Saturday, October 29, 2011

Stella the Pancake Dog

This morning we picked up our next foster dog, Stella the Pancake Dog. Stella and her brother were found as half-starved strays covered in fleas; quite probably their owner had dropped them off at the side of the road and driven away. She was listed as a 20-pound hound mix by the rescue, and while that's on the small side for our household and I wasn't too sure about the wisdom of keeping a potentially very vocal dog in our building (as hounds are known to sing when the mood strikes), she otherwise seemed like a good fit. So we volunteered to take Stella, and her brother went on to rescue with WAGS.

Just getting the pup proved to be a mini-adventure. This morning Philadelphia woke up to the rare calamity of October snow -- only the third time in recorded history we've had snow in October here. I don't know what the other two were like, but this one was a sleety, hail-y, slushy mess that destroyed visibility on the roads and felt like driving through half-frozen Crisco.

The weather change was so sudden that this is what my garden looked like this morning. The last strawberry of the season, frozen solid on its stem.

We eventually made it to the meetup point, a rest stop in Delaware (which was itself slightly confusing because I initially thought it was the rest stop near Newark, then was told that it was "near the Pennsylvania state line," then finally figured out that indeed these two things were both true and referred to the same rest stop, since Delaware is so small that a spot in its center is near the PA state line, especially by the standards of someone coming from a full-sized state), and picked up the little furball.

The caravan was jam-packed with dogs -- mostly young, mostly small to medium sized, all in desperate need of help. Stella wasn't nearly as bad off as some of the others (one poor mother dog looked like a black-furred skeleton with teats, although at least all her still-blind puppies were fat and healthy), but she was still underweight, underconfident, infested with ear mites, and badly in need of a bath. I think she might have a touch of pinkeye, too.

But she was and is an extraordinarily gentle, friendly little dog (although not that little -- closer to 30 pounds than 20, I'd say, which is a much more comfortable size), and by the time we got home she had already begun to bond. So here we are. We'll see what the next weeks bring. Miticide would be a good start...

(Stella does not much care for the cold, and wonders: "what is this horrible place you've brought me to!" She's a Georgia girl, after all.)

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