MENDHAM – A dog rescued from an icy Hunterdon County puddle is getting a new home.

A week after a senior Golden Retriever estimated to be 9-10 years old was brought to the Voorhees Corner Vet in Flemington unable to move, he was nursed back to health.

"He's rebounded a little, gets up on his own, goes out on his own and he's comfortable," according to Dr. Chad Tindall, whose staff gave him the temporary name "Old Yeller."

Tindall said that despite the attention no one came forward to claim him.

"It could have been some little old lady that has let that dog out for the last 10 years and he did the same thing everyday and came back. He got down on the ice and she doesn't have social media. Or, someone could have dumped him. Who knows," Timdall said.

Several tumors were found on the dog, which can't be removed, according to Tindall.

The seven-day hold is up on Wednesday and he will be turned over to Big Dog Rescue located in Morris County on Wednesday, according to Tindall, who said they work with geriatric dogs.

Big Dog Director Mary Jo Conley said the dog, renamed "Zeke"," will make a stop at a vet and spa in Mine Hill for another evaluation. Zeke is Herbrew for God strengthens.

Zeke is not very active and will then go into "fospice," which combines fostering a dog and giving it hospice care. "Big Dog will pay for his medical bills, his food and whatever else he needs, ensuring he has a quality of life while he still gets to spend time with a new family," Conley said.

"He's not going to be playing with anyone. He's just going to be sleeping 22 hours out of the day, going for a nice walk outside, coming back home and having dinner," Conley said. Zeke may also undergo water therapy for a muscle atrophy in his back leg from arthritis.

Conley is hoping that Zeke's being able to move around will help his mobility but admits he's an old dog with an unknown medical history and could have only a few months left to live.

"As long as he has quality of life and he's eating and his tail is wagging and eliminating and doing all the things doggies should do we'll keep taking care of him. We'll do what we have to do," Conley said.

"If only dogs could talk we could know his situation," Conley said, adding that Zeke's fur is matted around his neck and looks like he may have worn a collar at one time.

Conley said that a GoFundMe page has already raised the required money needed for Zeke's care and was heartened by the outpouring of support and donations. "This kind of stuff happens around the south all the time and you never get the kind of response you do from New Jersey" said Conley.

"We never may know where he came from, but whatever time he's got left he's going to have a ball," said Conley.

Conley said anyone interested in being part of the "fospice" program for Zeke should click

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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