There is heartbreak in rescue and for those volunteers that work so hard to save unwanted Old English Sheepdogs. Bear's story should serve as a reminder that this breed is not for everyone and that not all sheepies in trouble can't be saved.  The reality is that there simply aren't many homes willing to accept a dog that bites.  Read about Bear's brief time in rescue...

His coat was in deplorable condition.

The shaving process begins.

Still sleepy but finally freed from that matted pelt.

This is Bear, he's the little guy we had to put down due to aggression.   Perhaps you would want to use these photos as an educational tool; why some people should NOT have an OES...

Bear was a 3-4 yr. old intact male OES.  He bit the child of the original owner and rather than be put to sleep, a co-worker of the child's mother offered to take him.  Bear's new owner claimed to be an animal lover but not a responsible pet owner, having three intact males living with an unspayed female.  They said Bear was "aggressive" toward the other dogs and refused to come indoors during the extreme Indiana winter nights.  The family contacted OES Rescue and gradually Bear's story began to unfold.  They had been bitten as well and were terrified of him.  They said they could not get him into the car without being sedated (although he jumped into mine after he was with us for a few days!)  When I went to pick him up they reminded me to bring a muzzle.  They admitted he needed to be put to sleep but "didn't have the heart to do it".

Bear was already sedated so we took advantage of that to shave down his matted coat.  My husband was bitten just for holding his leash while I was getting the grooming equipment prepared.  I was only bitten once during the shave down, which in retrospect is amazing.  He was  aggressive toward the other two dogs living in our home.  Due to his history and our personal experience, and advice of those much wiser in these matters, we made the difficult decision to have him euthanized. He had remained in our home for the required 10 day quarantine; clean, safe and warm for cared for.  He bit me one last time while preparing for his final trip to the veterinarian, rather seriously on my right thumb and ring finger.  There was no question in my mind now:  He could never be safely placed in another home.  Bear was put down by Dr. Martin surrounded by two assistants and myself, receiving love and attention a little too late to make a difference to him.  He will remain in my heart and be an inspiration for why I do Rescue work.

138 miles for Rescue transport:  $0.00          Euthanasia:  $0.00          Lesson learned:  Priceless

In memory of Bear... at the bridge now where he can run free.