Saturday, July 10, 2010

Found Dogs

I've had five dogs in my life and have loved every one of them but have I ever told you how we came about finding our current dog Cody? In February of 2002 our beloved 7 year old border collie, Shebly was put down after a quick illness, Autoimmune Anemia that she could not recover from. She was only sick for five days. I swore I would never have another dog. I loved her so much that when her life ended I wanted to be the last person she saw and the last voice she heard. And I was. That was one of the worst days of my life and I don't regret it for a second but that's a whole 'nother story.
After four months of a dogless home I started to soften my reserve regarding another dog. My husband jumped on that moment of weakness and searched the internet hitting upon a local non kill shelter called Scottsville Pet Adoptions. There was a dog on their website that caught his attention and he set out to visit it unbeknown to me. That afternoon he shows up after school and says I want to take you somewhere and show you something. I had a horrible cold and just wanted to go home but nooooo. Now mind you, we had discussed what kind of dog we'd get someday; a female, long hair and no bigger than 25-30 pounds. We go into the shelter and lo and behold he shows me a male dog with long hair weighing well over the 30 pounds we decided on. The only thing that met the criteria was the long hair. I felt so sick I just wanted to get out of there so I said okay. After I felt better I asked myself, what have I done???

Cody is truly a Found Dog. Technically his name was Tangle when we got him but that name wasthe pits so we renamed him Cody. It really wasn't hard to do. Cody had been at the shelter for several months after going though several families and returned. His original owner was an elderly man who had died. His wife couldn't handle him so she brought him to the shelter. A family that had cats adopted him. He liked the cats, they hated him so back he came. The next family to take him had little kids. Cody is a big boy, he weighs 80 pounds and it just so happens that he likes to walk between your legs so you can scratch his hind quarters. Big dog that does that + little kids = little kids constantly being knocked down by big dog. You guessed it, back he came and had been hanging around for several months before we came along. That's why I call him a found dog. I own this book and it's wonderful if you're a dog lover. On a side note, I once had another found dog; Sam was a big yellow dog that was rescued from the Genesee Rive gorge by the Rochester fire department. That story was on the news and in the paper. There was a follow up that no one had claimed him so he was going to be put down. I could not let that happen and that was how he got a third chance at life. We had him less than a year because he was a car chaser. I lived in a rural setting with a long driveway. One day UPS came roaring up the driveway and Sam and the truck, well you can guess what happened. :(

But back to Cody, this is one of my favorite pictures of him. We were camping up at the 1000 Islands at the St. Lawrence River and he had a ball. He looks so happy.

He's one of my favorite photography subjects and is always interested.
While we were in Cape Cod we had him boarded at his vet and I missed him terribly. We picked him up this past Monday and he was a little out of sorts. Maybe be was mad we left him? On Tuesday he was back to his old self policing his domain, the backyard. We have a family of rabbits that come out at dusk and munch on clover and he took off after one of them. The rabbit took a quick left and so did the dog but there was a yelp and then a stock still dog with one back leg in the air. I've had this happen to two previous dogs and knew what it was immediately.

At 9:00 the next morning we had to carry him into the vet on Cam's snowsled because he wouldn't walk. Sure enough he had torn the ACL in his back right knee. Oy Vey. Dr. Hawkins wanted x-rays to confirm the diagnosis and for that to happen he had to be anesthetized. We decided to have his teeth cleaned at the same time since they have to anesthetize for that too. We left him in good hands and went home to wait for his wake up call. Shortly thereafter the vet called to tell us that Cody has a severe infection in one of his back molars. So bad that it has spread down the root and caused some bone deterioration. The tooth had to come out. Finally we could pick him up at 6:40 but when they brought him out to us he was like a limp noodle. He wouldn't stand anyway because of his leg but he was still very groggy from anesthesia. Dr. Hawkins thought it was a good idea to keep him over night so we went home without our baby. He will need surgery to repair his leg and our veterinarian office doesn't do that kind of surgery on large dogs because it's much more extensive. Cody's ACL isn't just torn a little bit, it's totally gone. He has a consultation with an orthopedic veterinary surgeon on Wednesday. Now let's do the math here. Before he could be boarded he needed a check up and some shots to bring him up to date $190.00 then his actual boarding fee of almost $300. next we have his x-rays, teeth cleaning, oral surgery, meds and blood work, $705.00. We're up to about $1,200.00 and he still has to have the surgery and aftercare. I have a ball park figure for that but I'll hold that from you until I know for sure.
A few people at my hubby's workplace were astounded (as we were) and said, "but he's just a dog, why spend that kind of money."
He's not just a dog; he's my found dog
that has been a member of our family for 8 years.
I love him to pieces.
If you're a lover of dogs you will understand.


Gman said...

Both my wife and I read this post and she was in tears. We have a found dog ourselves that we picked up from a local shelter under similar circumstances.This special German Shepherd is a member of our family and if something where to befall her health wise, we would waste no time or amount of money to try and get her well. I know that Cody is worth your best efforts despite what anyone might tell you and I hope that his leg can be repaired and that he returns to health soon. We hope and pray that he will remain a member of your family for many more years to come...

Summer said...

Thanks for the good thoughts Gman.