–By Penny Edwards
These two dogs bring a smile to our faces every day. They both help remind us why ARC is a necessary safe haven for our furry friends. Bailey and Dudley both came to us with very different stories, but each one has left their pawprints on our hearts.
Bailey has been at ARC for almost a year. She was one of those “Free To Good Home” ads in the News Enterprise, so we responded out of curiosity. When we read that this loving 9 year old Yellow Lab needed a new home, we thought that there was a devastating reason like a death in the family, or something of that nature.
A middle aged couple pulled up in a truck with Bailey, and I expected a story that Bailey belonged to someone that could no longer care for her. I instead heard the complete opposite. First of all, Bailey’s owners let her run the neighborhood without ever attempting to put up a fence to confine her, so of course the neighbors complained.
To add insult to injury, Bailey was not spayed after all these years, and two months prior had birthed a litter of puppies. I was told by Bailey’s owners that “she could’ve had 100 pups—they were so cute, we could have given them ALL away.”
I trembled with disgust thinking to myself, this old girl is very thin, and looks really rough around the edges. I just wanted these people to leave, but I had one last question:
“When was the last time Bailey received any vaccinations?”
They responded with, “What do you mean? She had shots when she was a puppy.”
I asked if they knew they had broken the law, since Bailey hadn’t been vaccinated for Rabies in 9 years. I put my arms around Bailey and the lady quietly put on a pair of gloves, patted Bailey on the head, got into the truck and proceeded to leave.
Bailey was a sweetheart from day one. She checked out Dudley, our other housedog, and settled in. We immediately vaccinated her and called the local veterinarian to get her spayed.
On surgery day I was nervous, because I thought Bailey might show up heartworm positive, but luckily she was negative. However, all wasn’t well in Bailey’s world. The veterinarian called to say, “We can’t spay Bailey because she has Pancreatitis.” Her bloodwork was horrible and the vet wasn’t sure if Bailey would make it. She was hospitalized for a few days, and then it was “touch-and-go” for a few weeks. We noticed Bailey was gaining weight and started looking very good. Several months went by, and Bailey had a heat cycle. We debated whether to spay her. The decision was unanimous: we wanted her to have a chance at a home. Her surgery was a few months ago, and this smiley face is now a happy and healthy girl.
Dudley came to us a couple of years ago after his owner, a dear friend of ARC, called me and said that she would be moving to an assisted living program. She wanted to know if ARC could take her two dogs. One of them was outgoing and we knew she would find a home, but the other, Dudley was totally feral. He was found roaming the country roads of Breckenridge County, where it took a lot of food and coaxing to catch him. Who knows how many cars had passed him by, zooming past, not giving a care about that matted mess of a dog? Maybe he approached someone’s front porch, looking for a scrap of food, when they threw something at him to scare him away.
They say that “the eyes are the windows to the soul”, and when I look at Dudley’s eyes, I feel like they tell such a story. He’s such a gentle soul—he wants attention, but still doesn’t know how to ask for it.
Dudley has come a long way. It took us about 6 months to be able to touch him unless we cornered him. Now he’ll take a treat out of our hands every now and then, and he enjoys his corner near the office door. We’re able to shave him and medicate him, but he still doesn’t walk on a leash. Patience is key with Dudley.
It’s time we look in his eyes and see only happiness, that’s what he deserves.
When your shelter takes in animals that would otherwise be euthanized at another shelter, it takes long term care and dedication to make these animals as adoptable as possible. Many of the wonderful cats and dogs that we accept are seniors, have viruses like Feline Leukemia or Feline AIDs, they’re three-legged, diabetic, they have seizures, etc. We are one of the few shelters that houses animals with special needs, so some say that makes us special. But we need your help in sponsoring these animals until they find homes of their own. You, our supporters, are special, too! You come through for us with monetary support or helping us to find a special person for that special needs pet. If you would like to sponsor an animal, for only $10 a month, please go to our Sponsor Page, download and fill out the coupon.
Thanks for everything you do to help us provide this haven for the animals. Don’t forget to save your Purina weight circles, save your aluminum, or get a $5 Kroger Fundraising Card! For ALL that you do, in supporting us, we thank you.