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Thread: A Year of the Phoenix

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM

    A Year of the Phoenix

    In a similar vein to Jim O'Dell's thread about the 13 years he's shared with his Irish Setters, I wanted to show a few pics of Phoenix (a.k.a. Fuzzy Face), the dog that found us last June 10th.

    We found Phoenix under a bush in our front yard. He came here to die. He was a stray, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen an animal that close to dead and still able to walk. (We only saw him walk when the Animal Control officer led him away that first day.) He would not drink water, he was missing a lot of hair, and he had large open sores all over his body. We figured he was beyond our means and ability to try to nurse back to health, so we called the pound to come pick him up and see if they could find the owner. While he was there, LOML kept track of him and any progress in finding his owners. He had a microchip, but the owners did not respond to messages left by the Animal Control folks. Although he was getting daily veterinary care at the pound, it was clear he was not adoptable due to his poor health, and he was headed for Death Row, when several of LOML’s friends banded together and A) got him out of the pound, and B) found a vet who would kennel him for $15 per day while they scrambled to find him a permanent home. Key to all this was LOML’s friend Sue, a hardcore animal lover, who told LOML at the outset that she would cover any and all the vet bills to get him healthy again. After a few weeks of veterinary care, including antibiotics, daily medicated baths, food supplements, etc., he was still real weak, but healthy enough to move out, so we decided we’d care for him as foster parents until a permanent home could be found. I knew full well going into it that wasn’t gonna happen.

    Almost immediately, we both knew he was not going anywhere. He came to us for a reason, so we’re keeping him. The best the vets can tell, he’s a Malamute cross, about 6 or 7 years old, but he was badly malnourished as a puppy, so his legs and joints are not developed correctly. It’s almost comical watching him walk or trot, since he’s kind of goofy-footed. He's almost completely deaf, which makes calling him a challenge. He’s also got a chronic skin condition that causes him to itch like crazy. (It’s non-contagious, so the other dogs are safe.) When he found us. He was missing a lot of his hair, and he was covered with raw spots. He's been through various medical treatments and biopsies, but so far nothing has worked completely, so he still has some skin problem areas that will cause him to flinch if you touch them. He has spent a lot of time with a cone around his neck, and still gets to wear it on occasion when he's having a bad itching outbreak. Despite all his trials and tribulations, he’s a lover and he melts peoples’ hearts in a flash.

    With that backstory, here are a few pics of LOML's latest "baby":

    This was the first picture we got of him, taken after he'd been getting daily medicated baths and veterinary care for about 2 weeks. The raw spots on his legs in this pic are not nearly as bad as they were when he found us:

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    Here he is a month or so later...the Conehead Boy:

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    Then about 6 months after he moved in with us:

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    And a couple from this afternoon. He got a major haircut last weekend, but I failed to get any pics of him with long hair.

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    We're still working on trying to build up his weight, and the skin problems will be with him for the rest of his life, but all in all he's a happy boy, and he's lived a year longer (so far) than he would have had he not found us. And in his own little ways, he tells us thanks every day.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  2. #2
    It's amazing what a little care and love can do for animals and humans too!

    Congrats Vaughn! When we retire next year, I hope to get another dog.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Congratulations Vaughn.

    He looks much healthier now and for sure a lot happier! So that's the best reward you could have.
    Best regards,

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
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    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Vaughn, I'm sure happy to know good people like yourself and your lovely wife, and your great group of friends, especially "Sue".

    Sure is nice to know you guys are out there.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA
    Good on you and your wife, and Sue. Your cute little pooch will always be grateful to you. It is amazing how they know who saved them and how much loyalty they display as a result.

    Such was the case with my cat. And loyalty is a very un-catlike thing!

    Warning, though. As hard as it is to lose a pet, one like this rips an especially bigger hole in your heart when the time comes. It is good that enjoying them while they are here with us overshadows the thought of saying goodbye one day.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    Cute Pup! And way to go rescuing it like that and all!
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Central (upstate) NY
    Cute little pup. I'm sure the vets have talked about this in great detail, but could the itching be an auto-immune issue? We think we have something like that going on with Zeus (the tan guy).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Between Aledo and Fort Worth, TX
    Great story, Vaughn!! It's those types of stories and outcomes that keep Glenna and I in the rescue business. It is so tough at times, but the rewards are impossible to count.
    You can tell in the last picture that there is a gleam in his eyes that says "Thank you!!", and that he knows his new family is his forever family.
    Anyone looking for a pet, please check the rescue organizations. There are breed specific rescue groups all over the US. If you don't care if it is a recognizable breed or not, save one from the pound. These animals most always know that they have a second lease on life, and are so very thankful for the opportunity to love. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
    Exclusively Irish!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas
    When Irish Eyes are smiling, they're usually up to something!!
    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...but most likely, I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, season 3

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Suburban DC (formerly western PA)
    Just saw this. Vaughn, thanks for opening your hearts and giving an old dog a new life where he's loved. That's wonderful. We who work in rescue wish there were more people like you out there.

    "We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time."--Vince Lombardi

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Rhode Island
    He's gorgeous. I think the best ones are the ones from either the pound or we get by accident. Like my avatar it's Lexy she was malnourished so she's only half the size she should be she's 48 lbs & should be about 90 lbs. She was meant to be yours. I firmly beleive there is a reason that dog is spelled god backwards. 2 thumbs up.

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