Chain of Hope received a call from someone that we hadn’t heard from in a long time. They said that their dog hadn’t eaten in 3 days!
Last summer they had gotten a mixed breed puppy and called us for assistance. I don’t know where they got it from, but it started out in the house at first. Then they were tying it up on the front porch and leaving it out there with no shelter. They were not receptive to neutering him, so we quit going there. I believe animal control made them get a dog house. Eventually, the dog ended up on a chain in the backyard. It was a slow progression to loneliness and banishment.
Judy just decided to stop there one day a couple of months ago and thank goodness she did. The dog house that they had gotten for him had a hole in it and they had tried to make some kind of home made patch for it. It was raining and the inside of the house was getting wet. Judy set him up with a good dog house and some hay. That was weeks ago and we hadn’t been back over there at all. One day during all of those snow storms that we had recently, the lady called and said that her dog had no food and that he had not eaten in 3 days. Patty asked them if they hadn’t had any scraps, left overs, etc. for the dog and she replied that they didn’t. Hmm… I went right over and knocked on the door, carrying a big bag of dog food with me. A young lady came to the door and I told her that I was with Chain of Hope and that I had brought some dog food for the dog. She said thanks and I told her that I was going to go around back and put some hay in his house and feed him. She said ok and shut the door, leaving the dog food I had just brought her sitting on the front porch.
Judy and I rounded the corner to the back yard (always a moment that I hold my breath-we have found incredibly sad things). There was a reddish shep/lab/rottie mix wrapped around a pole. He had no collar, just a chain wrapped around his neck. He had two dog houses, the one that they had patched and the one that Judy had taken. He was so wrapped up around a pole that he could only get into the old, wooden patched house and there was absolutely nothing in there for bedding-just the wooden bottom of the dog house. We had some really freezing nights (and days!) and this is what this dog had for shelter. There was a good dog house sitting right there, but he couldn’t reach it because he was so tangled. It was very obvious that he’d been like that awhile or got like that often because there was dog poop all in that small concentrated area. This poor boy had been forced to poop, eat and sleep pretty much just all right there together-he could not move much at all.
We fed this poor boy and he ate like he hadn’t eaten in 3 days! We got a good collar on him, along with a tie-out cable and got rid of that chain. We fed and watered him good, gave him lots of hay in both houses and gave him a pig ear to chew on. Even though we had fixed him up really well, I could not stand to leave this boy here. He was breaking my heart. Judy said she was going to the van and I said, “Good, because I’m going back up to the door. ”
I went back to the front door and knocked. The same young lady came to the door. There were some kids running around in the background and a couple of other people there as well. She opened the door and I said, “First of all, you need to pull that dog food I just brought you into the house and not leave it out here in the cold and snow.” She pulled the bag into the house. Then I told her that the city ordinance was that if a dog is chained or tied out, the chain or cable must be at least 3x the length of the dog’s body. I told her that from what I saw when I went back there, there were several violations. I finally just asked her, “Do you guys even want this dog?” and she said, “it’s my momma’s and she can’t feed it.” I told her I realized that, I told her how hungry he was and how fast he had eaten and then she said, “She can’t take care of it. Do you want me to call her?” I said ,”Please do.” She closed the door and came back in about 3 or 4 min. and told me that we could take the dog. I asked her if she was 17 to sign the relinquishment form. She smiled at me and said, “I’m 27.” As far as I was concerned, everyone who lived in that house and let that dog sit out there starving for 3 days, was just as responsible as everyone else.
I headed to the backyard to get my friend. He was so excited when I came back there. I don’t know if he knew what was going on, but I love this picture of him as I’m getting his tie-out unhooked. His eyes are closed and I just imagine him wishing, wishing, hoping that we are about to take him out of his hell.
We loaded him in the back of the van, along with the nicer dog house we had given them, the new tie-out cable we’d just put him on and the bag of dog food we’d just given them. Henry had a worried brow, but we told him this was the best day of his life!
We ended up picking up another dog that day, so Henry (as we named him) moved up front with Judy and me.
We got Henry set up at Chain of Hope. We were so happy that we’d gotten this guy and that that night, he would be inside on a soft blanket in the warmth, with a full belly. What a sweetheart! He really is just a big baby-close to a year. It was just incredible to go out in the yard with him and watch him run and smell and have so much fun! He was finally free!
Henry plays with Gavin, a high-energy male that we have and also Lilly, our little brindle pit girl. They are a playgroup of 3 and do great together. Henry is really blossoming. He had so much to learn-no one had shown him anything. He’s a good boy and he wants to please. He is a handsome boy, about 50 lbs. Gorgeous reddish coat. Henry is stunning! He could sure use a foster or adoptive home! Call 816-221-8080 if interested in helping Henry.
We adore this boy! It was such a beautiful thing to witness when we turned him loose in the yard. Off of that chain and free to run and play. Pure joy!