In 2008, one of my greatest blessings turned out to be a dog I named Oliver. Here's the story of how I found him, along with photos...
The photos tell the story best.
One day in the middle of working, I decided to drive to get some lunch not far from my house. I went down a street I don't normally take - a side street that is semi-industrial, near a church and a park.
As I drove down the street, I slowed because a dog was walking across the street. The dog was barely making it across, slowly trudging, and clearly was on his last legs. He looked so, so bad, that I just had to stop.
But he walked away from me and went into this sewer, where he was apparently living!
I looked into the pipe, and there he was, along with some trash. Isn't this a sight?
How could I just leave this dog here? But I had to figure out a way to get him out of the sewer, because he was not coming out.
I didn't get lunch but went home to get some dog food, and a leash, and came back. I put the food out and finally I got him to eat the food. He was so weak that it was easy to get the leash around him.
I could hardly get him to the car. He would not walk with me. He laid down on the ground like a dead dog, so I had to pick him up, and that wasn't too easy because he obviously had mange... I knew I was going to get a case of my own but it's not all that bad... on humans it lasts about a week.
I put him in the back of the car, and you can see how sick he was.
Poor guy was so scared too!
Even with mange, this dog had some cuteness.
Little did I know this was just the tip of the iceberg with his adorableness that would totally steal my heart several months later...
This very handsome vet tech helped bring Oliver into the emergency clinic. This was his first stop on the way to recovery, which took much shorter than predicted, because Oliver has so much personality.
Oliver had 2 kinds of mange. The vet said he wouldn't have made it too much longer. He also thought it might take 6 months for Oliver to recover from mange this bad. However it didn't take nearly that long, because of the great care he got as well as the love he received from everyone at the Animal Hospital.
The same doctor also operated on my dog Harvey for 5 hours a couple of years ago, and saved his leg after I found him - he had been hit by a car. He is the best!
The people who worked at the veterinary clinic really liked Oliver. They said that when they passed by his cage without speaking to him, he got mad at them. One of them said that he reminded her of "Spy vs. Spy" which is what he looked like when he started to get better.
They also had to treat Oliver for heartworms. He wasn't supposed to move around for 30 days after his heartworm treatment - and he needed 2 rounds of treatments!
So with the mange case and the heartworms, he spent a total of 3 months at the vet. He was too hyper to bring home because he's full of energy and not capable of staying still as he was supposed to do for the heartworm treatment. That was pretty tough for this guy, but it was his only chance for survival.
We visited him, paid for his treatment, but I kept hinting strongly to the people there that they were more than welcome to keep Oliver if any of them wanted to have him.
I didn't plan on adding yet another dog. My Siberian Husky had died 3 months earlier, and I still had Harvey, another rescued dog, who was enjoying having all the attention to himself.
I named this little guy Oliver after a dear friend of mine from my teen years in New Orleans.
Little did I know that Oliver would soon endear himself to me and totally win my heart over, hook, line, and sinker.
This is Oliver coming home from Vet, after the mange treatment, but before he had to go back for the heartworm treatment. He's checking out Houston from his front-seat perch.
Oliver turned out to be a sweet, smart, and hilarious dog. He has quite a personality. He still shows some signs of what he went through - such as having web-like paws, and a limp, but none of that slows him down. Oliver became part of the family, but he also has one behavior problem due to his "past." He's quite the protector, let's put it that way! I'm working on his "issues" with success.
With family and friends, he is happy and secure. He loves everyone but he has to know first that they are a friend. He adores teenagers. I have 2 teenage daughters; he adores them and their friends. He adores Harvey. And of course he likes me a lot; he knows what side his bread is buttered on...
Take a look at some of the photos from the past few months:
This is Harvey and Oliver at one of their watchout posts so they can see the squirrels that dare to go on their property.
This was taken in a hotel room in Corpus Christi where we had to go during the hurricane... my dogs could see a busy street from this 2nd story window, and this is their Security Watch over the city of Corpus, making sure everyone was completely safe!
And this is my favorite portrait of Oliver, which captures one of his really cute expressions. Oliver says "Once you go black, you never go back."
(My daughter said, "Mom, please don't write that - please.)
This is my cat Tiger who passed away in April 2009. I had him for about ten years. He showed up one day in the back yard under a playhouse and he never left. He was a great cat.
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