Saturday, 24 March 2018

What if...


What if...late one Saturday night the phone rang in the home of an HRI volunteer?littlemanface.jpg
What if...a small shelter was asking for help with six Havanese Bichon mix dogs, left there earlier in the day?

They arrived in a single cat carrier in the back of a pick-up. The carrier was tilted out onto the pavement and skidded into the shelter. Six small dogs were pulled out, dirty, matted and terrified.


This is a story about Little Man, one of the six, several days into his journey with HRI —  in a world he never knew existed — where hands are gentle, voices are soft, and people are safe.

May 5, 2008

Dear Friends,
Today I had amazing things happen. My second foster mom, Lu, took me in the car to a place the girls here call "Dr. ColdHands." Her hands weren't cold though. They were really gentle even though she had ideas of what she wanted to do that weren't always what I wanted.

Dr. NotColdHands looked me over, from my knotty tail to my very rotten ears and my teeth, some of which are almost black. (At least one will have to be pulled.) She said I'm not 1-2 years old like the lady who brought me to the shelter in the back of a pick up in a single cat carrier with 5 of my "brothers" said I was. Lu said, "What a shock; a person that treats her animals worse than dirt lies about their age."  My eyes are clear though, and Dr. NotColdHands thinks I'm 3 to 5 years old.

Now here's one of the amazing things. She stuck these long skinny sticks with white soft stuff on the end into my ears, one skinny stick after another, and pulled out so much stuff my foster mom sort of gagged. And then she got leaky eyes and said she wished she had a camera so she could take a picture of all the "crap" that can be in one little bitty dog's ears. It was so thick on those sticks and later on the cotton balls.

When the Dr. was digging in my ears it felt so good I squeaked a little and my back leg started thumping. My ears itch SO BAD! There are lots of little bugs called mites living in there. They mite be small but they are mitey itchy. And they make really bad gunk pile up.

Besides the mites, there really was poop on my ears too. My foster mom has been trying to get that out the best she could without getting me into something called a bath, but she wasn't doing real well. She keeps saying she wants to know where on earth I was that I have poop on my ears but I don't think she really wants to know. I think she'd be too upset so please don't tell her, okay?

When we got home tonight I got to hang out outside with her for a long time. I even ate my dinner out there with her. I rested on her lap for a while when it was starting to get cold. I really like laps.

Then later, after the Last Potty Break time, she put me in my crate for a while as she messed around in the laundry room. When she came and got me, there was this ummm, sort of a white "box" with fluffy white stuff inside it. And it was WET in that "box"! I wasn't so sure at first that I liked it, this thing she called a "bath" but then my foster mom started massaging my back and pouring more of the wonderful warm water over it and was pretty nice!

I had cotton in my ears cuz I had some medicine in them to kill those nasty mites. The Dr. said my foster mom could wash my ears though, and she did. Almost everything that was stuck to the end of them is gone now! They're lots cleaner. There are some sore spots on the inside of my ear flap from nasty things growing there and being stuck on them. My foster mom said she's really sorry about that and that my next foster mom, Anne, is gonna take really good care of me and help me heal all over, inside and out. I licked her hand then because she sounded sorta sad about how dirty I was and my brothers, too.

After my bath (3 sinks of suds with 5 sinks of rinse water) I got to sit on Lu's lap again for a long long time. She had me wrapped up in towels. The towels were clean. I don't remember getting clean towels ever before in my crate or when someone was holding me. Maybe it happened and my memory is bad. That could be. But my foster mom kept saying, "You're such a goooooood dog. You're such a gooood gooood dog," and rubbing my body softly with a towel while I rested on her lap. (Did I tell you I really like laps?) So even if I have a bad memory, I'm a good dog, according to my foster mom.

I said thank you by closing my eyes while I rested my chin on her arm. Sometimes I'd lick her a little before I'd give another sigh and rest some more. My foster mom sighed too, and we rested together, just listening to something called music that she has playing for me whenever she's not with me or when she's got me on her lap after a bath.

Tomorrow night I have another big adventure. I will be going on something called a plane and going to a place called Missouri to see my new foster mom. I hope they have laps in Missouri. I even hope they have baths, if they're quiet and I hear all about how I'm a gooooood dog.

I don't have a "gotcha day" yet, but I think I got my foster mom's heart anyway and that's pretty darned good. It's gonna hold me until I get my very own family with a lap of all my own.

Your Friend,
Little Man (but my foster mom calls me Curly Joe or Joey or, if I've been barking, "Joseph!")

P.S. "Little Man" has been renamed "Fritz". Follow his story here:

Medical expenses for this group will be high. If you'd like to help "Little Man" and his "brothers" please make a donation.


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