Old age should be a time of rest and comfort, but for Alpha, a senior German Shepherd of about 10-12 years, it’s filled with painful reminders of her traumatic past. Though her eyes plead for a loving home, most pass her by, drawn to younger, more agile dogs. 

  • Female
  • 10+ Years old
  • Neutered
  • Medium Size
  • At the shelter since 2020

Alpha would appreciate some support from afar.

Alpha’s Story

In November 2020, a motionless dog was discovered, resembling a German Shepherd, lying still. Upon closer inspection, a distressing sight unfolded—both hind legs were shattered, with protruding bones and tendons, wounds caked in dirt and straw. The dog appeared to have lain there for an extended period, with all wounds infected and necrosis setting in.

The individuals who found the dog didn’t transport it anywhere but rather alerted the shelter and continued on their way. It was November, with freezing nights, and they feared the dog might not survive another night outdoors. Hence, late in the evening, a shelter volunteer took the dog home for the night to transport it to a veterinarian in the morning. In the warmth of a home, the dog ate and fell asleep. They decided not to disturb her and leave her near the food bowl; she had already endured enough. This dog turned out to be a purebred German Shepherd, very elderly, and exceptionally well-mannered. They named her Alpha.

Alpha had a broken toe on one leg, with crushed bones and exposed dead bones. Her other hind leg had a broken thigh bone, which could be saved, pending a surgeon’s evaluation. Additionally, Alpha had pyraplasmosis and received treatment while hospitalized. Furthermore, test results indicated a tumor on her spleen and a tumor on her mammary gland. Alpha was eating, drinking, and thriving in the warmth, grateful for the care she received. She is a highly intelligent dog, fully aware that she was literally saved from death’s doorstep.

They performed osteosynthesis on her thigh bone, leaving her toes untouched for now. Possibly, the periosteum is still viable, and the wounds will heal. In any case, dealing with her toes would be more complicated for the dog.

After three weeks, a follow-up examination at the clinic revealed that her bones were healing incorrectly. Alpha was left at the hospital and underwent another operation. The longer an animal is without assistance, the more challenging it becomes to treat. Healing and adaptation are more difficult, compared to operating immediately.

Only in April 2021, after 5.5 months of treatment, was Alpha’s metal structure on her leg removed as her bones had fused. She began to walk carefully, without overloading her leg. Her wounds had healed, but Alpha couldn’t walk for extended periods; she would tire and lick her paws. Even after treatment, her hind legs did not look very aesthetically pleasing, but most importantly, they provided support. For a large dog, being able to rely on all limbs is crucial.

Alpha’s age is estimated to be over 10 years; the exact age remains unknown. She is a smart, well-behaved dog, particularly good with children. She may bark fiercely but does not bite; her barking is more of a formality. She loves carrying her bowl around; it looks quite amusing.