Mozart T:New Boy–Full of Surprises
Mozart T. came to the Thulani Program from the Baldwin Park Shelter in southern California, but not before he became a Rock Star Celebrity to facebook viewers all over the country. His story went semi-viral, with people all over pushing for someone to save him, and pledging funds to support him. As you can see from the attached pictures, he is a strikingly handsome old boy, but that only accounts for part of his star status. His personality is just as spectacular as his looks. And he is a fighter where adversity is concerned.
Mozart has melded himself into his foster home with perfect ease—a good friend and social companion to four resident dogs, and a whole bunch of transient foster dogs. And his social skills with people are top flight. He is an absolute pleasure to have around.
Mozart has fairly advanced Degenerative Myelopathy or some other neurological condition that has caused his rear end to be very weak and unstable. When he first came to us, we spent a lot of time helping him get from one place to another because his rear end often would just collapse. But his front legs are strong, his eyes sparkle, and he is alert and attentive to all the things going on around him (he doesn’t want to be left out of anything). He has a great appetite and his house manners are wonderful—he simply has this insidious disease.
When Mozart first came here, his back legs would not support him, and he spent a lot of time dragging his feet and legs behind him. In the process, he rubbed his feet raw in many places. So we put socks on his back feet to protect them from being scraped. Well, the socks worked great to protect his feet, but most amazingly, he began to walk on all four feet much much more of the time. He now will roam and explore our very large back yard, go up and down a couple of steps, and move around the house at will. This is not to say that he doesn’t collapse at times, and the DM is not going away, but his new mobility is a joy to watch.
And Mozart has revealed another wonderful trait—he talks. We all know that many German Shepherds talk, and some talk all the time. But Mozart is different. He doesn’t alarm bark, he doesn’t bark at the other dogs even when they are rough-housing, and he doesn’t go into the mindless barking that some dogs do. He has a characteristic bark that he uses for very specific purposes—when he wants something he asks for it. He asks for his meals—not the nagging barking or whining of some dogs—simply one or two barks. He uses the same bark when he wants help coming up the steps. He barks a couple of times and then waits for you to come help him. We realized what he was doing when one day he got himself wedged behind a chair and could not get out. He barked a couple of times and then waited for us to come and extricate him. No fanfare, no drama, no frantic barking—just a simple request for assistance. With that realization, we now know what to expect.
Mozart is a joy to have around, and a great dog to observe. We will give him the best life we can for as long as he will let us.