It was early morning, and I was waiting for the doctor’s office to open. Daily temperatures get over 100 degrees F (37 C), but the sun had just come up and it was still relatively cool. I had rolled the windows down to enjoy the breeze.
The parking lot was next to a busy street, but I thought I heard something between herds of hurtling traffic. I followed the noise into an overgrown vacant lot and found a crying puppy. Mom had probably been hit by a car and crawled off into the weeds to die. The puppy was terrified, and wouldn’t have lasted through the heat of the day. As for the rest of the litter, not a sign.
Did I keep my appointment? No, I scooped her up and made a beeline for the vet. I didn’t see myself as having a choice.
That is the pup at the vet, maybe seven weeks old, 15 minutes after I lifted her off the remains of Mom. What the pic doesn’t show is how she is shaking, scared out of her mind. I doubt she has ever known the touch of a human before this day, or been indoors. She had finally stopped crying, but she would start to shriek every time I took my hand off her. So I just held on and waited.
The vet gave me the usual litany of woe when it comes to stray dogs. Dehydrated, malnourished, ticks, fleas, intestinal parasites. The baby dog got some shots, some medication to knock the worms out of her guts, and a pill to make the ticks and fleas drop away. Bring her back in 3 weeks for more shots, payment is accepted cash or card.
I named her Katy because I like the sound of it. What to do, what were my options? Try to get her in a no-kill shelter, take her to a high-kill shelter where she would be put down in three days, or take her home. Long time readers already know what I decided. Besides, I had given her a name. You lose your heart when you give them a name.
She had finally stopped shaking by the time I got her to my rented shack. The problem was that she had also pretty much stopped doing anything else.
She had shut down, showing virtually no interest in anything. Not catatonic, not like a human being, but listless and without energy to do anything but breathe. Katy wasn’t acting like a puppy at all.
This wasn’t my first rodeo, and I knew exactly what to do. I introduced Katy to my other rescue dog.