The dog continues to improve. I took him to the groomer yesterday because despite the bath Fred gave him, he was still smelly, but more than that the sight of those long nails of his were really bothering me, and I think they were interfering with his ability to get around. So Fred called several places and found one in Decatur that would take him immediately.
I shooed the cats inside and went up to the bathroom to get the dog, and as soon as he saw me, the dog came right over to me, and I put the leash on him and brought him through the house. We went around the garage for a potty break, and then I spread towels on the back seat and put him in the car. He sniffed around the back seat, and then curled up and went to sleep – he’s apparently been in cars before, so being in one didn’t bother him in the slightest. At first, each time I slowed down he’d lift his head up and look around, but then he decided nothing interesting was going on, and he stayed asleep ’til we got to the groomers.
At the groomers, a guy came out and carried the dog inside for me, took my name and number, and said they’d probably be done around 4:00. I came home and puttered around, waiting for Fred to get home from work.
When he did, he said “How adventurous are you feeling?” and I said “Oh, god. WHAT NOW?”
Turns out he’d seen a bird – he thought it was a hawk – get clipped by a truck, and it was still flopping by the side of the road, last he’d seen it. We got a cat carrier and some gloves, and headed out. After a little searching, we found it. I thought it was dead, but when he went to touch it, it flapped one wing at us, and Fred went back to the car for the carrier and gloves.
It wasn’t a hawk.
It was the most beautiful little bird I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen a juvenile owl before, and certainly not up close. It was moving, but it was pretty feeble, and the fact that one pupil was dilated and the other wasn’t a good sign, along with the fact that its head was cocked to one side. We put it in the carrier and put the carrier in the back of the car and headed off to the groomer to pick up the dog – and I’m going to call him “Buddy” from here on out, because it seems weird to keep calling him “the dog.”
We fully expected that the owl would be dead before we got home, but when we got to the groomer we checked on it, and it was still breathing.
Buddy was definitely cleaner, and his nails looked a thousand times better, and he had a jaunty little bandanna tied around his neck.
“I’m sorry they did that to you,” I whispered to Buddy as we put him in the car. “I didn’t tell them to bandanna you up, I promise!”
We stopped to pick up some takeout barbecue on the way home, and while Fred was inside the restaurant, Buddy tried to climb into the front seat, though he backed off when I told him no. He seemed a little agitated, and when Fred came back to the car, I suggested that he take the dog out to pee. The dog peed (but didn’t poop, for which we were grateful, because neither of us was looking forward to the idea of having to pick it up) and then happily climbed back into the car, sniffed around, and then curled up and went to sleep ’til we got home.
To our surprise, the owl was still alive when we got home. We got everything inside, put the dog in the bathroom with food, and put the carrier with the owl in it in my bedroom closet and shut the door. We figured being warm and in the dark would be better for the owl than being in a brightly-lit area with cats peering at it constantly.
We ate dinner, then let the dog out to explore the house. He walked around, sniffing everything, and freaking the cats out. He got too close to Mister Boogers (he wasn’t sniffing Mister Boogers, just happened to be in the general vicinity), who responded by hissing and boxing Buddy’s ears. Buddy responded by going immediately flat and riding it out. I yelled at Mister Boogers, who gave me a look
and then ran off. A little while later, Maxi decided that Buddy needed a good smacking, and went after him. He rode that out, but it startled me, and I yelled at Maxi, who ran off.
In and amongst all the excitement, Fred talked to a local wildlife rehabber, told her what was up with the owl, and made plans to meet up with her as soon as possible. We figured if the owl could be saved, she’d know it, and if it couldn’t, she would have a way to put it down humanely.
I was in the middle of kitty Snackin’ Time (after the smacking from Maxu, Buddy had decided it was time for a nap, went upstairs, and got on his bed, so we shut the door so no cats would harass him) when the rehabber called to let us know she was on her way. I finished giving the cats their snacks, and we headed to meet her. She looked the owl over and said that in her opinion, it wouldn’t recover and she would put it down.
We talked to her for a few more minutes (she told us how she’d one rehabbed a hawk, and I could see the jealousy rising from Fred’s brain like a cloud of smoke) and then went home.
Today, Buddy is even more interested in the world around him. Fred’s taken him for a couple of walks around the back forty, and he’s peeing and pooping like nobody’s business (the dog, too. Har har!). Fred gave him deworming medication last night, and this morning his poop was loaded with dead hookworms (Fred reported this to me – I didn’t see it myself, and I’m happy about that). Monday morning I’m going to call and make an appointment with a vet – hopefully the good one I take Miz Poo to, but at this point I really just want him to be seen, checked over for heart worm and tapeworms, and to get all his shots.
At this point, no one with a couple hour drive has said that they want the dog. If no one does in the next few days, it looks like he’ll be going to a guy in Wisconsin who really, really wants him. People on the message board where Fred hangs out have stepped forward to help in getting him to Wisconsin – we just need someone who can drive from either Bowling Green, KY to Indianapolis OR from Clarksville, TN into Southern/ Middle Illinois. If anyone out there is interested in making the drive, let us know. We’re hoping to make that happen next weekend.
Of course, if anyone around here wants him, let me know.
Honestly, between the dog and the owl, I feel like we’re being asked to pay, big time, into the karma bank because we’re going to be required to make a large withdrawal at some point in the future. I hope I’m wrong about that!
The day the dog showed up in the yard, I brought his collar inside to send Fred the name and number on the collar, then left the collar on the floor. The cats acted like it was catnip, sniffing it, rubbing on it, and rolling around all over it. It was seriously funny. (flickr)
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.