Saturday, February 09, 2008
A Tale of Two Dogs
Today I have a hodge-podge post for you. Above is a pair of Irish Wolfhounds, but not THE pair that I'm going to tell you about today.
I'm not shuttling any fur butts today. I drove twice last weekend. Once on my regular route (I sound like a bread delivery person!), and a second time to for an Airedale rescue. My Saturday stint gave me the sex-crazed chocolate lab--Huck. It took me until Wednesday to recover physically. Having to hold this ball of energy for 2 full hours caused every muscle in my arm, shoulder and upper body to be called into action. I don't ask that of these muscles very often. It was a reminder that I should!
The second stint on Sunday was to transport a brother/sister pair of Airedale/Irish Wolfhounds (Buck/Ava) whose elderly owner died without provision for them. The IW trait seemed to be very dominant in them. I was amazed at how gentle these dogs were. Not being familiar with the breed's traits, I looked them up. First, IW's are the tallest breed. They were bred to be war dogs--pulling men out of chariots and off of horseback. Second, they are highly intelligent and highly sensitive dogs. They are very gentle and unsuitable for being guard or protective dogs. They cannot be treated roughly. These characteristics seem at odds with a dog bread to be a war dog and hunt wolves. Dogs, if anything, are a paradox!
The adoptive mother, J, of this pair had two dogs at home. A small dog and a Great Dane, aged 10 and suffering from cancer. The introductions went well with the newcomers. Unfortunately on Monday morning, the GD was unable to get up. She had to be euthanized. On Wednesday, J was caring for an elderly woman, 86. They were having a lovely time and walked in the back yard on that beautiful day. However, upon returning into the house, the woman suffered a mild stroke. 911 was called, and J stayed at the hospital until the woman's daughter arrived. When J returned home she found a terrible site.
Her home's interior looked like a frat party and a rock and roll band had spent the afternoon there: curtains pulled down, lamps broken, blinds shredded--they also ate their way through four boxes of crackers. The bedroom window was broken. Barney, the small dog, was terrified. Worse, though, ----Buck and Ava were gone. Naturally, J was frantic. She called and called for them. She contacted animal control. Then she got in her vehicle and went from neighbor's house to neighbor's house to find out any information that she could.
As she was driving frantically in search of this pair on the lam, a neighbor called to say they were now in her back yard. Ava had clearly been swimming some place, and Buck's nose was bloody from the glass cut, but both tails were wagging. When she opened the door, they jumped in thinking they were going somewhere! J cleaned up her home and cleaned up her new charges--lots of sticks and other debris had to be pulled out of fur. Buck and Ava ate their dinner and went promptly to sleep at J's feet.
I would say that J's day qualified for a genuinely bad day. The happy news is that the dogs arrived home safe, and that her client will recover. I admire this woman who has opened her home and her heart to these two. Hopefully things will settle down soon for her. She spent yesterday constructing a crate to keep them and her home safe when she needs to leave them.
Rather than cobble a few things onto this post, I'll stop here and produce another post.
PS: Here's a picture of Buck and Ava: