As a graduate of Culver-Stockton College in Canton, I can attest that Missouri winters are not always fun. Snowfall gets rather heavy and, with temperatures sometimes as low as -6°F, I never wanted to stay outside for longer than I had to. During these times, I had the luxury of owning a coat, hat, gloves, and a set of keys for easy access into my building (not to mention opposable thumbs) but, for someone without those luxuries, Missouri winter goes from “a little rough” to “hellish nightmare.”
When most dogs are let outside, they’re given a few minutes to pee and poo before their owners let them back in. When Caesar the German Shepherd was let outside in winter of 2016, he was chained to a post in the back for over a month with no way of getting back in.
He wasn’t fed, he wasn’t walked. He just had to stand there as the world moved on around him—and I say “stand” for a reason: After spending so much time out in the cold, Caesar couldn’t move.
Clearly, anyone who lets this happen to another living being is a terrible person but Caesar’s owner proved that he had at least a little bit of a conscience when he called the Missouri German Shepherd Rescue (MOGS Rescue).
He didn’t tell them the truth.
He claimed that the dog was a stray, had been missing for a month, and that he “didn’t know what to do about him.” MOGS knew that his story didn’t exactly hold up and the man eventually admitted that none of it was true.
Caesar was in awful condition when MOGS picked him up. Essentially a living ice sculpture at this point, he needed to be carried on a stretcher. His back end was in major pain. Touching it made him yelp. His eye was sunk in, he had no teeth, bad gums, almost no hair, and tested positive for heartworms. He had become almost zombie-like: horrifying yet also miraculous.
With the prior weekend’s freezing cold temperatures, it was a wonder that he survived at all.
MOGS soon got to work nursing him back to health but it wasn’t quick or easy. Even after thawing out, Caesar was too skinny to walk properly. Instead of regular physical therapy, Caesar’s legs were submerged in water for hydrotherapy, allowing him to move around much easier. As he gained weight, he slowly relearned how to walk.
It took several months but, eventually, all of Caesar’s health problems began to fade away… Well, all except for one.
When Caesar was getting neutered, the veterinarians discovered cancerous lumps on his body.
Caesar’s chemotherapy took four months. There were times when his treatment had him feeling a bit under the weather but he made it out just fine in the end. His cancer is in remission now. He’s much healthier than he once was and he’s super photogenic.
“Caesar is sort of a miracle dog.”
Nancy Campbell of MOGS told KSHB Action News: “The reality is the cancer came at the end, and he has come through it like a champ.”
Dr. Jeff Dennis of BluePearl told KSHB, “He has gained a good 15 pounds since his first treatment. He is eating better and is a much happier dog.”
Caesar has received much more love from MOGS than he ever had before. Back in his old life, he had never played with a toy before. Yet, MOGS spread the word and now he’s received a number of kind donations.
Right now, Caesar’s living with a foster family who absolutely loves him but MOGS’s next goal is to get Caesar a permanent home.
“Let’s all celebrate tonight, and raise a glass to this miracle boy! GO, CAESAR!,” MOGS wrote in a Facebook post, “Next on the agenda: Complete a 12 month check on his heartworm status in January, and then see about a forever home for him.”
Hypothermia, starvation, heartworms, and cancer are all incredible things to survive individually but successfully living through all of them is a straight-up miracle! Despite his awful past, Caesar has made it past every hurdle with a smile on his face (and an adorable one at that). Between his winning smile and unbreakable spirit, I’m sure that Caesar will find a forever home soon. I’m rooting for you, puppo!