So now Buddy is in my kennel run, he is a mess physically and emotionally, we know he needs emergency medical care, but we can’t touch him! Now what?
As we sit here observing Buddy it is easy to see on the surface that his coat is in beyond bad shape. He is matted, and gnarly. He is filthy like an Alaskan Oil Spill, he is very much underweight, and he is showing clear signs of stress. His mouth is not in good shape at all. I can’t quite tell what is going on in there, but the way he was biting and lashing out at that snare pole it is no surprise he has one heck of a bloody mouth. Could this originally be from when the Humane Society Officer picked him up? Could this have happened at the Shelter? Perhaps this has happened on his way here, or when we took him out of the truck today. I’m not sure, but one thing I do know is, it looks bad. Really bad. Claudia and Lori inform me that this injury was not from today, but has been there for a while and looks to be getting worse.
This is one of the major injuries that should have been looked at by a vet, and was not. Apparently no one thought of slipping a few Ace in some soft dog food? Hmmm. I wonder. Could it be that someone somewhere just didn’t care enough to get him the treatment he needed? I recall that the vet and shelter staff could not approach him, or even get a leash around his neck, but I go right back to thinking how easy it would have been to slip some Ace in wet dog food or hot dogs instead of letting this animal suffer. Ok, lets go with funding. Let’s say that there was just not enough funding to treat this dog. This is much better then thinking that people just don’t give a shit. Wrong business for them to be in. I choose to believe that funding was not available. Oh, maybe no one noticed? Surely, had they noticed they would have taken care of it? Vikki, Claudia, and Lori briefed me on the Hayden Act. I don’t know much about it at, but will look it up and learn. Here you can find brief information about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayden_Act
Side note: I fully believe in not judging someone by what one see’s on the surface. I completely believe that one should be given a fair amount of time to prove what is truly in one’s heart, and to show who they really are. This is your positive reminder not to judge anyone without fully understanding if they are truly showing us who they are, or if there is more beneath the surface that we have yet to learn. With a dog, it can take on average 3 days – 3 months for him to show his true colors. You can compare this to the beginning of a new human relationship. This is the “honeymoon” period. It can happen with a foster child. In the beginning they may be on their best behavior so as not too unload all of their baggage at once revealing far more issues than one thought, and therefore being shipped off to some new unsuspecting family. It is the same with dogs. The first few days to weeks to months the dog may be laying low so-to-speak, and then once the dog feels more comfortable and trusting, bam! There ya go, the entire set of issues surface.
Look at it from the dogs point of view: “I’m just gonna lay low, see what this family (pack) is all about, see if they will emerge as confident and fair pack leaders that I “want” to follow, or see if they are going to prove to be weak, insecure, co-dependant and emotional humans that will need ME to lead THEM! It’s a big job, and I don’t really want to do it, but I will if I have to. ”
Dogs lead or follow. This all depends on whether or not you are willing to lead or follow. If you lead fair and confidently, the dog, or pack will be happy to follow you. If you are unable to lead, the dog, or pack knows instinctively that someone must lead. This is when we see dogs take over a human pack, dominance issues arise, and all of your unwanted behavior issues come to the surface. Take moment right now, and consider whether you are doing your pack justice or not. Are you a strong, confident and fair pack leader, or do you need a bit of help? There is no shame in asking for help. It is unrealistic to think we can be perfect in all areas of our lives all on our own. Its how I found Louise L. Hay and her book “You Can Heal Your Life.” It is also why I commonly work with my Personal Fitness Trainer Mike Iasparro. How do you think I came across Cesar Millan’s methods? I needed help back in 2005, I asked The Universe to guide me, and then I saw a man on TV walk a pack of dogs that were once deemed aggressive. Ask someone for help; you will be glad you did.
Back to Buddy. Its obvious we need to get him to the vet. Its also clear that there is not a chance in hell that we are getting anything around that dogs neck and getting him into any car to transport him to the vet. It’s also getting dark and all vets are near closing. Our first thought is perhaps we can find a mobile vet willing to come over and take a look at him. While Claudia looks in the phone book I call my longtime trusted Veterinarian Dr. Roy Saldanha at Arlington Animal Hospital. After explaining the situation to him he wisely informs me that it truly is best to get Buddy to him first thing in the morning. Even if he were to come out tonight, given Buddy’s highly defensive, fearful and aggressive nature there may not be much he can do. Even if he tried to sedate Buddy, if something were to happen all of his trusted life saving equipment is back at the hospital. These are all very good points, and completely understood.
I go back outside to inform Claudia and Lori, as well as to set a plan. Step number 1: Let’s all acknowledge that we have done everything we possibly could for Buddy today. He is no longer at the Devore Shelter, and he is no longer on death row set for euthanasia. He is now here, at my very peaceful home far away from barking, chaos and death. He is safe, and he knows this. Within 45 minutes we watched him begin to relax and feel far more comfortable. Lori spent a lot of time with him in the kennel run comforting him. I believe he knew on some level that what she was telling him was the truth. He would be ok. Step 2: Buddy has been through hell and back during the past 10 days. He was tired and needed to sleep. He needed to learn to let go, and know that it was all right to do this. He has two very large pools of fresh drinking water in the kennel run, lots of shade, and quiet. He needs to sleep, and he needs to just observe what it is like to be in a home, surrounded by a pack of happy dogs. This is what we see Cesar refer to as the Power of the Pack quite often. Its dark now, and nearly time for all of us to get ready for bed. Tomorrow is a new day. There will be no food for Buddy tonight in prep for surgery tomorrow, but there will be peace and quiet for him. Step 3: Lori is to go to the vets first thing in the morning, get a bottle of Acepromazine, bring it to my home, and we are to start sedating Buddy so we can get him to the vets and get him taken care of. We know he needs to be neutered, and we know he needs to have his mouth looked at. We know he needs a bath. All on our ‘to-do” list for tomorrow.