One of the best things about blogging is the virtual community you join. Its members include not only fellow pet bloggers, but also readers who want to communicate because you’ve struck a chord with them. Some of their stories and concerns are sad, including the one I recently posted about pet loss. But some, including this one by Carla T., are sweet and inspirational.
I often refer to my decision to adopt Frankie, after years of dithering, as taking a leap of faith. It’s the same phrase Carla used when she described her decision to adopt Peanut. The following is distilled from a series of emails between us, including some in which I solicited pictures — aren’t you glad I did? — from Carla.
Around the same time as you adopted your first dog, Frankie, I rescued my own first dog, ever. All of a sudden, the stars aligned, and this dog needed me to save him.
I’ve learned over our four years together that it goes both ways.
When I first approached the steel row of cages at the veterinary hospital where I worked back then, I saw a tiny creature, mostly hair, with enormous dark eyes. He stood on his three good limbs against the veterinarian’s kennel-jail, yelping and whining. His right front arm was bent unnaturally and hung limp, broken clean through. His third set of owners had only had him in their care for one day, so they didn’t feel an obligation to pay for his medical care and returned him to the shelter.
Euthanasia was planned; this baby would die on his first birthday.
When I opened the door of his cage, he inched toward me on his three good legs, still yapping but calming slightly. I gently lifted him into my arms and we fit. This is all it took for us to own each other.
In my care, a year later, a large dog got away from his tether and attacked my little guy (Peanut is all of eight pounds), almost to his demise. Thank god for emergency veterinary care.
Today, Peanut’s an awesome companion! He is loving and cuddly, but definitely has a mind of his own. Once he gained back his confidence after his myriad injuries, he really tested his limits (the canine version of teenager?). I also think he’s too smart for my own good!
Peanut requires more dental care than any dog I’ve heard of previously (apparently it’s a small dog issue), and he is allergic to at least one of his annual vaccinations so that his vet has me do titers every year to determine if we must vaccinate or if Peanut has enough protection in him without re-vaxing. If your vet ever says “titer,” run the other way, it’s WAY expensive! Grooming–let’s not go there, except to ask, “Do all Yorkies smell bad when their hair gets long or is it just mine?”
That pooch must be part animal, part gold-dust by now!
Logically, the lengths to which I will go to for my little guy are ridiculous, but when I adopted him, I made him a promise that he would be worry-free for the rest of his life since he had such a tough start, and I’m trying to stay true to that word.