Tuesday, August 30, 2005

An update on our shelter

I had heard about the yellow lab, the one left to die in Hurricane Katrina. He had tried to escape so desperately, he'd literally rubbed off all the skin around his neck.

At the hurricane victims' animal rescue center, they sent me out to find the dog, who was being walked by the guy who had rescued him.

The guy was one most people would find scary.

The sleeves of his shirt were torn off at the shoulders, exposing his tatooes.

His teeth were yellowed, his jeans filthy, his hair too long and unwashed, his cigarettes tucked into his chest pocket. He was rough, in the scary rough kind of way.

The dog strained against a leather collar around its neck. He restrained it with a long chain.

Not good, I thought.

I approached him and stuck up a conversation. The dog had been left to drown, and he had rescued it. He'd sought veterinary help for its neck wounds.

I had hope. But he was dragging the dog he'd named "Bud" for "Budweiser" by the neck and chain, trying to train him with tough love to obey his commands.

I went inside the shelter, where I'd seen a box of treats, and tried to show my new unnamed friend and "Bud" how to respond the easy way. Sit for a treat. Down for a treat. Heel for a treat. Thank goodness for the Ouachita Valley Dog Training Center folks, I thought.

Within minutes, Bud was responding to the treats, and I was so encouraged I sent Lindsey to Petco for a shoulder harness. Petco already had donated thousands of dollars' worth of pet supplies to our rudimentary shelter, and I was able to find a nylon leash to replace the chain.

It took two trips to Petco for Lindsey to find the right size harness, but it worked. And good ole' Bud had a nylon harness so his neck could heal and a thick nylon leash, plus toys and treats for training.

My new friends were set up. I went back to check on them today, and they had left the shelter. I hope they're safe. I believe in my heart Bud will be loved. I just hope Bud's owner can afford to keep him.


Blogger Lindsey said...

actually, this was posted by Kathy -- I obviously didn't sign out, sign in...

9:20 PM  

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