In early August, I was contacted about a stray in Wichita, Kansas. A three-year old female in bad shape, to be exact. “Emmy” had wandered up to an office building where one of the workers (Marilyn) took pity on her and attempted to find her home. Her “owner” — and I use that in the lightest of terms — was located whereupon she promptly advised that she didn’t want the dog, didn’t want it to begin with (it was given to her), and she wasn’t taking the dog back. She did, however, keep her long enough to sell the litter of puppies Emmy had recently whelped … and then went on to state she didn’t have money to take care of the dog.
Marilyn took poor Emmy to a groomer to see what could be done with the horribly matted coat. A complete shave was in order, taking the coat off in a pelt. Based on her condition, it was highly doubtful she had been ever groomed. Pretty bad when one realizes that Emmy is three-years old. Amazingly, she had few skin issues and no fleas. Oftentimes, severe matting will actually pull chunks of skin out as well as setting the dog up for bacterial skin infections by holding moisture to the skin. Once the coat came off, it was painfully apparent that Emmy had been on low rations for some time … her bones jutting out from all angles. Nursing her pups had taken every bit of reserve she had and then some without sufficient or proper nutrition.
Marilyn contacted me and we began the mad scramble to get Emmy to Colorado on the next C.A.R.E. transport, just days away. She had to have current vaccinations and a health certificate to be accepted onto the transport. Arrangements were made to get her vetted, a health certificate issued, and then to the pick-up place and on the van. Thankfully, Marilyn was quite close and able to accomplish it all with a minimum of trouble.
Via phone calls and email, we were advised the C.A.R.E. transport vans would be pulling into the Petco in east Aurora around 7:30 p.m. Unlike the late evening when when we picked Bubba up, the north parking lot was full of people and vehicles, awaiting their new charges. Some are rescue organizations, others are adoptive families there to pick up dogs coming from other rescues. I later find out that, on this particular evening, 41 dogs are coming in on two vans … 41 chances for a new life in the West. Grayhounds, Cockers, Weinie Boogers, Mastiff, Catahoula, assorted Terriers, Labs, Pyrs … it’s like a rainbow of dogdom.
One of the biggest surprises of the evening was pulling up and finding my vet, Doc Sherry, waiting there as well to pull four dogs off the transport … two adults and two puppies. I’ve used her as my vet for going on a decade now and we have a great working relationship. Sherry and I stand chatting until the vans arrive; she says she wants to look at Emmy before we head back to Loveland. Once I get Emmy off the van, gather her paperwork and have a chance to really go over her, I’m appalled at what I find. She is, literally, starving to death. With a grassy area close by, we make a potty run as I’m sure it had been quite a while since the last relief stop. Sherry, who has her dogs watered, pottied and loaded, swings by our vehicle. She, too, is disturbed by Emmy’s emaciated condition. Her eyes are infected and we’re hoping that she hasn’t developed dry eye as well. During the exam, Sherry bends down and whispers in Emmy’s ear, “I’m so glad you are going home with Vickie.”
Stay tuned for Part II …