Her hair was matted to her body, her ears and eyes were dripping infection and swollen shut. Maybe you recognize her, maybe you don't. 12-years old. Most of the way through her doggy life - and you dumped her. Well, actually you abandoned her. Call it coincidence, but she somehow ran away when you were packing and then you moved, out-of-state, and never reported her missing. Three weeks later, she couldn't take her feral life anymore and in the unrelenting rainstorms that hit us last week, she braced herself against the porch door of an unknown house and would not move.
She was brought to a high-kill shelter, because that's what happens in these cases. Her intake report is catastrophic. But, get this: Even though she didn't have a microchip or collar, they figured out who owned her. Isn't that amazing? Wheaten terriers are so unusual in these parts and she'd been around your small town enough that people knew where she used to live.
They contacted you, "We have your dog!"
You said, "I don't want her" and held to that, even after they told you the chances of her being adopted, given her advanced age and poor condition, are slim and zero.
"Can't take her," you said. That whole new job thing and leasing an apartment that doesn't allow pets and - oh, that girlfriend, who was supposed to be taking care of your pup in your absence, has now joined you, and she doesn't like dogs. Well, that all makes perfect sense. Perfect.
Now, in case this isn't already clear, I find your actions incomprehensible - not a little bit - a lot. "Incomprehensible" is the nicest word I could hit upon and really, it's too nice of a word for this. I can hold to the boundaries of that word though, because of the great and wonderful acts of mercy that your act spawned, acts that crack me open with gratitude.
It starts with Shannon from the Animal Services, who knew your dog would not live the week without a miracle. So she started one. She found the wheaten rescue group here in our State and sent them a most earnest and heartfelt plea. I have a copy of it and I will keep it forever, with gratitude for her kindness. Then there are Melissa and Sue, part of that rescue, who put the notice out about your sweet pup, your difficult placement: "She needs a forever home immediately, someone who will take her sight unseen." They committed to support with adoption fees and vet bills for the person who might step up.
It was the kind of situation where you really, really hope that someone does that, steps up. There just has to be someone who knows and loves the breed, who doesn't mind working through complex medical issues, who has a soft heart for the old ones. I can't explain it, how I recognized her, how I recognized it was ours to do, but I did and my husband stepped right up behind me. My wonderful, endearingly doting husband; such gratitude.
Things happened fast then, because Sue made it happen. Within an hour it was all arranged. Animal Services is closed on Sundays and Mondays, but Shannon said to meet her at 8:00 a.m.and we could spring her. "She's shutting down", she said. "Any longer, and I think she will die." Again, to Shannon and Sue, huge gratitude.
Here's what that sweet pup looked like when we first saw her: