My youngest and my mother's dog, Xia.
I am not a people person. I am an animal person. At one point we had 2 guinea pigs, a rabbit, a cat, a dog, 2 parakeets, 2 rats and a bowlful of fish. More recently we had Mittens (a sweet stray cat that we found at Christmas time a couple years ago) and Benji ( a very sweet and wonderful dog that someone was giving away in the Wal-mart parking lot.
I loved them to pieces, especially Benji, but when we moved he didn't adjust well to the change and began exhibiting some very destructive behavior, even after 6 months. My landlord got really peeved about the damage and insisted that the pets find a new home. I was heartbroken and if I could have found another place as large and affordable, I would have moved rather than lose our beloved pets.
Unfortunately, reality can be ugly, and it was an impossible situation. I still miss them everyday and it has been about 6 months since we lost them. Since then, we have rescued a few stray cats and dogs. Nursing them back to health and finding them new homes or, as a last resort, taking them to the local shelter.
There was even an old tom cat the kids called Oreo (he was black and white) that we fed and sheltered on cold winter nights. Alas, he loved to wander and refused to be litter box trained (it was really nasty!). In spite of that, he was taken by some former neighbors when they moved to a new house.
Yesterday, my oldest daughter went with some friends to their grandparents' small farm. She likes to visit there because of all the animals. A couple of hours after she had left, she called me very upset. It seems there was a litter of puppies and there was a 'runt' being abused and bullied by the other pups. Apparently, it was so bad that the 'runt' couldn't eat or drink without being bitten and chased by the other puppies.
She asked if we could take it in for a while. At least long enough for it to get healthy. I reluctantly agreed. I love animals, but I also like having a roof over our heads. I figured we could 'foster' the puppy and find it a new home.
Last night, when my daughter returned with the puppy I was appalled at the condition of the animal. Too weak to stand, dehydrated and malnourished, with the worst case of roundworms I have ever seen.
I set to work cleaning, grooming, hydrating, feeding and medicating the puppy. It accepted all of this without so much as a squirm.
I am not sure, at this point, if the landlord will allow me to keep the puppy. I am not even sure the poor thing will live. I am sure that if the yet unnamed puppy lives a day or a decade- it is far better off today than it was yesterday.
Picture taken just an hour ago. The weird thing is, this dog looks so much like Benji did as a puppy.