I first met Buddy, a wonderful little black and white pit bull over 2 yrs. ago. We found him in south KC chained to a tree, skinny, with no shelter and not neutered. I met his owner, Carla, and we started making improvements over here. We got him a dog house and hay. We helped them out with food. We had no spay/neuter money at the time and Carla had no money, so Buddy was not neutered right away. Carla did step up his care, though. Buddy put on weight and we would find clean water and food when we’d go by.
We finally had a spay/neuter grant and so I brought Buddy in for his neuter. He was coughing at the time, and had a bloated belly, both symptoms of advanced heart worm disease. The vet went ahead and tested him and Buddy was positive for heart worms. I know this is sad, but most of our dogs that we take care of in the hood have heart worms. Most of the inner city dogs are chained outside and so they are highly susceptible to getting heart worms from infected mosquitoes. There is nothing we can do. Most of the owners we deal with have no or very little money for vet care. They do not put their dogs on heart worm prevention because they can’t afford it. When the dog pops up positive, they can’t afford treatment. All we can do is monitor these dogs and tell the owners what to watch for as far as aggravating symptoms-the coughing, the bloated belly, etc. I have held far too many dogs in my arms as they are euthanized because we find them chained outside with advanced heart worm disease and there’s no choice. It is expensive to treat even one dog, let alone the hundreds that are out there.
I took Buddy home and explained everything to Carla. She was upset as I told her that Buddy’s cough was from the advancing heart worms. She asked if there was anything she could do. I told her how expensive it was and that if she could get the money together, I could get him in for her. I told her that it wouldn’t do any good if she was going to put him right back out there around the tree. I told her that she needed to make him an indoor dog. Even though there was an issue with watching out for the landlord, she did! She made Buddy an indoor dog!!! After all that time being chained to the tree, now he was inside! This is why we work so hard.
A few months later, Carla ended up moving and she called and gave us her new address. I went over to see them and Buddy came to the door with Carla. He was still coughing, of course. Carla asked me again about treating Buddy for heart worms. I really wanted to help her because she had made a dramatic change for the better with this incredible dog. I told her that if she could somehow come up with $100 to put towards his treatment, Chain of Hope would cover the rest. She thought she could at the beginning of the next month.
Carla had a lot of friends in the neighborhood and they all tended to congregate in her front yard in folding chairs, talking and drinking. If they were all out there, they brought Buddy out and hooked him up to a tie-out so he could be with them. Everyone loved Buddy! If they weren’t out there, Buddy was not out there. Believe me, I spot checked her at different times of the day and evening!
When the first of next month rolled around, I went to Carla’s to see about Buddy and the money for his treatment. Of course, she didn’t have the money to put towards his treatment. Happens all the time. Buddy was coughing a lot and his belly was bloated. I knew we had to get him treated or it was going to be too late. I told Carla that we’d take care of it somehow and I made arrangements for Buddy to begin his treatment. He did a round of a couple of medications previous to starting his treatment to help him get through the treatment. The day finally came and I brought Buddy in for his first heart worm treatment. He took it like a champ! He’s such a good boy!
I stopped by and checked up on these guys a couple of times that next week and everything was going well. Carla was getting his pills down him okay. Buddy was happy to see me and seemed to be doing pretty well.
About a week later, I received a call from Carla on a Thursday. She wanted to know if I could take Buddy-she was getting evicted! Oh no! I did not see that coming! I had no room to bring another pit bull into our program. I asked her how much time she had and she said until Monday. I told her to try to make arrangements for him with family or friends and see what she could do. I told her we had to get him in on time for his next heart worm treatment. We decided to give her the weekend and touch base on Monday.
When we talked on Monday, Carla told me that she had found a place for him with a friend. Buddy would have to go back outside on a chain! Oh no! I was not going to let that happen. That’s how we found this boy, he was not going back to that. I told her somehow I’d make space for him, could she give me until Tuesday? She said yes. Tuesday morning, Carla called me and told me that the sheriff had been there and ordered her out and that she was at the neighbor’s house. I asked her where Buddy was and she said he was still over in her house. I told her to go get him immediately and that I would be there as fast as I could. I did not want the sheriff to call animal control to remove Buddy.
I pulled up to get Buddy. Carla was pretty upset. She kissed him and she cried. She told Buddy, “Now you have two mommies”. It was sad, but at least he was safe. Chain of Hope gets calls every day with people asking us to take a pit bull and the answer is always no. We run across so many pit bulls that need help that if we ever get space, we have no problem getting one out of a hell hole. But Buddy-there is no way that boy was going back around a tree.
I could see the stress on Carla’s face from everything that was happening to her. She is like so many that we work with-barely hanging on by a thread. Even though there are a lot of tragic stories on this blog, there are many, many people in the inner city that love their animals. Chain of Hope is often the only lifeline that enables someone to be able to hang on to their animal, rather than have it go to a shelter. We are here to help people that are struggling, but otherwise are trying to take care of their animal. We’ve helped many people who have lost their job, been homeless, live in a car, etc. We wish Carla well and hope she gets on her feet soon.
I loaded Buddy up and he looked out the window as we drove away from his house. He must’ve been wondering what was happening now and where was he going? I told him what I tell all of our rescues, “It’s all good, you’re a Chain of Hope dog now! We do the worrying for you from now on!”
We got Buddy settled back at Chain of Hope. He is a great dog! He is loving being here. He gets so excited when we get him out of his run. He runs around and dances-he’s a really happy dog! He has one of the cutest faces we’ve ever seen. He has an adorable under bite and has great expressions.
Buddy is totally digging getting canned food everyday! He really loves his canned food!
Buddy is receiving his 2nd heart worm treatment today, Dec. 2, 2013! Send him some good vibes, prayers, good thoughts and some good mojo! He had a severe case of heart worms, but so far, so good!
Buddy is one of the luckiest pit bulls I know! His entire life turned around once Chain of Hope got involved with him. He made it out of the hood and he’s receiving heart worm treatment. I think Buddy thinks he’s already gotten the best Christmas present of all! Thank you, donors, you made this happen!