Even though Gus the golden doodle is tail-wagging and smiling, the past few years have been tough for the pup. Still, that didn’t keep him from helping another furry friend.
The 6-year-old dog had a tumor removed earlier this year. But staff at the University of Minnesota found another tumor in Gus, and had to amputate his back leg.
“We thought, ‘Oh this is going to be so sad, he’s not going to be able to run like he used to.’ But it hasn’t slowed him down at all,” the dog’s owner Cleo Young told CBS Minnesota.
Even with three legs, Gus can still run around and swim, which proved to be helpful on Easter Sunday. Gus and his family were near Minnesota’s St. Croix River, when he decided to jump into the frigid river. Young’s grandkids, Ella and Lucy, watched Gus from the shore.
“He was going after something, it was clear, but we didn’t know at first,” Ella said.
“And he came to shore and he had something in his mouth, and it turned out to be a very tiny otter,” Young said.
The family washed the sand off the baby otter and took it to a nearby rehabilitation center in Roseville. “It was kind of a harrowing trip, because it was closing at 6:00 and we didn’t know if we were going to make it,” Young said.
The team at Wildlife Rehabilitation Center said if Gus hadn’t found the otter when he did, it might not have survived. They said the baby otter belongs in a den with his mother, and it is too young to have been in the water by itself, CBS Minnesota reports. The otter has since been another rehabilitation center for more care.
“He was really gentle. And I think he knew it needed help, and so he brought it right to us right away,” Ella said.
Gus has three more chemotherapy appointments to go — but his own battle didn’t stop him from saving another animal’s life.