While driving home from Marble Falls, Texas on Sunday we passed a dog laying, awake and panting in the other lane. She didn’t even budge as we drove by, we flashed our lights at cars that were coming the opposite direction to warn them and when we saw she wasn’t moving (even as they were speeding around her at 80mph) out of the way, we turned around. We moved her out of the road and tried to give her some water but she wasn’t drinking. She was so lethargic – just laying like dead-weight, panting and seemingly oblivious to anything happening around her. It was about 95 degrees out and she had been laying on the black asphalt for who knows how long so we poured water on her, tried to provide shade and console her.
At this point two men walk up and say that they live across the road and had heard her yelp a little bit ago so she must have been hit by a car. They didn’t recognize her as their own or one of their neighbors – this is the country so there aren’t more homes for miles. They mentioned that people abandon dogs out in the area all the time and when it was clear that they weren’t going to take her in because they already had a full house, we loaded her into the bed of the truck and started back to Shreveport. As we drove, I was frantically calling shelter after shelter to find one with capacity to take her. In addition to them being closed for the holiday weekend, we learned that July 5th is the busiest day for shelters because of how many dogs get spooked by the fireworks and take off without proper identification.
When we got home we tried to bathe her, clean her wounds, spray her for ticks and fleas and get her to drink water. All of this was done in the lawn outside our apartment, we needed to keep Tex away from her because we found a tick on her and were unsure of any other illnesses she may have. We had no luck contacting any shelters so set up for her to sleep in the truck bed for the night. Luckily the weather has been very mild in Shreveport so it was perfect temperature for her to snuggle up under a blanket. Even throughout the entire bathing and wound care process she was barely opening her eyes, completely exhausted from the day’s events, but as soon as we put some wet dog food in front of her she perked up and we even got a little tail-wagging action.
She ate the whole can, drank a ton of water and passed out for the night. Unfortunately Clayton had to travel back to Vermont at 4am so it’s just Tex and I watching after Ms. Henderson – what we dubbed her because she was found in outside of Henderson, Texas. Had I been less emotional and more creative, I’d have come up with a name relating to her cow spots or death-defying antics. Yesterday morning, I fed her more breakfast and tried to get her to go potty – in true beagle fashion, she immediately started exploring the area and seemed revitalized.
Her right eye was a little goopy and her foot looked a little swollen so I took her to the animal hospital. They checked her for a microchip and were unable to find one but they offer a 50% off stray discount so I was able to leave her with them for the afternoon to get examined. When I checked on her on my way home from work they reported that she is 20.5 lbs, about 1.5 years old and potentially part beagle. We moved forward with treatment for fleas and ticks, deworming her, cleaning / medicating her ears and testing / starting drops for her eye infection. It was heartbreaking to see her so fragile after she had been so full of life in the afternoon, she must have been exhausted from being poked and prodded all day.
Fortunately I am able to board her at the hospital until I can find a more permanent home. This allows for my OCD personality to rest easy knowing that I am not solely responsible for two puppies and keeping Tex from catching anything. Unfortunately all of the no-kill shelters are at full capacity here so I am working with a few to find a foster family for her, I also posted to Craigslist and my work Facebook – hoping to find this little lady a permanent home. More to come on Ms. Henderson…