Since I last posted about Ms. Henderson I’ve learned a lot about the pet rescue process – the good and the bad. The good being that there are some pretty incredible people out there. The staff at South Shreveport Animal Hospital were amazing – in addition to offering a 50% off discount, they put up with a lot of calls and random drop-ins from me. Yet every time they would ask if I’d like to see her to which I always replied, “yes, please.” I checked on her daily and it was promising to see how much she had progressed from the day before, at first I could tell that she was scared and in need of some major R&R but after a few days her personality started to shine and I could tell she was getting her energy back – especially when the staff let me take her outside.
I found out that the staff named her Lil Anne as I had put “Unknown / Stray” on her paperwork. I’m happy that they gave her a name to fit her personality – I never asked but I presume it was short for Little Orphan Annie.
After completing the basic treatment to get her feeling better, I also paid to get her tested for heartworms (negative) and to get her vaccinations up to date. The only remaining area of concern was her chest sensitivity but the x-rays alone were $75 and if they found something, I certainly couldn’t afford the treatment after all that we had already invested into her treatment. Luckily, I had a guardian angel throughout this entire process: Gabriele with Dixieland Dog Rescue.
When I had originally contacted Gabriele about sheltering her, Dixieland was at full capacity, however I think she took interest in Ms. Henderson and perhaps pity on me so she continued to advise me throughout the process while working her contacts within the rescue network to help me find a home. Generously she offered to pay for the chest x-rays as she didn’t want to re-home her or send her to a different rescue knowing (or not knowing) that Ms. Henderson may have internal injuries. The x-rays were taken and came back negative – meaning that Ms. Henderson was a healthy pup who was just in need of a little TLC.
We had one lead from Craigslist, a cattle farmer just outside of Shreveport. He had seen my ‘Found Dog’ posting online and called to inquire about her. Not wanting to meet him alone and wanting to give him the opportunity to speak with the vet, I asked if he’d like to meet at the animal hospital. After setting a time, I called Gabriele to let her know and she hit me with some overwhelming advice: (1) get his contact information and ask to see his driver’s license to run a background check, (2) call his vet to ask for a reference and (3) ask questions about his home environment, potential hunting habits and other pets.
He called me back a short while later and had to cancel because something came up at the farm (red flag #1: this wasn’t the only time he’d seemed flaky) but was happy to answer a few questions. After getting his contact information to run a background check, I started asking about his home environment, whether he planned to use her for hunting, and other pets – he’d previously had multiple dogs and the stray cats around his property change by the day but he wouldn’t get into what happened to the other dogs (red flag #2: he dodged some of the questions). By the time I had asked for his vets contact information, he was getting very short and less friendly with his answers – upon finding out that he didn’t’ have a vet (red flag #3: he should be providing vaccinations, flea/tick/heartworm preventatives, etc) I knew it wouldn’t work out. However, he made it easy on me and rudely said, “I think we’ve spent too much time on this dog, we’re going to move on.” and hung up.
I continued to call the shelters and veterinarians in the Henderson area with the hopes that someone would report a missing dog – but to no avail. Even one of the vet technicians expressed interest in her and took photos to show her husband but unfortunately they already had two dogs and he veto’d adopting another. It was truly an emotional roller coaster experiencing the excitement and hope of a new lead only to be replaced by disappointment and feeling discouraged when it fell through. Worse still, my time was running out, I was leaving to visit Clayton in a few days and couldn’t afford to board Tex and Ms. Henderson while I was gone.
Then on Friday, Gabriele called with good news – she had found another rescue that would take her and find her a good home. Hokie’s Hounds Beagle Rescue in Baton Rouge specializes in this type of dog and they find foster families for all of their strays until they are re-homed. Ganriele had arranged for a transport to take her south the following Monday. Hallelujah!
The man who runs the transport is a retired physician who drives between locations as a volunteer and donates his time and gas to the rescue cause. Majority of the people that run the rescues/shelters work full-time, donating their time, energy and some personal funds to help these animals find a permanent home. And of course, the foster families allow these dogs into their home, donating their time, food and personal space to these little critters… see what I mean about “the good?”
I’ve learned a lot from this experience – the good (people) and bad (Craigslist weirdos) – and after investing a lot of time, energy and over $300 of vet services to the cause, I wouldn’t change a thing. If we did it all over again, we’d still pull over. I’ve asked Gabriele to keep me in the loop on her future adoption status so hopefully we’ll have a happy ending for lil’ orphan Annie soon.