"I've never owned dogs before. I'm a cat person," Stewart said. "I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. I just felt bad for him; sometimes when those dogs get sick, they don't have any choice but to put them down. But I could tell he was a good dog. I thought it would be a shame to put him down for something that was treatable."
The first few months were not a smooth introduction to dog ownership for Stewart. It turns out the strain of kennel cough Boss Dawg had was a particularly nasty one. He also had worms.
"It was rough in the beginning," she admitted. "He was so sick he wouldn't eat. It was like having a newborn child. I slept on the couch or floor with him for the first few months. He had to take antibiotics a few times a day for two months -- I would have to pry his jaws open and cram the pill down there."
But once he started eating and the antibiotics kicked in, he was a whole new dog. He gained 15 pounds to weigh in at a healthy 55 (when she got him, he was so thin his spine was sticking out), and he soon became very playful and outgoing.
Stewart said he loves to play soccer and play with his cousins -- Liberty, a German shepherd belonging to Stewart's sister, and Sophie, her neighbor's dachshund. He's also very outgoing and loves to meet new people. However, he's equally comfortable lounging at home.
"When we're outdoors, he's really high-energy and playful," she said. "But if we're in the house, he's just snoring on the couch. He's got such a good personality. He's just like, 'I'm gonna go with the flow. Whatever you're doing, I'm doing.'"
Right now, Boss Dawg is an only dog, but Stewart said she'd love for that to change -- perhaps when she buys a home.
"I've never been the type of person to want to buy a house. The only reason I want one now is so I can foster and adopt other dogs!"
Reach Amy Robinson at flips...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4881.