Harriet

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Part 2:  Continued from Rescue 911…

Earlier in the year, I had enrolled in ISR’s (Illinois Shorthair Rescue) foster program, was vetted, and was hoping to get my first foster dog.  

A group of eight dogs, including three German Shorthaired Pointers, had lived in deplorable conditions in a barn for five years and were removed by Animal Control in IN.  On an otherwise glorious fall day,  ISR called me with the Shelter’s address and a pick up date for my first foster dog, the pregnant one.  All the dogs had been quarantined and were getting proper immunizations and evaluations by veterinarians.   Now I just had to put on my big girl panties and go rescue a distraught Momma-to-be.

It has been over 10 years since I’ve cared for a litter of pups, but I had all the necessities:  a whelping box, string to tie off umbilical cords, that orange antiseptic that bleeds and stains everything,  an electric puppy warming pad, and lots of time and love.  All I had to do was clean out my mud room which, trust me, was an epic endeavor.  Five garbage bags, lots of perspiration, and two hours later, I was ready!

Driving 220 miles to a Shelter to pick up a dog that could burst puppies in your car at any moment gives one the jitters.  As I rolled down the highway, I sang along with Willie, Waylon, and Johnny Cash.   Their honest lyrics and smooth picking was just the ticket.  When I rolled up the driveway at the Shelter, a lady waved.  After throwing it in park, saying a prayer and stepping out into the unknown, the Shelter ladies and I exchanged information and signed forms.   I waited outside.  Finally I saw her, in full bloom.  Harriet.

Her first worldy possession, a yellow duckie.

At first glance, she was a looker…very beautiful coat markings with ticking and brown patches, topped with a chocolate Hershey’s Kiss face and matching brown eyes.  She had a big, droopy belly but it was soft.  That’s when I learned that Harriet had dodged a bullet.  She had been so full of worms, that until the pregnancy test came back negative, everyone thought she was having pups. What a relief!  Instead of having to find 10 homes, we only had to find the right home for Harriet.  (By the time I picked her up, she had been dewormed and the belly just needed time to firm back up).  Everyone was grateful that she did not have to go through another trama…feeding pups when there was really nothing left on her to give.

We walked around the Shelter together getting to know one another before the long ride back to Michigan.  She was stressed, with eyes flashing above, over, beyond and around….but underneath the uncertainty, she trusted me and was gentle.   I was feeling better and better about this whole opportunity and even celebrated having a mudroom where we could actually hang up jackets.

Harriet would keep her head down and walk to my knees and press her face into my legs and push.  That was her expression of love and it was good enough for me, so we hopped in the car and headed home.  From her vantage point in the rear of my Tahoe, Harriet watched cars and trees roll by.  She saw cornfields and flashing lights and smelled new smells.  She looked out of the back window until she couldn’t hold her head up any longer.  Then she slept, peacefully, probably, for the first time in five years.

….to be continued

Note:

My husband and I have always had German Shorthaired Pointers and we love their merry mischief making, admire what true versatile athletes they are, and how pack oriented each one is; Velcro dogs!  You get the best of both worlds in this sporting breed–when it is done right.  It is even more tragic for these noble dogs, when, through no fault of their own, they become homeless or are neglected.

http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/german-shorthaired-pointer/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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