I guess I can talk about Gary now.
We didn't plan on bringing a Special Needs foster dog into our home with everything on our plates right now: BAD RAP's conference just hours away, more travel plans to the east coast just ahead, November's Pit Ed Camp to plan for and the Tuff Love Art Show all breathing down our necks. But sometimes louder voices call to you and you just have to listen.
This boney guy was covered in hundreds of fleas on his scarred, filthy dirty, starving little body. Just another day in an urban animal shelter. He was nobody's dog and he was basically, already dead. But he managed to look us in the eye with the calmest look of quiet resignation. Suckers-R-We ... we only meant to give him a bath before he went to meet his Maker, but his brown eyes sold us a bill of goods and five baths later, we loaded him up in the car.
When we can manage it, our group will take home compassion cases for the purpose of letting them die in peace after a few days of rest, love and sunshine. We don't talk about it much because, frankly, it's both painful and controversial. Why save a dog only to put it to sleep? In some cases, a dog's temperament is iffy, or - like Gary here - a dog might be too injured or too sick to invest limited resources into. I wish we could take on more of these cases, because there sure are a lot of shelter dogs that deserve a few days of quiet comfort before they pass on.
Its hard to know exactly what his temperament is like. He's just too sick and shut down to care about much except mealtime and long naps. But today, after four days of food and sleep, he trotted outside, smiled at everyone, threw himself on the ground and did the classic Doggy Joy Dance on his back...legs kicking happily, tail wagging. We were thrilled. Even our personal dogs were happy to see it (he seems to like our dogs too).
Because dogs live in the Now rather than the 'What happens tomorrow?' future, we're happy just knowing that he's finally living. Whether or not he can be a part of our adoption program is still an unknown. Of course, we're hopeful...
Now onto that Conference! We so look forward to seeing old and new friends so we can plan better days for the Garys of the world. Bravo to all the participants and to the organizers who have been working long hours to create a fantastic event.