A recent Texas transplant has attracted fans and admirers in Southwest Washington and around the United States.
Joe, an American bulldog-pit bull mix, arrived in Camas, Feb. 21, after being adopted by Amy Parent. The household also includes her husband, Al Balsiger, and children Rachel and Joshua.
Joe was found by Mary Kauth, of Grapevine, Texas, at a gas station in Houston. She named him after the friend whose funeral she had just attended that day.
Based on the dog’s injuries, it is believed that Joe was a bait dog, that was used in the training of dogs for fighting.
Kauth already had several rescue dogs and cats, so she and a friend created a Facebook page about Joe’s availability for adoption.
Parent saw the posting through a mutual acquaintance.
“It made me cry,” she said.
Rope burns that Joe received while probably being hung upside down are still visible.
Parent speculates he was dumped at the gas station, because the rope burns had abscessed.
Money for Joe’s medical bills and transportation to the West Coast was raised through several online crowd funding sites.
Joe was transported by pilot Dave Whitney, on a private airplane from Fort Worth to Colorado. Whitney, a volunteer with Pilots N Paws, and his wife then drove Joe to John Day, Ore., where Parent and Rachel met them.
Joe’s routine now includes two daily walks, eating and nap time. He has already seen the Washougal River Greenway and Lacamas Creek trails.
Parent said Joe was timid when he crossed the Lacamas Creek Trail bridge for the first time.
“You could tell he had never seen rushing water before,” she said. “He stared at it.”
Joe has also visited downtown Camas and met Mayor Scott Higgins.
Prior to finding out about Joe, Parent inquired about adopting a large dog through some shelters in this area, but she said she was told large dogs could not be adopted out to a household with a miniature pinscher, because the smaller dog would be similar in size to a cat.
“I think Joe was meant to come to me,” Parent said. “He’s such a beautiful dog. I get compliments when I’m walking him.
“So now, he gets to spend his retirement here,” Parent said, as Joe exhaled while lying on her back patio.
Teddy, the miniature pinscher, is 20 pounds, while Joe is 80 pounds.
“He should be 90 to 100 pounds,” Parent said regarding Joe. “I can still feel his ribs. I am giving him treats and gravy on food.”
She said some wounds are not healing well, and he is still on antibiotics.
Parent said a seven-page report written by an animal behaviorist helped the rest of her family get on board with welcoming Joe.
“He was potty trained and had some issues with mouthing, but he would listen to directions if not overly excited,” she said. “Loud noises or collar pulls had no effect.”
It took a week for Teddy to get used to the new member of the household.
Tressa — a German shepherd/red heeler mix — died in November 2014.
Teddy and Tressa had both been adopted from the Humane Society for Southwest Washington, in Vancouver.
Joe is estimated to be 5 years old.
“He is a lover and a big goofball when he tries to play,” Parent said. “He’s kind of mellow. He loves his walks.
“He’s very curious,” she added. “It’s amazing that he still trusts people.”
When Joe arrived at his new home, neighbors greeted him after reading about his situation on the neighborhood Facebook page.
“There are a lot of civic-minded people here,” Parent said.
“It’s pretty awful what happened to him,” she added, regarding Joe. “I’m glad to have him as a great family dog who snores.”