UPDATE February 27, 2012 - You asked for it, here is the latest! (as always, click on any image for a larger view):Our Miracle Girl has a little pot belly now!
And, well, I had to let her collar out a notch the other day… oops, she’s closer to 17 than 16 lbs. Her coat is lush and wavy and shiny, her eyes sparkle and she runs everywhere. Even though she cannot hear, there is nothing tentative or afraid about her behavior and she obviously has found her place in the big pack/family thing going on here at Chez Terrier. Don’t dare be late at mealtime because she will sit on your foot and stare at you, go repeatedly to her empty food bowl to check the status, try to squeeze herself between your feet, or circle around your office chair until she gets some satisfaction.She is amazingly and unexpectedly housebroken, this little dog who lived much of her life stuck in a small closet sized room. In all the months that she’s lived here, she’s had only two accidents in the house, both of which were my fault. Like the mealtime strategy, she will simply worry you until you realize she needs to go out.
And OMG, she loves her BFF Moose. She feels it’s her job to keep his ears clean and he appreciates it, as you can see from this little clip.
She also spends lots of time staring at herself in the mirrored closet doors in my office. I’m not sure if she knows it’s her or if she just thinks it’s another dog, but her expression is really, “I’m absolutely fabulous.”
Imagine this: a terrier with no voice. I’ve never heard her bark a single time. Apparently, I am the only one anxious about her deafness – I mostly just wish she could hear me calling her – but she has adjusted to being deaf and lives life with enthusiasm. She eats her meals in her crate to keep the rest of the dogs at bay and when she’s done, whines to get out. She’s snapped/growled at Neo and Danny a couple of times for their rude behavior (totally hysterical), but otherwise, she never makes a peep. She can sleep through any kind of racket, which I sort of envy.
I look at her sometimes when she’s sleeping beside me, feet twitching in some happy terrier dream, and marvel that she is the same dog that I retrieved from the shelter last August: dying of starvation, in agony from her horribly infected mouth, perforated sinus cavity and face, back bowed up in the effort to walk with the tremendous tumor hanging on her belly. Her coat was falling out. Her right eye was so infected it was almost invisible. Her body was caked in her own urine and excrement and her legs, face and chest were covered with the pus that dripped constantly from her nose, mouth, and the open sore on her cheek. I remember seeing her come toward me in those first moments, so sick and so weak she was barely able to walk and I remember bursting into tears because I’d truly never seen an animal so sick and still trying so hard. I remember that when I put her in the travel crate, she laid down on the soft blanket like it was heaven and slept all the way to the vet’s office. Her body was so ravaged by infection that by the time we got there the stench in the car was like rotten meat.
In the past few months while the arraignment and prosecution of Blaze’s former owners have been in the works, I’ve learned a little more about her. That she’s 14 years old. That she was shut up in a closet sized space for years and only rescued because the maintenance man for the apartment where her owners lived discovered her and reported them to Animal Control. By the time she was rescued she was so ill that she was literally within a few days of dying.
I went to the first case call for the prosecution of these people a couple of weeks ago at the DeKalb County Courthouse. The attorney representing Blaze’s former owners asked for and got a continuance, which is not unusual. The former owners have the option of choosing a pre-trial hearing or a jury trial. In a pre-trial hearing, both sides present their evidence and the judge decides what the punishment will be, if any. In a jury trial, of course the jury decides. Suffice to say we will go in with all barrels loaded and ready to do whatever battle is necessary to not only get justice for Blaze, but to make her abuse case an example of what can and will happen to people who break the law by abusing animals. Her court date is March 15th.
When I came home this afternoon, Blaze was in the back yard with her senior pals, Moose and Nancy, enjoying the warm sun and playing in a pile of (formerly raked) leaves. When she saw me, she ran up to me and wagged and butted her head into my legs. Happy, happy, Mama’s home. It doesn’t sound like much, but I wouldn’t take the world for the change in this wonderful little dog, not just the physical healing which has been truly miraculous, but the changes in her personality and demeanor, which are every bit as miraculous.
I thank all of you again who have donated money to American Fox Terrier Rescue in Blaze’s name, who have been so caring and remain so connected to us. YOU have made all the difference in the world to both of us. Please say prayers and keep your fingers crossed for us on Blaze’s court date, March 15th.
Holly & Blazie
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