Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Barney's Reunion with Dr. Haver

Barney had a joyous reunion with Dr. Gary Haver this morning when he arrived at Dr. Gee's office in Encinitas to be neutered. Dr. Haver was the attending veterinarian at the San Diego County shelter in Carlsbad when Barney, known then as Cujo, was surrendered last summer weighing only 105 lbs.

"It was great to see Barney again," Dr. Haver said. "Because I work general practice and shelter medicine, I have seen a lot of animals' transformations. I get great satisfaction in seeing the changes in the animal and the bond that develops with their new family.

"Back when I first met Barney, I was presented with a very thin dog in poor condition. So poor that humane euthanasia was contemplated. He seemed to be very compliant to a physical exam and I thought that because of this, the great staff at the San Diego's County Animal Shelter were willing to go the extra mile and devote their efforts to treating him.

"He obviously was neglected. Some of his problems were that he was weak, depressed, had severe skin and ear infections, and worst of all he had a maggot infestation. The maggots were so bad that the smell permeated the halls of the shelter for several days. An experienced shelter technician, unable to stomach the odor and mess from the larvae, had to excuse herself from the room while treatment for the maggots was instituted. There were so many maggots, that the following day the drains in the kennel where Barney spent the night had maggots crawling out of them. It was like a scene from a bad movie.

"Today I was blown away when I saw Barney. Not from his clean coat and ears, or by the near 15 pounds he gained; but by his outgoing and loving personality. He wanted to be with someone, anyone, at all times. He seems to be a happy, well-adjusted dog that is everybody's friend.

"I will always remember Barney; not just the image of maggots crawling out of his ears but seeing him weeks later resting his head on my leg soliciting me to pet him."


  1. Wow, hearing his story again is so mind blowing. It does sound like a horror movie! I'm really glad that Dr. Haver got to see his wonderful transformation. A great holiday gift!

  2. My eyes brim as I type this. Barney's story is all too common. But what's not as common is the happy ending, as shown in the last photo above -Barney snoozing comfortably, healthy and safe, near the bright holiday tree. Blessings to Dr. Havers and everyone else involved - especially, of course, Lillian, for saving this beautiful boy. One sweet dog home for the holidays - millions still to go...