The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

168 and counting

168 is the approximate number of hours my little dog, Dexter had left to live before the shelter where he languished was to kill him. When IMPS, (Internet Miniature Pinscher Service,) got the call, he was on the kill list and had about 1 week to live. He is on the left in this photo at the shelter, and shown with a female, now named Isis and also adopted, that was with him when he was found. About a year old, Dexie had a case of Demodex mange from a compromised immune system, and was severly malnourished. He was still in tact, his sensitive skin was inflammed, and he was completely bald on different parts of his body.

We had a visit last Saturday from Susan, the woman who fostered Dexter, and unbelievably, I forgot to get pictures of them together. Susan fostered him for 3 months, oversaw his recovery, managed his health care and loved him until he and I found each other. I am eternally grateful, and when she asked if she could come for a visit, I could not have been happier. It was a bittersweet reunion for Susan, who loves him as much as I do, and had a very hard time giving him up. Dexter curled right up beside her and fell sound asleep as we talked. When Susan got back home she sent me the picture and told me a little more of Dexter's history.

This photo of him looking so sick, confused and scared makes me love him all the more, if that's possible. I know that over 2 million dogs are killed in our country each year from overpopulation and want of a home, and I know that there are many, many more that are just as endearing as Dexter. Because Dexter had Demodex mange, he was considered unadoptable, and euthanasia was his fate even though the condition is minor in nature and easily treatable. What it amounts to is that our over burdened shelters just don't have the time, money or man-power to deal with such things. It is so much more efficient to simply kill the dogs.

This is Dexter today. Literally, I just took the photo a few minutes ago of him resting on my bed, hanging out with LambChop while I work at my desk.
Susan took care of the mange before he came to me and he was neutered during that time. After 3 or 4 months with her, he was healthy, bouncy and absolutely full of life. He was still a little thin and hairless in some spots, but I started him on a combination diet of dry and wet food sprinkled with ground Flax seed and Taurine to benefit his coat and immune system. I removed a nylon collar, which was causing some irritation and replaced it with leather, a natural material. He gets regular baths with a finishing rinse of baby oil and water, which eliminated the irritation and softened his skin allowing his hair to grow back. He has gained a pound or two since the first time I saw him and his coat is now slick and shiny.

I hope you can see the difference in him from the two photos. Dexter and I are completely devoted to each other and he is perpetually by my side. He is unquestionably happy and really has a life of leisure. All of Dexter's bowls are full, his beds are so soft, and each touch is filled with love. He went through hell, but is in doggy heaven-on-earth right now, and I'm the one who is blessed.

Please do not breed while shelter pets die, and at least consider adoption before getting a dog or cat. I've done it twice now, and Susan and I agree that it is one of the most rewarding things we've ever done in our lives.

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