It’s hard to believe that a robust, happy dog who loves playing with his canine “sister,” eating ice cream and lounging on his family’s sofas nearly starved to death less than two months ago.But it’s true. The 4-month-old puppy dubbed La-Z-Boy Gatson after being found abandoned with a dumped recliner and TV on a remote road in Mississippi is now thriving with his new family in Plymouth, Michigan.Dave Trammell, 32, told TODAY that he and his girlfriend, Sommer Guy, drove over 15 hours in late July to meet and adopt La-Z-Boy Gatson after hearing his viral story, which was first reported by TODAY on June 25.
“Something about the way he looked just touched me,” Trammell recalled. “He just looked so cute and sad.”After being nursed back to health by veterinarians and the staff at Brookhaven Animal Shelter and Brookhaven Animal Rescue League — including treatment for ringworm — La-Z-Boy Gatson was ready for adoption. Trammell was thrilled for the chance to adopt the pup, who quickly adjusted to life in his new home.
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“He’s been through a lot, but I would say by day three or four, he was sleeping belly up right next to me — just settled in as ever,” he said. “I think he just wanted to have a home. You could tell he was really appreciative when we got here.”La-Z-Boy loves playing with the couple’s other rescue dog, Penelope, a 9-month-old mixed-breed dog. The two have become fast friends.
“We’ve taken them to the dog park. We’ve taken them out for ice cream and we’ve taken them around town,” Trammell said.Trammell works in sales from his home office, so the dogs aren’t alone during the day. Fittingly, La-Z-Boy Gatson loves lounging on the family’s La-Z-Boy sofa and loveseat while Trammell is working.
“He’s got the demeanor of a 10-year-old,” he said. “He’s very, very mellow — a very good boy.”If Trammell has to go on the road, his parents care for La-Z-Boy and Penelope with help from their Chihuahua, Pee Wee, and basset hound, Andrew. It’s a tightknit pack.
La-Z-Boy’s health is good and he has a voracious appetite. If Trammell tears open a bag of chips, for instance, the dog suddenly appears at his side. The 6-month-old pup weighs around 45 pounds now.
Breathe easy. In addition to sweating through their paw pads, dogs pant to cool themselves off. A panting dog can take 300-400 breaths (compared to his regular 30-40) with very little effort.
“He’s going to be a big boy,” Trammell said with a laugh. “He’s eating good.”Trammell hopes La-Z-Boy Gatson’s story will inspire other people to give pets a second chance by adopting animals from shelters. Even when dogs have experienced trauma like La-Z-Boy Gatson, they can make wonderful pets, he said.
“I thought he’d have some distrust in people and be scared, but even on the ride home, he didn’t cry at all,” he said. “He’s a very happy boy. He couldn’t be a better dog child. He finally gets an opportunity to relax and you can just tell he’s loving it.”
Follow La-Z-Boy Gatson’s adventures on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/lazboy.gatson/