Trooper In 3-Parts

Part 1: BEFORE

Trooper on Day 1 of his Part 2.
Trooper on Day 1 of his Part 2. The staff stopped counting at over 50 cuts & lacerations to his face, legs & body then dumped in a ditch to die.


Part One of Trooper’s story is thankfully behind him. This is a dark and painful place for him before he came to Must Luv Dogs Rescue.   Although I doubt he ever forgets it, my deep hope is that, in time, Part 1 becomes a dull, distant memory for him.  Although I don’t know exactly what happened in that part of his life, my guess is that it wasn’t good.  Trooper is a prime example of why I founded this rescue. To be the voice for the poor pups who have the misfortune to end up in the hands of damaged humans. Humans who neglect, abandon, or abuse them.   Dogs cannot simply walk up to a home, knock on the door and ask for help.  They cannot tell someone if they are in pain, hungry or afraid. Based on Proverbs 31:8, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” is the official Mission Statement of Must Luv Dogs Rescue.     I’ve been involved in rescue for many years and I learned early-on that I have nowhere to “put” the anger and sadness that springs up inside of me when I encounter a situation like Troopers.   Sadly, abandoned, abused and neglected pups are a way of life in our rural area. Like many others, Troopers life was no longer of use to those involved in the barbaric practice of dog fighting.   We’ve long suspected active dog fighting groups in the rural parishes North of Baton Rouge, based on the number of dogs tossed aside to die in similar situations.  Trooper was one of the lucky ones. He survived. I don’t have the luxury to dwell on thoughts of revenge. Those feelings will eat you alive and leave you too bitter to make a difference.  So I leave that to others.   My one goal is to simply focus on how to make life better for THIS pup at THIS time.     

Part 2: SO THIS IS LOVE?

Part Two of Trooper’s life begins with his rescue.  Life will forever be changed for him from that date forward. Trooper was rescued by a local couple, Renee’ & Brenda Watson Uzee’ of Ethel, LA.    Renee’ says Trooper was as much his savior, as the other way around.    Renee’, recently in remission from leukemia, was still suffering as a result of the medications his body endured to fight the life-threatening disease.  Feeling weak that day, Renee’, a talented hair stylist, was being driven by his wife Brenda into Forum Salon, the always bustling business he owns in Baton Rouge. Traveling along a rural highway in East Feliciana, Renee’ was looking out of the car window when he spotted movement in the ditch.  He asked Brenda to slow down.  Once he realized the movement was an animal, he shouted for Brenda to pull over.   Picking up an almost lifeless Trooper, they rushed him to Veterinarian Dr. Liz Ezelle, at Plains Animal Hospital in Zachary, LA.   Dr. Liz & staff quickly went to work on Trooper.  He was in shock, undernourished, dehydrated and covered in blood and debris.   Dr. Liz sedated Trooper and stopped counting at over 50 wounds and lacerations to his face, neck and legs, including one that almost severed his tongue, and a hole ripped through his sinus cavity. They flushed out his wounds and started him on IV fluids, pain meds and antibiotics.  This was the first of daily wound flushing he endured for two solid weeks, in addition to sinus cavity flushing that continued for a solid 6-weeks. During his initial treatment, a very weak Trooper somehow managed to made quiet sounds, as though to say “thank you”.  It speaks volumes that this precious boy wagged his tail before he could lift his head. It was two days before Trooper was strong enough to stand for short periods. Weeks turned into months and slowly Trooper started coming back to life.  During this time, Troopers bright & cheerful personality began to shine.  Despite his horrible past, he still NEVER meets a HUMAN that he doesn’t immediately love and want to say “hello” to. Slowly recuperating, the sweet little 2 yr old pittie was soon dubbed “Trooper”. His happy personality, determination to live, and his persistent tail-wagging, no matter the pain, makes him the very definition of a “trooper”!  

Troopers favorite treat after a Saturday morning socialization session. Maple Bacon Donut!

Part 3:  The Best Is Yet To Be!

“After many weeks of TLC by the staff at Plains, the Must Luv Dogs Rescue group, as well as the Uzees, who continued to visit him, Trooper was, ever so slowly, coming back to life.  Longtime friends of Brenda, Must Luv Dogs Rescue Executive Director, Cindy Nettles Shotwell, was contacted almost immediately to ask if she would accept him into her program. Shotwell didn’t hesitate to say “yes!”.  As luck would have it, Dr. Liz Ezelle had recently agreed to serve on the MLD Board of Directors. The rescue group stepped up from the very beginning. Founded by Shotwell in 2017, the foster-based program, serving the Greater Zachary area, concentrates on rescuing abandoned, dumped and neglected dogs.   They soon held a special donation drive for Troopers extensive medical expenses.  With the help of many friends and Facebook followers, the rescue group was able to pay for his medical expenses.    Over the next few months, as Trooper continued to make progress, the group tried in vain to find a foster home for Trooper. They wanted him to be able to leave the confines of the small concrete & wire kennel/dog run at Plains.  Sadly, all foster homes have multiple dogs and Trooper needed to be an only-child, at least until he was finished with his socialization training.    

Although Trooper receives lots of love and attention from both clinic staff, as well as Must Luv Dogs volunteers, he still doesn’t have a family of his very own.   The fact is, after an entire year, this precious boy STILL lives in a concrete dog run at a clinic. One of my board members & officers, Sharon Brown, took a special interest in Trooper and has been so faithful to bring him for weekly walks. Sometimes, Shotwell and Brown let him ride with them to the bank or to run errands. Brown occassionaly sneaking him off to Sonic for a much loved snack. Shotwell regularly stopping by Prince Donuts in Denham for his much beloved maple-bacon donut. A special prize he earns after his socialization classes on Saturday mornings. I always enjoy our time together while driving him to Saturday morning socialization sessions in Denham Springs with renowned Trainer, Larry Benoit.  Larry has donated his time with Trooper. I feel as though I’m letting him down with each passing month that he’s stuck living his life inside that kennel.   He deserves to have his very own family.   He deserves to live inside a real home with a real family.  He deserves to have a special spot on the sofa or his very own dog bed.  He deserves endless belly rubs in front of the TV or sharing a tub of popcorn with his very own humans while binge watching Netflix. Tears well up when I think of how thankful he is to just be alive .  He’s always so happy to see me, even if it’s been 2 weeks since I’ve had time for him.  He doesn’t hold it against me.  He just wags his tail & wants to lick my face.  My sincere desire is that Trooper’s Part 3 will include a family of his own, which will include overindulgent love, never ending patience & an abundance of maple-bacon donuts! Now who wants to help by “Takin’ Trooper to Work!” Cindy

In brainstorming ideas for some “out of the box” ways to get more exposure for Trooper, I thought of doing a promotion where we can get people take trooper to work. “Takin’ Trooper to Work!” begins this week with Trooper getting to go to work with Zachary’s Mayor David Amrhein. I’m not sure Mayor A is much of a “dog person” per se, but to his credit, he never hesitated! Trooper will love the attention & hopefully this will kick off several weeks of folks allowing Trooper to come hang out with them at work. The idea being that it will result in some much needed media coverage for him. (Okay yes, I thought of this in a dream! lol.  That’s where all my creative ideas come from..I think it’s because my poor ADD brain is usually like a mouse on a non-stop treadmill, but when I sleep, ideas that get buried under a stack of useless ADD thoughts float to the top! You know, thoughts like “hmmmm I wonder if that lady knows she has on two different pairs of shoes? or “I wonder when the hummingbirds will come out this year?”. If you are ADD, you will understand exactly what I’m saying. haha. Anyway.. back to Trooper. If interested in fostering or adopting Trooper, please apply at www.mustluvdogs.org


Trooper is healing… scars are visible on the outside, but inside his personality is as bright & cheerful as ever!

Please see Trooper on Petfinder at:  www.mustluvdogs.petfinder.com

2 Comments on “Trooper In 3-Parts

  1. This story is tugging at my heart. People like us who love these furbabies, pretty much have a furbaby in the home already. I am so impressed by what you do. It has been a dream for me too, to one day work to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home, ALL animals in need. I’m happy to help in any way I can. Everyone should hear this story. What it the story was made into a small booklet that could be distributed by hand or by mail. Businesses could sponsor Trooper or any animal in need, on a weekly basis. During that week, they take care of the cost of his needs, and commit to getting the story out in person and by mail. The object being to reach as many people as possible.I’ve thought about doing this type thing for so long, so forgive me if I’m overstepping, This is an amazing story, brought about by amazing people doing extraordinary things. I for one, want to thank you for what you do. Our motto at Bank of Zachary, is “making a difference”, and that is exactly what you are doing.

  2. Hi Beverly! Of course that’s an awesome idea! We’d Love your help anytime you have some time to help us. We have an awesome team but of course there are never enough human hands! Trooper is super excited to spend time with ya’ll today!!! Thanks Please continue to share his story…great ideas!!! Thanks, Cindy

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