December 17, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
30°F
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Two years later, dog fully recovered

ELYRIA — His tail whipped the air furiously as he raced toward the spinning orange ball. Clamping it with his powerful jaws, the Rottweiler started back toward his owner, who was beckoning him to return for another round of fetch. But as if not wanting to give his owner the satisfaction, the meaty dog turned a corner and headed for a cool drink of water from his bowl.
“He just got done with a two-hour jog in the park,” Terry Green said. “He’s pretty tired right now.”
Green stared silently at his dog, which he named Chance, as in “a second chance.” He still remembers how close to death his friend was when they first met.
Chance’s story began in August 2005, when a Lorain resident spotted the dog lying lifeless and emaciated in the middle of G Street. Thinking he was dead, she decided to remove it from the path of cars out of respect. As she crept closer, however, his sickly head rose slightly, and she gasped in shock.
Pam Collins took Chance to a veterinarian immediately, where the 38-pound pup spent three weeks under a doctor’s care. When she took him home, her young children named him Mufasa after Disney’s “Lion King” character, and his sad story was reported in The Chronicle.
Collins told the reporter she couldn’t afford to keep Mufasa, especially with his $2,000 vet bill, so a neighbor who was touched by the article agreed to take him in. Unfortunately, the 1-year-old pup was too much for the neighbor to handle, so one day she called a North Ridgeville man who was one of the dozens who had also shown interest in Mufasa.
Green remembers the call like it was yesterday.
“I was in my garage, and the phone rings,” he recalled. “I pick up the phone, and it was some woman screaming, ‘You need to come get this dog!’ I had no idea who it was or what she was talking about.”
Green had owned a Rottweiler named Misha for years, but she had to be put down just a few weeks before the call because her esophagus was closing and she was literally starving to death. As he was talking to the neighbor, he glanced at The Chronicle article that he had cut out and hung in his garage. He realized then what the call was about and was anxious to add another family member.
“I didn’t know why I was keeping the article,” he said. “A couple times I even thought about throwing it away, but I just couldn’t. I guess now I know why.”
When Green first got him, Chance weighed 78 pounds and was carrying five different species of worms. A veterinarian told Green that Chance had a 50/50 chance of surviving.
Fast forward to today, where Chance is a full-fledged, 102-pound member of the Green family. At 2 years old, the worms are gone, he has a giant backyard to frolic in and a  neighbor dog to play with.
He’s a smart dog, too. His owners have to spell out “park” and “squirrel,” or Chance will become overexcited. Green is a retired firefighter and spends his days playing with Chance and taking him to Carlisle Park.
Chance is still a little skittish around people, especially men, which leads Green to believe he was beaten as a puppy. The veterinarian told Green that it’s all too common for male Rottweilers to be bred until they cannot breed anymore. And the breeders starve the animals in the process.
“He just had no life in his eyes when we got him,” said Green’s wife, Lee, as she bent down to pet Chance on the stomach. “Now look at him.”
“You’re such a good boy,” she cooed as Chance licked her face.
Contact Adam Wright at 329-7151 or awright@chroniclet.com.