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Having satisfied our reason for the visit, we decided to take a stroll through the inevitably overcrowded dog kennels. I had no intention of adopting another canine family member, BUT, one sad and lonely face caught my eye. She was almost completely devoid of hair, her skin was flaking away from her body in big ugly scabs, and she had the saddest expression I have ever seen. She was also obviously painfully under nourished. I enquired of the staff about her condition, and they indicated that she had been relinquished to the shelter, by her 'owners', as a result of a cruelty investigation, instigated by the 'owners' neighbours. It was learned that she had been tied up outside for the past couple of years, and according to the neighbours, she had been tossed some food at infrequent intervals through this period of time, thereby maintaining some semblance of life. It was at this point that I knew I could not just walk away and leave this dog in her current situation, as she was not going to regain her health in a kennel environment. SPCA staff are, generally, well informed and caring, and certainly this was the case at this particular shelter, but the fact remains, a kennel is a kennel, and this means solitary confinement, for an animal that has a natural propensity to a pack mentality, and solitary confinement is not conducive to maintaining a healthy disposition.
At this juncture, daughter Dana and I headed home with afore mentioned kitten in tow, and I went home to 'sleep on it'. Of course I already suspected what the upshot would be, but I had to go through the motions of appearing to be not doing something that was considered too spontaneous for a lifelong commitment, stepping out of the frying pan and into the fire, as it were. What was one more dog after all? One more loyal companion to love and to persuade that home can be a comfortable, secure and nurturing place to be.
And so it was with absolutely no trepidation that once again I embarked upon the animal shelter, leash in hand, and heart in place. And there she was, just waiting for someone to take her home, and so I did.
The journey home was not a comfortable one, to say the least, as I was driving a small pick-up truck on a cold and rainy day, the windows were closed against the cold and wet, and the interior of the vehicle has never to my knowledge smelled quite so pungent. This new companion had been bathed by the staff at the shelter, but she still smelled like no dog to whom I have ever been in this close proximity. By the time we reached home I was quite happy to exit the cab and take a few deep breaths of unscented air!
We spent one evening with our new-found companion, and it was decided by all who came into her aura, that she needed to visit the local groomer. This she did the following day, where we requested that she be given a 'hydro-bath', so that the flakey skin and accompanying bacteria could be washed away.
The name she had been given in her past 'life' had to be replaced, and it was decided that she would be known as Abby. She is, of course, eating our raw meat formulation, which she devours in great gulping mouthfuls. Supper is over and done with in about five seconds.
Abby is now a well-adjusted and well-loved member of our family, and she is making great progress in her health.