St. Nick - A Rescue Christmas Tale

Suffering from severe neglect and abuse, one Great Dane’s Christmas wish came true when a Good Samaritan discovered him lying by the side of a road in Dover, Delaware on Christmas morning. Although he was scared, he was too weak from suffering from hypothermia and emaciation to resist. They struggled to get him in their car and immediately took him to a local, after hour’s emergency veterinary clinic where he was treated and given food. As they examined him, his weak body weighing in at 92 lbs., showed them a history of severe neglect and abuse. His nails were very long and he exhibited weakness in his hindquarters indicating that he may have been tied somewhere and given little to no exercise or adequate nutrition. Numerous calluses covered his body, including large ones both on his hips and chest. His coat was thin to non-existent where he scratched himself raw. Despite all of his, he still demonstrated a loving personality. He was soon to be known as St. Nick.

Great Dane Rescue Story

Shortly thereafter, one of the Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League’s volunteers, Danielle Prussak was contacted by the clinic to evaluate him and find him a foster home. Nick was kept overnight at the clinic and the next day, Danielle picked him up to care for him until the following Saturday. The day after Christmas, the Good Samaritans returned to the clinic to pay Nick’s bill. They also brought him a bed and made sizable donation to MAGDRL for his care. Nick was moved to a temporary foster home with Bruce and Bambi Rohrbaugh until a more permanent one opened up. They provided the love and care he so desperately needed.

"He got sick several times during the night and the poor guy felt the need to try to cover his messes with a blanket," said Bambi Rohrbaugh, MAGDRL Volunteer. "You should have seen the look on his face when we came downstairs, he was worried that he'd get yelled at."

In the first week of January, a transport was arranged by MAGDRL volunteers to get St. Nick to his foster home. "When I pulled into the parking space and first laid eyes on Nick, I was mortified at the condition he was in and how very thin he was," said Linda Brennan, Nick’s Foster mom. "I had seen other rescue Danes in emaciates states before, but none this bad."

Linda enlisted the help of another volunteer to safely introduce Nick to her other three dogs. Once everyone was through with the sniffing, posturing, and vocalization that are often demonstrated during the initial meeting, the other dogs accepted Nick into their pack with no problems.

Great Dane Rescue Story

The biggest problem St. Nick did face was his health. Second only to his malnutrition, was his intense itching, sometimes to the point of drawing blood. He had to undergo much poking, prodding, bathing, and scraping in a search for answers to his constant itching. He was tested for mites, fungus, and everything else that causes intense itching. All of his tests came up negative. His thyroid was also tested and he endured skin biopsies. Nick was treated for his itching and his coat began to restore itself. He soon gained 23 lbs. For all of the love and care they invested in Nick, Linda and Joe decided to adopt him. They already made the sacrifices of caring for Nick and they are aware that they have a long journey with him towards good health. But their optimism and dedication for Nick’s physical and emotional well-being will carry them through it.

Great Dane Rescue Story