Yes, he’s cute. No, we’re not keeping him. He showed up in the side yard, skin and bones, and when Fred called the number on the tag, the guy who answered told him that he’d sold that dog several years back – and not only was he not interested in taking the dog back, he showed up, looked at the dog, and left, taking the collar with him.
After finding out that the guy who owns this dog lives just down the street, we dithered about what to do. This is a dog who has been neglected. His nails are long, he’s skin and bones (the pictures just don’t do justice to how skinny he is). Finally, Fred called the sheriff’s office to see if we could get a deputy to come out and look at the dog and give us advice on what to do.
The deputy came out and after he toddled his 12 year-old self around the house and looked at the dog (“For GOD’S SAKE don’t tell him how many cats we have!” I hissed at Fred before he answered the door), he was spectacularly unhelpful. Basically, all the deputy could do was call the dog catcher, who would come out and get him, and most likely ultimately put him to sleep. “Either way,” said the deputy. “There’s no way he’s going back to his owner. That dog’s in awful shape.”
There’s a no-kill dog shelter nearby, but it has limited office hours, so knowing that he’d be in our possession for a while longer, Fred brought the dog inside and put him in the upstairs bathroom with food and water. Since the food we had was just some cheap stuff that had been sitting in the cupboard for several months, we went to the grocery store.
We bought canned food. We bought dry food. We bought snacks. We bought things for him to chew on. We bought a collar. We bought a leash. We bought shampoo. We bought a dog bed. We bought some of those puppy pee pads.
“You know, this really makes me mad,” Fred said as we checked out. “Any animal that steps one foot onto our land is treated like a king, and that guy can’t be bothered to give him the most rudimentary care.”
“I know it.”
We got home and Fred took the dog outside for a bathroom run. All the dog wanted was to get back inside where it was warm.
(Side note: REALLY COLD OUT THERE. Right now, it’s 18º.)
Fred gave the dog a bath, because that dog smelled BAD. The dog just stood there in the bathtub and let Fred bathe him without whimpering or fighting at all. After the dog was dried off, Fred opened a can of wet dog food and put it in a bowl.
That dog wolfed the food down – he attacked it like he was starving to death, even though he’d eaten a bowl of the cheap dog food I’d given him while he was still outside. He ate half a can of Alpo and then another quarter of the can before he was full. He settled down on the bed we’d put in a corner of the bathroom. We left him with a bowl of dry dog food and a bowl of water, and went off to watch TV.
Before bed, Fred took the dog back outside. The dog’s first act was to attempt to get back inside, and when Fred made it clear that they were going for a walk around the back yard, the dog sniffed around and did his business. Once his business was done, the dog headed right back to the back door.
We left him in the bathroom overnight, worried that he’d come awake at 2 am and start howling because the one thing I know about beagles is that they don’t like to be confined. They want to ROAM.
He was completely quiet, all night long. This morning when Fred went in the bathroom, he found that the dog hadn’t been able to hold his bladder – but he’d gone on the puppy pee pad. Fred took him outside, and the dog peed and pooped and then wanted back inside.
It seems to us – though we’re not dog experts – that he’s house trained. This morning, he was at least a little more curious about the world around him, sniffing around the house on his way back to the bathroom. He actually wagged his tail for me when I went in there a little while ago, which he didn’t do yesterday at all. He’s spending most of his time eating and sleeping right now, but to see him brighter-eyed this morning was nice.
Fred’s waiting until 11:00 to call the no-kill shelter and see if they can take him. If they can’t, we’re going to try to find a home for him.
We are not keeping him, so you can shut up about that. We’re not dog people, we don’t want to add a dog to the household, and that’s that.
Like I said, he seems to be house trained. He’s a very sweet, quiet, docile dog (that’s my impression, though it’s possible he’s just so quiet and docile because he’s exhausted and sick, I don’t know) and I imagine would make a good pet. He’s not showing all that much interest in the cats, though he sniffed at Mister Boogers this morning and got his ears boxed for that; he just responded by looking at Mister Boogers like “Okay, so angry gray kitty is not a friend. Noted.” He walks well on a leash – at least through the house. I put him on a leash and took him outside a little while ago, and he didn’t have to be pulled and he didn’t try to pull away; I don’t know how he is on a leash when you try to take him for a walk, maybe we’ll give that a try this afternoon.
If anyone out there is seriously interested in him, please let me know. We’re willing to drive several hours to make sure he ends up in a safe, caring home. Obviously if the no-kill shelter cannot take him and one of you is interested in giving him a home, we’ll take him to the vet for a full examination and have him groomed (the sight of his nails makes me want to weep).
I’ll keep y’all posted on what happens, of course.
2007: “Sponge,” I said. “What IS your problem?”
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.