I want to begin this introduction...this sad tale...from the get go. I want you guys to know how MUCH this wee one has been through. You guys know how long winded I can be, so...well, stick it out. It's a good ending...well, it's not the end, really. Let's say is a GREAT start.
About 6 months ago or so, a little dog was delivered to my mother by the supposed 'owners'. The little dog resembled the same breed as two of my mom's dogs...so, they must have thought she'd say, 'Heck, what's one more!?'
The dog was HORRIBLY matted. I would say that it had NEVER seen a groomer in it's entire life...a bath, even! Now, she looked thousands times better than Scotty (now Meatball), but she still looked rugged. Your typical stray Shih Tzu mix.
Well, our acre is shared by two families (me and my mom) and combined...we had 6 dogs. One of those dogs is Tad, obviously. I mean, sometimes I send him to the shelter to be straightened out...but, you know. ;) (I AM TOTALLY KIDDING FOR THOSE THAT HONESTLY THINK I AM SERIOUS!)
We were working on a proper introduction with the littles, my mom's three, and chaos ensued. The dog that was dropped off flipped out and made a run for it. My mom took off after it. I ran inside for a leash, my truck keys, and by the time I was outside and in the road...they were gone. That dog was trucking! I drove the neighborhood trying to...at least find my mom. I mean, the poor woman might croak just walking to the stop sign at the end of the road...much less chasing a terrified little dog through a neighborhood.
I assumed after about 30 minutes she had keeled over (my mom, not the dog) and rolled into the ditch. So, now the hunt was on for my mom...people come first (SOMETIMES) and then animals. I finally found my mom...red in the face, dripping in sweat, and ultimately...overheating. I pulled up next to her and said something along the lines of, 'Hey, streetwalker...how much?' We have a relationship like that. ;) Hahaha.
She got in and explained that the dog had run all the way back home. Talk about loyalty! She said the people have tried to give her away to SEVERAL people in the neighborhood over the past few months and she keeps running back to their house. They can't afford her care (grooming, vet, etc). They don't want her. They leave her outside and basically just feed her...she is treated...somewhat like a feral cat. They just feed it and hope it goes away on it's own, sort of thing.
We cleared out conscious with 'at least we tried'...and went about our lives.
Fast forward a few weeks...the little dog appears at random places throughout the neighborhood...running...running fast. Almost in a panic. She appears to ALWAYS be trying to figure out how to get back to what she felt like was 'home'.
She's always matted each time I see her, and every time I stop and get out...she stops, looks at me, wags her tail...then takes off running looking for home. (At this point, I have no idea where home was...but, I knew my mom did...so we could get her back there, if needed.)
Now, pause on that thought. Let me tell you a little about what has been happening in my world during this time.
Walker is dying. He was diagnosed a year ago with primary pulmonary adenocarcinoma. In a nutshell, he has the kind of lung cancer that smoker's get. He is failing fast these past few months...and I mean FAST. No muscle mass, no appetite, he is...falling...fast. It is heart breaking...very heartbreaking. Five short years with this boy, who prefers everyone else, isn't enough. But, that's the nature of the beast...the nature of rescue. You don't know what you're going to get. Forrest Gump calls that a 'box of chocolates'.
Chica, my soul dog, who is ABSOLUTELY not allowed to die...EVER, has become 98% deaf. She was diagnosed with a Grade 2 Heart Murmur, that we've opted not to treat yet. However...let's face it...she's not invincible, no matter what I tell myself. She will die, too...sometime...maybe I've got 30 more years, I hope! ;)
So, let's add a twist...we have a lifetime puppy, Tad, who is CHAOS and going stir-crazy in this old folk's home. He can't stand no one wanting to play, always being snapped out by the old fogies, and they smell weird...stocked full to the top with medicines...I mean, come on...we've stuck a teenager in a room of 80 year olds. (There are some pretty rad older folks out there, no doubt! ...but, Tad is like...'I'm way too cool for this...come on!').
So...the hunt began for something to 'save'. Not a replacement...but...a potential friend, for Tad. I don't handle death well...so, is this my subconscious wanting to 'replace' quickly? Could be. The brain is weird. Amazing, but weird. I wanted it to be something I had 'ties' to. Not something I walked into the shelter for, or posted a 'want ad' for, etc. I wanted to be connected...I'm weird about connections.
So, I filled out an adoption application for a dog 'connected' to me to maybe be inducted into the Crew de Chaos. I am waiting to meet that little fella.
Now, let's combine my world with the little stray shih tzu I started talking about.
I took my boyfriend, Louis, to the zoo for his birthday. As I am turning off my road, I nearly run the shih tzu over. She is beige...well, sort of...I think she's supposed to be white? Blonde? She's like...road colored. I nearly killed it. I stopped...we opened our windows to talk to her...but she kept running...guess where? Yep. She was running home.
We continued about our day. Zoo was fun, yaddah yaddah.
So, remember how I mentioned I was weird about connections? Why...when I am looking online for potential inductees...does this one appear...AGAIN...and nearly get run over...by ME!?
World works in mysterious ways, doesn't it?
For the past three or four days, I leave the neighborhood and come home a different way. Why? ...to look for this shih tzu. I knew that my mom knew where she lived, but I didn't.
I finally spot her...tonight. I stop immediately, and get out. I got out so fast, the little dog flipped out and ran up a driveway she was in front of.
So, this must be home, right?
I kept talking to the pooch. Baby talk, right...dogs LOVE baby talk. Hahaha. Well, not this little dear...she was wagging her tail, but no way was she going to move her legs in my direction.
Around this time, a woman pulled up beside me. She rolled down her window and said that the dog lives here, well...correction...she said, 'It lives in the road right here. She doesn't go in or anything.' She told me that the 'owner' has been giving her away regularly, but she always comes back. (Remember this...it will come into play shortly.)
Someone screamed at the dog to 'shut up' from inside the house...and I gave her one last chance to come with me. She wasn't moving...and was getting yelled at, so I left. No reason for me to make her get in THAT much trouble. :/
I drive home and walk over to my mom's casa, remember...we share an acre (well, half now...but, that's not important). I tell her we're going for a ride. I want her to go with me to talk to these people.
We arrive and I want to describe this place to you. Before I do, I am VERY understanding. People struggle. Life is hard. Heck, life for me is hard...and I don't even have it that bad! Imagine a box home, the yard is FULL of toys...trash...strollers, car seats, I mean...stuff EVERYWHERE. No fence (which, isn't all that surprising...I live in the National Forest). Just...really, really...beat up, struggling little place.
As we try to find the front door to this place, we can hear children screaming and playing inside. A dachshund is barking nonstop at us from the window, too. One is yelling at us through the window, and then after a few minutes of us asking if their mother was home, someone starts screaming for 'Mom'.
Mom comes out, and her appearance isn't important, but let's leave it at...it was fitting, for the environment. She was very nice and friendly, and we asked if they were still looking for a home for the little dog.
Her son comes out, and when the mother said they were, the little boy grabs her by her tail to hold her in place, and then picks her up and shoves her in my direction. He did this in a way, not to be mean, but that he was not taught differently. He was very kind and happy, too. They seemed like very nice and real people. I liked that.
She explained that (remember what I said about the dog always coming back to the same place) her brother in law came out with his dogs for a family BBQ. She said, he drove off...and then texted her saying he couldn't afford the dogs. She was...livid. She told him she has 'x' amount of kids and can't afford dogs either. It is my impression that 'Layla' (as the BIL named her) goes back to the same place waiting for her family of 6 years to...magically show back up. Unfortunately, that day will...never come.
Mom has good intentions, no doubt. She has been trying to find a proper home for the little dog (whom they call 'Gus'), who isn't allowed in, and simply gets fed. She is who brought my mom the dog about 6 months ago. She's trying, as best she knows how, she's trying. She knows the dog needs groomed and she knows it needs vaccines, she just can't afford it. She told me a LOT about the dog.
She said she went with her husband and brother in law to pick out the dog from the breeder. She's about 6 years old and is spayed. She wanted what's best for her, but she knows that it is not her. She told me that when she goes inside, you yell 'GET' and she goes back out. She explained that she was very sweet, but timid. She said she's a good little dog, but she keeps running back home each time she gets given to someone else in the neighborhood. She told me that if it didn't work out with my dogs, to just drop her back off at the end of their driveway, and she understands.
I can tell you right now that that isn't going to happen. She will stay with me for now until she is able to be adopted...or...kept. :/
So, with all that being said...I would like to formally introduce her. (I apologize for the crummy picture; we were more worried about getting her taken care of than photographing.)
...please welcome, ...erm...this...to the Crew de Chaos.