We needed to return the dog crate we borrowed from the McKamey Animal Center. That’s all we we were going to do. Drop off the crate. But Anna, the volunteer coordinator, was there and she asked if we wanted to meet a dog she wanted us to foster “so we could think about it.”
We met Tisen (which I think should be spelled Tyson, but then he’d be named after a chicken company, so it’s just as well). He is an 8 year old mix who looks like a collection of terrier breeds and maybe even some dalmatian. He trotted out to us in the exercise yard, just a little shy at first. Soon, he was giving us kisses.
Anna told us Tisen’s owner is dying. And, out of “love” for his dog, he decided he wanted Tisen to die with him. So, he stopped feeding Tisen, apparently thinking the dog would starve to death about the same time he died and they would go to heaven together. I’m not sure what the rules are about getting into heaven, but if starving a dog to death is on the list of ways to get in, I think I’ll pass.
The man had a daughter who was caring for him and his dogs who apparently agreed to this ploy and was feeding the other two dogs, whom the man loved less.
I don’t know much more about this story except that the police were called and they called McKamey and the wonderful staff at McKamey decided this dog needed to be saved. He’d been in their clinic under constant care for many weeks, regaining his strength. He’d become a favorite among the staff and his many fans were giving him extra love and attention. However, when he had recovered enough to be adopted and was put out in the kennel areas for public viewing, he started showing signs of stress. He apparently has a hard time being surrounded by other dogs.
We looked at his flaking skin and thinning fur, chunks missing in places and his skin bright red underneath where he’s started chewing on himself from stress, and, I ask, how could we have left this sweet boy there?
I have to say it felt pretty good when one of the staff came out to say goodbye to him and personally thanked us for fostering him–she felt strongly that he not only needed it but he really deserved it after all he’d been through.
When we rode home, he stood between the seats with his front paws in my lap, licking my face. When we got home, after sniffing around, he plopped across my lap and nestled in like he was home. I managed to coax him over to Pat’s lap so I could run to the dog store to get something for his skin. When I came home, my boys were curled up on the couch snoozing. For once, I feel certain we did the right thing.