By Kayleigh Rahn
Chopper lives the good life today.
Evenings on the couch. Mile walks during the day. And plenty of love to go around in the Kohlbecker home.
But that wasn’t always the case.
The boxer mix was abandoned about three years ago and took up residency in the very far kennel at the Douglas County Animal Shelter where he was diagnosed with heartworm.
“He was just a grumpy guy,” said shelter manager Chad Daugherty.
For three months, Daugherty cared for him, even spending time with him in his kennel to help calm his tense demeanor.
That’s when Paul and Katrina Kohlbecker came by while on the hunt for a new family member.
“Our dog of 15 years passed away, and we just came to look,” Katrina said. “Chad said ‘this one here was abandoned but he has heartworm,’ so no one is going to take him. I said, ‘get in the car’ so Chopper came home and never left.”
Three years later his bright eyes and wagging tail tell all. He’s happy.
“We didn’t realize how thankful he would act once he came home,” Katrina said. “Everyday he reminds us how he’s so thankful. He’s brought us so much joy, and it’s hard to think about all these animals out here who just need love, and we know how much love he brings us every single day.”
“He dominates our life right now; if we’re on the couch he’s between us,” Paul said. “When we were treating him for heartworm we couldn’t take him on a walk because you don’t want the disease to work down to his heart. I think that strengthened our bond with him.”
With Chopper in mind, the Kohlbeckers and friends have planned a family-friendly fundraiser set for 2 p.m. at Proud Mary’s on Saturday, Feb. 17. The event will include a silent auction, door prizes, and live music, and all ages are invited to take part in the fun.
“People have been wonderful,” Katrina said about people donating items for the auction.
The crew has planned animal-themed adult beverages for the big event; however, families are encouraged to bring their kids.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Feb. 14 edition of The Tuscola Journal.