Wednesday, January 23, 2019

My new friend, Toby

My daughter Val has had the same carpet cleaner for years. It was time for his services, but she couldn't reach him. After persistently trying off and on over a month's time, she finally reached him. He had a pretty bad stroke a year ago, couldn't work, lost his business and was about to lose his house. She has a soft heart, went to his place, found him and his house and his dog in shambles. The two finches who were living in an entertainment center seemed in good health. She couldn't find any dog food in the house and suspicioned that the dog, Toby, was eating bird seed. She took him to Trader Joe's, where he got some food for himself and pet food, and has been keeping an eye on him. He is suicidal, is alienated from his family, and has decided lying down in a snow bank is a pretty painless way to go. She called government agencies, tried to get him some help. He is about to lose his house, he said he has maybe two or three more months and then his savings are totally gone. She suspicions that he is continuing to have some mini strokes. She tried to find homes for the pets so she could take him to the hospital. She found a home for the birds, but not the dog. She said he was very sweet, but dirty, probably malnourished, not very attractive. I said if she couldn't find a home for him, I would take him until Patrick was on his feet and could take him back. She is also looking into housing for him. So how is she going to find housing that will take in a dog and two finches, along with Patrick, who is very ill? Last Sunday, Val and her husband Mike went to Patrick's house and convinced him that he should check in to a hospital, that she would take Toby to me, and that I would take excellent care of him. So Mike and Patrick went to hospital, where Val's suspicions were confirmed. Patrick has had several more small strokes. Val and I met halfway between Mishawaka and Zionsville to do the dog exchange. Yup, he was a mess! But a good boy with a sweet personality. I made sure I would have someone at my house when Toby met Fred, my dog, especially with ice and snow on ground and me in a boot from a fractured bone or two in my foot. I didn't need to have two fighting dogs on my hands, so my friend Jim was there to help when I got home. No need to worry - they got on fine.
I've been reading up on how to train an adult dog that has peed and pooped wherever he wants for 14 or 15 years. I'm trying the umbilical method. He is now tied to me via a long leash, which Phyllis Panozzo made for one of my dogs many years ago. He is pretty good if I watch him all the time because he heads towards a door before he lets loose, but I don't always pay attention. Now, when he heads for the door, I know it because he is attached to me and will be pulling me along as he heads for the door. Yesterday he must have followed Fred out the automatic door while I was at the vet's picking up some paperwork. Of course, he couldn't get back in because he didn't yet have the magic fob on his collar that operates the dog door. Fortunately I had gotten him his rabies shot the day before, tag on collar with vet's name on it. Someone picked him up on Lincoln Way East, where he almost got hit by a bus. They called my vet's office, got my number and got him back to me. I had been driving around but hadn't gotten that far from home. I had also tramped through the snow by the river worried that he might have gone in. A friend chided me for getting an old dog a rabies shot. Did you know that you cannot get a dog groomed in Indiana unless you bring in the paperwork that shows the dog has a current vaccine? Of course, when she heard that she understood why I did it. Thank goodness that tag was on his collar. I might never have gotten him back without that tag!
Jenna grooming Toby
All done!
Back home and having dinner
Beautiful Toby!
I am already in love. But he is Patrick's dog, and if Patrick finds a way to take him back, he will go to his owner. All's well that ends well, and I'm not sure walking around with a dog attached to my dog leash "umbilical cord" is the best ending. What will be will be.

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