Patrick Shelby

Patrick Shelby

Last Saturday, I met “Dodger”, a German Shepherd-mix who drifted into the family life of Sally and Marsiano and earned a rightful place in their home.

Sally told me how this severely malnourished dog had wandered through the hop fields and made his timid presence known to them.

He had a choker chain caught inside his mouth and wouldn’t let anyone near him at first. After several attempts to soothe the young dog’s fear, Sally was able to free him from the constraints of the chain.

Once freed, the pup didn’t run off. Both Sally and Marsiano thought he was too weak to keep running away from wherever he came from and the environment in which he was fearfully raised. They provided him with a bowl of water and some Kibble.

After the wayward dog ate, he remained outside their house as they thought about what was next for him. They were not looking for another dog – they have a total of four, which of three are kenneled and one resides in the house.

They were going to see if anyone might be interested in adopting the dog should he continue to hang around by his own accord. That’s about the time when I heard about his plight. I saw his picture and his impressive ears attracted me to hear more about his story.

The following morning, their canine visitor was still there. In fact, the dog was laying against the front door located upstairs. Upon opening the door, he finally moved. The couple still hadn’t heard if anyone was interested in taking home their temporary guest.

Both Sally and Marsiano had work to do and left the house. Two of their granddaughters were home and inside. A few hours passed and the dog remained upstairs, still at the front door overlooking the endless vines of hops.

Suddenly, there was an unrelenting, deep and protective barking coming from upstairs, the girls came out to see what the commotion was all about.

When they opened the door, the German Shepherd-mix had drawn their attention to a man who was scoping out the area with a truck on the road shoulder slowly creeping toward their property.

Once the man’s presence had been alerted by the guard dog, the girls spotted the suspicious man, he quickly got back into the awaiting truck and speeded off.

When Sally and Marciano returned home, they were informed of the dog’s protective and spirited character — “Dodger” had earned a name and a place within their family.

Patrick Shelby can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 110 or email

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