Almost 20, rescue dog is pet resort mascot

Published 8:09 pm Thursday, June 21, 2018

It was supposed to be a temporary home.

An elderly dog turned in at the animal shelter — Dr. Christy Barndt and mom Sue Reikard decided to rescue the then 15-year-old Pfeizer. His owners had passed away, neighbors tried to care for him, but he had all sorts of health problems: he was underweight, had a flea allergy, dermatitis and horrible knees on his bowed legs. What they believe to be a chow mix was a mess and a grumpy old dog.

“With his ailments, we thought we’d give him a few months, give him a nice place to live,” Barndt said. “Now it’s four years later.”

Pfeizer will turn 20 years old on July 26.

When Barndt, a Chocowinity Veterinary Hospital veterinarian, brought Pfeizer to Chocowinity Pet Resort and Day Camp to live out his final days, she had no idea his final days would be this drawn out. But Pfeizer thrived in his new environment, a kennel to call his own, lots of visits and treats from the pet resort staff and car rides with Barndt.

“He loves car rides,” Barndt said. “For a dog who can barely walk and can barely get in the car, every time I put him in the back seat, before I can get in the car, he’s in the front seat.”

GOT IT MADE: Pfeizer, pictured here with Chocowinity Pet Resort’s Sue Reikard, turns to greet friends in the dog run. A rescue from the Betsy Bailey Nelson Animal Control Facility, Pfeizer will turn 20 years old next month. (Vail Stewart Rumley/Daily News)

Reikard attributes Pfeizer’s longevity to the love he gets from his people.

“He’s spoiled rotten,” Reikard laughed. “This has become his family. He loves the girls, they can handle him, he can do what he wants to do. … He knows his people. There are some people that he does not like until he knows you, but the people he knows, he gets very excited.”

The world record for longest-lived dog is held by Bluey, an Australian Cattle Dog, who lived in Victoria, Australia. He lived from 1910 to 1939 and died at the age of 29 years and 5 months.

There’s no telling if Pfeizer will challenge that record, but Barndt said he’s in good health for a dog that is the human-equivalent age of 140.

“We’re just happy that he’s still around and for a dog who had no concept of any kind of life, has a wonderful life,” Barndt said.

“He’s just got a home for life. However long that is,” Reikard said.