Claudia and I arrived at the shelter as soon as they opened. We checked in at the front desk and waited for our escort. A young, heavy-set guy came out and asked the clerk what she needed. She replied, "They need an escort to #88." He quickly responded, "Oh, that's the mean one, isn't it?" Claudia and I looked at each other with a "For Pete's sake!" look. Seemed everybody was drinking the Kool-aide and believing this dog was extremely vicious and aggressive!
We walked towards Buddy's kennel and on the way, I noticed that #60 was lying in his inside kennel. We got to Buddy's kennel, and he was lying inside, near the bars. We immediately noticed that whoever had cleaned his kennel had done a sloppy job as there was still some feces from the day before near where he was laying. We both looked around at the other kennels and noticed they all were very clean, spotless in fact..... We both also noticed Buddy's water was filthy, with sediment in the bottom of the pan. It broke our hearts to see him treated in such a manner. We told him, "Just hang in there one more day, Buddy. Just one more day, and we'll get you out of here as soon as we can.
While Claudia fed Buddy, I told her I'd go feed #60. I took some dog food and chicken breast to him and he scarfed down both. I also noticed that his dish was empty, and it was full the night before, so he must have eaten during the night, which was good since he couldn't get the hot dogs we had thrown to him. I went back to Buddy's cage and got some more chicken and Claudia asked me if he was eating. I said, "He's chowing! He also ate his food they gave him last night." She said, "That's good." I told her he was still far from being full though as he ate all the dog food I had given him and was still eating some chicken. She indicated he probably had worms or something to be able to eat so much.
Of course, the whole time I was feeding #60, his little body was just a wiggling! His tail wagged the whole time I fed him, which in turn, wiggled his whole body. In spite of the pain he must have felt, he was still a very happy dog as he sat there and ate and smiled at me the whole time, and wiggled of course! Claudia's dad was right. There was no way we could leave this happy little guy there. Every dog should be able to be as happy as he was, at least once in their life!
At one point, Claudia asked our escort if she could take a picture of Buddy. However, he told us, "No. My supervisor wouldn't like that. I don't mind myself, but I don't want to get in any trouble." Claudia said it was okay, she understood (She's so understanding! If it was me, I would have snapped the picture and not asked. He would have had to tell me that I couldn't. However, she didn't want to cause anymore retaliation towards Buddy or have anything happen to get in our way of adopting him, so she asked before taking a photo. She's sooo nice that way! This is also why we have no pictures of Buddy while he was at the shelter.)
We said goodbye to Buddy and told him we'd try to be back later and he just had to hang in there for one more day, that we'd be getting him out tomorrow. We then left the Shelter.
After we got in the car and drove down the road a short way, Claudia's phone rang. I answered it as she was driving and it was Vikki. We agreed to meet her at Denny's and told her we'd be there in about five minutes or so.
We met Vikki in the parking lot and introduced ourselves as this was the first time we had ever met our "hero" (remember--she's the one who saved Buddy from a sure death). We told her about #60, that he was unable to walk, and we were concerned that they'd make him walk out to her car. She said she'd go find out and would be back as soon as she could.
We waited about ten, fifteen minutes, and Vikki pulled up with #60 in the back seat. We were both so excited to see him, we could hardly contain ourselves! I opened the door to Vikki's car, and there he sat, just smiling up at us. This dog was always smiling. It was great! Vikki said he had gotten so excited, he pee'd in the car. However, she had a blanket on the seat, so she had been prepared. We asked her if they had made him walk out to her, and she said, "No, I asked the officer if she could carry him, and she carried him right out to my car." We were both relieved to hear that.
I picked up #60 and put him in the back seat of Claudia's car. We thanked Vikki for all that she had done and what she was still going to do. We told her we'd see her tomorrow, when we went to sign the paperwork to get Buddy. She was going to meet us at the Shelter, as she was who they were releasing him to.
I got in the back seat with #60 so I could sit next to him and keep an eye on him. At this time, I could see how skinny he was. Every rib showed and his spine was clearly visible. I was surprised how heavy he was though when I had lifted him. He was definitely solid.
We headed to the Grand Terrace Emergency Animal Clinic. I was petting #60 and I noticed a little white "V" on the back of his neck. I told Claudia, "How about if we name him "Victor". We were victorious in getting him out of the shelter and he has a little "V" on the back of his neck." She said, "That's a great idea. I like that!" So Victor it was. I patted his little head and told him, "We were victorious in getting you, so your name is Victor. " He, of course, wagged his tail, which in turn, wiggled his little body and smiled at me. He seemed to be in total agreement and liked the idea also.
Victor was really good in the car. He sat next to me, between the two front seats, and was content with the air conditioning blowing in his face. He sat there the whole time and didn't try to get up or move around. What a sport!
We got to the Emergency Clinic, and I carried Victor to the lobby area. Claudia checked in at the front desk, and Victor and I went and had a seat. While we were sitting and waiting for Claudia, a lady came in with a female Golden Retriever. The dog was about eight feet away from us. However, Victor immediately stood up and started barking aggressively at the dog (Oh no! Not another aggressive, vicious dog!). I pulled him back down by his collar and told him, "No, Victor. No." After a few seconds of barking and growling, he laid down at my feet and was quiet. Claudia came and sat down and said, "Oh, a little dog aggression, huh?" I told her, "Well, he's a little defenseless right now, so that's normal. He can't protect himself so he doesn't want any dogs near his space probably." She agreed and said, "Oh, I didn't think of that."
We waited for ten to fifteen minutes, at which time, we were called into an exam room. A vet tech first took Victor to a scale and weighed him. We were shocked to see that he still weighed 46 pounds. The vet tech brought Victor back into the exam room and started checking him out. It was amazing to see the instant bond she formed with the animal and his response to her. She placed Victor's head up against her chest, rubbed him behind his ears, and told him, "It's okay, boy. We're going to fix you right up." Victor just closed his eyes and pushed his head into her chest as if he knew what she was saying.
A short time later, the vet came in and started to examine Victor. He lifted up the skin on his back several times to see if he was dehydrated and then looked at his teeth. He then looked at his paws and said, "They're ulcerated." (Really?!) Claudia explained what had transpired at the shelter and what we had been told about the dog. The vet examined Victor a little further and then said he would need to be taken into the back to have his paws bandaged with antiseptic bandages, given some antibiotics and some pain meds, and we could come back in an hour to pick him up. We thanked him for his time, and he left the room.
A short time later, another vet tech came in. She looked in Victor's ears and told us she'd have his ears cleaned out while he was there and then went to get a cart to put him on. She came back with a stainless steel cart, and I helped her put Victor on it. However, as soon as she started moving the cart out of the room, Victor got scared and tried to jump off of it. At this time, she said, "I'll just pick him up." I said, "Yeah, that might work better." She then picked Victor up and left the room.
We told the front desk we'd be back in an hour, and we left the clinic. We got into Claudia's car and we both looked at each other and said, "You hungry?" Yep, we were both hungry as it was 1:30 by now and we hadn't eaten lunch. We went down the road to the Food Connection and got something to eat. We sat down in a booth, and it was then that we both realized how tired we were as it had been a very stressful week. It felt so good to just sit and do nothing for a while.
We finished our lunch and then went back to the Clinic. We checked in at the front desk and let them know we were there to pick up Victor. By this time, it was almost 3:00. I told Claudia, "I don't think we're going to have time to go see Buddy later. We have to run Victor home still. There's no way we can do both." She agreed that we were running out of time and said she'd call her Dad and ask him to go as he had offered to earlier if we didn't have time to. Claudia called her Dad and told him where we were and what we were doing. She asked him if he'd go feed Buddy, and he said sure, he'd be glad to.
We had to wait about 30-45 minutes before they finally brought out Victor. They brought him out on a cart, and his paws were all bandaged, with green bandages on the bottoms. We were instructed to have his bandages changed every two days, and we could bring him back there to have it done or take him to our own vet. They also sent him home with some pain medication and some antibiotics for the infection.
We put Victor in the car and he once again was content to lie on the blankets on the back seat, facing forward between the two front seats, with the air blowing in his face. We took him to Claudia's Dad's house since he has a separate fenced area in his backyard where the dog could stay while he recovered.
I carried Victor to the back yard (this dog is heavy for being so skinny!) and laid him down on a dog bed that Claudia had brought with her. We then put up a small fence and made an enclosed area for him as the vet had instructed us to limit his movement while his feet were healing. We fed him some dog food and of course, he ate it like it was going out of style. We sat with Victor a while and talked to Claudia's Dad about him. We then said goodbye to him and headed back to Claudia's house as by this time, it was getting late and we both needed to get home to our kids and feed them.
We drove home that night, both greatly relieved that we were able to get Victor out of the Shelter and get him the medical attention he desperately needed. Now if tomorrow would go this smoothly! One battle down; one to go.