The Holiday’s are normally a magical time of the year for me but this year they seemed to pass me without much magic…and dumped upon me a whole bunch of stress. I guess I am stressed for multiple reasons…….feeling disappointed in my fellow man mostly.
I found the dog…..well, the puppy that I had dreamed about. I knew it the moment I saw him. A tiny puppy abandoned in an apartment, left without food, water or heat…..for days….if not longer. I would estimate at least a week to 9 days based on the tiny piles of dog doo in the apartment and unread newspapers at the front door.
I had taken some vacation days to run conclusive with my Holiday days so I could have a week off of work. On my first day off I went into work (to another apartment complex where my friend works) to help her get a few things done and to go take her to lunch. As soon as I walked in the office I caught the tail end of a conversation between her and one of the maintenance men…A discussion about a small dog that had been left in an apartment; the apartment had no heat or electricity. My friend immediately glanced over at me and said we could go check it out after when we left the office. She knew I wouldn’t leave without checking on the dog with her… and I knew she would be scared to check on him without me. (She is scared of dogs)
When we got to the apartment we did the normal knocking and stating loudly who we were before opening the door. No one answered, no barking dog… so we entered…now mind you I am with my friend who is scared to death of dogs so she slowly cracks open the door like an alligator resided inside. At first neither of us saw anything… then I thought I saw a little something… there he was….the silhouette of his tiny body froze as still as a statue. As soon as I spoke to him, he ran and hid under the couch frightened. I walked into the apartment…. disobeying all protocol I would normally follow and tried to coax him out from under the couch…he was frightened and began darting in and out from under the couch but wouldn’t let me touch him.
Between the dashes from end to end of the couch it was painfully obvious that he was starving…..I started looking for dog food to no avail so I ran some water, rinsed out a bowl and said “I bet you are thirsty”…he ran straight out from under the couch and stood at my feet when he heard the water running……
In front of me sat a tiny puppy….maybe 2 pounds at best….his ribs, hipbones and spine showing. It was hurtful to see him gulp the water ravenously and watch his belly blow up from the substance his body had been without for so long. My friend looked at me and said, “What are we going to do?”…..I knew that if we called Animal Care and Control he would be put to sleep because he was a tiny pit bull puppy and if we removed him from the apartment, we both would be risking our jobs….
Five minutes later we left the foul smelling, freezing cold apartment with the tiny, stinky, boney little puppy hidden inside my coat. Not knowing what ramifications we were about to face but we both knew he would surely die if we left him there.
When we made it back to the office I sat him down in the grass to go potty, he obliged then immediately wanted back up in my arms, I raised his lip and looked at his gums and they were almost completely white, his scruff of his neck never went back down when I lifted it up so I knew he was extremely dehydrated… I knew that our intervention undoubtedly saved his little life. He even had small sores on each side of his tail that were from him sitting down and having no meat on his rear-end… his bones were rubbing the skin….they look almost like bed sores. It made my heart hurt to look at them…
That was just over a week ago and after a weeks worth of dog food, water, love and a much-needed dose of de-wormer (and passing 4 stools full of worms) he is now close to his normal body weight for his size. His sores are almost gone and his hair and skin already feel better to the touch. He has certainly regained his puppy energy….the first few days he did little more than eat and sleep….that changed on about day 4……from day 4 on… zoom, zoom, zoom all over the house. Some times in the middle of the night he is pouncing on my head, biting my ears, chewing on my hair and if I put him on the floor he yelps to get back up on the bed….
The big dogs at the house adore him….although at times his puppy energy is more than they are interested in and then they just tolerate him… but he has found his place at the Moore house pack. It has taken little Diggie days to warm up to him but as I type this they are running thru the house each attached to the end of a sock playing tug of war.
The big dogs are curled up on the couch and in front of the fireplace watching the little dogs run circles around the house……
All seemed well until I went outside to feed the “alley cats” as Devon calls them.
Normally the cats that I feed outside are simply dark shadows that slip up to the front porch to eat in the anonymity of the darkness of nightfall. I have often wondered if I am feeding cats, raccoons or opossums. I seldom actually see the cats but the food is always gone every morning….I keep hoping some hungry cat is eating it.
The other night it snowed so I went out in the morning to investigate the footprints to see if I could tell how many creatures were visiting the cat food at night. From the looks of the tracks it looked like two large cats and one small cat or kitten……no other animal tracks as far as I could tell.
This past week for some strange reason I have actually seen 3 different cats eating in front of the house but all of them have ran away when I came onto the front porch. Tonight something told me to go back outside and re-check the cat food.
There was a very small, very beautiful calico cat. It was visibly thin but I noticed it had on a collar. I spoke to it and it didn’t run away so I slowly went out the door….he glanced up from the food only long enough to meow at me. I stroked his tiny body and could feel nothing but bones. He left eating only long enough to rub his body down my hand several times. I continued to stroke him and it almost brought me to tears thinking of where it was going to sleep….it was so cold outside….and why was he so thin….
I went inside and brought back out a can of Charlie’s food….when I opened the lid another cat came out of the shadows but he appeared to be of normal body weight….he wouldn’t approach me but he sat about 5 feet away waiting on the smaller cat to finish eating, or for me to go back inside.
I came back into the house feeling sick to my stomach thinking about that tiny thing outside…. knowing that later (if I can catch him) I will be taking the tiny cat to the vet to have him checked for feline leukemia and worms. I will find someone to take him….if I dont, he wont last the winter outside.
Sierah had stopped by the house so I asked her to go out and see the small cat…..she instantly went out, picked him up and put him in her coat and loved on him and then promptly said “Oh Mom” giving me those sad eyes……I knew how she was feeling because it hurt my heart too.
Between the neighborhood cats who live outside and are left to fend for themselves and the tiny puppy who was abandoned in that apartment this week to starve to death…..it just made me disappointed in my fellow man. Disappointed is the most polite word I can think of at this very moment…..I have a few others that more accurately describe my feelings but I’ll refrain….
It makes me want to grab those damn people and shake them! Animals are not disposable…you don’t just throw them away like trash when you grow tired or bored of them. They are a life time commitment and if for some reason you cant keep that commitment please find someone else who would love them or take them to a shelter or rescue….dropping them off in the country or another neighborhood somewhere…or just putting them out the door to fend for themselves is NO solution and is inhumane. By taking them to a shelter they at least have a chance to be adopted, be warm, get food and water and if all else fails they will be humanely put to sleep. Anything is better than being left to starve to death alone in a cold apartment or to be left outside to see if you starve to death or freeze to death first…..
They are a living, breathing creature who has a soul…they need food, water, shelter and love just like we do….why don’t people get that. Have they no compassion?
People who don’t understand that shouldn’t have an animal….they really, really shouldn’t. And all of those people who do that type of things to animals…..maybe they should all be dropped off on a deserted island for a couple of weeks and left to “figure it out”…..see how it really feels abandoned and hungry……
I swear some people are such @ssholes……