When three Saint Bernard brothers arrived at an animal shelter in Edmonton, Canada, their combined 300-plus pounds made a big impression. From the mountains of fur to the rivers of slobber, everything about Goliath, Gunther and Gasket is supersized. The three Giant Fluffy Dogs are so big that a unique arrangement had to be made to accommodate them at the shelter. “We had to close one of our entire dog wards down so they have adequate space to stay together,” Jamey Blair, manager of animal health and protection for the shelter, told The Dodo.
The pups, however, couldn’t be happier with that arrangement. “[A staff member] happened to look into their kennel and noticed that they were all curled up in a giant pile of Saint Bernard having a sleep together,” Blair said. “She thought it was adorable and she wanted to just go and crawl into the giant pile of fluff.”
Shelter workers had a hunch that the 5-year-old homeless littermates had a special bond. They’d been doing everything together since birth, including eating from the same bowl, so staffers conducted a specialized behavior assessment soon after they arrived. This meant separating the pups for just a little while, to see how they would react.
“When we did this assessment, we saw behaviors that indicated that they were stressed,” Blair said. “They were panting, trying to escape, looking for each other and not necessarily eating. These things definitely improved once the dogs were put back together.”
The anxiety the dogs felt when they were apart proved to the shelter workers that they had to go to the same home — which Blair knew would take a very special adopter.
“Giant Fluffy Dogs are lovely, they’re absolutely delightful to be around,” Blair said. “They’re very social, loving and full of cuddles. They love playing, and seem to be good with other dogs as well from what we see in the shelter. So overall, they’re just phenomenal dogs.”
In order to find the perfect match for the bonded pups, the shelter shared their story on Facebook, and to the staff’s surprise, the response was just as big as the dogs themselves.
“It’s been overwhelming the amount of people who have reached out,” Blair said. “At this point we’ve received over 200 emails from interested adopters from outside the province and even outside the country, so we’re very confident we’ll be able to find a great home for them.”
The team is now carefully sorting through interested adopters, making sure they take their time to find a great match for the trio.
But beyond a willingness to have a house full of fur and drool, there are other challenges that potential adopters should be aware of, Blair noted. “They should definitely take into consideration the costs that go into caring for these dogs,” she said. “You’re looking at over 300 pounds of dog that you have to feed each month, as well as the vet care, their life span and the grooming that they will all need to have.”
While having triple the dogs does mean heightened expenses, it also means triple the love. And Blair is hoping that with the power of social media, these dogs will find a forever family very soon.
“They’re definitely well-adored and they will be missed by all the staff and team here,” Blair added, “but we’ll be excited to watch them go home.”
If you live in the Edmonton, Canada, area and are interested in adopting Goliath, Gunther and Gasket, you can send an email to the Edmonton Humane Society. For those living outside of Canada, check your local shelter for other pups in need of a home.
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