Glenda, the good #itch of the (mid)west

Before reading any further, please consider that—if you are particularly sensitive to reports of cruelty to animals—you may wish to skip over this post and wait for another of my typically pleasant ones.  However, I hasten to say that the outcome is better than in many similar stories, and that there is hope for the victim.  This story requires more explanation (and is therefore considerably longer than my usual post), but it’s important that I provide enough information to understand her background…

Subsequent to the loss of our dear Limo (please see my farewell post to him here), the doglessness of our lives has been frequently catching us off guard— an apple core; a spaghetti dish that needs to be pre-cleaned before putting it into the dishwasher; the absence of a warm, furry, friendly body when I put my hand down beside the bed when I wake up in the morning; and no alert watchman to give a powerful bark when the doorbell rings (in case we didn’t notice it)—the list just goes on and on.  As I wrote in my tribute, we had not been without a dog in the family for some 40 years.

Our current plans cannot allow for a new dog to enter our lives again as a family member in the foreseeable future; however, we have been considering alternatives.  The one that has appealed to us the most is volunteering to provide foster care for Humane Society dogs in need of temporary housing for various reasons.  We have adopted four of our past pets from the Humane Society, and we are happy to do whatever we can to support this wonderful organization.  (Those of you who have been following my blogs for a while may recall my posts from when I volunteered to transport injured wild animals in need of rehabilitation.)

And so our first foster dog is Glenda, and hers is a very sad story.  She’s a 9-year-old Poodle mix who (they believe) has spent pretty much her entire life in a wire cage as a breeding bitch in what is called a puppy mill.  She’s close enough to looking like a purebred Poodle that her pups could pass as Poodles and so, since she was old enough to breed, she has been serviced to produce as many litters as she could.  She was recently rescued from this unimaginable life, but I don’t know the details or if any prosecution resulted.  Part of the outcome of her history is that she doesn’t know what a leash is or what it’s for, and when she’s taken outside, she doesn’t know what she’s supposed to do.  When she is approached, however gently, she cringes, as if she is expecting some sort of punishment.  When presented with food, she won’t eat it unless there is no person in sight.  When she has to eliminate, she does so, wherever she may be, and doesn’t know enough to make any attempt to avoid stepping in it, since all she has known, until very recently, is that wire cage, which was probably hosed down occasionally (likely with her in it) to clean it.

Glenda 6685She has been in my care (CD is in New Zealand with our daughters and their families) for almost two weeks now and, in my opinion, she has made some considerable progress.  She has had two operations to remove mammary tumors (the first shortly before I assumed care of her and the second just a few days ago), and she not only tolerates my cleaning her incision sites and her feet (sometimes twice daily), but now greets me with a full-body wag (her tail was docked) when I let her out of her comfy overnight kennel each morning.  It’s been too cold to take her outside to stand in the snow, but the temperature soared to 50°F today and it has melted where the sun shines, so I took her out for a couple of hours.  She followed me around in the grassy yard like a duckling.  Inside, she is very content to curl up in Limo’s old cushion—so long as I am nearby and in sight, and she seems to enjoy very much staying in my lap as long as she can.

Glenda 6678The histopathology results from her first surgery came back as benign (no cancer), and if the good news continues, she will go up for adoption as soon as the staples are removed from her second surgery, in another week.  She is a very sweet soul, and I believe that she finally realizes that people can be kind—something apparently not a part of her past  before her rescue—and she still doesn’t know how to process this new possibility.  She’s like a person who was born blind and suddenly, miraculously, can see, and doesn’t know what to make of the new experience.  She will surely need a new home with someone who understands her very special needs and has the patience and tolerance to provide them.  I dearly hope, and have faith, that she can be paired with that special someone.  And I am happy to have been able to help with her incredible adjustment to her new lease on life.

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About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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21 Responses to Glenda, the good #itch of the (mid)west

  1. Ohhh, she’s just so beautiful, and you are a truly wonderful person to take her in and show her what love is. Any dog that is fostered in your home will surely thrive :). Give her a hug from me!

  2. seekraz says:

    Thank “goodness” for happy endings. You have a dear heart, Gary.

  3. What an uplifting result to a sad story. I can’t believe how cruel some humans can be towards animals. Hopefully a happy long-term home can be found where she’ll be loved and ‘part of the family’.

    It’s only the many hours of observation I’ve undertaken since having a DSLR that have proved how loving and nurturing bird & animal parents are to their young. Its not just primates that are intelligent.

    • krikitarts says:

      It’s such a shame that some of us primates, who should be able to think their way through to what should be done to help our fellow creatures, over and above what little instinct they may have, choose not to. The only good thing about such people is that they are in the small minority. Yes, it is uplifting to see her trust me more each day. The Humane Society folks take great care with dogs like her to find a home where they can get the patient care that they need until they can learn to adapt to their new freedom and life in a house. At least there is hope for her, but she needs someone very special.

  4. What a lucky dog. It is a shame that things like that happen to animals. Offenders are not punished severely enough. There is no excuse to treat animals this way.

    • krikitarts says:

      Yes, she is one of the lucky ones. They don’t share any details of how the animals are actually rescued with foster care givers or potential adopting folks, and that is probably just as well. But I had enough direct, personal experience with abused animals while I was in practice to know how inhumane some people can be and yes, you are so right that more severe consequences should follow such heartless actions. Thanks, Dan.

  5. Adrian Lewis says:

    Gary, you are a very kind and humane person – I greatly admire those traits. A very touching story – I never realised that such things as puppy mills exist. Good on you for all this love and care you’re bestowing. Adrian

    • krikitarts says:

      Many people here are aware of the existence of puppy mills, but I’m afraid that the vast majority of them actually have no real idea of what goes on there. I am very happy to be able to help one of their unfortunate inmates (possibly a poor word choice, but then again, maybe not) to start with the formidable climb of adapting to a “normal” dog’s life.

  6. wolke205 says:

    That’s what I am always saying – Adopt, don’t shop! Ich freue mich sehr, dass Ihr Euch entschlossen habt als Pflegestelle zu arbeiten und drücke der kleinen Maus die Daumen, dass sie ihre Ängste verliert und ein wundervolles Heim findet. Diego kam ja auch als ängstliches Häufchen Elend aus Spanien zu uns und wir würden immer wieder einen Hund oder Katze aus dem Tierschutz adoptieren ♥ Jeder, der sagt man könne Glück nicht kaufen – hat noch nie die Schutzgebühr für ein Tier bezahlt ♥ Ganz liebe Grüße

  7. krikitarts says:

    Ich fürchte, es wird bei ihr sehr, sehr lange dauern, bis sie jemanded richtig vertrauen kann—wenn überhaupt. Ich kann es in ihren Augen sehen, daβ sie mich vertrauen möchte, aber ihre vergangene Erlebnisse sind viel zu stark im Gedächtnis. Immerhin, sie scheint clever zu sein, und ich habe Hoffnung für sie, wenn sie nur eine tolerante und geduldige Familie finden kann. Vielen Dank, Frauke!

  8. Winnie says:

    Glenda looks sweet…such soulful eyes. It was exciting to read of the progress you’ve made with her and heartwarming to learn of her attachment to you after so little time. May she find just the right forever home!

    • krikitarts says:

      I am so hopeful. Our Humane Society folks are very good and have quite a bit of experience in placing animals with difficult backgrounds into homes where their special needs can be addressed. Our bond gets better each day, and I’m confident that I’m helping her on her long road to adapting to a much kinder world than she had ever dreamed might have existed. I’ll have her in my care for another four days and will miss her after that, but there may well be time to take in another before my travel in February…

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