Tifton Gazette

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December 16, 2013

Local canine hero dies

TIFTON —

A loving four-legged companion of the Tifton-Tift County Animal Shelter and a friend to the community has died a happy dog.

Ten years ago on Nov. 10, 2003, then three- or four-year-old Sherman, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, was one of seven dogs rescued from his owner who had placed him in a lucrative dog fighting business.

In an interview Monday morning, an emotional Regenia Wells, director of the Tifton-Tift County Animal Shelter, said Sherman was pushing 14 years old when he died. She explained that in 2010, he was the grand marshal in the Christmas parade.

“I knew he didn’t feel good, so the next morning, I called the vet and took him out there,” she said. “They found out that his white blood count and red blood count were real low, and his gums were white and he was really sick. So, he had to stay out there for a week on an IV.”

“He was really mad with me,” she added, chuckling.

Wells said Sherman was put on prednisone and he was also taking thyroid medicine. For the last four weeks, he was on pain pills.

Motioning to a spot in her office, her voice cracking as she tried holding back tears, she said, “He got over there, ate some food and came over here and rubbed up against me and looked at me like, ‘I’m just tired.’”

Sherman died Dec. 10. Wells said that morning, he walked around the backyard, like he normally did.

“He came and laid down. I had to carry him up the stairs. He couldn’t walk up the stairs anymore. He just gave out,” she said.

She said Sherman had cancer. His stomach had swollen, and he weighed 80-plus pounds about three months ago before he got down to 75 pounds.

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