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:
Here he is a month or so later...the Conehead Boy:
Then about 6 months after he moved in with us:
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.
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.