Yukon Cornelius came to our Old Dog Haven family via a local shelter. He’d been observed wandering and scavenging in the woods for over a month during an exceptionally cold spell. He’s not a big dog, and we wonder how Yukon managed to survive out on his own. Surely he would’ve been easy prey to predators. How did he eat and stay warm? Fortunately, a kind man discovered him and began to feed him in order to befriend this little guy and get him help. Once he was able to catch him, this good Samaritan brought him to the local shelter for help.

Shelter staff did all they could to stabilize Yukon Cornelius. Knowing he needed extensive vetting and had a long road to recovery, they reached out to ODH for help. We became his Final Refuge home and began to nurse him back to health. There was a lot to do: Yukon was still intact, his teeth were awful, he had demodetic mange, his ears were infected, he was extremely thin, and he’d sustained an injury to one of his eyes.

Thanks to your support of ODH, Yukon Cornelius immediately saw an animal dermatologist to help with the mange and months of medicated bi-weekly bathing and medications began to help his skin heal. Yukon will have to receive weekly mediated baths for the rest of his life along with a mite preventative as he is prone to recurrence. He also saw an ophthalmologist who determined that Yukon must have “speared” his eye somehow when he was out in the woods. He now receives two daily prescription eye drops to help ease chronic inflammation and dry eye which had caused occasional ulcers in both eyes and will be monitored over time. Once Yukon was steady enough for surgery, he was neutered.  Before he was able to receive a needed dental, he had an echocardiogram (due to an irregular heartbeat) which cleared him for the procedure which removed all those rotting, broken teeth.

While we worked to get him healed physically, Yukon had some emotional wounds that needed healing, too. Since he was a “stray” and found surviving on his own, Yukon Cornelius had some trust issues. Loud, sudden noises scared him and he shied away from petting. As time has gone on and he’s learned that he is OK and that he can trust his family and people he has become less skittish, though every so often he will still hide and appear frightened for no apparent reason. Dogs, like people, can have PTSD and that seems to be what Yukon suffers from time to time. Thankfully, he will be able to stay with us for the rest of his days. He is VERY attached to his mom and has bonded with our female Chihuahua, Maz, who is also an ODH dog.

Yukon Cornelius is a brave, smart, happy boy who loves his toys, going for walks and tagging along for car rides with his mom. He is loved and safe and he’ll never again have to survive on his own, thanks to Old Dog Haven and their supporters!

Update:  The amazing and wonderful Yukon Cornelius stayed with his loving Final Refuge family for over 8 years – a testament to the love and care he received.   He will be remembered forever.

His Mom says:

The day I knew would come but foolishly hoped we could escape, has come.

Thanks for all the years of love and devotion, dear Yukon Cornelius, the bravest boy ever.
Dec 17, 2015- Feb 20, 2024

Thank you Old Dog Haven. Thank you friends and family for loving this very special boy.

At the shelter

Yukon Cornelius: Before and After