Hey all! It’s Monday, and it’s time for… Happy Tails! Today we bring you the story of Chester The “Bank Box” Senior! Enjoy!
It was a bitterly cold winter morning. I had just sat down coffee in hand to write the day’s blog when the phone rang. The ringing shattered the early morning stillness and made me jump in my seat. No one calls me this early…ever! Something was wrong. I just knew that when I picked up the phone I would be confronted by a crisis. Our largest rescue, Phoenix felt the need to inform me that the phone was ringing by barking at me when I didn’t answer it. Not wishing to start an early morning bark-off between the neighborhood dogs I snatched up the phone!
“Oh! Thank God you’re home!” I hear as I pick up the phone and say hello. The caller, a good friend of mine, sounds frantic. “I need your help! Have you got room for ONE little dog?”
“Not really,” I answer. Asking me if I have room for one more dog usually gets a derisive laugh, and some sort of negative response from me. We NEVER have room for one more dog, the inn is ALWAYS full. Somehow we always find a way to squeeze one more into the mix. “What’s the problem?” I ask, dreading the answer.
The story comes tumbling out in a rush and I have to stop her and ask her to slow down. “Whoa!” I say “I just didn’t get any of that! Take a deep breath and tell me slowly!” My friend takes a deep breath and composes herself, then she tells me all about the little dog she found on her doorstep when she opened her store this morning.
“Oh, I am so angry!” she blurts out. “You know I try to get to the store early and get my day started. Well this morning I got here just before 8. I was running a little late and really not paying attention. I got to the door dug my keys out of my purse and went to open up. It was then that I spotted the box.”
“What box?” I ask her.
She takes a deep breath and begins again. “There was a box, a banker’s box. It was all sealed up with tape and sitting right in front of the door to the store. I thought it was odd but I picked it up and took it in with me.”
My friend had then placed the box on her store counter and gone into the back room to remove her coat and boots. When she returned the box was sitting five or six inches away from where she had put it down before going to take off her outer wear. She thought it odd but thought she might just have mistaken where she put it down. That was when the box started to move again. Startled my friend jumped back from the counter, something in the box whined. There was something ALIVE inside!
Now worried, my friend quickly found a utility knife and cut the top off the box. There inside curled up on the bottom and very weak was a little dog. He did not look well, and my friend quickly snatched up her keys and grabbing the box ran down the street with it to a nearby vet’s office. Leaving the little dog in his care for now she ran back to the store and called me asking if I had room for “just one more little dog.” After hearing his story I agreed to take him and we made plans to meet at the vet’s office at noon.
It is noon, and I am sitting in the vet’s office waiting to be brought up to date on the condition of the bank box dog. My friend sits beside me, and we silently worry what it is the vet will have to tell us about the little bank box dog.
“Exposure” the vet says. He sits across from us looking rather concerned. “Ladies, you found him just in time! Although I don’t think that was what his owner intended to happen! This poor dog has been neglected for a long time. When we took him out of the box and put him down he could barely walk. At first we weren’t sure what the reason for that might be, until we examined him and found his nails had not been cut in so long that they had grown curly and were almost at the point of puncturing his paw pads. He couldn’t walk because his nails made walking painful! We have taken care of that of course, and he has been given a warming bath and is now resting comfortably on a heating pad in one of our kennels. He should be fine in a day or two, but I would like to keep him here until tomorrow morning just to be sure! His temperature was lower than normal, and he is a bit dehydrated.”
“Do you have any idea of his age?” I asked the vet.
“He is somewhere between 13 and 15 years old. This dog is a senior, dumped at the end of his years and not properly cared for for many of them! He is going to be hard to place at his age!” the vet replied.
We left the little dog in the ample care of our good friend the Doctor and headed out to have our lunch and discuss the little dog. The vet was right he was going to be hard to find a home for. Seniors are always the last to get adopted. People don’t want old dogs at the end of their life, they want young vibrant dogs that have years ahead of them. But right now thoughts of adoption were premature. We had to get this dog home and figure out what kind of issues we were dealing with first. The little dog would come home with me and join my pack to be assessed.
4 Weeks later.
Chester, as we have named him, has been with us a month, and no one shows interest in adopting him. It is the week before Christmas and the house is busy with Christmas get togethers and preparations for the big day. We have suspended all adoption activity until after the holidays as we do every year. We do not adopt dogs out at Christmas, and shut down every year. Our college age daughter will be coming home in a couple of days for the holidays and we are preparing for her arrival. Chester has become part of the pack and is busy snoozing under the Christmas tree.
My daughter had separated from her high school boyfriend just a few months before and for the first time was living in the big city on her own. The boyfriend had taken their dog when he left, and my daughter was missing a dog in the house. She fell in love with Chester the moment she met him, and he took to her like he had always been meant to be her dog. By the time the holidays were over it was decided that Chester would go home with our daughter. Yay! The little dog that we knew would be hard to place had found a home!
Another happy ending…or was it?
Chester and our daughter got along fine for six months. Then the little old dog developed a bladder problem that had him peeing in his sleep. He couldn’t help it really, he was just too old and his little body was betraying him. The kind of care he would need was simply beyond the scope of a young college girl just starting out in life. It was decided that Chester would return to us and live out the rest of his remaining years as a member of our misfit pack of dogs. We headed to the city and brought him back home.
Since Chester had mild urinary incontinence, (Urinary incontinence (UI) is any involuntary leakage of urine. It can be a common and distressing problem, which may have a profound impact on quality of life.) he would need to be fitted with a belly band and changed on a regular basis like a baby still in diapers.
Chester has been wearing his belly band in the house for over two years now. Other than his urinary incontinence, he is a perfectly healthy and happy dog. He is now somewhere in the range of 15 to 18 years old, and shows no signs of leaving us any time soon. He brightens our days with his quirky personality and life just wouldn’t be the same without him. Some days I wonder, did I save him? Or did he save me?
Until Next Time Remember,
SENIOR RESCUES ROCK!