Living in the country has been an experience in rescuing strays. Before our recent renovation, there was a sun porch off one end of the house with a space underneath that we came to refer to as "Stray Cat Hotel" since in 12 months, we rescued THREE cats who were trying to live there. The first two males we found homes for and the third one, a female, we kept. She's delightful.
When we ripped off the porch and put on the addition, however, we thought our days as rescuers were over. Until this past Tuesday night, when my husband cracked open the sliding door to the front deck and said, "Put the dog in the bedroom and come outside."
I stepped outside to find a young, thin, and desperately friendly dog with a porcupine quill in her top lip. Her hip bones and ribs were visible, she limped on her front left paw, and she smelled terrible. I fed her a small portion of soft dog food but we were unable to remove the quill; she didn't snap or make a noise when we tried, but she struggled too much for me to hold on to. I made a bed in a box for her in the garage and I would imagine with a bit of food in her stomach, she slept properly for the first time in months. For breakfast, I gave her a scrambled egg and some cooked oatmeal.
It was obvious this dog had been someone's pet. She was friendly with us and wanting to be touched, and she hopped into my mother's car without hesitation. Since I had to go to work, Mum took the dog to the vet where she was written down as "Homeless". We planned to take responsibility for her, and had someone interested in taking her, but she found a home with the woman the vet called to clean her up.
Jane Jorgenson, who runs Paws At Wallace Bay Grooming and Boarding, wasn't just prepared to wash the dog and remove all the ticks attached to her; she wanted to keep her. Jane told me her dog had died a few months ago so they were looking for a new dog.
"She's such a sweetie," Jane said. Yeah, I know. I wanted to keep her myself.
How great is that for a stray dog who was almost starved to death to find herself going from no home at all to three homes? So we're four-for-four in the animal rescuing business but it's hard on the heart, you know, not being able to save everyone.