It’s been a long journey home for two-year-old English mastiff, Baloo, who was first rescued in January from dire winter conditions on a Langley property.
The large canine was left out in the cold by his old owners – but the “gentle giant” is no longer an unwanted animal.
A new chapter began for the dog on Aug. 6, as he was taken home by a new, supportive family.
“It was a very special day,” said Langley Animal Protection Society spokesperson Drew Harkness, who witnessed the animal being walked patiently into a van with help from a ramp.
“Baloo touched the hearts of so many,” Harkness added.
During his time in LAPS’ care, volunteers from all over the Lower Mainland came to see the canine, after hearing his story.
One of them, Mission’s Jackie Mandzak said, “Some of these animals, no matter the atrocities they’ve been through they just keep loving.”
“It breaks my heart,” Mandzak grieved.
It was first presumed that being left for three weeks sub-zero temperatures led to impairment of the dog’s muscles, joints – and therefore his gait.
But after months of testing and treatment from Animal Emergency Clinic of the Fraser Valley, Boundary Bay Veterinary Specialists, and Mountain View Veterinary Hospital, the canine was given a diagnosis.
Wobbler syndrome, a neurological syndrome common in large breeds, means that Baloo will always need anti-inflammatory medication.
“He couldn’t walk for a long time,” explained LAPS volunteer Kathy Herriat.
In the seven months since LAPS took the gentle giant into its care, the canine has made many strides.
“We are encouraged to see such an improvement since he first came to us,” Harkness said about Baloo’s stint at LAPS’ Patti Dale animal shelter in Aldergrove.
“Together, we gave him the second chance he deserved.”