Efram Goldberg has had his white German shepherd since the dog was a 3-month-old puppy.
Goldberg, a doctoral student in chemistry at the Florida Institute of Technology, named his puppy Darwin after noted English naturalist Charles Darwin.
The athletic dog loved to run and swim. Goldberg regularly brought him to a field on campus in Melbourne to play fetch and Darwin would jump in the nearby pond to cool off and swim.
“He was really happy,” Goldberg said. “He loved to swim. Any water, he would jump in.”
Then, in July, Goldberg, 30, noticed that some fur on his now 17-month-old pet was stained red. He found a large, red, open, draining ulcer on the underside of Darwin’s tail.