ROSIE'S HOME

Celebrate community: Rosie gets a home

Friendly Lab bears no grudges against bear
2010-09-12T18:45:00Z 2010-09-13T18:30:08Z Celebrate community: Rosie gets a homeMATT HAGENGRUBER Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
September 12, 2010 6:45 pm  • 

Rosie, the black Lab that found fame after nearly being killed by a bear, has found a new home in the Heights and a new friend.

Rosie was profiled in The Gazette on Aug. 20 after she was found hiding under a water tank in the hills south of Columbus. Rosie’s back was torn open and she had puncture wounds over her shoulders and ears.

Employees at the Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter figured that she survived a black bear attack, but the young dog was in bad shape at first. By the time her picture hit the paper, Rosie’s wounds were stitched up and beginning to heal.

At her home on Lake Hills Drive, veterinary office manager Vickie Martin read Rosie’s story in the newspaper and immediately knew that her family had to adopt Rosie. The day before, the Martins had to euthanize their two golden retrievers, 11-year-old sisters who were suffering and in their last days.

Martin looked at the family’s remaining dog, a 4-year-old mix named Gypsy, and knew that the dog was depressed after losing the two goldens.

“I said, ‘She’s gotta have a companion,’” Martin said.

Martin showed the newspaper to her husband, D.J., who was still in bed. She quickly persuaded D.J. to go along with the plan, and Vickie Martin was the first to call the shelter about adopting Rosie.

Shelter employees received plenty of requests for Rosie, but none came from her original owners.

“I was really surprised that (her owners) didn’t claim her, and I don’t know why,” said Chris Anderson, director of the YVAS. “She’s in a great home now.”

Anderson said the shelter chose the Martin family because Vickie works for a veterinarian and because Gypsy and Rosie got along so well during an early visit.

During a lunch break last Thursday, Martin tossed a rope toy across the front yard, with Rosie bounding after it.

The dog seems mostly oblivious to the scabs and scars on her back, but winces a little when someone touches her right ear, which is missing its tip.

“It’d be fascinating to hear her story, if she could tell us,” Martin said. “She’s just a fantastic dog.”

Rosie obeys commands and loves to hog the Martins’ bed. She also loves playing with Gypsy, who watched intently from inside the house as Rosie ran around the front yard. Gypsy can’t be outside without a leash, unless it’s in the Martins’ backyard, which is fenced and allows the dogs to run and play together.

Rosie blended with the family almost immediately. Martin said she can sense appreciation from Rosie and Gypsy, both shelter dogs who went through a lot before finding a stable home.

But Rosie isn’t perfect.

“Her only negative is she thinks she’s a lap dog,” Martin said. “Close to 80 pounds of lap dog is a lot of dog.”

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