Story Of A Rescue Dog

22 Nov

At the Austin Pets Alive adoption center

Yesterday David and I adopted a small yet-to-be-named (YTBN) dog from Austin Pets Alive (APA). He had been set to be euthanized before being pulled from the shelter. The little guy is three years old and was abandoned by previous owners who clearly never cleaned or cared for his basic needs. He’s a reminder that anyone can get a dog, and many people do who should not. YTBN is very nervous, yet desperately craves human contact and affection.

The first trash can full of hair, leaves, twigs, and more..

I spent several hours last night carefully cutting through many inches and years of matted hair around the little guy’s neck and throughout his body packed with prickers, sticks, and who knows what else. A mountain of white and tan dreadlocks piled up as he got smaller and smaller during the process. His paws are sore and his tail was so heavy it dragged behind him. Now that it’s trimmed up, he hasn’t stopped wagging it–for what’s likely the first time in a long time. Soon I’ll find a professional to take care of the rest.

I need a name.

YTBN didn’t sleep through the night so your resident blogger is terribly tired this morning. He’s here for a trial period to make sure he gets along with our first rescue Happy. So far he’s been rather aggressive, but that’s probably out of fear.

And so I’d like to remind readers that if you see an animal abused or neglected, please report it. In YTBN’s case, even mildly observant neighbors should have recognized this particular pup had been suffering for years.

I welcome advice on the one to two dog transition and the adoption of dogs who have had a rough start. Or share your own rescue story in comments.  And, of course, suggest a name for this little fella..

9 Responses to “Story Of A Rescue Dog”

  1. Kate H. November 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    You should stick with your Seven Dwarves theme and call him Doc! He’s adorable!

  2. mcshanahan November 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Congrats on the new pup! YTBN looks happy and sweet with his new haircut. I’m really glad to hear that you’re able to have him for a trial period – more rescues should allow that especially when there’s another dog involved. We had to return a rescue once that just was not going to work out with our other dog and it was a difficult and painful process.
    We did find another though who has been a wonderful addition to our family. He was 6 months old and had been bought at a pet store, probably as an adorable puppy, and then basically ignored before being surrendered at the shelter a couple months later. He wasn’t trained at all, was territorial, and extremely possessive of space and treasures (toys, treats, etc.).
    One thing that I think really worked for us was taking them to a neutral spot to get to know each other. Our first dog Murphy wasn’t as on edge because it wasn’t his home or his park and they were able to start to let down their guard with each other a bit. We also worked hard on training exercises with them each separately. Murphy had been training for animal assisted therapy so we kept that up and started doing the same with the new one, Begley (although honestly not thinking he’d ever be able to pass the exams). Turns out he responded really well to the training. They now both volunteer together assisting in recreation therapy at our local psychiatric hospital and are best buds. It took a lot of time and patience to get there and I still can’t believe how far he’s come since we got him. I hope you and YTBN have the same experience!

    • Sheril Kirshenbaum November 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

      Such a great story mcshanahan and really nice to hear how well Begley adjusted. I expect YTBN will take a lot of TLC and patience, but hopefully we’ll get there.

  3. Mike of Rockland and Bergen Support November 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

    Hi Sheri. It is great to talk with you and to see that you and David have the same compassion to rescue these helpless creatures of god. My last dog was also a rescued by my children and ex-wife about 13 years ago. Unfortunately he passed on this summer after 10 years of insulin injections and the blindness as the result of the diabetes. He is missed as any member of the family would be. I would like to suggest the name “sweet”so it would be happy and sweet together as was referenced above by mcshanahan.

    Hope you enjoy them both for years to come!

  4. Linda November 22, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    You and David are good people with big hearts and lots of compassion and the best of values. Our world comes down to our values and how we choose to use them.
    I see this little cutie as “Buddy”, he is one and he needs one.

  5. Robert Little November 25, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    I think your dog should be named Charlie, after Mister Darwin of course.

  6. aaakarg November 26, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    Doggus MacDog of Dog.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Bulldogs, inbreeding, and correlated response | Gene Expression | Discover Magazine - November 25, 2011

    [...] other news, Sheril just brought home a dog from the shelter. The little dude needs a name, so go on over and offer up [...]

  2. Bulldogs, inbreeding, and correlated response | Biology News by Biologged - November 26, 2011

    [...] other news, Sheril just brought home a dog from the shelter. The little dude needs a name, so go on over and offer up [...]

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