He was turned in to the Nevada County Animal shelter at about eight weeks of age, severely dehydrated, dying of starvation and terrified. He was a frightened little “wild” puppy, born in the wild to a feral mother and he was very, very sick.

A kind-hearted couple at a Northern California camp ground noticed this starving little pup slinking around in the bushes one evening. After a few days, they were able to lure him with food into a small box and kindly delivered him to The Nevada County Animal Shelter in Grass Valley. Christened Dewey, they admitted him into ICU and for the next three days, staff members worked diligently to save his life. Physically, his condition improved, but just slightly. Time and lots of groceries would heal his physical ailments but emotionally, he was a basket case. No way would a dog like Dewy survive the adoption process. One of the shelter administrators, aware of our work with “special needs” dogs, decided to give us a call. This special little pup, she explained, didn’t need a foster home — this special little pup needed “sanctuary” and so, the very next day, we drove to Grass Valley and brought him back to HartSong.

Terrified of being handled by humans and even more terrified to be in the house, he found safe haven in the bushes in our front yard and would NOT come out. For the next 12 months, that’s where he lived… in the bushes. His food bowl was placed every day at the opening of “Dewey’s Den” and only when we had retreated into the house and shut the door, would he sneak out for supper. Then one very special day, there he was, standing in the middle of the yard… away from the bushes. Slowly but surely, he started to trust, he started to play and eventually, he allowed us to touch him.

Even though Dewey has been in our care for seven years now, he still carries around a ton of emotional baggage. His major quirk is that he is terrified of strangers. As soon as he spies someone other than a HartSong staff member, he immediately reverts to his old ways. So if you happen to be visiting the sanctuary and you notice a medium sized, brown brindled dog, slinking into the bushes, well that would be Dewey – he’s a “wild” pup, but as happy as he can be.