Timber was found roaming the streets of Houston in the spring of 1998. He was taken to the clinic where I worked during school breaks and was boarded there while an attempt was made to find his home. When he first arrived he was aggressive towards other dogs, underweight, loaded with intestinal parasites and heartworm positive.
After many weeks his owners were still not found and it only confirmed that he had been on his own for a long time. While he did not like dogs he was very interested in people and even though he had quite a few issues to overcome, everyone fell in love with him.
At the time I was living in College Station in a house that did not allow pets, but when I came to see him, I knew that I had to find a way to give him a home. With the help of my employer and many brownies for the landlord I was able to treat his parasites and heart worm disease and bring him to live with me in College Station.
As time went by Timber learned to trust me and slowly realized that other animals were not so bad either. He became a great furry companion, slept under my bed (somehow 68 pounds fit under there), sat by my desk while I studied and waited by the door for my return when I was away.
He went pretty much everywhere I did; baseball games, polo practice, study groups, and plenty of other gatherings. After passing his temperament testing to qualify as a therapy dog he also made many trips to classrooms and events where he was always ready to perform.
He was a dog that made other people want a dog.
One of his unique traits was his selective hearing. He could always pick my voice out of a crowd, this made him easy for me to train, but often made him a frustration for others.
It took quite a while for him to acknowledge that my husband had any right to ask him what to do at all. We always said that we didn’t own Timber he merely chose to live with us.
He was there when I received my acceptance letter to vet school, waiting at home for me to return after graduation and all the times in between.
Timber was a part of our lives for about 10 years. His memory remains under the tree in Research Park where we spent countless hours studying, going for walks and taking breaks in the afternoon sun. Our final tribute to Timber was naming our beautiful, state of the art veterinary and animal care center after him.
Written by Dr. Melanie Davis