We have been quite busy around the WTC home and we wanted to share with you all why. This is a bit of a long one, so buckle in.
It all began while I was out for lunch one day at a gas station (yes I know, super healthy) I saw something that really tugged at my heartstrings. When I got back into my car I saw a dog that was laying on the ground right next to the front door.
She was not moving at all beyond what looked to be hyperventilating. I went back inside to ask the staff how long the poor dog had been there. They told me she had been there since the night before. Once I had confirmed she was not waiting on anyone in the store I went back outside to see if (or how) she would respond to me. I spoke to her and petted her and she kind of lifted her head but not much else. She was completely covered in fleas and ticks. I had never seen so many on a dog before. When she looked me in the eyes I could just see that she looked so tired, and this is when I knew I had to do more.
I was a little worried about her because it was a fairly hot day down here in this little border town. One of the girls that worked at the gas station brought out some water to see if the dog would drink it, but she refused. So I did what every other crazy white girl does when it comes to rescuing animals and decided to pick her up and put her in the car.... and in my true fashion, figure everything else out on the fly. So I did just that. I picked her up, shoved her in the car, and then realized: Oh crap. I have to go back to work for a couple of hours. What am I going to do?
I started calling vets to see if I could get her in some where. Maybe they could keep her while I was at work and I could come get her later? I was able to find a vet that could work us in around 3 PM, but they couldn't take her before. This was partially due to the fact that I was not an established client down here. I had still been taking Kali to the vet up North where I used to live. So again, I did what any sensible (or crazy?) dog lover does and started devising a plan to sneak her into my office until I could take her to the appointment. After a few phone calls I got her in the office, set her up with some food and water, and headed to the last meeting of the day.
Once I was out of the meeting I went back to my office to collect the sweet little dog I had found at the gas station. One of my direct reports was able to find a spare harness that they keep for their dogs in their car, and they let me borrow it. We got her fitted and I snuck her back out to the car. We were finally ready to head to the vet! She looks thrilled right?
We got to the vet and just like I had to pick her up to put her in the car at the gas station and carry her in and out of my office I had to carry her into the vet. At this point I was starting to wonder if she was leash trained, or really had any training at all. Once inside of the vet's waiting room we took a seat and waited our turn. She started inching closer to the door into the hallway to the exam rooms to see what was going on. This was promising. It shows intelligence and a quizzical mind.
Finally it was our turn and we went into one of the exam rooms. I started explaining the situation to vet, and he took her back with one of the tech's to check her over, give her some immediate acting flea medicine, and to give her the standard vaccines. Because after all Kali was at home, and she was still my main priority, and we want to prevent anything happening to her as well.
They brought her back in the room and said she did well and was a very laid back dog. Which was great for me because Kali can be a bit much at times and I knew I would have to introduce them at some point. They also said she was surprisingly healthy all things considered. Her heartworm test was negative and she was also negative for the most common diseases fleas and ticks can give dogs.
At this point though I realized I might have to look for an owner. As part of the check-up they had scanned her for a chip, but they were unable to find one. Really that is not that weird though down here. I know I have mentioned before that the animal culture is quite different down here. Animals are treated differently, and in a lot of cases not well. The shelters, I know, are at their limits and strays are very prevalent. So I asked the vet if I would be wasting my time looking for an owner, and his answer, although I knew what he would say before I asked, hurt my heart. He proceeded to tell me about how he volunteers and helps the local shelters whenever he can and the amount of animals that are brought in on a daily basis is completely disheartening. He said I can look, but that no one would claim her. However, this wouldn't even prepare me for what I ended up finding out.
Meanwhile during my conversation with the vet the dog was starting to fall asleep standing up! I knew we should probably head out because she had been through a lot and still needed a bath before she could rest. So now with the fleas and ticks starting to die and fall off, and all of her vaccinations taken care of we left the vet to head home.
Once home I separated Kali by putting her in my room and got the new dog in the bathroom. I gave her a nice scrub down. She was pretty well behaved in the bath, only tried to get out a couple of times. For the most part she just stood there and let me wash her. Honestly it probably was a relief for her because of the amount of fleas and ticks she had. I can't even begin to imagine how she felt. After I rinsed her I got her out and made a little bed for her in the bathroom and set out some food and water. She was immediately asleep (after eating everything in the food bowl). It was very clear how tired she was, but at least now she could sleep with no more bugs biting her in a safe space.
The next morning I went to see if she had any potty accidents that needed to be cleaned up because really I didn't think she would be potty trained. Especially because she didn't appear to be leash trained. The way she looked she had clearly been on the streets a while if not her whole life so I just didn't think that she had any house-training at all. To my surprise, however, there were no accidents, and she even FINALLY wagged her tail when she saw me. I think at this point was when she finally was starting to realize I was trying to help her.
I took her outside to see if she would go potty, and she did! Now I knew she had been potty trained. So as I stood there and watched her explore the backyard I thought to myself, "Okay, at some point someone took the time to potty train her. So she must have been someone's dog, right? Maybe someone is looking for her?" and I made the decision to start looking around to see if someone was missing her because I would be heartbroken if someone found Kali and didn't look for me.
Over the next couple of days while the new pup slept (She slept for two whole days! She must have been so tired.) I scoured the internet looking in all of the usual places and it was on Facebook that I found my answers. Several people had taken pictures of her "in the wild" and posted them asking if anyone had been looking for her or if anyone could help her. The oldest post I could find was from a month and a half before now.
All of the posts were some what similar, but there was one post-- one post specifically caught my attention.
The eyes are so distinct I knew immediately it was the same dog sleeping in my bathroom. Someone had posted about her the day I found her, and in one of the pictures (which was a screenshot of a picture in their camera roll) she was clean with no scars, no fleas, no ticks, and sat posing in someone's yard. Not at all the same condition that I found her in that very same day the post was made. The woman was asking for someone to help the dog because she couldn't catch her. Keep in mind this is the same dog that I found that same day who I just picked up and put in my car with no issues. The same dog that was covered in HUGE ticks and fleas. The same dog that now had visible scars and had been covered in dirt.
I sent her a direct message and asked for more information. Seeing if she had seen the dog over the course of a couple of days since one picture was day time and one was night. I didn't mention the condition of the dog in the pictures. I waited the night, but the woman didn't reply.
The next day I thought maybe since we were not friends on Facebook she didn't see the message. So I started scrolling through the group that I had found her post on originally so I could comment directly on the post. Maybe then she would see it. After searching for the post for a while I realized it was nowhere to be found. It was at this point that it clicked. The post had been deleted. That woman had seen my message and instead of replying she deleted the post I was asking about. I was in disbelief. I still to this day don't know the exact situation, but this woman at least knew this dog and where she came from. She chose to sit on the sidelines and let someone else clean up the mess.
This next part I admit was maybe a little petty. I made a post in the same group on Facebook asking if anyone had any information about the dog and mentioned I had seen a post about her the day before but was having trouble finding it now. I stated I was hoping the person who made the post might see mine and be able to tell me where the pictures were taken so I could maybe see if the owner was around there, and because I wanted to make sure I got an answer (and because sometimes I like to stir the pot) I posted a screenshot of the post the woman had posted that I saw the day before. The same post that I could not find anymore. The post that had to have been deleted.
This finally got a reply from the woman. I will spare everyone the details, but it was apparent that she knew something and knew the dog. She also made it apparent she didn't have time for pets. After reading this I didn't reply and I dropped it. I was disgusted. I was heartbroken for the dog. She had been someone's dog at some point. She had trusted them and they betrayed her. She was so sweet and all things considering she is well behaved. I knew what I had to do and I decided to keep her, and possibly try to find a new home for her. One I could trust to take care of her because she deserves it. She had been through so much after all.
So to the woman who so selfishly abandoned her:
Her new name is Neela. The goddess of the sapphire blue gemstone (because of those beautiful blue eyes!).
She was on the streets for at least a month and a half before I found her, but you already knew that. It was apparent you felt guilty enough to keep tabs on her.
She was so tired when I found her that she slept for two whole days in a little bed I made for her in my bathroom, you had left her to fend for herself on the streets when she didn't know how.
And now with Kali and I she is happy, healthy, safe, and learning to trust again. Most importantly she is learning how to be a carefree dog again.
I don't know how you could have done this to her because she so obviously just wants to be loved and nothing else, but I guess in a way I should thank you because she has brought so much joy to our home in such a short amount of time. You really didn't deserve her.
I know this is only the beginning of what is in store for us and what we are setting out to accomplish as The Whisker Tails Club. Neela is the perfect reminder of what we are working for. Not all dogs are as lucky as Neela was that day when our paths crossed. She is our first "rescue tale". We are going to change lives one tale at a time. Join us on our journey!
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-The Whisker Tails Club Team