We came across a house on a corner in mid-town one day over a year ago. There was a skinny male Boxer chained in a fenced yard. His water was filthy, he wasn’t neutered and he was too thin. We left our information, but the owner never called. We put this boy on our monitoring list and began visiting him regularly. One day, we finally happened to catch the owner out in the front yard. We stopped to talk to him about the Boxer. He told us that the dog’s name was Marbles. He was not that receptive and had no interest in getting Marbles neutered. There were also 2 Min Pins that lived there and they would be outside a lot of the time, too. They had a dog house.
Marbles suffered a long time. He was in a locked fenced yard with a chain and padlock around his neck. He always looked so sad. We had to try and dump his buckets through the fence because we couldn’t get into the yard. It was very hard to get the ice out of there in the winter so that we could water Marbles. Everything over here was difficult. One day in the freezing cold, we stopped by and caught the owner getting in his car. We gave him a big bundle of hay for the dog houses. He said that he was leaving, wouldn’t be gone long and to leave it by the fence and he would put it in when he got back. I decided to drive by there a couple of days later and double check and there was the hay, still sitting where we’d put it and it had new snow on it. Lazy, lazy loser of a guy.
In the summer, Marbles would have no water, an inch of black nasty water, rain water or something like that. Poor Marbles-we worried and worried and worried about this boy. He had a good dog house, was thin but not emaciated and we knew from our experience that animal control would not do anything here, so we maintained him the best we could, and we never forgot about him. We were there with meaty bones and pig ears (thank you donors!) and treats at least every couple of weeks or so.
We went to care for Marbles one day and he wasn’t there! His dog house was gone, he was gone, the Min Pins were gone. We were devastated. We talked with a neighbor that told us that the guy had moved, but he didn’t know where. Oh no-we couldn’t lose track of Marbles! What would end up happening to him without us watching out for him? We were all very sad. It is so upsetting to lose track of one of our regulars that we’ve all come to love and care for.
One day a couple of months ago, one of our outreach teams was in south Kansas City and they spotted a pretty thin Boxer wandering around. He had no collar on. They stopped and got a slip lead on him and gave him something to eat. One of the people on the block yelled at Erica and told her that he lived “down there”. The girls walked down to the house and there was a chain hooked to the fence and a big red collar laying in the front yard. A young woman was coming out of the house and Erica asked her if this was her dog. The girl said that it was her boyfriend’s dog. Erica commented on how skinny he was and asked the girl if her boyfriend even wanted the dog. The girl said that she would ask him, but she didn’t think so. Erica gave her our card and told her to talk to her boyfriend and call us if he didn’t want him and we would come over and get him. Erica snapped a few pictures of this boy and then headed back to Chain of Hope. When Erica was telling me about this, she said, “for a minute I thought it was that Boxer from Chelsea”.
The next day, the girl left a message on the Chain of Hope line that her boyfriend didn’t want the dog and asked if we could come and pick him up. I headed over to rescue this poor thing. When I pulled up to the house, I saw the Boxer laying on her front porch . OMG-it was Marbles!!! I recognized him immediately!!! I was so glad to see him again and he was SO glad to see me! We hadn’t seen Marbles in over 4 months. I couldn’t believe that we had run across him again and this time we were definitely going to be able to save him! Sweet, sweet Marbles was finally going to be ok. I texted Erica and told her that it WAS Marbles and he was now a Chain of Hope dog!!! I got this boy back to Chain of Hope. He was pretty skinny, only weighing in at 71 lbs. You could see his ribs. He was full of whip worms! We got this boy de-wormed and vaccinated. We were going to let him get rid of his parasites and put a little weight on and then we would neuter him. We decided to call him Fletcher! They always have to lose their old names with their old, miserable lives! A week or two later, we neutered Fletcher and ran his heart worm test. He was heart worm positive, but we pretty much figured that. He’d lived outside only his entire life. We would begin heart worm treatment as soon as he put on a little more weight. We wanted this boy in the best shape possible to go through his treatment.
Everyone at Chain of Hope fell in love with Fletcher!
Finally, Fletcher is all filled out, now weighing in at about 82 lbs. He is an absolutely gorgeous creature!!! What a head turner-this boy is handsome!!! Fletcher is a great dog! He plays in playgroups very well. He is very strong, but walks well on a leash. He has finished his heart worm treatment and is ready for adoption. All of that time that we cared for Fletcher the best we could through the fence, we could never really pet him and wrap our arms around him. It felt so good to be able to love on this boy, scratch his ears, rub his head-he loves it all! He always looked so sad when he was chained in mid-town. He has some big jowls that almost make him look like he’s frowning, but believe me-this boy is happier than he’s ever been!
Fletcher is a big, strong, handsome hunk of a dog! He has a great personality! His whole life has changed because our supporters keep us out there. We are so happy that we finally got this boy. It’s a miracle that we found him like we did, but I know that Chain of Hope was supposed to find him again. Now Fletcher has a life he can smile about!