I've been under the weather for several weeks, so Bingley, Magic and I did not take our usual Monday morning walk with Marilyn, Franklin, Hattie and Odie. Yesterday we resumed our walk and Bingley and Magic couldn't have been happier or more excited.
As we walked, I studied each dog and considered their histories.
Franklin, the senior member of our pack, is a mix of Greyhound and some unknown breed. He "passes" as a Greyhound until you study him closely. He was rescued as a puppy, covered with mange. Not exactly the sort of dog that most people are eager to bring into their homes. In fact, not the sort of dog most rescues rescue. But at fifteen months, after a few unsuccessful placements, Franklin found a home with Marilyn and her husband. Franklin required daily doses of Inteceptor to get his mange under control, but eventually, it disappeared and now he sports a soft red coat. He's a happy, confident dog who loves to go to Show and Tells which promote Greyhound Adoption Center. He's getting on in years and the arthritis in his hindquarters shows in his gait. But he's a wonderful companion and has had a good life with Marilyn's family.
Hattie, short for Manhattan, is an ex-racer who was also a "hard to place" dog. She's something of a loner and a little opinionated. Hattie suffers from an auto-immune disorder which makes her nose peel from time to time and can affect her paw-pads. But Marilyn took her in and helped integrate her into her home. Hattie is living the good life now.
Odie, Marilyn's newest pack member, also has issues. He suffers from a chronic eye condition which compromises his vision. He has separation anxiety and needs other dogs around to feel secure. But he is settling into his new home. He seems to know that he belongs.
Bingley, my sweet tempered, aw shucks cowboy, was rescued from a "death hauler" carrying two dead Greyhounds and three starving, hungry Greyhounds. Bingley's digestive system will apparently always show evidence of his near starvation. He needs prescription dog food and quantities of Pepto Bismol to keep his delicate insides functioning close to normal. He's high prey and a little tricky to walk on leash. But John and I wouldn't have missed him for the world.
Then we have Magic, our Greyhound/Deerhound princess, who was essentially unsocialized to humans--particularly men--when she was rescued with her puppies and the puppies' father. She was difficult to manage in the kennel, barking at all passersby and leading a little band of escapees one evening when a staff person wasn't paying attention. That sort of behavior gets a girl labeled "hard to place." But in the seventeen months she has lived with us, she has made great strides: accepts John as a good person, loves her walks, lets us know when she wants to go outside. And cuddles up next to me on the sofa just about every morning.
I understand that Dogs With Issues are not for every home. But if you are in a situation, a stage in life that permits taking one into your home, the rewards are indescribable.