Imperfect Hound Perfect for Us
Our privilege to know Skip
Every cry of pain tore through my facade of detachment. The time Skip spent getting used to his new status as an amputee was a trial for both of us. Not one of our average rescues.
I had no idea what we would be taking on when I encountered a mass of tangled, matted hair wandering round our local park. This was one of those "in-need-of-immediate-help" cases we've always been suckers for, so I had no choice but to snap a leash on the collar of what I guessed was a small dog underneath it all. He waddled home unfazed along with me and our own two hounds.
After a meal and water, a rough emergency haircut exposed:
- a miniature schnauzer,
- a snappy dislike for being touched around the rear end, and
- a large, soft mass on his right hind haunch.
Skip got around on three legs better than I ever imagined he would. Impressed the hell out of me. In no time at all he was out with us for 5km walks. I even got over the initial trauma of witnessing his post-surgery pain and adjustment.
The snappiness was cured just through earning his trust. He learned most commands by listening and watching what the other dogs did. It's an intelligent dog indeed that can learn a feeding routine and to "come" without a single training session.
This guy was already adoption material, except for one niggling behaviour problem: A fondness for snacking on cat faeces. Presumably a bad habit he'd picked up during his time as a hobo.
Everything we tried to correct it failed - and finally we had to come up with a fix of our own: one that we dedicated an entire website to. (We got a little carried away.)
Now our tripawd (as they're known, apparently) was good to go. If I were Buffett, I'd keep them all, but we're in a spot where finances dictate our rescues have to go to good homes.
You'd think a three-legged dog would be hard to rehome, but once we put the feelers out, Skip got an offer that would take him to another country. It was a good offer, from someone I'm still in touch with. She is an understanding lady who had no problem with us trying to place him locally first, and the offer was left open.
A few weeks later, he got his local offer (same country, at least) and all was set for Skip the hobo amputee (and reformed poop eater) to get his forever home.
That was when fate stepped in.
Skip began to show signs of some pain in his remaining hind leg, and tests showed another mast cell tumour developing in that leg.
We had to call off his adoption.
Skip was with us for a total of less than a year when I finally had to concede the pain was too much for him (and me) and it wouldn't be long before the bone gave way. One of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make and execute was the one for that dog's euthanization.
I buried his body myself the same day.
Skip was my dog long before we lost him. It was a unique bond for me; One that I believe had grown from what I can only describe as respect for his resilience.
Looking back, fate gave me the privilege of meeting him, getting to know him, seeing him overcome his difficulties, and experiencing his rare intelligence - even for the scant period I was allowed.
It's a near certainty that dog was abandoned where we found him by people who had no idea what a star they gave up.
© 2016 Motley Means Initiatives
Note: A link in the body of our copy will take you to an info site we operate that details a training method to stop dogs eating poop (for anyone unfortunate enough to experience it). If you visit the site and buy something we recommend, that will help us financially. Thanks in advance to anyone who just visits or buys. Other than that, it would be great if you'd consider a donation to one of the organizations we support:
Cheers, Mo & Kumi