Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Helping Each Other

" A Doberman Pinscher brutally attacked by what rescuers believe was a mountain lion has a second start in life. The dog has a new home and a new job.

Meet Denise Shepherd's new best friend, Diego. Just three weeks ago, Diego was found by animal control officers, wandering around Heber. He'd been savagely attacked.

Al Nortz, with the Utah Doberman Rescue, said, "The wound is basically from his neck all the way down to his tail. It was very infected. But now he's recovering."

That's thanks to more than $3,000 in veterinarian bills and Denise. She saw Diego's picture, with his one eye and horrible wounds, on an animal rescue Web site just three days after his picture was posted. It was then she knew. "When I saw his picture, I fell in love. His eyes tell it all," she said.

Denise decided to adopt. Nortz Denise "spoils him rotten, sleeps in bed, lays in her lap all day, watches TV with her."

Diego needs Denise to help him recover, but make no mistake, Denise needs Diego. "I have anxiety disorder with panic disorder. I have really bad anxiety. I have panic attacks. I have a difficult time getting out of the house, sort of agoraphobia and post traumatic stress syndrome," she said.

For the past year, all of that combined has made Denise a virtual prisoner in her own home. She wouldn't leave the house, and she shut herself off from the outside world. But now, Diego is her therapy dog.

"Being able to pet him and touch him helps calm me and helps me be able to go out of the apartment. When I see people, I don't feel uncomfortable talking to them," Denise said. "

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