No more waking up to doggie breath. No more slobbering kisses.
Dominic Wagner's Rottweiler, Delmi, with whom he has grown up, has been missing since the first week of September. His parents are eager to get her back.
Dominic is 4. He has cerebral palsy.
Delmi is 4 and has typical Rottweiler markings except for scars from scrapping with her litter mates. The scars are fur-free patches on the inside of her front right leg, halfway between her paw and her elbow.
While Delmi was not a service dog, she was a faithful companion to the little boy. They were so inseparable, they often took naps together.
Delmi would look out for him in the front yard if Dominic's mother needed to slip inside for a water bottle. The 100-pound dog would be by his side, literally supporting the little boy as he attempted to navigate across the living room floor ---- a monumental feat for a child who will live most of his life in a wheelchair.
What else could be expected of a dog whose name means "protector?"
"She's so friendly, she'd lick them to death," said Danielle Wagner, Dominic's mother, of anyone who may have found the dog.
Delmi has been missing since the first week of September. The family thinks someone opened their gate and let her out.
They live two blocks east of Buffalo Drive off Vegas Drive and have plastered the area with fliers, driven around calling out her name and knocked on doors hoping someone has found her.
"I've been to Lied probably five times," said Todd Wagner, Dominic's father, referring to the animal shelter.
Nationally and locally, according to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 25 to 40 percent of dogs in shelters and rescue programs are purebred. If Delmi did end up in a shelter, she may have been adopted already.
"Rottweilers are a popular breed, so we see them in shelters and rescue programs frequently," said Doug Duke, executive director of the Nevada SPCA. "In some cases they may have an adoption advantage because some people believe they are more of a known quantity by fitting into designated breed categories."
Neighbors up the street reported seeing the Rottweiler the evening she went missing. They even called the phone number on her collar and left a message. But the phone number was the Wagners' old one, reassigned to someone else. The woman whose voice is on the answering message has never called the Wagners back.
"We saw this thing on TV ... about dogs stolen (specifically) to go into fighting rings," Danielle Wagner said. "That's my biggest fear."
She said the overly-friendly Rottie would not survive if forced to face a fighting dog.
The family is hoping someone found Delmi ---- the dog does not have a microchip ---- and is caring for her, wondering who is her rightful owner.
"They don't know that it's Dominic's dog, that he has cerebral palsy and (needs her)," Danielle Wagner said.
Anyone with information can call 985-634-4612, 985-634-4267, 985-634-4865 or 985-634-0679.
Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 387-2949.