Becoming Puppies: Dave, Eddie and Sylvia’s Story

Meet Dave, Eddie and Sylvia. Three spirited five month old dogs who are learning how to be puppies and accept love. They are named after three inspiring community members. This is their story.

These beautiful ‘kids,’ as they are affectionately referred to by members of the Animal Care Team, arrived at the GTHS a month ago with the worst case of demodex mange our Director of Medicine had ever seen. “Demodex (a parasite) is a normal skin colonizer that usually does not cause problems. However, because of their compromised immune systems this allowed the parasite to take over. They have been treated for demodex and put on antibiotics for a secondary bacterial skin infection that occurred from the itching. It will take time for their skin to get back to normal, and for their hair to grow back – but it should!” – Dr. Anick Amaro, GTHS Director of Medicine. 

When Dave, Eddie and Sylvia first arrived, it was all hands on deck! Led by GTHS Executive Director Sonya, the GTHS Team made sure they received a head to tail assessment, medicinal bath, bloodwork, food and most importantly, attentive love and care.

Despite being itchy, shy and nervous of strangers, the kids are recovering very well.  The team is working on getting them all healthy, treating their skin conditions, teaching them to trust humans and learn how to be puppies! Day after day, Dave, Eddie and Sylvia continue to surprise our team with their growth and progress. When the kids were first introduced to a leash and collar they would scream! Equivalent to shy but feisty toddlers! At first, it took GTHS Dog Behaviour Specialist, Erika, twenty minutes to coax Sylvia from her kennel.

“We worked very hard to reduce their stress and build their confidence, and today I have three little leash walking angels, who do still get nervous from time to time, but they improve every day. Now, they run up to you with enthusiasm, looking for treats and snuggles. They have come so far and I’m so proud of them. To say nothing of my team of staff and volunteers who made this all possible, “ Joshua Heggenstaller, GTHS Dog Care Coordinator.

It is important to us to tell and share Dave, Eddie and Sylvia’s story. To get it right. It is the least of what they deserve. From intake and rehabilitation to preparation for adoption, their journey is a testament to the collaboration of experienced team members, the love and care of volunteers, the support of our amazing community and their own strength to thrive.

Dave, Eddie and Sylvia are now available for adoption and looking for very special and specific adoptive homes. The ‘kids’ are a, “Maremma Breed, also known as the Guardian Breed. This type of breed is a working dog and is bred to guard livestock. They are independent thinkers and are confident in protecting. It is important to understand that these dogs do come with certain characteristics, behaviours and temperaments due to what they were bred for,” Erika, Behaviour Specialist. They will be looking for homes with large yards and open space, with people who have experience with fearful behaviours, realistic expectations, and lots of time, patience and love. The RIGHT homes are out there and we cannot wait to see Dave, Eddie and Sylvia flourish with their new families!

This is Dave, Eddie and Sylvia’s happy beginning.

Thank YOU for changing lives.

UPDATE! Dave, Eddie and Sylvia have all been adopted! Happy lives little ones!

P.S How many people does it take to get a good photo of some happy pups? 


Stay informed on GTHS events, initiatives and programs. Learn how the GTHS team is serving the pets and people of the South Georgian Bay Area. Read heart-warming Happy Tails about GTHS Alumni. See a lot of really cute pictures of dogs and cats!