Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Celebrating One Year With Our Tripod!

Exactly one year ago today, on August 11, I met Dewey for the first time at the animal shelter where I used to work in Washington. I had just returned from vacation and was settling back into my office when a coworker asked if I had seen the little dog that looked “just like Greta.” At this point, I had no intention of adopting a second dog, but of course my curiosity was peaked. I asked another colleague in the admissions department if we had recently received a Dachshund and she replied “Oh…you mean the one with three legs?” Well, you can probably imagine the look of surprise and interest that crossed my face! After learning that Dewey was a tripod, I knew I had to meet him.

The photos above are from the day I first saw him. As you can see, the poor little guy was in really rough shape. He wasn’t neutered and had a bad case of fleas, terribly overgrown toenails, bald patches on his ears, and a mouth full of rotten teeth. All that was known about him was that he was picked up as a stray in Spokane with a collar reading “Duke.” From the look of things, he had been fending for himself for quite a while.

Many people say that animals choose us, and it was most definitely true in this case. As soon as I cracked open the kennel door, Dewey jumped right into my arms and clung on for all he was worth. All of my resolve melted and I was instantly smitten! Several days later he came home as our foster dog…

It didn’t take long for us to realize that the name Duke just didn’t fit our new pooch, and plus, I didn’t want to continue any associations with his sad past. So in the course of just a few days, Duke became Dewey, Greta gained a brother, and we discovered the amazing world of tripod dogs!

One year later, Dewey is thriving. He had major dental surgery last fall, including 11 extractions, and the fur on his ears has returned. He now knows how to sit, lie down, shake your hand, and roll over (well, almost!). He’s still an expert scavenger – probably the lingering effect from his time on the streets – and is able to find and consume anything remotely edible. With each passing month we learn more and more about his funny little personality: how he snorts like a piglet when he yawns and smiles ecstatically when his ears are scratched. Dewey’s antics are endlessly endearing, and just when I think that I couldn’t possibly love him any more, I do. It must be the same way for all of us…

I am always interested in hearing how people met their rescue dogs, so drop me a line with your story by emailing reboundhounds@yahoo.com I will send a free copy of Almost Perfect: Disabled Pets And The People Who Love Them to the author of my favorite "happy tail!"

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