Bear runningPublished 11:04am Friday, October 19, 2012
Bear is back in town and ready to run with the dogs.
On June 20, the mixed breed shepherd underwent a surgery to repair his left leg that had been broken and healed wrong. Bear was surrendered to the Otter Tail County Humane Society by a person who couldn’t afford to take care of him. Jerry Mortenson, an avid dog and animal lover, volunteered to help.
“When I saw him at the Humane Society, I knew right away he was special,” Mortenson said. “I knew he had no one, so I got down in front of him, looked in his eyes, and I promised him I would do everything to help him.”
Mortenson visited, walked, and spent hours of play time with Bear, and raised funds to help repair Bear’s leg. With the money raised, Bear was able to get the surgery he needed at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center in St. Paul. Dr. Betty Kramek performed the six-hour surgery, removing bone cartilage and using a steel rod to straighten the leg and to fuse the wrist and leg together.
After four long months of recovery, he was finally able to return home Monday evening.
“‘Awesome’ was the first thing I thought when I saw him,” Mortenson said. “He charged out of the vehicle and mobbed me with wet slobbery kisses. I was so thankful he remembered me.”
Bear still has some healing and leg strengthening to do, and he has to get used to using it.
“He won’t be able to move the joint in between his leg and wrist, but he will be able to run and play like any other dog,” said Mortenson.
Aside from arthritis and restrictions jumping down from heights, Bear should be able to lead a happy and healthy life. Mortenson is currently boarding him until he finds a permanent family.
“I have an potential family interview coming up, but if it doesn’t work out he will be looking for a new forever home,” he said.
Living within the city limits, Mortenson is unable to adopt Bear because of the other three dogs he has.
“My dream is to some day, hopefully soon, be able to move out of the city limits and open my own dog rescue,” Mortenson said. “There is nothing better then finding dog who needs a family a happy home.”