Saturday, October 1, 2011

Home for the deaf, dumb and disabled

Well, not really.  More like, neurotic, three-legged and...bald.

Forgive me.  Lets start this over:

On a daily basis, I'm confounded by the limitations of my job.  I see patients every day that are owned by people who have no capacity to take care of them.  Even as reasonable as the cost of care at our office is, people still struggle to address basic needs.  Thankfully, I've grown a thick skin over the past year and a half, otherwise, as all you who know me know, I would already have a house full of misfit, yet beloved animals.  Animals can't help who they belong to.

Lately, my thick skin has become thinner and I can't help but cuddle every adorable little puppy, kitten and sick, hurting animal.  You should hear me examine a cow, I'm sure I sound ridiculous with my "Easy momma, whoa now." speeches.  I even talked nice to an equine was a donkey though, and that doesn't count.  Not to mention, I almost bought a mule.  Seriously?

Anyway, today was a crazy busy Saturday.  We were moving through patients as quickly as we could (which was not quick enough for some people.  I mean, if you come to a walk-in only clinic on a Saturday morning, what do you expect??), and I come to a check-in sheet that I thought would be simple and easy:  "vet check dog found on road in Lansing last night."  We see these all the time - good Samaritan brings in dog to be examined, checked for internal parasites, and given its first vaccines.  No problem.

When the client came into the room, she gently set a cat carrier on the examination table and said, "I have no idea what to do with this dog.  I've never seen anything like it.  I don't have much money, but I couldn't just leave it there."

Enter: heart meltingly sad little dog.  75% bald, the other 35% that had hair was matted up and attached to several parts of her body and didn't allow much movement.  Her poor little feet and ears were completely enveloped in smelly nasty hairy mats.  Pathetic.  But then she wagged her bald rat tail and licked my hand.

Forgive my finger in the frame.  

The client proceeded to explain to me that she couldn't afford much - she drove here with her gas tank on empty and she was hoping she wouldn't have to put the dog in the shelter.  I, knowing how full the shelter was and how much I love a project, (stupidly) told the woman that I would take the dog in (where was my thick skin this morning?!?!).

"Like, to your house?"  She asked.

"Yes, to my house."  I responded.  Aaron Ray doesn't know about it yet.  Don't tell him.

So, a couple of hours later, after we closed, I sedated this 7.5 lb. munchkin and shaved what was left of her hair off.  Jessica, in between laughing at me, ran a few tests on the dog while I prepared to give her what may have been her first bath.

Well.  As it turns out, homegirl comes with a whole posse of carpetbaggers.  Meet, Sarcoptic Mange:

(Which, incidentally, can transiently live on a human and cause an itchy rash.  Lovely.)

So, little friend got a lime-sulfur dip and now smells like rotten eggs.  Dang.

Whilst drying my new project, I also found out that among a yeast infection and bacterial infection of the skin, along with her scabies, she also has a corneal ulcer in her right eye, luxating patella in her right rear leg, moderate dental disease, is a little deaf and may or may not have intestinal parasites - I can't tell for sure yet because I'm fairly certain she's constipated.

You'd think a list like that would slow me down...

But all I did was go to Wal-Mart and buy her a puffy pink jacket.

I am such a sucker.

Anyway, anybody have any ideas for names?  Jess and I were going through all the old woman names that would fit perfectly:  Myrtle, Petunia, Maude, Ethel, Fannie, Mamie...I just can't pick one.

Oh, and if anyone wants to give this girl a wonderful home after I get rid of her scabies and skin infections and her hair starts to grow back and her ulcer is gone and she's not constipated anymore, let me know!  I need another dog like I need a hole in my head.


  1. Aw :(

    I like Petunia!

  2. What pitiful, lucky little pup, can't imagine the life she has already lived.

  3. She is most definitely a Petunia! Look at her face!

  4. Wow. That dog had a special hair style going on that you just RUINED with the body clip :) It's nice to see these poor souls find so many people that care about them. Hope you don't develop a scabies rash anytime soon....

  5. Oh. my. WORD. You are crazy! I love your soft little heart. First instinct was Petunia, but the more I think about it, I'd settle on Ethel.