FARMINGTON, N.M. - "Bow," a 3-month-old puppy with a black, freckled muzzle and velvety brown ears, should live a long, healthy life.

It will be an unlikely happy ending to a heartbreaking story that gave the dog his name.

A couple found the puppy in mid-February in Shiprock with a crossbow arrow longer than his body sticking out of his hind leg.

Veterinarians at the Farmington Animal Shelter were the first medical personnel to see him. This week, he went up for adoption at the La Plata County Humane Society in Durango, Colo.

"He was so scared," said Marcy Eckhardt, Farmington shelter spokeswoman.

The shelter performed surgery to remove the bow, but that was the easy part. The hard part was showing him that not all people are cruel, Eckhardt said.

Bow, a 3-month old puppy found in Shiprock, N.M.
Bow, a 3-month old puppy found in Shiprock, N.M. (Courtesy/ La Plata County Humane Society)

A foster family took Bow in, slowly socializing him. They played ball with him, gave him chew toys and gave him lots of care.

"If you scratch his chest, his leg will pop right up. That's how we got him to come out of his shell," Eckhardt said. "He's got the most wonderful puppy personality."

Recently, he was taken to the La Plata County Humane Society, because the Farmington Animal Shelter had too many animals. La Plata staff members don't think he will have a long stay at the shelter.

"Once I heard about Bow, I knew it'd be an easy adoption," said Chris Nelson, La Plata County Humane Society spokesman.

Bow is believed to be a mix of a Jack Russell Terrier and an Australian Shepherd. He likely will grow to weigh about 50 pounds, if not more.


His leg will most likely fully heal, and he has been neutered and given all his shots.

While still a little nervous, he is pleasantly quiet and should grow up to be a very happy dog given the right care.

"My guess is that he'd never seen a human before, and his first experience was getting shot," Nelson said.

Although animal abuse is a crime in both New Mexico and Colorado, most of the time, no one is held accountable, officials said.

While many animals are in such bad shape they cannot be helped, Bow will be fine.

"It's going to have a happy ending," Nelson said.

Jenny Kane may be reached at; 564-4636. Follow her on Twitter @Jenny_Kane