him out, he wouldn’t budge. Because I was afraid of a dog bite, I called for reinforcements. My family sent me a few more leashes by way of Zoya, a King Charles Cavalier, she kindly walked under the deck and dragged the extendable leashes to me.
When Zoya came Zeus became a bit active, he sniffed the air and then stuffed his head back down. I attached the leashes together and then gently pushed Zoya back out. Where dad, mom, and my sister assisted me in pulling him out. After 40 minutes or so of trying, we slowly drug him out from under the deck.
He was a terrified puppy, kicking and screaming all the way out. We were amazed at how incredibly strong he was for just a puppy of about three months.
Eventually, we got him inside. We rubbed him down and cleaned him up. He was dirty from being lost and then getting wedged under the deck in damp dirt following a rain. Plus, he’d peed and pooped himself out of fear — poor little guy.
With so much love and attention focused on him, he stopped struggling so much.
We placed him in a dog bed over a heater in a small powder room in the corner. He shoved his face into the corner and stayed in that position. We placed towels over his body to help him feel warm and feel secure and left him food and water.
Since it was getting late, we let him sleep in the powder room, where he was working hard at keeping his nose buried in the corner. We call this “ostrich syndrome.” You know, “If I don’t see you, you don’t see me.”
Finding a home for the lost puppy
Now we’ve got a dog. We were not looking for a new dog. I mean, I really wanted one but knew that it was a big responsibility and it just wasn’t the best timing.
But, we could not find his family, we received not one response to postings and flyers. We found no identifying chip and the veterinary staff didn’t recognize him.
So we decided to foster him until someone decided to take him, Zeus the Labrotties stayed in the bathroom. He ate nothing and drank not a sip of water for at least three days. When we took him outside we had him on a leash, but he did not do anything but try and dig himself a hole.
We took Zeus, Zoya, and Caspian on several walks throughout the entire week, but each time we got a certain distance away from home. Zeus would lay down and would need to be carried all the way back home.
One night I was laying about when my mom called me asking me to take him out. Zeus had gotten out of the bathroom and was whining at the door. I attached a leash to a collar and took him out, and he peed and peed for a good two minutes before happily wagging his tail and trotted up the steps and back into the house.
The next morning we took him to the vet to get a full examination, he was literally a different puppy that morning forwards. Zeus was, of course, a bit shy towards his foster family members, but learned quickly that our house was filled with nothing but love. A few weeks had passed with not a single person asking for Zeus! Well… Except for me.
Deciding to Keep Zeus
Well actually that’s not entirely true, I was working very hard to keep Zeus, and finally, after two and half weeks of hard work, I was able to keep Zeus the Labrottie. From that moment forward we became best buddies, and he’s an awesome dog. I named him Zeus.
Zeus gives me a great daily workout, and it gives him a good run around too, and the family loves him, the cat tolerates him, and Zeus puts up with the bullying of pipsqueak aka Caspian, my sister’s Maltese.
Now that I’ve fallen in love with my labrottie, which, btw, someone recently told me he also has some German shepherd in him, (so we’ll have to do something on ShepRotties too).
So this is the first installment of more to come as my adventures with Zeus continue.