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Shelter dog making progress

by DEVIN WEEKS
Staff Writer | August 29, 2023 1:05 AM

COEUR d'ALENE — Slowly but surely, George the dog is making progress.

The Akita-shepherd mix at Companions Animal Center has shown improvements since he was captured and brought to the shelter about a month ago.

"He’s good. He was neutered on Thursday," Companions Animal Center Executive Director Debbie Jeffrey said Monday. "We’ve just let him rest for the weekend."

Jeffrey said she was worried about how it would go when he was brought into the vet room for the procedure, but everything went well.

"They didn't have any trouble putting him under," she said.

Until his capture, George spent about four years on the run after getting away from owners or being dumped somewhere near the Coeur d'Alene Public Golf Club, where many neighborhood residents put out food and water for him. A dog trainer, John Huss, worked with George on his behavior for about a week, as it was unknown if the dog was aggressive or just a flight risk.

"He’s going to need a special home," Jeffrey said. "They're going to have to understand that he’s a runner. The first chance he gets, he’s going to run."

She said even when he is in the meet-and-greet area, George is always scoping for an exit.

"You can tell he’s on point, all the time, trying to get out," Jeffrey said.

She said he does well when he is walked on a leash and is now much more behaved when volunteers take him out.

"We’re in pretty good shape with him," she said. "It's going to take a special home and a special person, but he’s sweet, he’s very sweet. He doesn’t show any aggression to anyone."

He will be groomed to remove tar and pitch from his fur once he is fully healed from his operation. Huss will accompany him, Jeffrey said.

"There’s hope for George," she said. "It's just going to be a little slow."