We had been involved with Spike for over a year. I can’t even remember if the owner called for help or we just saw him chained up. He was an adorable little brindle male pit bull who had very closely cropped ears-pretty sad. Spike lived with a woman named Kathy. He seemed to really like her and she seemed to really love him. Kathy told us that she got him from some people that had too many dogs that were not well cared for.
Kathy would come out back with us and show us how she danced with Spike, etc. He was at a good body weight, he usually had clean water, had a good dog house up off the ground on a pallet and he was social. He loved it when we stopped by! Compared to a lot of chained dogs, he was certainly not the worst we’d seen.
We cared for Spike in the hot summer months. We kept him clear of flies and fleas as best we could.
We cared for Spike in the freezing winter months.
At first, things were good. But then we started noticing that Spike’s care was slipping. We would find knocked over water buckets and empty food bowls. He would always have all kinds of contraptions around his neck. Kathy told us that he broke everything they put him on. We gave them numerous collars and tie-out cables, but almost always he’d be on some kind of weird thing when we’d go back. In the picture below, he even has an electrical cord wound up in all that chain. We never knew how we would find him anymore.
Kathy had a guy that moved in with her. I noticed that when he came to the back yard with us, he would talk pretty sternly to Spike. Spike never acted afraid of him, but when I think back, Kathy was always there, too, so maybe that’s why. We were getting pretty concerned about Spike, though. Kathy kept telling me that they were going to move. They were trying to get into Section 8 housing. She told me that they weren’t going to be able to take Spike. I asked her what she was going to do with him and she told me that the people that they got him from said that they could take him back. I asked Kathy to please not do that. I told her that if they got to that point, t0 call me and I would come and get him and figure something out. I told her that Spike was not going to fall through the cracks. I gave her my cell number and she assured me that she’d call. We continued to stop in and care for him and every time, Kathy would talk about moving. This went on for about 6 months and I was beginning to wonder if they were ever going to move.
I was usually the one that went to Spike’s house on outreach. When I would put it on someone else’s list, they would come back and tell me that Spike was very shy with them, almost acting scared. When I would go and check on him, he would be excited to see me and act normal. I thought he just knew me better because he saw me more often than the others. One day, however, about a month ago, I stopped by and Spike was not himself. He would not come to me-he was a totally different dog. He stayed kind of behind the dog house, he acted very shy. It was totally different than how he’d been with me before. No one was home for me to talk to about Spike’s behavior.
It’s hard to imagine, but when we’re racing around trying to get to as many dogs as possible, especially with the extreme temperatures and wind chills that we’ve been having, we are shoving straw in the houses, feeding and watering and moving on. We have to operate that way when the wind chills are zero. We try so hard to get to as many as we can. I shoved a bunch of straw in Spike’s house, put down food and water, left a rawhide for him and moved on. I made a note that I needed to get back over here soon and check on him again because something wasn’t right.
The next week was super cold and April and I headed over to check on Spike. We knocked, but no one was home. It didn’t look like anyone had been there. Their mail was spilling out of their mail slot. We went to the back yard and there was Spike. He was very scared and he was sad-it was heart-breaking. He, of course, had another contraption around his neck. He was so scared, he didn’t want me to touch him. What in the hell had happened to this boy? Had the guy at the house been abusive to him? I don’t know. Kathy was kind of crazy and could easily have had two sides to her. We’d seen some strange behavior over here in the past. Regardless, it was obvious that Spike had been abandoned. These people’s mail was crammed in the slot and hadn’t been picked up in quite a while. They were gone and they had just left poor Spike there. Unfortunately, we’ve seen this many, many times before.
It took a long time for us to get Spike free. He was so scared, I had to go very, very slowly with him while trying to get everything off of him. It broke my heart to see this dog so broken like this. He used to jump up on us and be so excited to see us. Something bad had happened to this boy, but he was leaving his hell right now.
We got Spike settled in at Chain of Hope. We always change their names because they have to leave that old life behind and begin their new, wonderful life with a brand new name! I named this little guy Harley. We kept him in the back of our facility where it’s quiet. Harley was nervous, but he ate well and I knew he’d sleep well because now he was inside and warm.
Harley started relaxing. We just went slow with him, but by the 3rd day he’d decided Chain of Hope was a pretty cool place to be! We introduced him to a couple of other dogs and he’s done very well. He and Lorenzo, another young brindle, male pit, are pretty good buddies. I call them “my brindle boys”. Harley is super cute and he is now a happy dog. He has been getting a lot of love and attention at Chain of Hope. ..and rawhides, and good food, and great friends and soft blankets and fresh water and lots of scratches and hugs!
Like so many of the dogs Chain of Hope rescues off of chains, Harley is heart worm positive and will begin his treatment soon. He could sure use a foster home or an adoptive home. He is much more relaxed, but could very much benefit from a foster home. He needs to get used to things like the TV being on, a dishwasher going, etc. If you’re interested if fostering or adopting Harley, please go to http://www.chainofhopekc.org and go to our adoptable pets page to find both the foster app and the adoption app! We can’t wait to see this boy in his forever, loving home where he never has to worry about anything again. For now, he is safe and he is much loved. We are very thankful for you, Harley!