Sitting here, I am numb inside and can’t release all the emotion swirling in my heart and the thoughts running through my head. I just returned from taking my adopted dogs to the vet for their first visit since I became their owner. It was a tough time for me, but the dogs were wonderful. I learned so much about them probably more than I ever expected.
There were certain things that have puzzled me over the last two weeks. First of all, neither dog seemed to know what to do when on a leash. They don’t want to be held nor do they like sitting with you nor do they like to play with toys. Even more strange was the fact that when I brought my food in the room to eat, they would go crazy sniffing and wiggling, but as soon as I started to eat, they walked away and lay down losing all interest. Also, there is and has been a connectivity between these two that just didn’t make sense. At first, I thought it was because they had been thrown together in the shelter and had become dependent on each other. They also have no sense of potty propriety. Hannah hasn’t warmed up to me very much while Hancock is warm and loving at times, but for the most part stays with Hannah or alone.
I took the advice of the shelter visiting with a local vet and consider her a real find. She is so knowledgeable, capable, and warm. Dr. Susan is the best kind of person and vet. Being a straight forward person, she doesn’t gloss over or try to make the truth prettier which is appreciated. She told me first off that both dogs are in dire need of dental work. Each will have to have at least one tooth pulled and the tarter is so bad that their teeth look brown which explains why they need soft food and can’t eat the hard stuff. Hannah is allergic to fleas and needs to be given benadryl for it. On the other hand, Hancock’s feet are allergic to grass, pollen, and something else which I now can’t remember. When he goes out, the grass makes his feet itch and they have to be wiped off after coming in. Finally, Hannah has an ear infection and is overweight and needs to lose while Hancock is underweight and needs to gain some weight.
That is all doable, troublesome, but doable. The worst news is that Hancock is almost totally blind. He can see large shapes and probably some light or dark, but that is all. If I hadn’t told you, you wouldn’t be aware of his poor vision since he gets around well enough. What’s even worse is that this occurred because his eyes don’t produce tears and no one ever gave him the necessary proper care. Dr. Susan theorizes that both dogs were products of puppy mills and for the most part ignored. They have been left to their own devices for eight, Hannah, and nine, Hancock, years. They don’t know what it is to have love and be treasured or to be cared for just because they are precious little dogs. The vet said that if I hadn’t taken them, probably no one would ever have adopted them. Because they are ill and uncomfortable, no one knows what their true personality is like.
My heart just breaks for them. I can’t imagine what kind of life they have led and am happy to finally give them a home for their last years. Hopefully, they can learn what love is and that people can be kind and caring. Some of you may find this off-putting, but not me. I wouldn’t trade them for any other healthy animal. It’s shameful that we have people who breed animals only for money and toss those that aren’t perfect away into a shelter or people who find a dog has problems turns it away because they don’t want to be bothered. I don’t know the reason either animal was given to the shelter but I’m glad they were there for me. This will be a continuing saga as the months pass and the dogs heal both physically and in spirit. Most of their ailments are just a matter of time and money; however, Hancock’s permanent blindness is due to neglect. That is unforgiveable. Perhaps, their treatment is sad, but it is even sadder that all too often people of every age are treated just the same.