Monday, October 26, 2009

Wanted: Crystal ball

These are the days when we sure could use a crystal ball. This sweet soul presented us with a new mystery when he came into Oakland Animal Services, shook up from his past misadventures. He sat in his run looking very forlorn while the days that his owner could come collect him him ticked away. Poor kid almost got lost in the hustle-bustle, such a quiet guy and all, swallowed in a shelter that's being rocked with the challenges that come from staff shortages during an increase in intake numbers.

Somehow his little spirit found a way to stop us in our tracks. "Who are you?", I asked. I blew through the kennel bars into his face; a rude greeting I give to dogs that we want to suss out. Many dogs offer full ecstatic wriggles when we do this. "Me! Me! Do it again!" Occasionally a dog will snarl and spit back, as if to say, "People have not been nice to me. GO AWAY!" But this guy, he stood very still, lifted his paw and licked his lip when he got hit with that rude greeting. Read: Big baby softie, asking for a connection.

We brought him into the trailer to stare at him. He's a mess: Red, swollen toes ... bleeding, yeasty ears...swollen glands...(very) old bite marks and strange red sores on some of his joints. He was having a hard time walking on those feet and looked like he needed to get under a blankie and drink ginger ale and watch old I Love Lucy re-runs.

"What happened to you, honey?" He just stared back, "I don't feel good. Please hug me."

Dogs live in the present moment, so we don't really need a crystal ball to know when they need help now, but it sure would be nice to know more about how dogs like this came to such a crisis state. Of course we hugged him.

A visitor from Australia was with us and offered a new name for a new day. Huckleberry. Huck for short. Unfortunately our Ambassadog ward has been invaded by puppies while a veterinarian puzzles over a recent spread of dog germs. Huck was safe, but relegated to a noisy ward of wild barkers. He hunkered down, as if to wait out a loud thunderstorm. "Please. Get. Me. Outta. Here." Shelter staff slathered his yeasty ears with medicine goo and filled him full of antibiotics while we strategized an exit plan.

Finally, on Sunday, his big day came. Josie Kat adopters Nafia and James drove up in their shiney red mustang, a fitting get-away car for a lovely boy. He's off to foster care now, and while we may never know anything about his past, we'll do our best to create a better future for him.

Stay tuned for news on the softie dog named Huck while we sort out his health issues and see about finding him a new home.


leigha said...

once again i have tears in my eyes and running down my cheeks, thinking of that big sweetie that just needed a helping hand and a warm hug. i look forward to updates on huck.

pitties are such sensitive souls, i think they are just a little more sensitive than most other dogs. all they desire is a human who loves them. is that too much to ask?

Ken Foster said...

"He's a mess: Red, swollen toes ... bleeding, yeasty ears...swollen glands...(very) old bite marks and strange red sores on some of his joints. He was having a hard time walking on those feet and looked like he needed to get under a blankie and drink ginger ale and watch old I Love Lucy re-runs."

Sounds like my twin!

ingrid said...

I can't tell you how much I hate that I cannot adopt any dogs at the moment. I feel so completely useless. Not to mention I hate life without a dog, a pit. I'm with family and have their dogs around me - but they love their mom, I'm just the aunt.

And this "moment" seems to be going on and on and on. . . I see people with their wonderful rescues and I just get a big giant empty hole inside me like I'm useless, and pray things turn around soon.
Sure would be a hell of a lot easier if people weren't so prejudice against pit bulls -finding a rental is practically hopeless! Or if I got a sweet raise - I'd buy my own home.

One day I'll take a little Huckleberry home with me. . . one day. . . . .

Kirsten said...

♥ Huck. He stole my heart. I forgot to breathe reading this post. I've been wondering how little Huckleberry is getting on.

That's excellent news about him finding a foster spot, and with Ms Josie Kat no less-- they seem like a good match!

Sending happy vibes to the squishable boy,

P.S. lol Ken

Dianne said...

I'd like to sponsor him. I'm feeling discouraged about recent events at our shelter -- dogs put down for behavioral issues and we have a litter of pups who have parvo. I'd just like to make a small difference for a dog and for you.

Donna said...

You're always so generous, Dianne. We'd be very happy to accept your sponsorship as Huck heals from whatever is ailing him. Thank you.

I hope things go better at your shelter soon. We've been hit with parvo, too. It's hard on everybody.

Jenn said...

Huck is a perfectly lovely name for such a beautiful creature. I love him already :)

Dianne said...

It's a deal then. The Redskins are playing the Eagles tonight, and one of the rescue orgs has donated 4 tons of food to our DC shelters. Wow.

Boris said...

Don't let them white-wash you. You got the LUCK-leberry with Donnas’ breath of life, miracle drugs and Josie Kat's people.

How things quickly turn into "Oz" land, going from familiar to out-of-hand with one brief storm. ...
We could get out from under, if we only had: crystal balls, a rubber heart, eight hands, energy-drink blood, iron intestines and ruby-red (slipper) cars.

"Oz time" Ken, comes on us like that harsh look in the morning mirror. It makes us shut-down, pull-up the covers and companions as to hide away from the day.

To OAS crew, we hope you find your ‘fomites’ quickly.

I’ll check back, Boris

Quotes below fits in with the Halloween weekend and blog thoughts:

Cowardly Lion: I do believe in spooks. I do believe in spooks. I do! I do! I do! I do believe in spooks. I do believe in spooks. I do! I do! I do! I do!

Wizard of Oz: You, my friend, are a victim of disorganized thinking. You are under the unfortunate impression that just because you run away you have no courage; you're confusing courage with wisdom.

JJS & Gilly said...

Oh, he's a beauty, isn't he? There's something special about that boy. About all of them, of course, but Huck has a look that reminds me of the gentlest dog I've ever known - who, like Huck, showed up at the shelter in horrible shape, but who put his total trust in me and healed into the best person I've ever met on two legs or four. Best wishes to Huck and his fosters - I hope he gets a perfect home!

Amanda said...

Aww Huck. Sounds like a bit of kindred spirit with our boy Mel ( Makes me feel okay about taking a boy I've previously thought we really shouldn't have. ={ Turns out he CAN wag his tail and love...he just couldn't in that crazy shelter setting (and who can really blame him?!). His issues are a bit less mysterious: hip and knee problems, darn! We'll hope for that perfect family to see all the potential, and no doubt be thinking of Huck too and wishing him all the best. =)

I thank God for all the easy dogs, the healthy dogs, the happy-and-enthusiastic-straight-out-of-the--box dogs...but goodness, sometimes you just gotta let your heart get stolen by the less-than-perfect among them, right?! ;)

Scout and Freyja said...

Oh, geez, you got our momma bawlin' yike a little baby. She just ♥s rescue stories cuz she knows how 'pawtant it is to rescue. We is rescued and we want the same fur everydog.

Jett & Zena's stepmom said...

That poor sweet angel. Those are the ones that punch you in the stomach and you stay up at night thinking about them. Give that baby a hug from all of us too.

Dog Foster Mom said...

Great post - I love hearing about the dogs you pull - and it's great to see dogs being saved who aren't always the cutest or the youngest ones out there. You give me hope for my senior fosters!


Anonymous said...

I think I'm in love with Huck! What a handsome guy!!!

Josie Kat's Mom said...

Huck is a brilliant doggie! We only spent a couple hours with the boy, and can't stop raving about him.

Thanks to all for the kind shout outs - we just provided the transportation for Huck to his foster home. He is living the good life with his wonderful foster family. :)

Oxo said...

huck is a total love and i wish him all good things in his new life. and yes, amanda, i totally agree with you about the "less-then-perfect" dogs. i got one of them at home and she reminds me every day that i'm not perfect either.

thanks for the good works. you are brill, donna!

Howie Long's Mom said...

Blessings to Huck, and thank you for finding him a foster family.

If his toes/nails don't look better in a week or so, PLEASE alert the vet to take a long look and ask about SLO (symetrical lupoid onchodystrophy). It is a RARE condition that can affect any breed. My rescued bully boy was in similar shape when he adopted me and took too long, and several vets to diagnose. It is an immune disorder that includes swollen and/or infected nailbeds and cracked, falling off nails (which is painful) that can be easily treated. Don't mean to alarm, however, just bring this rare condition to your attention and hopefully comfort sooner to Huck.

Wish I lived closer to BAD RAP; would love to help a needy bully find a forever home. Mine is such a blessing - I'm lucky he found me.

Kembree said...

Wow, what a pretty boy! Gorgeous face!

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