“Mommy, mommy, you tied my pigtails too tight!
That’s what I thought when I first saw the little black dog in the cage in our intake office. I’m sorry but I just couldn’t help it. That’s how my mind works sometimes. And I still think that OR I hear the theme from Jaws in my head. Don’t expect me to explain why I think her eyes resemble a shark’s eyes in some weird way but again, that’s how my head works.
Anyway, the dog was Hope. Not much more than a puppy when she arrived at our shelter a few months ago with her bug eyes. She’s come a long, long way in a short, short time. The first obvious change was having almost doubled in weight. She was woefully skinny at intake. Her scars have healed too. She was covered in what appeared to be bite wounds…none severe but lots of them in various stages of healing. And she was so scared. Lying in the cage, shaking in fear, head resting on her paws, looking up at everyone (she’s always sorta of looking up though) as if to say “what the hell is going to happen to me now?” Hope’s not scared anymore. In fact, Hope’s just a tad bit pushy. I say “Good for her.”
I could tell you how pitiful Hope is wallowing day after day in a cage in our shelter waiting for someone to take pity upon her and give her a home forever for Christmas but that would be a lie. You see apparently while I was thinking of my twisted “pigtails too tight” thing, Michelle Earl’s (who was then a foster and is now our Executive Director) heart was being twisted around Hope’s little finger (paw?) and Michelle scooped her up to foster. She only stayed two nights in the shelter at all because Michelle already had foster puppies at home and our ever-diligent foster coordinator Debbie would not let allow Hope to go anywhere until she’d had a Parvo test. Thus her stay was brief. So any sad story about Hope languishing away in a cage at the shelter will have to wait for another day and another dog.
Hope’s so spoiled she comes to work with Michelle each day and hangs out in her office at the SPOT clinic. Her personality has blossomed and the scared, timid little dog is no more. And of course she sleeps in Michelle’s bed each night, cuddles with her daughter Anna and romps with Michelle’s other dogs, so any sob story otherwise would just be for affect. Hope’s living the high life in her foster home!
Now the sad story is about how we came to realize that the scabs and open sores that riddled Hope’s body were likely the result of bites and some pretty nasty ones at that. None life threatening but it was obvious she hadn’t received the care she needed from her previous caretakers….whoever they were. And in fact we’d eventually learn that it was such wounds – these bites that caused the condition of her “pigtail” eyes. Hopeful that the state of her eyes might be the result of her obvious malnourishment and that with quality care and better health would come some improvement, we were disappointed when this just didn’t come to fruition. And when it did not, off to a specialist who would quickly deduct that it was a buildup of scar tissue behind her head that was causing undue pressure across her forehead and down to her eyes. Hence the “pigtails too tight” theory was more truth than fiction.
As such there are health reasons that necessitate correcting Hope’s problem but even if they didn’t exist, for crying out loud, the poor little dog ought to be able to close her eyes all the way to sleep. If only for the benefit of those that sleep with her…it’s a little freaky to sleep with a dog whose eyes are always open.
And I’ll also add how desperately we need to raise the money for surgery to repair her eyes so that they won’t inadvertently pop out. Yes, this does sometimes happen with dogs that have bulging eyes (ask the Pug people) and is horrid to witness. It hasn’t happened to Hope and for a multitude of obvious reasons we surely don’t want that to happen to Hope, least of all the fact that if it did, Michelle or her daughter Anna or both would likely have coronaries.
So we’ll raise the money (estimated at $800) that we’ll need to get Hope her surgery. With the help of a charity in Columbus who has already pledged a portion of her surgical costs, I’m very hopeful. How can you not be hopeful for a sweet girl like Hope who despite what must have been a very rough beginning is making the most of life?
And for the moment, doing so with her eyes wide open. (Pun intended.)
If you’re interested in contributing to Hope’s surgery you can do so by donation to HSOP (PO Box 392 Parkersburg WV 26101) and please put in the memo field a notation of Special Needs Fund for Hope. Or you can do so on line via PayPal on our website at http://www.hsop.org
Categories: Special Needs