From Crystal Kerr who does dog rescue in a village up the coast of B.C.:
Sunday, August 5, 2001. I have another one that badly needs help - very quickly, he may not last much longer he is so starving and weak. And I'm afraid he'll be shot as happens every so often here as a means of dog control (instead of spay/neuter). I think he is about 2 years old. He is very friendly, but in a submissive, quiet, timid way. He has no confidence in himself, and hangs back when the others rush up to greet me, until I call him. Then he grins (shows teeth in a submissive smile) and waggles over to me. He always comes when I call him and bend down a bit. He will come up on my porch if I invite him, which I do to feed him when he comes out here. He stands at the bottom of the stairs and asks if he can come up with his eyes. He really has zero confidence. He is so grateful when he's included. One time he was on my porch, and another dog was running down the road barking, and when I looked out onto the porch, he was lying there shaking, so I went out to him , sat beside him and he put his head in my hands and his teeth were chattering. He was so scared. He's this quiet, sweet natured, timid dear, who hasn't got a mean bone in his body. He would never bite anyone or anything. I can tell that he has never been on a leash before, don't think he's been in a house, although I'm sure he would love to. I think he would be a great dog once he starts to believe in himself. Family dog? For a calm, stable family if that exists. I mean, little energetic kids would probably scare him, although he wouldn't bite. He definitely loves people, he just doesn't believe that he is lovable.
He is just in such a constant sorry state, getting beaten up all the time by the other dogs in the village, lack of food (as you can tell), etc. A few months ago, he had a big open wound on the top of his head. It was really awful, like someone hit him with a bottle or he was attacked by another dog. I shudder to think what he goes through.
Monday, August 6: Again from Crystal Kerr:
I have Angelo here inside tonight. I coaxed him into the house (with the help of food) around 2pm, and he has eaten and has been resting quietly by the kitchen door ever since. He hasn't moved from his resting spot since he's been in. He must be exhausted, I think he's pretty worn out and he has serious tape worms (so bad that they come out of his rear end) I had a closer look at his puncture wounds and they look pretty bad, two on his face and two under his neck. He must have been bitten and shook. Swollen, may need antibiotics. We have to step over him to get out the door and I've tried to coax him out to go to the bathroom, but he has politely decided not to ever go outside again. I think he is just sick and exhausted. Can he go straight to Dr. Burt (Animal Advocates veterinarian Dr Alf Burt of Marine Drive Animal Clinic in North Vancouver) for examination, because he's really lethargic and seriously wormy, and his wounds are concerning me, as they seem to have the beginning of an infection?
Wednesday, August 8 - Angelo will be flying down today and will go straight to our vet. We had such a heart-warming response to this dear dog's story in our web mag and a family in North Vancouver, Ursula and Hans, are going to take him in and make sure he gets better. We will soon have more pictures of Angelo and a vet's report and updates for all the many people who are anxious for him.
Angelo is on the flight, which is going to get in at 2:00pm . I talked to Ursula and she will be there to pick him up. He had a diarrhea in the kennel, so I had to take out the blanket and clean the cage. All I could find for him to lay on was newspaper, so hence the shredded newspaper. He was so humiliated by the accident, I felt so bad. I wish I could tell him it wasn't his fault.
Dr Danielson has good news for us. Angleo is severely malnourished (could not have lived much longer), weakened by parasites and diarrhea, and at risk of serious infection from his wounds on feet, face, and throat, but his heart and lungs are fine. Antibiotics, a special diet, and deworming will quickly allow his body to start to recover. Angelo didn't have long to live... or anything to live for. AAS will be paying all the vet bills and having him neutered when he is stronger.
Thursday morning, August 9. Ursula phoned with good news/bad news. Last night Angelo ate dinner, had a nice visit with Ursula and Han's friends, slept, but started howling around 6 a.m. He misses his dog family - even though they were mean to him. Dogs and humans have exactly the same minds and behave exactly the same way as humans do (that's why we love them so much). If you take an abused child from its family, it misses the family. Simple. He ate a good breakfast and has had his meds. When he gets used to the idea of "home" and that Ursula and Hans are his new "pack" and that what's more - they don't beat him up and steal his food, the howling for his old pack will stop.
Angelo is now neutered, vaccinated, tattooed and microchipped. He loves humans, smiles and waggles, but because he had no home, the concept of home was foreign to him and he wants to stay outside because that's what is familiar. But he will learn to be a member of a human family and (like all dogs) want to be with his human family, inside the family home, one day.
Ursula phoned again. Angelo greeted her with howls of happiness when she got back from shopping, and wagged his tail at her! He knows he is "home" and that he is loved. Ursula and Hans say he has waggled his way into their hearts and he never tries to leave the yard anymore, and he walks beautifully off-leash right beside them and is so responsive, and he has stopped howling. Thank goodness they didn't give up too soon. Rescued dogs, once they understand that at last they have a home and a pack, are so much more grateful and loving than dogs who take it all for granted.
From Crystal in Bella Bella:
Hi Judy, REALLY?!! They like him that much?? I was afraid he wasn't going to make a very good impression, with his sad little stinky fur and poopy bottom. I can't tell you how happy I am that I won't ever find him hiding and shaking under a bush again, with cuts and new sores. He really is a gentle soul. I hope to hear about the day he is snoozing in the sun, secure in his own skin, with a full tummy and not a care in the world. It's hard to believe that can ever happen for him, because all I see in my mind is a skinny, dirty, frightened dog, gulping down any scraps of food he found and being terrorized by every other dog and human he encountered.
Just when we think we can't take anymore crises, misery, suffering, and insurmountable problems, suddenly, out of the blue, the kindness of a stranger lifts us up and gives us wings. It happens - just often enough to keep us going. But not often so literally as the kindness of Sheldon Smith.
Sheldon is the Director of Northern Operations for his family's airline, Pacific Coastal Airline, the airline that Crystal has been using to fly her rescues from Bella Bella to Vancouver. Sheldon happened to see her with Angelo at the airport and because he is a kind person and a lover of dogs he asked Crystal about Angelo and when he found out what she was doing he said, "From now on your dogs fly free".
We don't know how to adequately thank Sheldon and his family for their generosity. We are always "flying by the seat of our pants" at AAS. There is never enough money to pay the bills unless we pay them ourselves, and no money for all our plans to change the laws in B.C., so this kind of help is so greatly appreciated. Here is Pacific Coastal's web site: www.pacific-coastal.com. It's all we can think to do in return.