ASPCA Happy Tails: From A to Zeus

Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 9:15am
Tan and white pit bull wearing winter jacket

Every single day, ASPCA staffers have the privilege of meeting some of the most wonderful, spirited animals you could ever encounter. In fact, one of the hardest parts of our job is resisting the urge to adopt each and every one of them! But every now and then, we’ll meet an animal that inspires us to throw that resistance out the window. Such was the case with our very own Dr. Colin Dwyer, DVM, and an abused Pit Bull named Zeus.

As a veterinarian for the ASPCA, Dr. Dwyer has seen his fair share of dogs. He’s also seen his fair share of heartbreak. “I’ve met a lot of dogs that are ideal in every way, but that get ignored because they’re too big, or are of a demonized breed such as Pit Bulls,” he says. Determined to make a difference for one such dog, Dr. Dwyer waited patiently for the perfect fit.

In January, members of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Group and the Adoption Center’s behavior staff all recommended that he meet a dog named Zeus. “They knew my love for big dogs, and everyone in the hospital had fallen in love with Zeus while caring for his injuries,” says the vet. The two were introduced, and it was an ideal match. “Zeus was the dog I’d been waiting for: a large Pit Bull covered in scars, but housetrained and as sweet as can be,” he says. “He is one of the most affectionate dogs I’ve ever met—amazing given his history of neglect and abuse.”

After adopting Zeus, Colin changed his name to Goose. He tells us, “Goose is adjusting well to our house, aside from shamelessly hogging the bed! He is quiet, cute, well-trained and also very playful.” Everyone at the ASPCA is so happy for Dr. Dwyer and Goose, not only for proving that all dogs—including big ones, scarred ones and bully breeds—can make perfect pets, but also for demonstrating how lucky we are to work with these truly extraordinary animals every single day.

Do you have a Happy Tail you’d like to share? Email your story to [email protected] and we might feature it on the blog!

Sleepy pit bull laying in his back on kitchen floor

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What a great story .............and thank you to everyone that made Goose's dream life a reality. It takes a lot of people to make the world a better place and per this story it is worth the time and effort!

THANK YOU AGAIN ...I love to read good endings unfortunately they are the least written about ...I hate to hear all the bad stuff makes my heart so sad. I try to make a difference in all that I do because if we all make one small difference be it for human or animal we are making the world a better place for all. So come on people volunteer, sign petitions on things that you stand for, donate, call make your voice heard and for goodness sake MAKE A DIFFERENCE TODAY!


Way to go Dr. Dwyer. I am sure that Goose will be loved and cared for for the rest of his life. This poor guy so deserves your love and I am certain that you will get his 10 fold. Bless you and all of the other wonderful people out there who adopt a beautiful creature every day. My wife and I just adopted brother and sister 2 year old cats after fostering them for 6 months. They are our babies and they give us so much love and entertainment. They are very silly and very loving cats.

Maureen Brannigan

This cheered me up no end. Dr Dwyer is a star.

Goose is beautiful, love the name, and am moved that he will now have a wonderful life.

There's no doubt animal abusers need to be punished more severely.


Awesome story!! Thank you Dr. Dwyer for your amazing work :)))


What an example you've set, Dr. Dwyer! It's a dog's humans that make the difference and you and Goose help prove that. Thanks!!


That is one ridiculously silly dog. Absolutely no pride -- all spread-eagled like that. Doesn't he know what a Big Bad Boy he is?? LOVE IT!!! Happy he is in a good home!


That is so cute. Did he destroy the house and is now taking a nap. I feel so bad for pit bulls they get such a bad rap. I have a small dog that has a pit bull friend she is the sweetest thing and my little man loves big dogs. It really is the owner and how they train them. They really are lap dog's if they get the right owner. That vet is an awesome person.

Janet Diehl

Pit Bulls aren't the only breed to get bad press or be on some cities forbidden list. I have a loving red Chow-mix that I adopted from the Friends of Strays rescue group in St. Petersburg, FL. She is now almost 14 years old, loves to go on walks downtown in the small Wisconsin town where we now live. She is a beautiful, sweet, loving & friendly dog who likes to meet people & other dogs. For a number of years, a cat I had went on walks with Rosie. He would often groom her face & ears, and looked forward to Rosie giving him a washing. No breed should be on a forbidden list, though some types require lots & lots of socialization and the it's the owners that need to have lots of training!


So happy to hear Goose now has a forever home....! He looks like he's smiling in the one pic. :+) i just want to rub and kiss his belly in the other pic!


I swear it always looks like pit bulls have a huge smile on their faces. Goose is no exception!! Wonderful story.