A couple of months ago I received an e-mail from an American family who asked us for help. Their dog, GUS whom they had had for nearly 12 years had changed his temperament after a fire in their former home. (To refresh your memory please read earlier posting.)
According to them, he had snapped at their young child and even the dad.
I knew something was wrong in that statement, I felt it in my gut, and I couldn't acccept that he was in a kennel and the family was leaving Italy without him. I knew this was only a form of stress after the fire.
From Germany, I tried to find someone who could foster GUS until Minna and I would come down. It was about four weeks I needed help and I needed help to evaluate GUS since I knew he was not a dangerous dog. Help was important since we could work faster to find a solution for GUS.
But everywhere we turned for help, either people had their own house full of dogs and cats, or they were afraid that he would be "harmed" to be in a home and then move again (never heard about something that ridicules, some would rather have Gus depressed loosing weight than giving him 24/7 watch and health!) Some were afraid what veterinarian bills would be high, he was old after all.
No one expressed any desire to go to him every day just for a little while, to play soccer or give him some treats. When Minna and I finally arrived down to Italy we rushed to the kennel, and we were not happy what we saw.
Gus was depressed, and didn't want to open up to us emotionally. Why should he?
We were strangers! Every one in the kennel said they gave him food but he lost weight, about 10 kg in one month. They claimed they had taken him to the veterinarian, they had de-wormed him but nothing helped. I wondered if anyone had considered that he was depressed and not wanting to eat since his family after 12 years had taken a huge step away from him.
The family had said they would give his bed, bowls and other things, but the Kennel owner said there was nothing, only a grey plastic bag with his journals inside. And the journal was big, they had kept him very up to date on all shots and examinations. It didn't make any sense!
Gus was dirty and greasy, he looked like a baddly treated stray I had the kennel wash him for a couple of boxes cigarettes.
I promised GUS to come again the next day, and I also told him that we would get him out of that place. Minna and I agreed we would take him to Germany or Sweden.
We would flip the coin, Germany or Sweden!
Mia, the little cute wild puppy that was fostered by Martina had been into a small play accident. Mia is a tough 4-month old cookie and loves to wrestle with the big dogs. This day she got her ear bitten. A few stitches and then it was that horrible cone on her head that she didn't like, of course (who would?)
I took it off right away since we would be with her 24/7 and could keep an eye on her. We released Martina and Pio from this little cute monster, they sure needed a break.
Mia was excellent at the hotel AGORA (who are supporters to AWL.) Mia had to follow us everywhere we went, a very good practice. And Minna was a great puppy-sitter Thank you dear!
It was great to come back to the hospice, Casa dell'Amore, to meet all the old clients and the new ones. Ombra, the English Setter was afraid for the steps and the great volunteers carried him down and up every time he needed to go out. I had the evening shift and could not for my life carry this guy. I knew he had not been neutered and we had one female in heat at the Hospice. I let her out first, and then Ombra. He flew down the stairs like a bird, then up and down, up and down like a Don Juan.
It was good to be back to Casa dell'Amore!