Wednesday, May 16, 2007

aminal stories, part 2 - little dog

Here's a nice example of why the no-kill philosophy works and should be implemented nationwide as soon as possible...

Sandra Luhring-Mustafa manages the only no-kill animal sanctuary/shelter in the city of Dallas, the Humane Society of Dallas County (aka Dog & Kitty City). I know her and them because I've been volunteering with them for over four years and cannot imagine my life without the presence of that organization involved somehow. Anyway, I'm a little fuzzy on the particulars, but Sandra's daughter was visiting the Dallas SPCA facility - which claims to be no-kill to an extent, but really isn't - and encountered a very special little dog. The dog, a six year-old, somewhat overweight, bug-eyed female Chihuahua was scheduled to be euthanized...most likely because she had a tick-born disease called Erlichia. Now, while the disease itself is not necessarily fatal, the medications needed to treat it are fairly expensive...thus, I'm guessing, the decision to put her down. Instead, Sandra's daughter "rescued" the Chihuahua from the SPCA and brought her to us at DKC.

I was visiting DKC one Saturday a few weeks ago and saw this very odd looking, pudgy Chihuahua amongst all the cats who was following Sandra all over the shelter (stopping for a few quick bites of cat food from every bowl in the dog's path). Noticing the frou-frou rose-covered collar on the dog (and the bright pink toenails), I asked Sandra about the dog. Sandra said they'd all been calling the dog "Chiweewee" and filled me in on the rest of the story. Chiweewee was so immediately endearing and amusing that I found myself wanting to take her home with me right then...she was smaller than almost all the cats, didn't mind being around the cats because of her laid back personality (not the typical yippy, hyperactive Chihuahua by any means - and the cats, in turn, couldn't have cared less that she was there), and because of her chubby little body, the dog had the cutest little waddle when she walked. I picked her up and carried her around, talking to her while her tail wagged at a somewhat relaxed pace the whole time, then put her back down to watch her continue to waddle around the rooms looking for Sandra. Obviously though, I could not take Chiweewee home, what with my very animal-intolerant cat.

The next day I was visiting with my family and mentioned the dog to my mom and sister, Debbie, knowing that she had toyed with the idea of getting a dog but struggled with the issues most apartment-dwellers have to consider with, finding time in a busy schedule for walks, etc. But I also told them about the dog, hoping my sister would say something along the lines of, "Well, you know I'm going to go have to check that dog out..." And, of course, that's exactly what happened.

So on Monday, my sister drags my mom up to the shelter to see the Chihuahua and found themselves as smitten with her as I was. It was a no-brainer for Debbie and she adopted the dog right then and there. (Well, she filled out the application forms and got the process started.) Soon after, the dog had a new home and a new, permanent family. My sister, mom and Chiweewee were on the front porch of my parents' house to greet my niece, Caroline, when she got home from school. Needless to say, it was love at first sight for the niece as well.

The dog, now named Izzy - short for Isabel, if I'm spelling that correctly - has fit into her new home effortlessly. Her two cat roommates, Nancy and Winchester (also DKC adoptions), gave Izzy the requisite cat greeting (indifference...which is definitely preferable to hostility, the other possible feline reaction) and promptly resumed their normal lives. However, they've both since taken to the dog with great affection, and go out of their way to try and groom Izzy when possible. I don't have any pics of this yet, but I'm told it's a very sweet and funny scene.

Izzy's condition is a bit worse than we all first estimated and she's had to make more trips to the vet than anticipated, but things are otherwise going quite well and it's looking like the dog will have a long, happy, comfortable life with Debbie, Caroline, Winchester and Nancy. And, of course, an extended human family of grandparents and an uncle who find her endlessly charming and amusing.

As you can see from the pics, Miss Izzy has quite the dainty personality...very low-key (the only sound she's been heard to make is the growl she uses when playing), a bit shy, as sweet and affectionate as can be, and very pleased to be among people and critters who enjoy her company.

I don't know the details of Izzy's first six years, but obviously none of this would have been possible had Sandra's daughter not rescued the dog from being put down - for no legitimate reason - at the Dallas SPCA. But I do know stories like this one happen every day all over the country where no-kill organizations can be found. Sandra - and Sandra's daughter (whose name I don't know) - my family and Chiweewee-Izzy thank you.

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Anonymous wendy said...

Very cute. She sure is a little thing.

Look how big Caroline is getting! Wow, she looks grown up. And that is quite a collection of bracelets and such on your wrist. Your thumb tattoo looks good.

9:22 PM  
Blogger rama666 said...

Yeah, I think the bling outweighs little Izzy. Then again, she's also dwarfed by her cat roommates...

8:12 AM  

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