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  • Writer's pictureAnne

Phelan of the big ears.

Doggie portrait of our German Shepherd Dog rescue, Phelan.

This past Sunday was National Dog Day. That came as a surprise to our pup, a German Shepherd Dog rescue named Phelan. From her perspective EVERY day is National Dog Day.

Bless her heart.

The name Phelan is derived from the Gaelic word for wolf. Seemed appropriate, though we mostly call her “Fay.” 

We rescued her from the local animal shelter after she was found darting around in the dark in Greenbelt's Buddy Attick Lake Park in early December 2010. 

She had clearly been mistreated. She was emaciated—you  could see just about every bone in her body. And, based on the state of her paw pads, she’d likely spent most of her life in a crate. They couldn't pin-point her specific age, but she was somewhere between 1 and 2 years old when we brought her home at the end of 2010.

Sadly, those pre-us days did quite a number on her. She’s yet to fully recover, but sweet thing, she keeps on trying! With those giant ears she’s particularly sensitive to all sorts of noises. Some of them, we can even hear. She spends a lot of time in her Thundershirt, which, as it turns out, is very slimming. She suffers summers the most, with all the afternoon thunderstorms and of course, the big daddy of them all: July 4th. Greenbelt's Independence Day fireworks display takes place over the lake right behind our house. There’s really no way to mute that. Our veterinarian suggested we start her on the meds on the 3rd. Poor love.

Despite Phelan’s best efforts to befriend them, our two cats remain decidedly disinterested. It’s been eight years, but she persists. She makes daily attempts to establish a more playful relationship. The resulting hissing and claw strikes have yet to dampen her spirit. She seems convinced that someday they’ll come around. 

She may be a bit of a mess, our girl, but she’s super pretty. Happy belated National Dog Day, Fay-Fay. We ❤️ you! 

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