January 14th, 2014:|
DELIGHTFUL PUPPY needs GREAT HOME: found on main road in Aticama; female; around 8 weeks; short, brown hair; possible lab mix; might possibly grow to a small-to-medium size dog; intelligent and responsive; comes when called; crate trained; when in yard, stays close to front door; adores other 4-leggeds. Don't pass up this ball of love! Photos available. Contact Katherine Minott at email@example.com
As I sit down to write this story, I glance over my shoulder, repeatedly looking at my two "fur girls" who are curled up back to back on our King size bed. Our long time English Springer Spaniel "Bailey" and our Mexican mutt "Scarletta" are fast asleep dreaming of our day ahead. "Scarletta" or "Scar" as we call her is nestled into my sweatshirt enjoying an early morning snooze. All that is exposed is a "pock marked" left thigh evidence of an earlier less hopeful life.
Our life with "Scar" began on New Year's day in 2009. Our cargo trailer was parked outside our gated home in Mexico. We noticed that a nearly dead, mangy pup had taken up residence underneath our trailer. I wanted to feed and water the pup, but my husband reminded me that it was better off left alone and maybe "nature would take its course" and we would not have the responsibility. And so we waited. Several days later the little creature was still alive but getting sicker by the day. My husband agreed that we would feed her. I gave her a small container of food which was devoured before I had a chance to set it on the ground.
The young pup had virtually no fur, instead her starving body was covered with open, running sores. Her skeletal frame hung limp and slumped over, like an overworked donkey. Her feet were swollen to twice their size. She was so weak that she was unable to even "bark" instead she would utter a soft cry, not unlike that of a young baby. She had multiple parasites attached to her body.
We then decided that if we were feeding her we would also get medical care and attention for her. Our five month quest to seek "health" for her began. Thanks to the wonderful advice and care offered to us by Dr. Bill Rogers a retired American veterinarian and neighbour, we began a regiment of "mega" doses of anti-mange medication, antibiotics and steroids. Dr. Bill repeatedly offered us an "out" and said he would help us out by putting the little pup "down" but we soldiered on, determined to help her beat the disease.
Two months later we had "Scar" spayed in Mexico at the wonderful clinic in Aticama. Unfortunately the stress of the surgery was almost more than she could bear and she became very very ill and had a total relapse in the hours after the surgery. She became sicker than she had been earlier. Yet again..we buckled down and concentrated on helping "Scar" get well. Upon our return to Canada that summer, she once again got ill with mange and we received great medical attention from our Canadian vet. Once again she rebounded.
As she approaches her third birthday, the chance of a reoccurrence of mange is no longer hanging over our heads.
Today we have a strong ,very healthy, wonderful dog. She has given us back more love and devotion then we could have ever hoped for. Her latest "trick" is to hold my face with her front paws on each of my cheeks while I scratch her tummy.
During the darkest hours, I would hold her head in my lap stroking her face and tell her that she should be strong and if she pulled through I would "promise" her a great life together. Today she lives her life with an ear to ear grin. She stands on the bow of our sailboat in the Great Lakes, her "Yoda-like" ears blowing in the breeze. She sits on the passenger seat of my husbands sports car and smiles like the two of them are going on a "date" together. She spends her time in Mexico, anticipating the next trip to the beach and a chance to catch and destroy the next blue crab. She dances through the water like a dressage horse.
In Canada, Scar and Bailey are lucky enough to have a great young girl who "dog sits" our friends on the rare occasion that they don't come with us. She often leaves us a little note with an update on her visit to our home. One note last summer read, "Bailey was great - Scar was an angel." We had a chuckle about that comment - because "angel" was never a word we would have used to describe our lively, two year old dog. Months later as we were walking the beach, the wind suddenly switched directions and blew against our backs. We both looked down and saw these "wing like" fur tufts sticking out from each of Scar's shoulder blades ! We had a good laugh and said "Maybe Jenna knows what she's talking about, ha!"
We have learned so much from "Scar". We now know more about "Demodectic Mange" than we ever wanted to. More importantly though we have learned lessons about perseverance, patience and determination. She has always had a positive spirit and a genuine sweetness. Her little "lamb face" just cried out for help from us. She was "easy" to want to help.
She loves to swim, run beside the bike, snuggle in bed and eat grapes. She wakes up every morning with her tail wagging and a big smile on her face. She can't wait for the next car ride. The little dog who would vomit 3 or 4 times within a mile of our Mexican home, now stands with her feet on the console of our vehicle watching every little bit of scenery. Every couple of miles, she sneaks a kiss in on either one of our cheeks. We affectionately refer to her as our "GPS"..Globe Positioning "Scar". She figures out what we're about to say before we have half the words out of our mouth.
When we returned to Canada for the summer of 2010, we decided to see if we could find out what "kind" of dog Scar really was. We sent her "DNA" away for analysis. After two valiant tries, 95 DNA markers available for comparison and the ability to track animals back 5 generations, we were given our money back!!! Scar's background is such a diverse mix of "whatever" - the laboratory couldn't even verify that we owned a dog !! So she truly is our "Mexican hybrid" as my husband refers to her.
Spay and Neuter clinics are so desperately needed to prevent animals like Scar who would otherwise perish in the streets, from being born. However for those dogs who are all ready with us, may you be lucky enough to be "chosen" by them to share their lives.
Her devotion and loyalty to us is unyielding. We are the centre of her "world" and she treats us like we saved her life. What more could anybody ask of a companion friend? People frequently say to us "What a lucky dog!"..and I reply "Lucky us!"
Most of us see a scar as a reminder of an injury or a bad experience but in our case a scar is a reminder of hope and healing and what can be .
On my desk sits a plaque that reads "My dog is not my whole life - but my dog makes my life whole". Pretty much sums it up !!