Twister is a very sweet yellow lab mix that we had come across on outreach. We brought him in quite a while ago and neutered him. The woman that had him sometimes kept him on a tie-out off of her front porch, but she also let him come inside a lot. It was a pretty good situation-better than most that we deal with. We, of course, followed up and monitored Twister. He was pretty thin when we met him and he was still pretty thin a few weeks later even though we were supplying this owner with some good quality dog food. We de-wormed him and thought he would start gaining. He never did. This boy has always been thin, he didn’t really act like he was starving when we went, so we didn’t worry about it too much. We de-wormed him twice last year, just to make sure we were catching any parasites. He never acted ill and was always excited to see us.
Well, as time went by we noticed that Twister was always outside when we came by and he used to be inside part of the time. Turns out the woman now had grand babies in her house and she didn’t want the dog in there with the grand babies. Because you know that you can’t have dogs and babies or kids inside the same house. Geez….
We hadn’t been by in several weeks because compared to what we are dealing with on daily basis, Twister’s situation wasn’t good, but it wasn’t horrible. He did have a dog house on the front porch. The woman hadn’t called for food or anything, but I put Twister on the outreach list one day so that the girls could check in, see how he was doing and drop some food.
When they got out of the van, the woman came out. They started looking at Twister and it was obvious that he had a wound on his neck. His neck had yellow pus all around it and it smelled horrible! The woman told them that another dog had gotten hold of him. When the girls looked more closely, it was an embedded collar. They got his collar off and his neck was disgusting. They told the woman that they needed to get Twister into the vet, so they loaded him up. Thank goodness Twister’s wounds weren’t very deep like some we’ve seen, but I know his neck still hurt like hell.
Twister’s neck was repaired and he started the healing process. There was one puncture wound on the top of his neck where it did look like another dog had bitten him. The rest of the mess was his in-grown collar. His neck was infected and he started a round of antibiotics and pain medication.
Through everything, Twister was so good, gentle and sweet. He was still pretty thin. We ran a fecal and heart worm test. In the meantime, the woman kept calling wanting to know when her dog was going to be back. Of course, we did not want to return him. He was so happy with us, he loved going for his walks and getting the love and attention that he was finally getting. We had a conversation with the woman that we were obligated to turn this kind of neglect over to animal control. We also told her that she would have to pay Twister’s bill. She was not phased whatsoever! She said she’d deal with all that, she wanted her dog back. She was adamant about it. Twister had now been with us for about 4-5 days. We decided to let her sit and think about what we said and the fact that she may have to go to court, etc. Finally, a couple of days later, Dr. Kennedy called her and also told her that she was obligated to turn this into animal control as a cruelty and that there were going to be repercussions for this. She also told her that she wasn’t happy with his body weight, that he was too thin. She gave her the option to sign the dog over to Chain of Hope and avoid animal cruelty charges and finally the woman did! Thank you, Dr. Kennedy. This was Twister’s only ticket out of his situation. Leah and Devin went right over to her house to get her signature on the relinquishment form and Twister was now ours! We always change their names when they leave their horrible lives and begin their new lives. We named him Gabe. Look at the smile on Gabe’s face when we told him that he didn’t have to go back there!!!
There are only good things to say about Gabe. He is the BEST dog. He is adorable, very well-behaved and very loving. He liked being with other dogs, but he had no idea how to play with them! He’s made some pretty cool friends at Chain of Hope, though. He, Harley (a brindle pit) and Maisy (black wiry-haired lab mix) are all buddies. I was standing at the window the other day watching these 3 in the yard. Gabe had been doing a lot of just kind of being near Harley and Maisy when they were playing and watching them, because he didn’t know what to do. The other day when I was watching them, Maisy was really trying to get Gabe to play with her. She had a toy in her mouth and she kept trying to tease Gabe with it. After a bit of that, Gabe finally took hold and shook it and he and Maisy started playing tug-of-war! It really brought tears to my eyes to see both of them so joyful. Gabe had finally figured it out! This playing with another dog thing is pretty fun!
What I’d like to point out is that when you see one of our stories like this where the dog eventually becomes ours, you have no idea what goes on behind the scenes to secure that dog’s freedom. We deal with all kinds of people and most of them in this type of situation are not very nice. People yell at us, cuss at us, and threaten us, There is usually a lot of tension in situations like this and a lot of back and forth. It can be very tense and it can even be dangerous, but we stay in the fight . We persevere through it all and accomplish our goal and because of that, Gabe and so many others are free. It is worth it all!
If you would like to offer Gabe a foster home or an adoptive home, please go to http://www.chainofhopekc.org and go to our adoptable pets page to find the application! He is an amazing dog. He deserves the most loving home after what he’s been through. He is grateful to be at Chain of Hope. Gabe’s neck is almost healed up. This is a perfect example of why it’s so important to monitor these animals and stay in touch with that household. Nobody does it better!