A man who walks through our neighborhood stopped by this morning to ask if any of our dogs were missing.
Nooo . . . I said above the din of howling minions. Everyone's here. Why?
He'd heard what sounded like a puppy crying in the woods. He'd been hearing it all morning and couldn't find it.
My oldest and I slipped on our shoes and went in search of the sound, thinking it was probably a mocking bird.
Ten minutes later we found the puppy, a long coated chow or pyrenes mix(?) about six weeks old, covered in filth, fleas, maggots dehydrated and starving.
No, said the neighbor. I can't take it. I can shoot it if you want me to, but I'd really hate to have to do that.
She fell asleep in my son's arms on the way home.
My husband was not happy at all. We've had more than one argument over the years about my rescues. He doesn't buy my belief that it's my ministry. He can only see "what other people will think" (we're already feeding five dogs--all rescues) and "how much it will cost" and "how much of a mess it will be". Never mind the fact that I didn't go stand on the street corner and hold my hands out asking for it. Or that I've told every one who's asked over the last year, "No. I'm sorry. We're full up." But what the heck else am I supposed to do?
I called the local no-kill shelter. She's on their waiting list, but that could be anywhere from a few days to a week. I will start putting up ads on Monday. She's cute, she's fuzzy, she's tiny. Someone will want her.
Meanwhile, I took her to the vet, bathed her, bathed her again, combed out the last of the maggots (gagging, by the way) fed her and she's now asleep in my second born's arms in the workshop. The vet advised me to keep her away from the other dogs for a few days until we're sure she doesn't have anything communicable. Then I'll have to explain her to Solomon and he can be every bit as bad as my husband in situations like this.
Daniel, my second borne, has dubbed the puppy Joy, which seems to suit her. I've never seen a puppy so glad to cared for and held. On the way to the vet, she curled up in his arms like she was home. I could see Daniel's big heart breaking as he held her. So I explained to him that he needed to think of his role in her life as that of a foster parent--he's getting her ready to go live with a permanent family. "It's like I'm preparing a gift for somebody," he said. I couldn't have said it better and he seemed satisfied with that.
When my husband came in from work, I told him all about our day together and let him watch Daniel romping with the puppy in the backyard, he smiled and said, "Okay, I have to admit, she's really cute. She can't stay, but she's really cute."
Someone dumping her all the way out here in the woods angers me beyond words. I don't understand how people do this and live with themselves. It would have been kinder to shoot her. Once I'm calmer I'm going to write a letter to the local paper complaining. It won't change the world, but it will make me feel better.
Meanwhile--I've got to dig out my puppy books and brush up on the rules.