Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Life Before Adoption

We adopted Lewis when he was just eight-weeks-old, but the puppy and his family had already had very eventful lives! His mother, Kandy, a tri-colored beagle, was found with her six three-week-old puppies in a small town in Virginia and brought to a crowded Humane Society shelter. From there, the dogs were transferred to East Hanover, New Jersey, to the Mount Pleasant Animal Shelter and placed with a foster family. Although they had received medical attention, their foster family soon noticed that something wasn't quite right with Kandy. On closer examination, the animal hospital quickly realized that poor Kandy had a small bullet lodged in one of her paws! I have no idea how anyone could have abandoned this beautiful young dog, let alone managed to shoot her! Of course, the crime remains unsolved. Kandy, however, bounced right back from her surgery.

Here's Kandy and her litter in their play pen! Three puppies from a father who was probably and Australian Shepherd or Australian Cattle Dog and three from a father who was probably a Chihuaua. I had no idea that dogs could have litters with multiple fathers, but apparently this is quite common. Our Lewis is right up front, sleeping with one paw sticking out of the pen. Mount Pleasant was kind enough to send me these pictures after we sent them our "Happy Tail" and pictures of Lewis with his forever family.
Lewis and Mommy

The beautiful Kandy (now adopted!)

Our baby when he was tiny (about 5.5 weeks)! This is the picture we saw on that brought us to the shelter to meet him!

Lewis and his brother J.J.

Here are the brothers! They looked just like this on the day we met them! What a hard choice. J.J. has been adopted now, though, so we hope he's happy there.

As if abandonment, a gunshot wound, rescue and travel up north weren't enough, Kandy and her puppies all had hookworms, an intestinal parasite named for its nasty hook-like bite. According to Lew's medical records, he was treated on April 18th. On the very same day, he also went through his first round of vaccinations, the microchipping process and he was neutered! And yet, on April 24, 2010, he was a happy, social puppy just waiting to be taken home. We are so grateful to all the people who helped Lew and his family, especially his foster mom, Judy and the shelter! I doubt that our adoption fee even came close to covering all their expenses. The adoption counselor we met with was so kind, and the shelter was so happy to help these dogs. It was a lovely place! We think that must be why Lewis is such a happy, confident little pup. And we thought getting up with him at night, cleaning up after him, making sure he doesn't chew anything he shouldn't, training him and housebreaking him was a lot of work! These jobs seem so small now that we know all about his past.

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