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LILA

25 July 2016, 15:38

Sometimes DESPERATE & CRAZY with a splash of relentless wins the day.

So here’s the deal.

If you’ve been following along, there has been this stray knocking about the neighborhood for the past week. I saw it once and it came up to me. I pet it and it seemed like someone’s house pet. It was clean, and just a puppy, albeit a gianormous puppy. It was shy and timid. It was homeless and wandering.

It didn’t look ravaged or diseased. Her coat was shiny and her eyes were bright. She’s the type of dog you’d fall in love with. So, she hopped in my car, and we drove up to the house.

All three of my mutts ran out of the house, and I opened the car door. Immediately, Hurley went into serial killer mode and went after this poor dog. I grabbed him off her before he hurt her and she bolted out of the car, where then the other two ran her down. I shut Hurley in the car and went over to stop the other two from ganging up on her. She had sat down and took the most submissive pose she could and the girls were sniffing on her and growling. I chased them back into the house and shuffled this dog out of the fence. This event maybe has something to do with how hard I tried to save this dog later.

She disappeared down the street and I let the dogs out. Normality returned. But I thought about the dog and kept an eye out for her. I’d ask Doug, everytime I came home, if he had seen her and he would say “Yeah, I saw her next door” or something, but she’d be gone by the time I looked.

He would have a sighting and tell me and I would try and call her, and nothing. This went on for about a week. Until Friday.

Friday, I got home from work, and she came running at me. I called her with a high pitched welcome and gave her a big hug. I noticed that her leg was torn up and her stomach was bloody and scratched up. I had decided right there, she wasn’t going back out and she needed to stay in the yard, until I figured things out. Doug bellyached about this and rolled his eyes. Hurley was still wanting to kill her, but the other two wasn’t as aggressive with her.

I stuck her in the back bedroom, gave her some major doses of amoxicilin and splashed hydrogen peroxide on her. Her leg looked pretty bad so I had decided to take her to a vet the next morning. She was so frightened and almost catatonic. She stuck to me like glue and I made her a place back in the computer room where she could eat, drink and sleep. She ran like her ass was on fire when the kitten tried to play attack her and she would immediately shy away and lay in a submissive position when any of the girls approached her. We couldn’t let Hurley out of the other bedroom and he whined and clawed to be let out so he could murder this dog. Hurley has become very territorial and jealous since we got him.

This poor dog wasn’t a dog at this point. She had no instinct to fight back at anything. She had been thrown into a survival mode that consisted of hypervigilance and fear. So, I’d let the girl dogs just sniff her so she could see they weren’t going to hurt her, and I sat with her most of the night. She would snuggle close, and fall asleep. When she would have nightmares, I’d stroke her head until she would calm. And late that night I went to bed.

At this point, I would do a little musical rooms, letting her out solo, locking the other three up, then letting the other three out, locking her up, and then I started letting the girls out with her. So, she stop lying down when the girls approached her and she started to respond with a little more life.

Saturday morning, I found the only vets open and almost begged one to let me bring her in. Since she didn’t have an appointment, I was to wait with her until all the other appointments were over. Two hours of sitting on the vet floor, stroking her fur, and comforting her. Dogs and cats were in and out, and she perked up wary and alert but very interested. Friendly dogs, and friendly people were in and out. She shied away from being touched but you could tell she wanted very much to share in the affection that was all around her. The vet clients noticed how this dog was glued to me and were amazed she was a stray from the night before. She started showing interest in the dogs around her, trying to sniff one or two. The cats REALLY got her attention, as her eyes were glued to them. The only sign of assertiveness is when she gave a little bark to a biker lookin’ dude with a Pink Floyd T-shirt and a giant cat.

When it was our turn, she got the once over, and thank Zeus’s butthole, her injuries weren’t severe. She got antibotics and painkillers and I was happy. We went and got happy meals at Clown Burger and went home.

So I spent that day, doing musical rooms, coaxing her out, watching her start to be interested in her surroundings and the girl dogs. She ate, and hung out with me. We sat in the computer room and watched West Wing. Hurley still wanted to kill her but in the weirdest turn of events, she would see him through the crack of the door and barked a “COME ON, PLEASE LIKE ME” bark. A puppy wanting love kind of bark. But, Hurley’s psychotic so it didn’t effect him much.

I would try and get them together in the same room with the same results. Hurley would be sullen and watchful, looking for his chance to kill her, and she would be over the moon happy that’s she’s with all of us. It broke my heart that they didn’t get along, and she could never have this (at least here).

You have to understand during all this, Doug was really harping on how we couldn’t keep her, how this is going to end up bad, and some other things that I just tuned out until it was a low drone of complaining. He didn’t want to be in turmoil, or drama. He didn’t want to be inconvenienced. He didn’t understand why I needed to at least try. He always wants things to instantly work out, or he defaults to giving up. Him, the king of impulsive spending and questionable purchases, complained that I spend money on her at the vet. Even more complaining came when I bought an ill fitting muzzle for Hurley the serial killer and tried (in the wrong way) to get Hurley NOT to want to kill.

And I understood his point. These dogs were made to do things they weren’t normally used to doing or dealing with things they weren’t use to dealing with. But he didn’t seem to see it like I did. Sure, Hurley, now has to be locked up in the room for a while. Sure, Hurley is stressing. Sure, Hurley can’t be the asshole he freely is allowed to be normally.

But. This dog. This dog that I call Lila, for want of a better name. She will spend a finite time here. Probably in the most loving environment she’ll experience for a long while. I’m using this time to help her discover herself again, find a little happy again, and build up some strength and trust. And where our three mutts will never want for a home or love (I’ll see to that), this dog has an uncertain future. So, screw the mutts for a while. They can be secondary for a while. They can be unspoiled for a while.

I knew I had to find a place for her. She couldn’t stay at my house. She couldn’t be my dog. And it was breaking my heart and causing me panick attacks that I may not be able to find her a place. She was blooming. She was becoming happy. She was being curious about her surroundings. She was less afraid of the animals around her. She even start to try to play. She found a toy and loved that. She no longer bowed to the girl dogs as they approached. She was becoming happy. She was becoming stronger. And now all that could be wiped away if I chose her future poorly. And as you could imagine, the cacophany of complaining about the dog increased. I spend most of Sunday with her, showing her the outside, playing with her, petting her, spending time with her. Growing attached. Growing invested. Growing panicked.

I started googling, emailing, posting, begging, pleading, pestering everybody and every site I could. It started Saturday, ramped up Sunday, and desperately peaking Monday morning. I was vacillating between tears and panic. My coworkers sympathized and tried to help. I had maybe emailed around 100 shelters, left 20 messages, posting and chatting with people who might be able to help. I was a basketcase by Monday morning at work (just a little bit ago, in fact). Chasing Tails, a facebook site devoted to lost/found/rehoming animals, was actively helping. The Executive Director of our Humane Society was trying to help me brainstorm. PetsInc. said they’d talk to me about what we could do. People at work were trying to help. I broke down and had a little crying snuffle… OVER A DOG…. THAT WAS A STRAY. I was composing emails that were increasingly sounding desperate and crazy.

Yeah. It was way worse than it sounds.

Finally. As Chasing Tails was giving me a bit of hope, Pawmetto Lifeline offered to take my dog. For the cost of shots and fundage for her care, Lila could go to Pawmetto and they would work hard to get her adopted. I’m hoping its not a kill shelter. I forgot to ask. I will probably make that some sort of stipulation, that if she’s close to being euthanized, to call me and I will come and get her.

I was over-happy. I was borderline happy-blubbering. I had a sense of relief, but then I had an overwhelming sense of sadness that this wonderful dog would be gone from my life. I choked up bad. I’m choking up as we speak now. But its a chance for a great life for Lila. And that’s the least I could do. I take her to Pawmetto Friday.

You know what I just I just got texted?

“We have to pay for shots and keep her for a week?”

Oh Jumpin’ Jesus Christ.

My thanks to:

Wendy Engel, Property Manager at Pawmetto Lifeline

Chasing Tails Pet Patrol

Pets Inc.

Wayne Brennessel, Executive Director of the Humane Society

Millcreek Animal Hospital

Sunset Animal Clinic

Allison, Veronica, Mickey, Kristine and Cher.

Even Doug.