When Linda Brown’s boxer passed away suddenly two years ago, she was left without a furry companion. Her friend who worked at Animal Lifeline, a no-kill shelter, told her of a boxer-mix that had lived at the shelter for two years and needed a home.
Brown went to see Wyatt and admits she wasn’t impressed.
“It wasn’t love at first sight,” she says. “He was distracted by the shelter sounds and seemed uninterested in people.”
Wyatt, a mix of American bulldog, German shorthair and Staffordshire terrier, required a special diet for his allergies and a family that could help with his medical needs.
“He needed a home,” she remembers. “We had a vacancy, and we took him.”
Once Wyatt arrived at Brown and her husband’s home, he quickly felt at ease.
“It was like he was home and all the behaviors he had at the shelter — he didn’t have once he got here,” she says.
Wyatt flourished under Brown’s care. The first month he gained 10 pounds. Since his adoption, he’s gained 30 pounds. At 100, she says he’s a bit “chubby.” His allergies have improved, and Brown admits he’s a bit expensive, as he’s had two knee surgeries.
Wyatt loves walks just as much as Brown does. Once, when the pair went to a local park, she heard two people yelling Wyatt’s name. The women came up to Wyatt, who ran to them without hesitation. The pair were employees at Animal Lifeline, where Wyatt had lived.
“He just loves them. It’s a testament to the care they provide,” she says. “But he knew to come running back to me.”
Wyatt is loyal and easy going, and he’s also protective of Brown. She feels safe walking, as Wyatt never lets her out of sight. She’s learned to be cautious to any strange dogs acting aggressively.
“I don’t want to put him in a position where he has to do something,” she explains.
Wyatt is a “chatty” dog and knows what he wants. If it’s a treat he desires, he cocks his head, “talks” and dashes to the treat jar. He notices when Brown has one bite of food from her dinner plate, as he sits in anticipation.
“He has a sixth sense of when I’m about to finish dinner,” she says. “He always gets the last bite.”
Brown and Wyatt go everywhere together. In the summer, he swims at Copper Creek, and she takes him to her Master Gardener sites.
Stopping at Lowes, he can count on a treat from one of the employees’ pockets. Brown admits Wyatt might be a bit spoiled. She jokes with her husband that Wyatt is her buddy.
“I’ve been married for 41 years. I’m not sure my list of priorities. It’s a toss up between you and Wyatt,” she laughs.
If given the chance, she’d adopt from Animal Lifeline again in a “heartbeat.”
“Wyatt was lucky,” she says. “And I was lucky we rescued him. Wyatt is a gem.” ♦