Looking forward to hearing about Yella Fella and Goldie.
Looking forward to hearing about Yella Fella and Goldie.
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand and strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!
Sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can't see
Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.
Scamp represents one of those times in your life for which you can be thankful that you were the one. I am thankful that I am the one who found Scamp that day.
I was driving down one of those lonely country roads that we have here in North Mississippi, when in the distance I could see something in the road. As I approached, it appeared to be a dog -- a puppy, but I couldn't really tell. As I got closer I could see that whatever it was, it was trotting down the road in my direction. Eventually I came adjacent to it, then passed it, and as I did so I slowed way down and peered out my window at it as I drove by. What is it? What kind of animal is that? Is that a ..., could that be a ..., a dog?
I stopped my truck in the middle of the road, got out, and began to follow it. When I did that that it took off. I followed the little creature, which was no larger than a number 6 shoe size, as it crossed the ditch and into the field on the other side. Soon I was top of it, but as I reached out to grab it, it turned and growled and snapped it jaws. It was a dog! Maybe. Could it be a puppy? Puppies are usually cute and cuddly, and they wag their tails and run to jump into your arms, but this guy -- this guy was snarling and snapping and letting me know with all his soul that he was not interested in wagging his tail or jumping into my arms.
Fortunately I carry dog-catching equipment in my truck, among which is a blanket. I retrieved the blanket and chased back after the dog. Eventually I caught up with it and threw the blanket over it and caught it. It fought and snarled and growled all the way back to the truck. I threw it into the cab of my truck and drove off. I arrived at the vet that very day.
Once again I heard the question: "Whatcha got there, Dan?"
"You tell me!"
"Uh, looks like a rat or a possum or a ..., don't tell me that's a puppy!"
Well, it was a puppy. Although he didn't exactly look canine. He had not one strand of hair, and the skin was sloughing off on nearly every inch of his body. He had what appeared to be warts covering nearly every square inch and his ears where full of crevices. He had open sores and bones showing and ..., well, he was a mess.
The resident technician tried to give him a bath, but he was adamant. He was having none of that. So he was sedated, and he got his bath anyway, and he got some shots and just a good general going over. It was a puppy that had somehow survived on its own out in the middle of absolutely no where. Surely this one was born in the wild, since he seemed to have no appreciation of humans. Maybe I was the first human being he had ever seen.
I knew immediately that I had myself another creature that was going to recquire time and energy and patience -- lots of patience. I took him home with me and put him in one of my bathrooms. The floors in my house are ceramic throughout (good thing!). Every day I put the puppy in the bathtub while I mopped his floor with hot bleach water and changed his bedding. He got fresh bedding every day. He had been de-wormed, but I still gave him half a CC of Ivomec each day along with some good grub. Within a day or two he had calmed down enough to stop growling every time I went into the bathroom.
As each day went by I would observe the pup as I went in to feed him and check on him. For one thing he was so distended with worms that he could not lay on his belly. He always lay on his back. Each day I would bathe him in warm, soapy water with a little bleach. The skin would slough off in waves. The best way I can describe him is "Yoda." Yoda without any hair at all. He was some ugly little creature.
For two weeks he lay in the bathroom, slowly gaining confidence in his surroundings and me. One day I decided to take him out and hold him a while. I took off my shirt and wrapped him in a towel next to my bare chest. His little body was hot. But he no did not growl or snarl. He had stopped trying to bite me. His face began to take on the look of a smile.
Within time I introduced him to the rest of the clan. It took a while, but slowly he began to gain some hair. He would grow, and the hair would appear. And things would disappear. First my house shoes disappeared. Then anything on the floor that wasn't nailed down would disappear. This is where he earned his name: "Scamp." What a scamp he was. Always stealing things.
Scamp would eventually grow up as all pups do. He got over his fear of me, but to this day he runs and hides when a stranger comes for a visit. But at night just before we go to bed, Scamp will waddle up to me, backside swinging back and forth, and he will want to kiss and hug for a few minutes. Then he will go off and find a comfortable place on the floor. In the morning he has to have his sugar before he runs off to play. He and Oscar and Sam and Fred are all great friends. They run and play and fight and fuss. And Scamp? He is and always will be a thief.
Now where are my shoes? It's time to get ready for work.
You can see here where the mange ate away part of Scamp's ear:
Scamp turned into quite a good-looking boy:
I had visited your website today before ever seeing this thread! I enjoyed it very much and had planned to return!
Kim Loves Cats and Doggies Too!
Willow Oak, as I was away when you started this thread, I must welcome you to PT, and say that it's great to read about your many animals that live at your amazing home!
Life with Buddy began about six years ago with a white speck in the distance, away off in the woods. I could tell it was a cat, since hardly any other creature is so snow white in appearance. In the beginning he wouldn't let me get within 100 yards. Months passed, and the only appearance of this cat would be distant, and if I approached, he would run off.
In the meantime I had other animals to feed, and of the many cats I cared for several of them were of the strictly outside variety, so I had food available for them out under a lean-to, which was attached to one of the outbuildings. A year or more went by, during which time I would notice the white cat, mostly out away from the house in the woods, but occasionally I would see him near where the other cats would feed. Many months and weeks would pass before I would finally get to see that he was eating from the food that I had left for the other cats.
"Buddy," I would eventually call him, because I could only think to call him that when I would speak to him. I would see him eating with the other cats. Fortunately he did appear to get along with the other cats. In time I would attempt to approach him while he was feeding, but he would always run off. He would eventually allow me to approach without running off, but he would only allow me to stand near, probably no closer than 10 feet. From there he would eat and observe me obliquely with a wary eye. This standoff continued for another several weeks and months. Closer I would inch until Buddy would allow me to stand within even just a few feet as he would eat. From this position I would have to be satisfied to be in Buddy's presence while he ate for at least another year before he would allow me to approach even within an arm's length.
Eventually I knew I would make an attempt to touch him. At least three years had passed since I first saw Buddy, and it had taken me all of that time with much patience and perseverance to find myself with my hand outstretched to the cat that had come to consume so much of my thoughts and energy. In a flash he let me know his opinion of my disposition. My arm looked like someone had taken a box cutter and hit me with it three or four times. A pretty site it was not, and it felt not much different. This would be my experience with Buddy for another several weeks and months. Buddy was a "bruiser" and well endowed when it came to claws and teeth, and he was quick, as well as bold and brave. He no longer ran from me or avoided me, but he wouldn't let me touch him. I paid the price for every attempt. I knew, however, that if I were to ever help him out I had to catch him somehow.
I did not have a small animal trap, but I did devise one out of an old hamster cage. I set the cage out and put food in it. Eventually I did find him alone in the cage eating, and sprung the trap. Buddy made one brave attempt after another to tear his way through the cage, and I had to use a garden tool to pick the cage up. I was able to successfully deliver Buddy to the Vet where he was properly neutered and even received some teeth work. He had his ears cleaned out, received the shots he needed, and just received a good going over.
I returned home with him and locked him into one of my bedrooms. I observed him for a day or two, by easing myself into the room. He was not eating nor was he using his litter box. He was recovering from his visit to the Vet, and he was also recovering his mean disposition. He was not in a good mood. I do not have central heat and air so during the summer I leave the windows up with screens in place. After a few days in the room, buddy found a way out. I went in one day and could not find him anywhere. However I did find a large hole in the screen of one of the windows. Buddy had torn through the screen and escaped to the outside.
It would be weeks before I saw Buddy again. He would eventually find his way back to my sister's house where I had first seen him. I live next door and would go down to my sister's house to feed the cats that were there. I had my own set of cats but always took the initiative to see to it that all of the animals at both properties were fed and cared for. Buddy was back eating with the outdoor cats there. So I had to start over, and it took several weeks before Buddy would allow me back into his presence. However, even though he was still pretty rough, he would not spit and scowl as much as he had before when I approached. Oh, I received another slash or two from those lethal claws, but I never gave up. I continued to reach forth my hand, and Buddy continued to rebuff my advances with a well-timed slash of the paw. Then one day, with hand outstretched I very quickly touched his back then yanked back my hand. At the same instance buddy turned and scowled and raised his paw, but he did not strike. He bared his teeth to me and stared with a sour warning of beware.
Time went on this way, and I would snatch little touches of Buddy with him scowling and hissing menacingly, each time raising his paw in a striking position, but never quite launching out at me. And then one day I reached out quickly and put my hand ever so lightly on his back, but instead of retreating it quickly to avoid his retaliation I left it there. I braced for what I knew was coming. Quickly Buddy turned around and ducked his head, hissing his disapproval. But instead of lashing out with his paw as I was expecting he just moved away. And he only moved a couple of inches, but at least my hand was still intact.
This situation continued for another week or two, but eventually I found myself stroking Buddy's back and fur, without fear of retaliation from this ball of white fur, which for so long had been a bundle of nerves and energy. Over time Buddy began to mellow. And it did not take much longer. Eventually I placed both of my hands on Buddy's sides and with much fear and trepidation on my part, Buddy let me pick him up. I would do this again and again, holding him for longer periods of time each time.
Once again I delivered Buddy to my house. The relationship between Buddy and me improved through the weeks and months, even to the point to where Buddy would rub faces with me as I held him.
Nowadays, Buddy talks to me when I approach him. He'll even run up to me and wait to be picked up. Face rubs are his favorite thing to do now, and if he ever throws out a paw it is to pull me back to him when I let him go. Always are his claws sheathed when he hits me with his paw.
Buddy, I love you so!
I snapped this picture months ago. It was a cold morning, and the camera kept fogging up, and Buddy wouldn't be still:
At one point I had to reach out and hold him steady. There was a day when that hand would have been dead meat:
I took the following picture after I brought him to my house to live. In his day, Buddy was a bruiser, as you can tell:
I took the following picture just a few days after I had my heart attack. It's great to still be here to get a hug from my favorite "Buddy:"
You're a very good story-teller. Please keep writing.
I don't have much time to read much for pleasure these days, but just read this whole thread. I love that you're helping these animals... and they are helping you too.
Welcome to Pet Talk!
I will miss you forever, my sweet Scooter Bug. You were my best friend. 9/21/1995 - 1/23/2010
Goodbye, Oreo. 4/17/2003 - 9/12/2011. Gone too soon.
WO - please read Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
And Please See "Pay It Forward"
"The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage." -- Mark Russell
The weather [I mean climate] in North Mississippi is pretty temperate, but early springtime can be quite cool, and it was on one of these days that I decided to take a drive in the countryside. I had already begun to collect cats, and by this time Bonnie had come to live with me. Even today in Mississippi we have those old, rickety wooden bridges that cross lonely creeks with names like Tallahatchie and Tuscumbia. On my drive I came upon a small but steep creek and slowed as I crossed the bridge. With my window down I drank in the fresh air and listened to the chatter of birds among the trees. This is the time of year when birds are hatching in their hundreds and whole trees come alive with their noise. Sometimes the chirp of a bird can sound like the yelp of a puppy, don't you think? And for some reason I found myself thinking this as I heard the sharp chirping of a bird coming from a direction that would place the bird under the bridge, not up in the trees.
It was without reluctance that I stopped on the bridge and exited the car. I went to the side of the bridge, which had no railing, and peered the 20 feet or so to the rushing water of the creek below. To my surprise I was looking directly at a fully grown dog lying on a ledge about halfway down. That wasn't the puppy I thought I heard, so where did the crying come from? Of course, I was curious about the dog, but what to do? I am just out for a relaxing drive, I am not exactly jumping for joy at having to deal with this. But, what could I do? The climb down was steep, almost vertical, but there were many crags and crevices to aid in footing, so down I went.
When rescuing a stray animal you always have to take into consideration the health of the animal involved. We still have rabies in this country, and dogs are especially vulnerable. This dog was very lethargic and not at all moving, so what was I going to do here? I got down to near where the dog was and stopped and looked about. I didn't see any other animals. The dog observed me but showed no anxiety as I approached. After several minutes of wondering what to do I made my decision. I knelt beside the dog and placed my hands on the ground immediately adjacent. She didn't move. Then I just went for it. I shoved my arms underneath the dog and lifted her out. It took a while, and the journey out of the ditch was precarious, but eventually I delivered her to the back seat of my car.
After that I returned to the side of the bridge for one last look. It was then that I heard the noise again. Surely there is a puppy down there somehwere, I said to myself. Boy I did not want to have to descend to the bottom of this ditch, but there is no mistaking that sound. So, reluctantly I began my descent. I went all the way to the bottom. On my way down I said to myself that I reminded myself of Steve Irwin. Anyways, on the bottom down near the water I could not hear the noise I had heard earlier. There was trash down there. Someone had thrown away some plywood and other such building materials. I kicked at a piece of plywood, and immediately a yelping started up. There was a puppy, no older than four or five weeks, maybe barely weaned, wedged underneath. I was able to scoop him up, and made the ascent out of the ditch. Another long climb, and I delivered the pup to what I presumed was its mother.
Of course, the expedient thing to do at that time would be jump in my car and head home. Even though it was early spring it was still cold outside, and I was starting to feel it. But, I had to take one more look. Yes, I could still hear a puppy somewhere, so down I went. I found another puppy after walking a ways down the creek. This one was on the other side of the creek -- joy, joy. So I jumped the six to eight feet to the other side, then back up the steep incline and to my car.
In all I would descend to the bottom of the creek six times. Five puppies I would retrieve, and in the end I would find another adult female, which turned out to be the mother. The first dog evidently was familiar with the family, but she was not the mother. The whole crew would be delivered to the local animal shelter.
I had an opportunity to revisit the shelter a few weeks later. While I was there the manager of the shelter related to me that all of the puppies had survived and had been adopted. That was certainly gratifying news. The puppies' mother had also been adopted, also good news.
And what of the first dog that I had rescued? Although she didn't look like much on that day when I carried her in my arms up the steep incline of that ditch, she transformed herself into a bubbly, bouncing, barking, and gorgeous long-haired laborador retriever, and she too had been adopted. She was adopted by a Search and Rescue team from an adjacent state.
Now she is out rescuing humans.
Last edited by Willow Oak; 08-18-2008 at 04:24 PM. Reason: spelling, of course
I've been Boooo'd!
Wonderful, sometimes heart rending, but mostly heart warming reading, Willow Oak. Bless you for what you have done and still do for all those animals.
I have a friend in PA who is single and would love sleeping with a hundred dogs! I'm gonna tell her about you. She has two dogs, two cats and a horse.
you'd have to ask her whether she'd sleep with you.
Forever in my heart...
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