Once upon a time there was a little sheltie puppy named
Shiloh. She lived
with a family – a mom and a dad and a couple of kids. Perhaps it was a good home, perhaps not, but
it was a home and she grew into an adult and learned a few things about family
life and the days slipped into months and months into years. And years. And years.
Then one day mom and dad split up. Mom took the kids, dad took the dog. Unfortunately, dad was an alcoholic, as were his new roommates. And so they forgot to feed
And they had anger management issues.
And so they yelled at her and swore at her and sometimes even kicked
her. Her health deteriorated,
opportunistic fleas took over her malnourished body, her fur matted and her
nails grew long, and she was one sad sheltie.
One sad senior sheltie. Her records show she was born May 11, 1998 –
fifteen and one half years ago.
One day, a friend of one of the roommates could stand it no longer, and confided in her animal-loving colleague at work. That colleague networked with other animal-loving people, including me.
When I received the email, and saw the photos, I knew I wanted to help. But I knew I couldn’t take this on alone at that particular point in time – my mom was palliative – and so I contacted the Shetland Sheepdog Club of BC. They are a group of sheltie breeders who believe that their obligation to the breed extends to helping shelties in need, and who have therefore established a Sheltie Rescue branch within their organization. They have helped us out before - they had a hand in Belle’s rescue, they had contact with Eddie’s former owner, and they also offered assistance on two or three other occasions when I heard of other shelties that might be in need of a rescue placement. They said if we could get the owner to surrender her, they would help out however they could.
The friend of the roommate removed the dog from danger and got the owner to sign surrender papers. (Sometimes a voluntary surrender is a faster and more surefire route to get a dog out of a bad situation than calling in the authorities). She said the owner seemed ‘relieved’. Her colleague who had networked for her took
for a few days, got her to a vet for immediate assessment, treated her for
fleas, tidied her fur, gave her food and water and love. Then Sheltie Rescue sent someone from the
island to the mainland to pick her up, and one of their members has been
fostering her for the past several weeks - Shiloh was
groomed, had much-needed dental work done, began the process of regaining her
health, and received all the love and attention she wanted. They prepared her for her forever home.
With me. With Eddie and Mitzi and Allie and me.
Today I drove down to
to fill in the adoption papers and bring Ms. Shiloh home. She is sweet, loving, shy, timid, and very beautiful. She is very small and thin – only 17 pounds. She
is a bit bewildered at the moment, but after a couple of hours checking out the
garden and the house, she tucked into her dinner, then settled into a crate and
fell fast asleep.
Thank you to K. who couldn’t stand by and see her suffer, and who persuaded the owner to surrender her. Thank you to Wendi who networked her, and took her in while the rest of the rescue plan could be put in place. Thanks also to Julie who went to the mainland to pick her up, and to Joanne and Julie who fostered her and loved her these past few weeks. Thank you to the Shetland Sheepdog Club of BC, Sheltie Rescue who took her on, paid for all her immediate veterinary care, and who have now entrusted
Shiloh to my
care. Sometimes it takes a community to
save a dog.
|Shiloh, before rescue -|
The photo that broke my heart.
|Shiloh, approximately one month later -|
checking out my back yard today.
(Hopefully she will cooperate more with the camera in the days ahead!)