A few weeks ago, my mother found a stray dog wandering around her front yard. It was a scruffy little dog. With the help of my brother-in-law, my mother coaxed the dog in her back yard so that she could give it some water and food and check her tags. It was apparent the dog was blind and obviously scared.

My mom gave her water and she gulped it down like she hadn’t had a drink in a while. My brother-in-law checked her tag on her collar and it was an old outdated city license tag – 2007.

My mom called me to tell me about the dog and I told her to hang onto the dog and I’d come and check it out in the morning. I went first thing the next morning with my camera and was immediately struck that something was not right with the dog. Aside from being blind, she was filthy, had overgrown fur and she walked funny. I noticed she didn’t have a tail! I assumed someone had cut it off. As a matter of fact, her whole behind area looked weird and she walked funny. My first assumption when I saw her was that she was an abused dog. It was heartbreaking.

She didn’t want anyone petting her and she wandered around my mom’s porch and yard bumping into things along the way. I took a couple of pictures of her and told my mom I’d make posters and put them up around the neighborhood and at the Flying Star by her house.

I went home, made the posters and posted her picture on Facebook and asked all my North Valley friends if they recognized her or knew of anyone that was missing a dog. I had no clue what kind of dog she was. She looked like a black and red fox to me with way overgrown hair and no tail!

On my Facebook page I stated that she looked like maybe she was a victim of abuse. The comments came pouring in. No one recognized her, but they were concerned she would go back to an unhappy home.

My mom scoured the lost and found in the paper. I checked the pound and shelter websites and Craigslist. It was suggested that if we couldn’t find the owner, we take her to a shelter. I called Animal Humane and they said they’d have to screen her first and it wasn’t a guarantee that they’d take her. Putting her to sleep was a possibility. And there was an intake fee of $35. Or they suggested I call the pound.

Fellow Duke City Fix member Rudolfo immediately offered a safe home for her and suggested Watermelon Mountain Ranch. I called and found out that they have a $200 surrender fee.

Rudolfo was so concerned about the dog that he called me and offered to pick her up and bathe her and keep her until he could take her to a vet. I described her to him and at the time I thought she may have had an infection on her behind area. It just looked weird back there. He said that his sister was a surgeon and also rescued dogs and could send antibiotics to help out.

Sophie Martin commented that she could help with a donation. cc, also a member of DCF emailed me and said she would donate money towards taking her to the vet. Another friend of mine emailed and said she’d donate towards the vet bill too! We had the money to take her to the vet and get her checked out.

In the mean time my mother was happy to have her at the house and doted on her to make sure she was doing fine. Her dog, Tootsie, didn’t seem to mind and even relinquished her bed. My mom took to calling her Ruby. She fed her, gave her snacks and watched her get familiar with her surroundings. And someone posted on Facebook that the dog was a Schipperke, a breed of dog with no tail. That mystery was solved.

Because of my mom’s schedule, and Rudolfo’s schedule, he wouldn’t have been able to pick the dog up for several days. Sophie volunteered to take her to the vet, but also had to wait a few days before being able to get her. My mother didn’t care. She liked having her around.

My daughter and I had put up the signs around the neighborhood and kept checking the paper and Craigslist, etc., to see if anyone posted that they lost their dog. No one put an ad anywhere, no one called saying they saw the posters. We imagined that a blind dog couldn’t have gone that far and we were convinced it belonged to someone in my mom’s neighborhood. Then again, maybe the dog had been wandering around for a long time and that was the reason why she was so neglected.

I have to admit, Sophie and I wondered if she was micro-chipped, and were secretly hoping she wasn’t. I personally wanted Rudolfo to take her in. My mother would have loved to keep her, but was getting ready to open her pool and didn’t feel it was a good idea to have a blind dog running around. Rudolfo was making room in his home to welcome her and give her love. That was my secret hope!

Sophie was finally able to get the dog from my mom’s house and to take her to the Blue Cross Veterinary Clinic. Keep in mind this was six days that my mom had Ruby. In all this time there still wasn’t an ad in the paper, craigslist, animal humane hadn’t heard anything and no calls from the posters we put up…you get the picture.

Lots of things ran through our heads collectively. Maybe the owners were out of town and didn’t know their dog was gone. But who would leave a blind dog alone? Maybe the owner was an elderly person and couldn’t get around to finding their lost dog. Who knows.

So the wonderful vets at Blue Cross Animal Clinic determined that the dog was very neglected. Poor diet probably resulting in diabetes, severe cataracts, filthy, and bad teeth are just a few of the things wrong with the dog. And…there was a micro-chip. The vet contacted the owner. Sophie said the vet said the owner thought the dog was only missing for 3 days. Apparently the owner couldn’t understand why the dog was at the vet. It was clear the owner had no clue that the dog was gone as long as she was. Her real name, by the way is Scout.

The vet didn’t charge for the visit and Sophie left – but not before leaving a note for the owner that if they couldn’t take care of the dog, she had a loving home all ready for her to go to. And she told the vet that if the dog wasn’t picked up to please call her and she would immediately pick up the dog.

Sophie called me to tell me they found the owner and I was so upset. Sophie said that the vet said that the whole micro-chipping program is a good thing, until you have a case like this. Isn’t that the truth, a sad truth? Both my dogs are micro-chipped and I would be so grateful if they were lost and found as a result of the chips. Sophie and I agreed that doing what we did was the right thing to do, but it didn’t feel right.

The following day I called the vet to see if the dog had been picked up. She had been. I was sad. A few days later I talked to Sophie. She had taken her own dog to the same vet and they talked about Ruby…er, Scout. The vet at the clinic said that when most owners and dogs are reunited, there is excitement and joy. In the case of Ruby/Scout, this was not the case when she was picked up.

So this is the story of a sweet dog that may or may not be cared for in a way that I think a pet should be cared for. I don’t feel like there was the happy ending that I had hoped for. But something really special came out of all this. A community of friends – all on Duke City Fix – came together and shared their love for an animal in need. All were willing to either pitch in money, or take her to the vet, or take her in as a member of their family.

I want to say THANK YOU to Sophie, Rudolfo and Samantha Anne Scott, cc, and my friend Laurel and of course, my mom. I’m lucky to call you my friends!

Views: 5

Comment by Adelita on May 31, 2010 at 1:38pm
Ugh Samantha!! You too were involved!!!! Please forgive me for leaving you out!!!!!!!!
Comment by DCMc on May 31, 2010 at 3:20pm
Oh gosh, I hate reading a story like this and having it end this way. My stomach is going to hurt for the rest of the day. Any chance of getting the owners name and checking up on Ruby? Isn't it considered neglect to own an animal in this condition and not seek medical treatment for it? Could Ruby be taken way form the owner by the city?
Comment by Michael Pullin on May 31, 2010 at 3:22pm
You should check and see if the vet filed a report with Animal Protective Services about the neglect. If not, you should file one yourself.
Comment by Michael Pullin on May 31, 2010 at 3:25pm
Actually, its the Animal Welfare Department, 768-1975.
Comment by juniper berri on May 31, 2010 at 3:29pm
So, I am confused. If a child is deemed abused and neglected they are removed from the home. Why is a pet different. This story is really freaking me out- I can't imagine what all those involved are feeling. It's just wrong!!!! Ruby should never have been allowed back with the 'owner'-the owner should be investigated for cruelity, ticketed, and never allowed to have another pet. Ruby still needs to be rescued.
Comment by Adelita on May 31, 2010 at 3:33pm
Thanks everyone! I'll call the vet and the Animal Welfare Department tomorrow! I think about this sweet dog every day!
Comment by Rob Creighton Garrison on May 31, 2010 at 3:43pm
There isn't a hole deep enough for people who mistreat animals. I'm hoping mightily that a happy resolution is still possible.
Comment by Jeff Hartzer on May 31, 2010 at 5:12pm
I am so happy to learn of Ruby's care in the Duke City if not to be followed through with by her master/mistress. Schipperkes' are a delightfully intelligent and sensitive breed. I taught, for a time, the Gifted and Talented and must say Schipperkes are the dog world's gifted and talented breed of breeds. Very sorry her owners do not appreciate her, despite frailities...

For a HAPPY SCHIPPERKE TALE please read/see: The Duke Abides a story I posted on my DCF blog.
Comment by Mike English on May 31, 2010 at 7:33pm
This story makes me feel pretty great about Duke City Fix. Bunch of softy dog lovers, which is a higher form of human. You guys gave Ruby a glimpse of a better life for six days, and that is something by itself.
Comment by Debra Landau on May 31, 2010 at 8:01pm
Well, somehow hoping for the best in all this. It is not all that easy to prove abuse and neglect of animals. Nor of children. Particularly to the point of having them removed from the home. Best case scenario, in my opinion, would be if the owner relinquished her to Rudolfo's loving arms.

Meanwhile, my guy to the left, is the late, great Skipper. That's what a happy, healthy older Schipperke looks like. Found him as a wandering puppy. Never could find the owners. Adopted him Mother's Day 1993 and thus began our addiction to the little dog with the big personality.

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