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Happy Tail: This is a couch potato dog with a big heart


Abe’s wizened expression reflects a hard past. At some point, he was peppered with birdshot, which remains in his rump. Thin, wormy, with bad teeth and entropian (a condition in which the eyelashes rub against the eye surface) he landed in a shelter, where he was close to being euthanized.

Abe, a dogue de Bordeaux

Read Abe’s story in Shelby’s words.

Fortunately, someone adopted him, but when Abe’s medical issues mounted, the man turned him over to Tri-County Humane Society in St. Cloud, Minn. That was Abe’s lucky day because the staff was able to get his eyes fixed and get him some dental care.

He was posted on Petfinder, and Shelby Gunderson saw his listing. “I have always been in love with the Dogue de Bordeaux breed,” the Sauk Rapids woman says, so she went to meet him.

He could hardly open his eyes from having entropian for eight years, but he came to the front of the run to greet her. “He pulled at my heartstrings, and I just had to take him home.”

He shares his home with three dogs, with whom he gets along well, and two cats, who “at first were not real thrilled with the giant snoring dog I bought into their lives,” Shelby says, “but now love to cuddle up next to him.”

She works at a dog daycare and boarding facility, so Abe goes to work with her. “He loves to be with other dogs and loves all the attention he gets when we are out somewhere. Everyone wants to pet him because he is so big.”

Big or not, he’s a couch potato, and Shelby’s mother calls him a living, breathing rug.

“What surprises me most about Abe,” Shelby says, “is that even after all the neglect and abuse he has suffered … he still is such a loving and trusting dog.” Dogs like Abe set a good example for humans.

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