"I volunteer at a no-kill animal shelter and often find and foster animals. Last fall my husband and I took in a neglected Chow that lived in our neighborhood. 'Black Jack' was in terrible shape, covered with hot spots and mats, limping, runny eyes and a dewclaw which had grown into the skin on his leg. In spite of all these things he was very friendly and would come by our house and beg to petted. He started staying on our front porch so we moved him into the fenced backyard with the rest of our dogs. He couldn't quite get his nerve up to come into the house but he was happy sleeping on the screen porch.

"We had him neutered, heartworm tested, and vaccinated. We took care of his skin and had surgery to correct his entropion. In the spring he injured his knee and had surgery to fix the ligament. The x-rays at the time showed his other hind leg had been broken in two places at sometime in the past and healed without being set. The x-ray also showed he had been shot with birdshot.

"This dog had plenty of reason to distrust people but he is one of the best natured dogs I have ever been around. Of course my husband and I are way too attached to him to ever place him with someone else. Black Jack has a home for life and once he got over his fear of entering the house, he only wants out now when we are outside. The staff at the vet's office adore him and they all have to come visit him when ever he comes in. My vet claims he is the favorite Chow they see and they see quite a few.

"We are doubly blessed with a Chow mix we have had for six years. She passed her Canine Good Citizen Test with flying colors and loves small children. We thought she was an exception to normal Chow temperament until we met Black Jack. I can't recommend Chows highly enough. It is unfortunate that out of control backyard breeding has given them a bad reputation."

                Betsy Schindler

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