There was a house in northeast KC that we had only been at a few times in the past. They had 3 dogs on chains and we had been there getting them on tie-out cables, etc. I had stopped there about a month or two ago and given them ear gel and some treats. Two of the dogs were back on chains because the owner said that they broke their tie-outs. We happened to be driving down this street a couple of weeks ago and we decided to pull over to check on these dogs. I was so thankful that we did-it was terrible.
When we got out of the van and I looked up at the backyard, I could see bright red blood on the ears of the chocolate lab mix all the way in the back. His name was Cujo. Ridiculous! He wasn’t anything like a “Cujo”. I knew his ears were going to be awful when we got up close if I could see the bright red blood from the street. They also have a white husky mix and a black dog named Shay that happened to be the chocolate lab mix’s mom. She was now spayed and the husky was fixed, but the lab boy was not neutered yet. He was about 8 months old and he was on a fairly thick chain.
A guy came out to talk to us and we walked back to the dogs with him. The lab mix’s ears were a mess. They looked so painful. The husky’s ears were bleeding, too. The black dog’s ears, however, were not affected. Weird why the flies go after some dogs and not others. It was a very hot day when we were there. The heat index was 105 degrees. There were flies everywhere. Cujo’s ears had clusters of flies attached to them, just eating at his ears. It was disgusting. We were standing in the middle of a hell hole.
Of course, when we expressed much concern about the dogs, the person we were talking to decided that he better go “wake up the owner”. You think?
The owner came out and proceeded to tell us that Cujo’s ears were so bad because “he wouldn’t let her put the ear gel on”. I love this when they blame the dog for it’s miserable existence. Cujo was on a chain and he was not aggressive, how hard could it be to get ear gel on him? This was laziness and not giving a damn. We get the same thing all day long when water buckets are knocked over. It’s always the dog’s fault! Like the people can’t solve that problem until we come along and tell them how to fix it. It is infuriating and so frustrating when owners stand there and blame the dog for his conditions that he can’t even do a damn thing about. You think we don’t get mad listening to that garbage over and over again? We have to suck it up and continue trying to help that animal the best way that we can. Hopefully, we get animals relinquished that are living a horrible existence-but that all depends on how many foster homes we have to put them in! It’s always a challenge.
We have never been able to touch the husky. She can be aggressive and the owner always has to put the ear gel on her and hang the fly bag in her area. Shay, the black dog, seemed to be doing ok. Her ears were not affected and she was at a good body weight.
Cujo’s ears were the worst we had seen this summer. I told the owner that Cujo needed to get into the vet and get those ears taken care of. I also told her that if we brought him in for his ears, we were going to neuter him. She said that was fine. These ears were raw, bloody, very painful. Cujo was nervous and did not like anyone reaching toward him to pet him because his ears hurt so bad.
There was no excuse for this. How this poor, poor boy had suffered. We kept Cujo for a few days-the wounds on the ears were very deep. Patty then called the owners and basically told them that this was animal neglect and that we were obligated to turn this in as cruelty. We told the owner that she could sign Cujo over to Chain of Hope and we’d take it from here-get him healthy, pay the medical bills and find him a loving, forever home with someone who gave a damn about him. She signed him over.
Arriving at Chain of Hope with Erica!
Of course, one of the first things we do is change their name and help them lose their old life. Cujo was now Dudley and he was on his way to finally being a happy dog. He was shy at first and his ears hurt horribly. We medicated them daily, but just reaching toward him to pet him would cause him to duck his head down. Poor baby.
Dudley has just blossomed at Chain of Hope! It’s been fun to watch him come out of his shell and enjoy life. I love to watch him play and wrestle with the other dogs-he was never able to do that before. Dudley’s ears are healing and he is filling out. He is about 9 months old now. He is crate-trained, doing awesome, and he’s up for adoption!
We told Dudley when we rescued him that he was going to like being a Chain of Hope dog and now he totally agrees!
Yes, we are concerned about the other two dogs and yes, we wish we could rescue all of them. We will stay involved and make sure that they are taken better care of. The owner has already called to say that she is getting pretty low on ear gel. Maybe we are starting to educate her, who knows?
Dudley is a precious boy. I hope he’ll never remember the despair of his first several months of life. We wouldn’t have been able to rescue Dudley without your continued support, so thank you!
I tell Dudley that we are the lucky ones to have him!!!