A FEW THAT DIDN'T MAKE IT...well, maybe...
by Sally Stevens, STCA Rescue Coordinator
A few of the rescues that we get into Silky Rescue do not make it to the website for a variety of reasons. Sometimes we have been working with a particular family for some time and when the right dog shows up at the same time so we call them directly. However, most of the time it is because the dog shows little promise of adoption, but is so sweet that we can't let them stay where they are, usually in a situation where they are unwanted. Here are several stories of those dogs.
Yorkie & her foster mom
YORKIE's previous owner called us to say that she was living in a trailer on the back of a truck and that she didn't have room for her any more. (She had been living in that trailer for some time so what changed now?) She said Yorkie was 10 years old and that she seemed to be healthy. When the foster mom showed up at the trailer (and indeed it was on the back of a pickup truck), the person handed a leash out the door and pushed out a black, matted, skinny dog. The foster mom had to stick her foot in the door in order to get the vet papers and release form signed that we require.
When the foster mom got home she discovered that the dog was in fact 14, nearly 15. They did not have a digital camera, so while I waited for pictures to forward to the website, I called every application that I had for the state of Florida. Not one person would take Yorkie due to her age. The foster mom said that when she had her coat clipped down and had given her a bath that she was so sweet and dear that she wanted to keep her. She was in good shape health wise until arthritis finally made her uncomfortable in this past year. Yorkie just passed away at the age of 16, nearly 17, having lived her last years with much tender loving care given by her foster...and true...mom.
CORKIE has a similar name but totally different story, however his history is a total mystery. He was playing dodgeball with SUVs on Highway 154 in California. Or better yet, playing hide and go seek with the coyotes. Luckily, he was picked up and taken to a shelter where we found him. He lost all of his teeth but two after a dental and a thorough checkup and after a short time at Camp Anahab where he learned some manners he had forgotten while on the run, he has taken up residence with other Silkys, and a bunch of other dogs who visit, including Italian Greyhounds and Havanese. He is doing so well in his new home that he wonders if he didn't belong here in the first place - he sure isn't talking about where he was before. Corkie's lack of manners, somewhat uncertain health and age precluded his being put up on the website right away. His foster family was glad to hear about him first and never looked back...neither did Corkie.
SPIKE belonged to an old woman and when she passed away her son took him in. Spike is a diabetic and the son did as little as possible to help him in his health crisis, including not even keeping his insulin in the refrigerator, rendering it useless!! By the time he called me with the "same old story" that he was moving and couldn't take the dog with him, Spike had lost his eyesight due to diabetes induced cataracts, was morbidly obese, had been clipped to the skin and his diabetes was out of control. He was only 9 years old, but the vet said that the damage done by this disease would probably shorten his life to no more that a couple more years at the most. We did not put him up on the website because we needed to get his health under control. After several months his blood sugar has stabilized and his foster is able to keep him stable on insulin regularly. Of course, his eyes are like two silver bullets and he can see very little. He has lost weight and some of his coat has grown in, so he is looking less like a tick on sticks.
Ironically, the husband of this foster mom wasn't too keen on getting Spike and the day that he arrived they were walking down a small dock in the back yard when Spike trotted right off the end of the dock into the lake. The husband - shoes, wallet, watch and all - went right in after him to pull him out. As it turns out, this husband became quite ill and their son was in a severe accident, so Spike has become the chief lap warmer and face cleaner, and he is also not going anywhere. He is somewhat of a challenge for the foster mom now that she has other duties in the household that she didn't have before, and she will also start work full time again soon, but I get the impression that that makes no difference - Spike stays.
ALFIE was in a shelter in Cincinnati, Ohio when they called me to say that he was going to be euthanized that evening if I couldn't get someone to come and get him - it was about 1:00 in the afternoon when this conversation took place!! I called my helpers in the area and they were unable to get him as they were actually taking the call on a cell phone from Florida where they were on vacation. Another foster mom that helps me lives in the Akron area and she drove to Cincinnati after work, a 2 ½ hour drive, to the shelter and picked him up and then drove the same distance home!! She reported that he seemed to have seizures, so we postponed getting him up on the website until we could figure out what was going on. The vet said that he didn't feel comfortable neutering him in this condition, so we waited hoping he would settle down and maybe Phenobarbital could be used to keep him on an even keel.
This foster mom decided to keep him as he was so cute with her other dogs and she was afraid to get the surgery done. Alfie died about a month ago of major heart disease, about a year later, which the vet apparently missed the first time - good thing as he would not have survived the surgery for sure and medicine would not have helped him. The seizures were apparently heart related episodes that occurred when he got too excited. He also spent his last years with much love and tenderness.
Alfie & his pal Henry
Reggie - having a good laugh!
REGGIE was also owned by an elderly woman who died and when she did the woman's son handed Reggie to his daughter and told her to "take this out in the woods and turn it loose." The daughter wouldn't do that so she turned her into Animal Control, who called me. My foster went down to get her and said that she looked like she was wearing a gray felt suit from nose to tail and you could smell her breath from across the room. After she was clipped down large mammary tumors were discovered. It was determined that if they were cancer they had not spread, so the tumors were removed, as were all of the teeth in her mouth save one. The tumors were cancer, but a slow growing type and we feel that she is not in danger.
While she was fostered here with me undergoing the second round of surgery, I tried to find out her real name, calling her everything in the book I could think of, to no avail. Then, one day I asked my husband what kind of veggie he wanted for dinner and Reggie's head shot up. We figured her name was not "Veggie", but Reggie is close and she responds very well to that. She is living in a wonderful home - happy, healthy and full of herself.
Jannie is another one who didn't make it up on the website - she almost didn't make it at all!! She was tied with a plastic bag to a post out in the back yard of a shelter in FL in the middle of the night. When they found her she was terrified as she couldn't see - was obviously quite old and "blind". They kept her for 4 months, doing nothing, and finally turned her over to us.
We had an eye specialist look at her and he said that she had bilateral dry-eye. We started drops that day and she immediately began to regain her eyesight. Her new home has a couple of dogs that she rules over and she is doing wonderfully.
Well, do you think these abandoned, neglected animals made it? I would say that those of us who have them and love them and are loved back by them would agree that they have.
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