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What Does a Spritely Shih-Tzu Have in Common with a Classic Literary Hero?


Not much, usually. But then again, our exceptionally resilient protagonist, Sir Quincy Quixote’s rescue story is anything but usual!

After all, the 1.5 year-old Shih-Tzu shares more than just a portion of his name with one of Western literature’s most beloved characters: Don Quixote. Like the famed hero who embarked on an epic journey through 17th century Spain, this precocious pup endured a remarkable (albeit grueling) expedition that proved to be life-changing for him and his PAWS New England family!

Here’s how PAWS New England flipped the script and made Sir Quincy Quixote’s tragic story a fairy tale:

Chapter One: His harrowing journey began with terrible conditions in Texas

Dawn Smith – our story’s initial hero and rescuer in Texas – saved Sir Quincy Quixote after coming across him on a suspect website, and could see right away he had been intensely scathed by his early dog days.

With a serious skin condition (we chose not to picture) that would make anyone’s skin crawl, the sweet 9lb Shih-Tzu was suffering from terribly infected sores that were left untreated and riddled with maggots. Quincy had clearly lived his first two short years on earth intensely neglected with no access to veterinary care. Dawn’s first order of business was to shave off all of his filthy matted fur and begin multiple treatments for his infected skin.

Once his mats were shaved and he could walk again, it became obvious to Smith that Sir Quincy was not only suffering matted fur and maggots, but he could barely walk. He was diagnosed with what the vet believed were two broken hips. When the team at PAWS New England learned that Quincy’s case was going to require extensive orthopedic surgery, they made the decision to transfer him to New England so he could be evaluated by their team of experts!

Chapter Two: The plot thickened with a Connecticut foster home and medical consultation on Cape Cod

When Sir Quincy Quixote’s transport arrived in New England he was greeted by PAWS New England foster Mom Renee Hagele of East Haddam, Connecticut. Little did Quincy know, but he was lucky enough to have a foster team made up of both Renee and Diane Gendron of East Bridgewater, Massachusetts to help him continue down the path to wellness.

Both women had the novel idea to join forces, with Hagele fostering Sir Quincy Quixote in her home (where the ultra-friendly pup that Hagele described as a “ball of love” was quick to befriend her black lab and three other pooch playmates) – while Gendron supplied close access and support in helping Sir Quincy Quixote have his surgery with Dr. Kochin of Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists.

When Sir Quincy met for his first consult with Dr. Kochin, the news was rather grim. Quincy’s cases  would potentially require six orthopedic surgeries to fix both elbows, both hips, and both knees. Dr. Kochin and his team of veterinary orthopedic specialists knew he would have a long road and decided that they would start to tackle one surgery at a time and assess how Quincy responded to each intervention before moving forward. Each and every person who met him was completely flabbergasted that a dog with essentially no stable joints could be walking (or hopping as Quincy liked to do) around with such a joyous demeanor.


As fate would have it, while Sir Quincy Quixote was having his first elbow surgery he had a chance meeting with a very special vet technician who would forever change his life.

Chapter Three: At last, our underdog finds a loving forever-home in Massachusetts!


Briana Gebhardt was working at Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists in their Internal Medicine department when she first laid eyes on handsome and charming Sir Quincy Quixote – and she knew it was fate that she adopt him. This heroine was not deterred in the least by adopting a dog that would likely require multiple follow up orthopedic surgeries- everyone was stunned and completely in awe of her instant love for this loveable special needs dog. And, having served as a shelter manager for three years and a PAWS New England adoption coordinator in the past, Briana was truly the perfect candidate to take over Quincy’s care!

After all, according to Gebhardt adoption means being responsible for providing lots of affection (which Sir Quincy Quixote now receives from both her and her other pooches that he loves playing with!) as well as being financially able to care for unforeseen issues that may arise.


-Story by Lisa DeCotis

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