A couple ended up getting way more than they bargained for after adopting what they thought was a ‘big dog’ from a shelter.
Posting to Tumblr, the couple’s daughter explained that her parents picked up the new pet after her mum’s beloved german shepherd, Cops, sadly passed away.
According to the Mirror, she said: “After mourning for a bit, mum and dad decided to get a dog together, as a couple.
“So they went to Palo Alto Animal Shelter to adopt. The year was 1987, and at the time, Palo Alto was not a great place.
“Once they got there, and mum explains that she’s always had a preference for big dogs, the guy’s face lights up.
“He said ‘we have a big dog for experienced owners, adoptable today, we’ll give you a discount even’.
“Somehow my parents were not suspicious about this.”
After meeting the 100lbs animal, they instantly fell in love and signed the paperwork to take her home.
They named her Mazel, short for ‘Mazel Tov,’ and made their way home with their new four-legged friend.
“Cops had lived with his kibble stored in a plastic garbage can in the garage for six years without incident,” she added.
“Mazel figured out how to open doors and got the locking lid off the can within six minutes, chomping down about four pounds of the stuff before my mother notices that it’s been weirdly quiet.
“Most dogs bark at or chase squirrels. Mazel stalked and caught one on her second day, presenting it to my mother like an offering.
“Mazel knew all her commands but would clearly stop to consider before obeying and trained my dad to give her good treats within a week.
“The locks on the side yard gate were undone, and she took a stroll around the neighborhood but always returned home for dinner.”
After realizing Mazel was much smarter than any other dog they’d ever cared for, her mum decided to take her to the vets for a routine check up.
It was only at this point when she learned the truth about her rescue dog.
She said: “Dr Hamada walked into the exam room, dropped the clipboard and said ‘Where the Hell did you get a wolf?’
“After a bit of prodding and a very angry Dr Hamada calling the pound, they determined Mazel was a high-content hybrid, probably with a husky but was going to be a little s*** her entire life.”
As an experienced dog owner, her mum decided to keep Mazel and everything was going smoothly until she fell pregnant two years later.
“Mazel noticed instantly and reacted by digging a large hole in the yard and catching even more squirrels for my mum because she needed the protein or something,” she added.
“On the advice of my grandmother, my mum stayed overnight at the hospital once I was delivered and dad went home with a shirt that had mum’s and my scent on it.
“Mazel spent the whole night puzzling over it. The next morning when my mum came home with me, there was this sudden instantaneous recognition of ‘puppy’.
“Dr Hamada thought my mum was a madwoman until he saw me holding Mazel’s mouth open and sticking my face in so I could look at her teeth. He gave up when my mum announced she was pregnant with my sister,” she said.
Mazel died in her sleep at the age of 19, leaving the family heartbroken but thankful for the years they spent with her.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.