The German Shepherd that had been abandoned or lost in the desert south of Boulder City has a new name and new home. Xena, named after the famous fictional warrior princess, naps quietly as we discussed her recent ordeal. She is remarkably healthy-looking and calm with her new family, considering all she’s been through in the last six weeks.
It was the first part of June when Bronco Street neighbors Jean Maynard and Lonnie Charleson discussed a recent sighting Jean had made of a German Shepherd running in the desert, with a couple coyotes in pursuit. She immediately phoned her neighbor, Lonnie, but they weren’t able to capture the dog. This set up a nearly monthlong action where neighbors came together to rescue the animal from the harsh confines of the desert.
With Lonnie and his brother logging countless hours in their vehicle and on foot, in pursuit of the poor, frightened animal, it just seemed as though the story would not have a good outcome. It was hot, and there were other risks to the dog as well, including the real threat of desert wildlife and lack of access to food and water.
Lonnie set up plastic buckets in the desert behind his home to place food and water for the dog. She came by regularly, even dipping her sore paws into the pool at one point, but he wasn’t able to gain her trust enough to make her stay in a safe location. Meanwhile, over on Facebook and Nextdoor, people were reporting sightings and brainstorming ways to trap her safely.
Enter Dany Helwink-Masters, a recent retiree to the area. An avowed dog lover, she made a few inquiries and hooked up with a group called the Doggie Task Force, which rescues and reunites pets with their families. Boulder City Animal Control provided one of their traps, but the German Shepherd was too large and was able to get in and out of the trap easily, since the door couldn’t close all the way. Dany was able to secure a larger trap and joined the brothers in their nightly searches for the dog.
This went on for a few weeks, until the night of July 3rd, when they finally met success. They were able to lure the German Shepherd into the trap and rescue her from her ordeal. The first order of business was to get her to the veterinarian for care. Lonnie called Greatful Pet here in Boulder City and their staff had been following the saga and agreed to see her right away. It was determined that she seemed to have suffered no truly serious issues, considering the length of time she was roaming. Her paws showed signs of being damaged from the hot and rocky desert landscape. She was hungry, thirsty and very tired. But otherwise, she didn’t seem to have any major physical issues.
Her age is estimated at 18 months and she appears to be a German Shepherd/Siberian Husky mix. She has heterochromia iridum (different color eyes). She is a bit underweight, but that’s not unusual for a dog that was on its own for so long. She eats a raw food diet and likes turkey and string cheese as occasional treats. S
She’s still leery of leaving the comfort of her new home for going outside and walks. She gets on very well with the Charleson’s other dog, a fifteen year old Golden named Drama (after the character on Entourage). She’s really taken to Lonnie and his family and they feel blessed to have her as part of their lives.
There is a GoFundMe for her ongoing care and medical treatment. If you would like to donate CLICK HERE. Lonnie tells us he will be making an Instagram account for Xena as well, to keep Boulder City and the larger animal rescue community apprised of her progress. We are so happy this story has such a happy ending! It’s great to live in a community where people can come together and help a poor animal find a way home.