As a puppy, GSD Sarge was keen to dominate his siblings and even the odd human onlooker. A feisty and, according to The Dodo, ‘grumpy’ canine, he was a handful to say the least.
However, when his owner Cheryl Stephen brought home a stray fawn, Sarge’s personality changed in an instant. Here now was a dog keener than most to look after and protect an infant of another species.
Ms Stephen lives in Ohio in what could easily be called a menagerie of multi-species waifs and strays.
When the first fawn, called Buckwheat, arrived, Sarge - now 9 years old - became its surrogate father.
“Something clicked in Sarge and he took to Buckwheat instantly,” Stephen told The Dodo. “He wanted to be involved with every aspect of Buckwheat’s care.
“He took on the role of being Buckwheat’s guardian,” she added. “None of the other dogs were allowed near the baby.”
Walking brings dangers
As the fawn grew and began to walk Sarge was especially mindful.
“When we'd take Buckwheat outdoors, Sarge walked alongside him and kept him from wandering,” Stephen said. “As Buckwheat grew and began venturing out on his own a little more, we would have Sarge go find him and bring him back home.”
Stephen now makes a habit of collecting stray fawns and other animals, and watches with delight as Sarge works his magic.
Sadly some do not make it, which has a huge impact on both Stephen and Sarge. But the ones that do pull through have Sarge to thank for their recovery.