By Martha O'Connor
Corgi and Corgi Mix rescue - Missouri
submitted by Beatrice Welles - [email protected]
My foster dog stinks to high heaven. I don't know for
sure what breed he is. His eyes are blank and hard. He won't let me pet
him and growls when I reach for him. He has ragged scars and crusty
sores on his skin. His nails are long and his teeth which he showed me
are stained. I sigh. I drove two hours for this. I carefully maneuver
him so that I can stuff him in the crate. Then I heft the crate and put
it in the car. I am going home with my new foster dog.
At home I leave him in the crate till all the other dogs
are in the yard. I get him out of the crate and ask him if he wants
'outside.' As I lead him to the door he hikes his leg on the wall and
shows me his stained teeth again. When we come in he goes to the crate
because that's the only safe place he sees. I offer him food but he
won't eat it if I look at him, so I turn my back. When I come back the
food is gone. I ask again about 'outside.' When we come back I pat him
before I let him in the crate, he jerks away and runs into the crate to
show me his teeth.
The next day I decide I can't stand the stink any longer
I lead him into the bath with cheese in my hand. His fear of me is not
quite overcome by his wish for the cheese. And well he should fear me,
for I will give him a bath. After an attempt or two to bail out he is
defeated and stands there. I have bathed four legged bath squirters for
more dog years than he has been alive. His only defense was a show of
his stained teeth that did not hold up to a face full of water. As I
wash him it is almost as if I wash not only the stink and dirt away but
also some of his hardness. His eyes look full of sadness now. And he
looks completely pitiful as only a soap covered dog can. I tell him that
he will feel better when he is cleaned. After the soap the towels are
not too bad so he lets me rub him dry. I take him outside. He runs for
joy. The joy of not being in the tub and the joy of being clean. I, the
bath giver, am allowed to share the joy. He comes to me and lets me pet
One week later I have a vet bill. His skin is healing.
He likes for me to pet him. I think I know what color he will be when
his hair grows in. I have found out he is terrified of other dogs. So I
carefully introduce him to my mildest four legged brat. It doesn't go
Two weeks later a new vet bill for an infection that was
missed on the first visit. He plays with the other dogs.
Three weeks later he asks to be petted. He chewed up
part of the rug.
Eight weeks later his coat shines, he has gained weight.
He shows his clean teeth when his tongue lolls out after he plays chase
in the yard with the gang. His eyes are soft and filled with life. He
loves hugs and likes to show off his tricks, if you have the cheese.
Someone called today and asked about him, they saw the
picture I took the first week. They asked about his personality, his
history, his breed. They asked if he was pretty. I asked them lots of
questions. I checked up on them. I prayed. I said yes. When they saw him
the first time they said he was the most beautiful dog they had ever
Six months later I got a call from his new family. He is
wonderful, smart, well behaved and very loving. How could someone not
I told them I didn't know.
He is beautiful.
They all are.
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