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We received a call last week concerning an abandoned dog living on the Calvary side of Lovers Lane. The caller stated that this dog had been left behind by a family that had moved out. We were also informed at this time that the dog was a female, and she had a litter of seven pups. She had also been hit by a car and her left front leg was permanently damaged. So we're talking about a stray dog with pups and on top of all that she was a three legged dog, not exactly the ideal dog to adopt out.
When I left the shelter to pick up her and the pups, I didn't feel good about her chances of finding a home and I was unsure of the condition of her litter. When we pick up a mother dog with pups that have been abandoned, we find that the pups are not as healthy as those that have received proper care.
Upon arriving at the residence, all the negativity that I had arrived with left the instant I saw Gracie. This tan medium-size boxer mix came from around the building wagging her tail. The injured "chicken wing" leg was not the first thing that I noticed, it was those eyes. In all of my years of being around dogs, I've never, ever seen eyes that totally captivated you like hers. Just to call them blue doesn't do them justice. She looks like she has colored contacts in.
It was like she knew that we were there to help her. She showed no sign of aggression and when we retrieved her pups out of the dog house she never made a whimper. It became quite obvious that the neighbors had done a great job of taking care of her and her litter. The pups were fat little fur balls, some with the blue eyes like their mama. All were loaded up and taken back to the shelter.
I knew that the pups would be adopted fast but Gracie would be a lot harder. She was older, we weren't sure of her true temperament and she has this deformed leg. I knew that I needed help and I knew just who to call on - our great volunteers. After a few phone calls and Gracie was seen in person, they got busy. It was decided that she definitely was a truly special dog and deserved every opportunity to be adopted. The deformed leg needed to be removed for health reasons and to enhance her appearance. This procedure is not cheap and it would require someone to foster her while she recovered. What happened next did not surprise me because I know what our volunteers are capable of. Money was quickly raised to not only cover the operation but also pay for all of her vet care plus have her spayed. One of my best volunteers is now fostering her in their basement. She informed me she is doing great after her surgery and that she has not used the bathroom in the house. Plus, she gets along great with her animals. We were worried about her being too hyper but she has showed signs that she wants to be a couch potato.
Gracie will be put up for adoption as soon as she is cleared from the vet concerning her leg surgery. Anyone who is interested or knows of someone who might be, here is your opportunity to adopt a truly special dog. This three legged, blue eyed, heart of gold dog needs to go to a very special home. To keep the arthritis down in her good front leg it is a requirement that she becomes a house dog. Her picture is online at Petfinder.com. Just type in our zip code. Only serious inquiries need to apply because she will not go to just anybody.
Gracie and I can't thank our volunteers enough. The organization "Just Paws" contains the core of our volunteers. Special thanks to anyone that donated money to this cause and to the vets that helped us. It's hard not to get emotional over the outpouring of support for this dog. I can't tell you how it makes us feel here at the shelter when the community takes such a big interest in our animals. It makes it easier to do our thankless job when we get the support from animal lovers. You make it worth while.
That's all for this week. For information on Gracie or any of our animals, call or visit the Marion County Animal Shelter. For more information on the group "Just Paws" contact Wendy at (270) 692-8083. It's a great group with a great cause.
Editor's note: Jeff Wooldridge is the Marion County animal control officer.