Friday, September 20, 2013

Tied to a Tree and Forgotten. Sam's Story.

Another phone call from Cindy at the rescue came in.. "I just brought home a dog that was found grown into the grass and chained to a post."

OK, what do I reply to this plea?

"We had to shave her out of the grass to get her free." She finished.

I supposed it was my turn to respond.."OK, I'll see you both tomorrow."

She came to see me the next day with her latest acquisition. She had shaved him down and named him Sam Adams.

Sam had a make shift collar on and stood beside her on a leash.

His coat was chopped and irregular. His undercoat was white with brown points. Even in his bag of bones depressed state he was the shadow of a purebred. We suspected he was an Old English Sheepdog, and hence Cindy, as the local sheepdog rescuer had been called.

She had gone out to collect him and was horrified to see his condition.

His long silken hair had been so neglected that it grew into the ground like dread locked tentacles anchoring him to terra firma.

She had done the clipping on site to break him free from his foundation.

Sam was emaciated.

There are degrees if emaciation that a veterinarian assigns. Sam's was the worst kind. His state was the most awful, shameful, heartbreaking, disturbing, cruel condition imaginable.

He had no muscle mass. This is certainly due to him not being fed. It is even more so because he has been tied to a post. He has not had any area to walk, or run, or play. If you do not get up and move your body will not feed your muscles, and very quickly they will atrophy.

As insidiously appalling as this is, it isn't the worst part of Sam's state.

Sam is broken. His spirit is fractured to the point that he doesn't react to people, or noises, or other animals. He has been so devoid of interacting with life that he no longer reacts.

He is fearful when approached and reacts without giving you any of the normal cues to warn you.

He has a very long list of medical  needs. To make it more difficult there is also a long list of unknowns to add.

Medically Sam needed a thorough examination, blood work, urinalysis, heartworm test, fecal, and a nutritional feeding plan. He also needs to be monitored very closely.

With emaciated patients we are not sure initially if it is a matter of not wanting to eat, not having good nutritionally complete food, not able to utilize the food once it is eaten, or is the food being sucked up by intestinal parasites? In many cases we send a client home with a specific food and feeding plan. Then we have the client return for serial weight checks. We also do our homework by checking blood, urine, and a fecal.

Sam stayed with the rescue for months. After two months we believed he was strong enough to survive his neuter. He was muzzled for all restraints and did well under anesthesia.

He needed a great deal of time, attention and medical assistance. He also needed to be genuinely loved. Like all living beings, love and trust is something one earns.
And much of life is about second chances, overcoming fear, and forgiveness.

Over the next few months with a team of caregivers assistance Sam began to put on weight, muscle mass, and find his own sense of self. He began to look like a normal healthy two year old. And we discovered that as his hair grew back and his body structure developed that he was indeed a Briard.

Sam remains shy, and tentative, but he looks around to assess his surroundings, wags his tail, and has bonded very closely with his foster family.

I expect he will live a long healthy life and be some lucky persons constant companion.

Sam's rescuers sent me this open letter and asked that I include it in his story.

To the breeder and past owner of Samuel Adams...

I have your dog. You sold him to a very terrible owner. Was the money you made worth having a wonderful dog tied to a tree from the start? He had no love, no kindness no warm bed and no care. Is this want you want for the dogs you breed? I hope you sleep well at night because I have nightmares about this poor boy being tied to a tree in tall weeds and storms, cold and hot and other animals being able to get to him and he had no where to go...I do sleep better now knowiing he is finally cherished (as all dogs should be) and has learned how to play and is turning into a wonderful animal.God I hate cleaning up your uncaring BYB's messes.

To the owner a farmer on the eastern shore. What were you thinking?? Did you think if you got a "sheep" dog he would automatically watch over your animals?? Did you research the breed and see what care he needed? What did you think a dog would become tied to a tree ? Alone in the dark, cold wind and rain?? He has a scar on his nose ..something attacked him, was it you? He was so afraid of everything , he was matted,stinky and starved. Would you want to live like this.? I know there is a special place in hell for people like you. This dog has a name now Samuel Adams, we call him Sammy He has learned to except the caress of a hand, he knows what a soft bed is He knows what it feels like to be loved. He is clean and healthy. He plays with toys. He still has a long way to go He will never know loneliness, cold or hunger again. I promised him an angry hand will never touch him again. God I hate cleaning up your mistakes.

Now to the team of vets that helped me rehabilitate sammy. Thank goodness you are there. That you understand how scared a rescued dog can be. Thank you for your patience and caring hands. For discounting your services and sometimes even forgetting the bill. If it were not for practices like yours ,we would not be able to save the lives we do This practice is Jarrettsville Veterinary Center in jarrettsville Maryland A wonderful woman by the name of Krista Magnifico owns the practice. We balance each other and without her Black Dogs & Company Rescue would not exist. There is a special place for her at the rainbow bridge.

Now there are wonderful folks out there that are willing to adopt a damaged dog. Bob!!! He is willing to pay an adoption fee to take a less than perfect dog!!! He will open his home and continue to help sammy become the dog he was meant to be! Unbelievable!!!!! Yes there are good people in this world. I as a rescue need to hang on to that! Don't let anyone tell you rescue is easy..I am a nurse by trade and doing rescue has been one of the hardest things I have ever done and the most rewarding. This has been one of those "rescues" I am so happy that he will have a home and that there are people out there that do care:)

I have fallen in love with this breed Maybe one day I will have one:)

Black Dogs & Company Rescue inc

Black Dog, Big Dog, Old Dog any Dog.
Just Adopt a Dog!

Over the next few months with a team of caregivers assistance Sam began to put on weight, muscle mass, and find his own sense of self.

This is Sam last week. 

He is getting his last exam with me and departing for Washington state to live with his new family. We wish him the very best of luck. We are sure that with all of the misery his life began with he is sure to have nothing but a bright future ahead of him.

Sam remains shy, and tentative, but he looks around to assess his surroundings, wags his tail, and has bonded very closely with his foster family.

I expect he will live a long healthy life and be some lucky persons constant companion.

If you have any pet related questions please find me at Pawbly, on @FreePetAdvice, or @pawbly, or Google+

If you would like more information on Black Dogs & Company Rescue please visit their Facebook page.

Update, November 13, 2013, from Sammi's new family;

Since I met him at the KOA cabin, he has behaved defensively when he is lying down and someone he doesn’t trust approaches him. Knowing this, I have been careful to step around him since the beginning, whereas, my friend just stepped over him w/o thinking. Samuel made it known he did not like that. I immediately corrected him and sent him to his room.
It just goes to show you that he can be an angel, like on the plane and at the dog park, but then he can be unpredictable, when something triggers some “bad memory”. On balance, he has been much better behaved than my last two rescues: Foster & Steven. In fact, given that he is already playing with Dalai at the Dog Park, he is already, way beyond Steven, who not only would NOT play with Dalai, he could not get along with the other dogs at the Dog Park and had to be left home when the other two went to the Dog Park almost every day.
BTW, Samuel is enrolled in "Agility for Fun" Saturday mornings along with Dalai & Scraps and after two classes has learned to run through tunnels and to do 6" high jumps.  He is also enrolled in a special class called "Connecting w/your dog" which is designed to work on problem areas.  (He still crouches down and backs away when he is offered his food bowl.)

And from the President Of Black Dogs Rescue;

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the help with this poor dog and for all the help your staff has given us..Without you we could not possibly have helped these dogs ( oh and a few cats.....I hope NKH gets up and running again taking cats at least They are great!!!)

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