I was looking for a dog who really needed a home.
The words are Laurel McClure’s, and the dog she’s referring to is a handsome 115-pound black Lab named Gunnar. He may have had three strikes against him (his age, his health, and his color), but the 6 1/2 year old was far from out. In fact, he won the lottery when he was chosen to be Laurel’s newest forever companion.
Gunnar is her fourth dog and second black lab (her first sadly died of nasal cancer at the age of 13), and his older brother is a 13-year-old Schipperke named Paulie, who’s thrilled to have a new playmate.
When Laurel first brought Gunnar home, he was one deeply depressed doggie. He responded to no one, scarcely moved, and suffered from a low thyroid and Megaesophagus (an enlargement of the esophagus), which caused him to throw up his food. And then, three days later, a great big puppy emerged! Not only had the true Gunnar been revealed, but he was quick to blossom.
From inactive and unresponsive, he now bristles with energy and enthusiasm, walking and running, swimming and making new friends – both canine and human – wherever he puts his large paws. Flourishing on a special diet, he is a dog transformed, both health-wise and behavior-wise, emerging, surprisingly as a dominant, but very gentle leader of the pack.
"So many people are busy with their lives and feel they don’t have time for a dog with‘issues’,” adds Laurel. “I’m a single mom who works full time and takes care of my terminally ill father. It's not really that hard to MAKE time, and it can be the most rewarding experience."
"Now I think I was the lucky one. I can't imagine NOT having Gunnar here. He's truly grateful to have a family, and this family is truly grateful to have him."